About 2 weeks ago, I promised to recap the rest of the week after the April 27th tornadoes that came through our area. So what has happened since then that has prevented me from doing so? I've been locked away in a lab doing some high voltage tests on flight instruments, unable to keep up with the social media world. (I'VE MISSED YOU GUYS!!!) But I do want to give you guys a small recap, because diabetes was in the mix during all that mess. Then I can get back to regular diabetes shenanigans.
The morning after the storms was like camping. We broke out the Coleman stove and our camping kitchenware and made fried eggs and oatmeal. We were also able to make coffee using boiled water and our French press (I knew that thing would come in handy one day). After breakfast, we attempted to begin the cleanup process. Trey began cleaning up the yard, and I proceeded to cleanup . . . the house?! As strange as it sounds, it made me feel better during all the chaos to keep a clean house.
Soon after we cleaned up, we got a call that a relative of ours had an extra generator they could lend us. So we hopped in the car with barely enough gas to get us there and back. We attempted to get gas while we were out, but most places were either without power or had lines over 2 miles long. You'd waste more gas sitting in line than what you would get. While we were out, I got in touch with most of our friends to make sure they were OK, but cell phone connection was spotty at best.
Back at home, we hooked up the generator and plugged in all our necessary appliances: refrigerator, freezer, coffee pot, the essentials. We also plugged in the radio, which was our main source of communication to the outside world. Callers would tell the DJs where there was gas, generators, food, etc.
And when we weren't outside cleaning up debris, we were inside listening to the radio and getting by on our own entertainment. Trey would play one of his non-online games on his laptop, and I would lose myself in the book Helter Skelter
. I've always wanted to read this book, and this week provided the perfect opportunity. It's been such a long time since I read a book for fun, and with nothing else to do all day, I would camp out on the couch and read until there wasn't anymore light. I would even go outside and read on the patio to get the last few minutes of daylight that I could. I finished the book on the last day before we got power back.
We eventually settled into a routine each day where we would get up, turn on the generator, make some breakfast, clean up our yard or help out our neighbors with their yard, fix some lunch, hang out listening to the radio while reading or playing, make dinner, and go to bed with the sun around 8 PM. Showers became something I looked forward to and feared at the same time with temperatures around, oh, freezing. As some restaurants became open (on generators), we would spend most of our meals out just to escape the house for awhile. This lead to the decline in my diabetes control.
The first part of the week, my numbers were awesome. We were spending most of our time pretty active in cleaning up the branches and tree limbs in our yard. But towards the end of the week when were just hanging out and going out to eat, my numbers started creeping up. Also, I was missing one thing pretty vital to my diabetes management--routine! I was so out of sorts without exercising and carb counting. I bumped up my basal rates towards the end of the week to account for the creeping, and they've stayed there ever since. I'm hoping that they can start to come back down now that I can keep a steady routine.
Six days later we got power back, and 13 days later we got cable/internet. The debris is (mostly) gone and life has gotten back to (somewhat) normal. And I've learned several things that I need to be better prepared for another natural disaster: a battery-powered or hand-crank radio, back-up to my back-up D supplies (thankfully, I just did a pharmacy refill right before the storms), and always ALWAYS have a good book on hand.
As the cleanup here still goes on and we see the saddening effects of other storms in Joplin and other areas, I hope we all take a moment to be better prepared and remember those who lost their lives. We were EXTREMELY lucky during all this to only have lost a tree and some meat in the freezer. Some people lost everything! I still get a little choked up on my ride home where the horizon of pine trees has been lost to what looks like toothpicks with no branches. Thanks to everyone who sent me texts and emails asking if we were OK. Above everything else, I'm so glad to have the love of the DOC!