Thursday, June 28, 2012

Yesterday I could have died

Morbid post I know. Your probably saying, "What the heck?" So, let me fill you in.

Yesterday started like any other day. I get up, shower, get the kids up, go downstairs and see that they are getting breakfast and ready for school. Everything was normal.... until I went to turn on the kitchen sink.

Let me back up for a minute. You might or might not know about the power in Uganda. So let me give you a brief run-down. Our power is, well, unreliable at best. Recently it has gotten much better, as far as being on most the time. A few months ago, it was off more than it was on. So much so, that we had to invest in an inverter and a generator. The inverter will run half our security lights, two wall sockets and just our living room/dining room lights and it only last like six hours. The generator is for the whole house, minus the hot water heaters and will run until it runs out of petrol. The power had gotten that bad. If we didn't have the generator, our food would go bad within a day. On top of the spotty power.... the electric company isn't always consistent in what power they have. Sometimes it is running at 110v. It is suppose to be at 220v. About three months ago, when they turned the power back on they pumped out 250v, which blew most everybody's computers, refrigerators, etc. Needless to say, the local businesses threatened to riot against the electric company unless they straightened out the power issue. Since that time, power has been almost regular.

Back to the story.

Trevor and I were the only ones in the kitchen at the time. Jon was occupied in the bathroom. Kenna was doing something, and Declan was upstairs changing. Trevor says I was looking for the carrot cake, but I have no idea why I would have been turning on the sink. All I remember was that all of a sudden I was yelling/screaming (which I NEVER do)... thinking "why can't I get my hand off this knob", something was really wrong. My brain reacted before it told me I needed to react. I remember pain all over my body. Fear. I remember screaming but not understanding why. I remember Trevor screaming and calling out for Jon to come. I remember him saying, "I don't know what's wrong, but something is wrong with mamma."

The next thing I knew was I was loose. I think I was in shock. (duh) I collapsed to the floor (it wasn't like I lost consciousness... but I just couldn't stand). By this time I was hyperventilating and sobbing and holding my left hand/arm.. in a fetal position on the floor. Kenna was standing there asking, "What am I suppose to do? I don't know what I'm suppose to do." Trevor was getting a little angry because Jon still hadn't come.

Jon got there (it was actually within 30 seconds of the whole thing, but to the kids and to me... it seemed like forever). The kids still didn't really understand what had happened, so he asked. Through my sobs, I told him not to touch the faucet. He knew right away. We have had this problem before, with little shocks that make you jerk your hand back. We had had it fixed. It was nothing like this. My muscles had contracted right away and I physically had a death grip on the faucet. Jon reassured me I was fine now, just breathe, try to breathe with him. In hindsight, it was a good thing he had taken child-birthing classes, it came in handy.

My whole left arm ached, tingled, was numb, up into my shoulder and neck. Which is normal. "When someone is electrocuted, the person might feel paresthesia, which is a tingling, prickling, numbing or sometimes a burning sensation." Also normal was the "hyperventilating"- "Someone having respiratory arrest might look like he or she is having an asthma attack. Look for trouble or cessation of breathing." I was definitely having trouble breathing.

When talking to my dear friend about it later, her first question was, "How did you get off?" With the electricity causing my muscles to contract into the death grip, there is no reason I should have just been able to let go myself. I don't know how I got off. She, and I also, think that an angel pushed me off. With all the reading I have done since then normally a person has to be tackled off.

God was protecting me. From permanent damage, from any lasting effects, from any burn marks, brain damage.....death.

Yesterday my whole arm ached, tingled, was numb... today, it is pretty much back to normal. I thank God that He was protecting me. I thank God it was me and not Declan. Thank you Jesus!

Jon shut the power off for the whole house until the electrician could come. He spent the day going over the wiring for the whole house. Turns out that the leak we have in our bathroom ceiling, which Jon had just reported to the landlord the day before, was leaking significantly in the attic/crawl space. There has been so much rain that there was a lot of standing water up there. Right along with the water pipes and the now exposed electrical wires for the whole house. Because the insulation on the electrical wires was eroded off, and because it is the same wiring from the 50's when the house was built, and because there was standing water.... basically all the water pipes were electrified.

Right now the electrician has the electrical wires lifted out of the standing water, but we are waiting on the go-ahead from the landlord to have them replace all the wires in the attic.

I cannot express enough how amazed I am, how grateful I am to God. This could have been so much worse, and for whatever reason, God had my hand release from that faucet.

I could have died......

Yet. I am alive in Christ!!

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