Monday, December 28, 2009

Icy stormy night..

Somewhere around 11:30 at night......sleepy, drifting, cuddled up to Hubby. Wind picking up outside our bedroom window, freezing rain knocking against the pane. A loud CRACK! Frozen tree branches hitting the roof before bouncing onto the ground.

"Who's walking on our roof?" Hubby asked sleepily.

"Santa's reindeer," I murmured, nuzzling the back of his neck.

Delicious sleep washing over me like waves. But something was nagging.
Go away!
Somewhere in the very back of my mind, I could feel something swimming through the fog trying to get my attention.

I was tired from all the Christmas busy-ness. Happy for the celebration and happy it was over.
Sleep was inviting, beckoning. Hubby was already in dreamland. It does not take him long...

The wind was howling. Did I leave a window open? Not likely in this weather. Something was still tugging at my consciousness. Would not leave me alone. I could hear "it" screaming. Screaming? Piercing shriek? An alarm? Yikes! Suddenly I was up like a shot!

No power! I should have known! That loud crack may have been a branch, but could have been a hydro wire snapping in the storm.

And no electricity meant no oxygen for Hubby. In a flash, I turned on the portable oxygen cylinder (which lies like a sleeping dog curled up on the floor beside our bed), popped the cannula up his nose and then took off downstairs to turn off that screaming alarm. I pulled the plastic tubing out of the now silent (and useless) oxygen concentrator, and reconnected it to a humongous cylinder hidden away in our dusty basement.

Fortunately, the oxygen company had just filled it the week before, so it would last the whole night through, if needed. While I was downstairs, I called hydro on the phone to find out how long this power failure would last. Then went back to bed. And changed Hubby's nose hoses (exchanged the smaller portable one for the long-lasting one).

Hubby was drifting off again, but by this time I was wired. I could not go back to sleep. What would happen if I did not hear that alarm?

I'd been taking sleeping medication over the past month, which would account for the deeper quality of my sleep; my brain sinking into sweet oblivion, instead of jumping at every little sound. But never, in the wilds of my imagination, did I think it would be possible to NOT hear that shrieking alarm.

If we had both gone to sleep with no electricity in the house, Hubby would not have woken up in the morning.


The wind continued to howl.
Once more during the night our power went off.
I connected nose hoses and machines and disconnected nose hoses and machines. And then did everything in reverse.

I did not get much sleep that night.


Teacher's Pet said...

Wendy...My heart skipped beats as I read this. Thankfully, you were not in a deep sleep and were able to connect the portable oxygen for your husband. I am sooo glad that this story had the ending that it did. I praise God for the fact that you weren't into a deep sleep. Hugs and warmest smiles to you and your husband.

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Oh Wendy, That is so scary... I hope they got your power back on soon, hopefully that next morning. I'm glad that you woke up and took care of hubby's needs...

I hate ice storms... They do so much damage in so many ways. The pictures are gorgeous --but the fear you had to endure made it NOT worth that icy beauty outside.

Hope things are okay now. Happy New Year.

hummer said...

Ice storms are so beautiful in pictures and so devastating in life.
I felt for you as you wrote of the nagging feeling and then the sudden realization. What a heart racing, scary night.
Wishing you and your hubby a blessed and wonderful new year to come.

amelia said...

You poor thing. What an awful responsibility for you. I'm so happy for you and hubby that this incident had a happy ending but I hope it won't stop you from taking your sleeping meds either because you really need to have good sleep. More than most people.

Ice storms are horribly devastating to all life and we, as humans, are more vulnerable because we live and rely on, such unnatural things. If our hydro goes, we literally have to struggle to survive.
I guess it's part of getting older and part of where we live but I've been thinking a lot about this lately and what we'd do if all hydro were gone.

Oh well, happier thoughts!!

I hope you have a wonderful year! You are always in my thoughts...

Beverly said...

The photos are beautiful, but you answered my question. The ice does cause the branches to break, doesn't it.

Oh my, how scared you must have been when you realized the power was off. It's a good thing your pill didn't have you in that deep sleep.

I hope that you have a good start to the new year.

mxtodis123 said...

Oh, Wendy, how frightening. You must have been so scared. My heart goes out to you. I'm wishing all the best for your and yours in the coming year.

Beth Niquette said...

