What a day...
It was late Monday morning. My dad (who I live with) had closed off the wood heater since we would not need it that night or the next day. He left the house at 4:30am to drive my aunt up north to a doctor's appointment. I was sleeping hard. I slept right through my 10am alarm (which is very loud and sounds like a police siren).
I woke up a bit past 11am coughing, sneezing and gasping. The wind was blowing the soot from the pipe back down into the house! It took me a minute to get my feet under me. I opened the windows, shut my bedroom door (to hopefully save the fish from whatever it was), opened the heater door and turned a fan on it, opened the doors and screens, grabbed the dogs, and got the heck out! My lungs ached, but I was out. At least I had the good sense to throw my phone and a soda in my pocket.
Luna (my cat) went over to the front door and jumped in the small hole in the screen (going in the house is a no-no for her as my dad has cat allergies) as I ran towards the front yard with a dog under each arm. I worried that I would have to run back in after her when she scrambled and jumped back out of the door sneezing and coughing, running towards me. I knew whatever was going on must have been bad to run Luna out of the house.
I sat in the front yard for 4 hours in my night clothes and a coat. I had a book in my car to read to keep me occupied, but my vision was kind of blurry. And I was tired. VERY tired. But I sat there until Dad got back. His cell phone had been off and when I did get a hold of him, he had gotten mad for bothering him over it. He just assumed I was saying the heater stank. The smell and everything was mostly gone when he got home. He got out our Rainbow to purify the air and told me to start cleaning his camper out back (which I had promised to do already).
I was so tired, I couldn't work for long. I felt better when I sat still. Every time I breathed out, I smelled soot and my voice was going out. My cough got worse. I felt disorented and my head throbbed. I went in the house and told Dad that I couldn't do it to which he yelled. I didn't care. The vessels were tightening on the back of my neck (a sensation I know well because I have FHM) and I couldn't breath, so I jumped into a hot shower which helped some. I laid down on my bed and text a friend about what was going on and got a frantic reply from her. Apperently I was showing all the signs of Carbon Monoxide poisoning! I tried to tell dad, but I just wanted to lay still, so I wasn't very adament. He brushed the idea off as stupid. I looked over and saw my snail Sandy floating dead in my tank. She had bred with my male and I last saw her crawling up the tank in the 4 inches I had left her to lay her eggs above the waterline. Now, I worry about the rest of my pets :-(
Dad found out that I was "most likely" right when he looked at the pipes the next day and they collapsing in on themselves. The metal was rotten looking. My lungs still hurt today and I am still fatigued. My legs are sore with a charley horse kind of ache. And yet I worry more about my pets :lol:
Oh Bluewind I'm so sorry for your troubles this week!! And I'm sorry you lost a pet.
If you can keep the fans on and a window open for another day that would be good too.
Do you have working (with good batteries!!) smoke detectors and Carbon Monoxide detectors in your home? They are required by law in Canada. Are they were you live?
Is there another adult near your home that you could reach out to as a back up should something like this happen again? 911 and the police with come help! Let the Fire Dept come and make the decision whether that house is safe to enter again.!!
And if you breathing continues to be hard you should talk to a doctor if you can.
We live out in the country outside of city limits (US by the way), so they aren't required and Dad refuses to install either kind. I begged him to add at LEAST a Carbon Monoxide detector and he said we don't need it. See why I really can't wait to move out? :roll:
I feel like I need to see my doctor because I don't seem to be shaking what happened, but dad said I don't need it and until my disability goes through (I became disabled a few years back) he has the final word on any and every thing I do. After that, I will find a nice roommate to move in with 8-)
Anyway, I just hope my little story becomes a cautionary tale to anyone that reads it. The only reason I knew something was wrong was the fact that it was mixed with soot which made me cough and sneeze violently. Otherwise, I would have kept going deeper and deeper until I was gone. The wood heater had also not been burning for over a day so it can happen even when you're not using it, so have a good Carbon Monoxide detector in your house (especially if you use wood fule). I got lucky. You might not.
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I just upggraded to battery power ones that you don't even need to unscrew to change... they were expensive but my family's life is worth it
Hey Bluewind. How ya feeling today? I hope your breathing is better!!
Carbon Monoxide detectors can be plugged into an outlet in your bedroom and run on batteries. I found one for $19.95 at Home Depot online. They are meant to be placed where you sleep to detect levels near YOU... not near a furnace or wood stove. And It doesn't rise like smoke does, it stays low so placing one in an outlet works. If you can get one of these for peace of mind try to. I understand this might be an issue.
How are the rest of your pets doing? Hopefully all is well.
Thanks for the CO detector idea Jakie! I might be able to sneak that by my dad. :-D
My breathing is MUCH better after lots of R&R. I'm still not up to running a marathon, but I improve every day. The pets alll look okay. I think they will be okay :-)
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