My teeth had been thoroughly brushed and I was getting ready to Waterpik them when BOOM! the power went off. There was no blinking. No warning. Just gone. I made my way in the dark to the concentrator and flipped the switch. The constant beeping every few seconds could get on a person’t last nerve.

My computer was on battery so it wasn’t pitch black — yet. I felt my way to the flashlight by my bed only to find that either the LED had burned out or the batteries were dead, or both. That meant finding one of the two in the master bedroom. It really was dark in there but I was able to locate it.

The editor had emailed today, wanting to know the status of the lessons for third quarter. She went into great detail about the disaster they’d had on their trip (she said she might use it for a story on the site so I won’t spill the beans). I replied in kind.

To avoid reinventing the wheel, so to speak, I’ll quote what I wrote here with a few minor changes.

My breathing hasn’t improved. I’m still on oxygen 24/7. Last night was a planned power outage but I didn’t know about it until it happened. I was groping around for a flashlight when Cuz came over but she didn’t come in since she thought I was asleep. I’d thought about calling her but she doesn’t get a signal on her cell phone up here on the mountain. I couldn’t call her house phone because, unlike me, she doesn’t have a UPS to keep such things going for even a short while. All I could do was pray and she finally came in and rescued me for a time. She got me hooked up to a portable tank which has about a two hour life span. She said she’d be back at 3 to change it out. I guess I was asleep then because, when I woke, it was an hour past that.

I tried to turn on the big “emergency” tank but Cuz had cranked it so tight, I couldn’t budge it. (She later told me it’s hard to turn, anyway.) I resigned myself to waiting for the power to come back on (which was supposed to be in about 20 minutes from then). I put on my cannula that’s hooked up to the concentrator and turned the machine on (I’d turned it off when the alarm kept sounding every few seconds). I went back to bed and tried to catch my breath.


Picking up my flashlight, I tried to remember the SOS signal in Morse Code so I could flash it on the blinds on my windows but I got it wrong, anyway. Anyone watching would have thought I was signalling “so, so, so”. Or maybe it was “os, os, os”. SO, no one came. I doubt anyone was watching that time of night.

The clock struck the half hour when the power was supposed to come on, but nothing. I was praying, and praying hard that the workers would finish up and flip the switch. The clock bonged three-quarters past. Nothing. Then it struck the next hour. Nada. I was still praying. About 10 minutes past, the power came on. I praised the Lord, then got up and turned the kitchen light and the light by my chair off and the computer on and went back to bed.

It took some time for me to get my breathing settled and my heartbeats down to a more normal rate. I finally went to sleep and slept for, maybe, five hours. I’m still very shaky. Being oxygen deprived takes its toll.

DD tried to call but couldn’t get through. When I got the emails, I realized I needed to restart MagicJack. That wasn’t all. The netbook was off so I had to turn it back on. It took several minutes to do that and get MJ going. I’d texted DD and let her know it would be a little while. She was having trouble with her phone so we decided she could call me another time.

I finished up the last of the blueberries and made some banana milk with the ‘way overripe banana. Yesterday, I’d put in a pinch of baking soda and it made the milk taste really good. Today, I accidentally put in about a quarter teaspoon and ruined it. I was trying to drink it when Cuz came in.

She’d messaged me on Facebook thinking I might still be asleep since the door was locked. I’d locked it when I saw no one was home at her house.

Turns out she’d come over at 2 TT and waited on the deck for half an hour when she decided I was asleep. She didn’t want to come in and wake me. I told her to quit being so polite. I needed to breathe more than I needed to sleep.

She came in later and found me in bed. I’ve been wiped out all day. She was tired, too, with all the activity of the night but had forced herself to work.

Going back home, she planned to take a nap but was unable to. She called me from Walmart and had a question or two about my list. The biggie was that Dollar Tree didn’t have the Scotties tissue I always buy. I can order it online but it ships to the store and I’d have to go in with my email confirmation and a photo ID to pick it up. That’s sort of impossible. I’ll call the store tomorrow if I don’ forget.

When they got here, they had bag after bag of stuff and my CIL offered to butcher the watermelon and cantaloupe for me, chunk it up and put it in containers. I took him up on it. I got everything else put away with a lot of help from Cuz.

It wasn’t long until Cuz was back with huge containers of melons. I’d said for them to keep half but I think they gave me all of it. I told her to let me know how much I owe them but, as usual, she said she’d figure it up and left.

A little later, she came back in and visited for a few minutes, then locked me in for the night.

The rest of the soup was heated up and I ate it and a piece of good Niedlov seeded bread, toasted. I looked up their website and I can’t find the varieties of bread listed any more. I’d hate it if they quit selling it. I know it keeps them busy, supplying restaurants and the breakfast and lunch crowds, but give me a break!

This morning, I felt like I was back where I started but my rest helped a little. I’ll call City Hall tomorrow and ask to be put on a list to be notified of planned outages so the next one won’t be so traumatic.

I’ve ordered an air purifier. The air quality in here can’t be great. The CSR gave me $50 off plus free expedited shipping (I told her I’d been tempted to order from Amazon since it would be here in two days) and a filter replacement thrown in for good measure since the color I wanted was out of stock. It should be here by Wednesday if they get it shipped soon enough.

In spite of copying and pasting, I’ve done a lot of typing. I’m about ready to give it up and call it a night. I don’t function very well on little sleep.

4 Responses to Powerless

  1. Lila June 13, 2016 at 6:37 am #

    Hope you never have a night like that one again! Maybe you can do some catching up on sleep today.

    • Tommie June 13, 2016 at 8:40 pm #

      I hope I don’t, too! I haven’t napped but I’ve felt a bit better.

  2. Mary Jane Graves June 13, 2016 at 7:00 am #

    That was scary! Guess you will have to be like the Boy Scouts, always prepared, if such a thing is really possible.

    • Tommie June 13, 2016 at 8:39 pm #

      Sorry I’m late getting around to approving your post. Sometimes I get sidetracked and don’t do my moderator duties in a timely fashion. I’m counting on not having something like this happen again.

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