I was so into this story the adrenolin kicked in. I've been where you are, when Dad stayed with us, and was on oxygen.

Ooooh, you are a brave girl.

May God bless you and your hubby this New Year. I pray this coming year will be filled with amazing adventures, laughter and joy! May you have strength through the hard times and peace throughout.

Hilary said...

Oh my. I'm glad that nagging voice in the back of your sleepy head didn't stop talking to you. I think your brain is well-trained to recognize that danger now. Here's to a much calmer 2010.

Grammy said...

Wendy you handled this very well. Have you thought of a back up generator to run the electric? We lost ours for a little while the other night. And I tried to get propane yesterday to run the fire place. There is up to a 5 day wait. But I have a small generator that was not too expensive that could run a few things. As we were with out electric a week when we had an bad ice storm a couple of years ago.

With this you have to look at the positive side. do not let fear get a hold of you. You did good.
Big hug. Happy new year.

Rose said...

Such beautiful pictures of the ice, Wendy. But I have been thinking as I've looked at photos on different blogs of all the lovely images that ice creates, the reality of an ice storm is much different. It can cause so many inconveniences but also destruction, and your post shows another deadlier side. Thank God you were awakened by the alarm! I hope that you are reassured, though, that even in a deep sleep--which you surely need--the alarm will waken you.

Best wishes for a healthy and happy New Year!

Abba's Girl said...

I looked at your beautiful pictures and imagined you would describe a winter wonderland.

So sorry for the fright and stress you experienced.

Peace abd blessings to you.

Shammickite said...

Thank goodness you were able to spring into action and connect the oxygen in time. I really hate ice storms, I hope and pray that there won't be any more this winter. Just fluffy white snow in small amounts please.

Allie said...

Oh my goodness! That must have been an awful thing to wake up to! I'm glad you both are okay!

Happy New Year, by the way!!!

Wendy said...

Thanks all for your kind words. Grammy, I have looked into generators, but they are soooooo expensive and need gas to run. The smaller ones don't have the power to operate this concentrator. It takes a lot of juice! If there is an extended power failure, we have to call 911 and have hubby transported by ambulance to a nearby hospital. No other way around it.

The ice is beatiful and I wanted to take so many more pics outside, but was needed in the house.

I've also had major computer problems, but fortunately Computer Son has just put them right for me.
He is a blessing!

Mimi said...

Sounds to me like you need a backup generator! I am glad everyone is safe and alive.

femail doc said...

Yikes, that weird sleep-induced misinterpretation of data. The other night I awoke to a rapping noise. My first pass assumption was that my husband was downstairs hammering, next pass was that the oxygen concentrator was making a knocking noise. Then, with a startle and a pounding heart, realized that it was knocking on the front door. Never did find out who it was, wouldn't have opened up that front door for anything though. Glad your noises in the night story had a good ending!

Wendy said...

Hi Judy,
Weird is right. And I agree with you, I wouldn't open the door in the middle of the night either. I would look out the window, though.
Have you ever heard someone calling your name when you were asleep? And this was enough to startle you awake?

Computer problems still persisting. Now my blogroll is missing - oh what fun!

Kanak7 said...

Hi Wendy...storms on their own can be scary. But reading about the power going off and the heart skipped a beat! I'm glad everything ended well....

Your icy pictures are so beautiful! I can't imagine the cold! Our minimum is 8* now and I don't like it at all!!

Wishing you and your hubby the very best for 2010!

Anonymous said...

It's a good thing you acted on your intuition and were able to read the situation with such clarity. It's like when we are all relaxed, the best response is always before your story shows us.

jeanmac said...

Gorgeous pictures! You deserve a medal for your good care of your hubby.

Q said...

Dear Wendy,
Your inner self knew to wake up....
I am so happy you responded.
My Grandson died when his alarm failed and his Mother did not wake.
I understand exactly where you are.
My kids suffered from post traumatic stress disorder after being hyper vigilent for four and half years caring for my grandson. I am so happy you are getting much needed rest and know you will wake up when you need to.
Many blessings.
Stay strong,

Wendy said...

Thanks to all for your concern. Winter is not easy here, but we do the best we can. And spring will come....

Sherry - I can't imagine how the parents of your dear grandson must have felt. I got chills all over reading this.

Nishant said...

. They do so much damage in so many ways. The pictures are gorgeous

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