– Halswell, Christchurch, Canterbury, New Zealand

September I came home late hopped into bed…end of a day ahhh how nice to be settled sleep comes quickly.. roll on tomorrow.

Im feeling motion sickness but why? I must be dreaming ..oh no dear god what the hell im still moving, the noise what the hells that crashing ,oh my god !fumble for the lamp oh shit no lights i put my feet on the ground and im swaying shit shit shit its a bloody Quake. I wake up and stumble under the door frame, I thank god my house has solid door frames ,whens it going to stop.. its going on for ever! I call out for my brother in the pitch blackness of the night, no reply ,oh dear god! where is he, is he ok ?my son is with his dad thank god hes safe. oh god are they? My daughter shes on her own with a sore leg., oh god ! I feel sick to the bottom of my stomach my head is spinning i cant stop the motion sickness feeling .Dear God are my children ok?

i grab my cell ahh some light yay..whats that shinny thing by my foot oh crap that was lucky its glass! who cares. How are my babies? where the hell is my brother where do i start to find him , my head is full of questions and fear ,I dial my daughter from my cell the signal is different its overloaded !!!!! Oh dear God!!! now what!....ring ring, thank god my landline rings .yay .. my daughter is ok . Hi mum you ok? man that was a big one, i couldnt get out of bed because of my gammy leg so i hid under my blankets and thought i hope the roof dosnt cave in! I ask her have you heard from your brother and dad, yep she says they all good…click hello hello you there bugger phone is dead!!... in the dark in the silence ,thank god my babies are ok, im ok , but what the hell is with my brother…

Oh god is it that time already..cant clean up to dark, cant sleep ! Work starts in a couple hours oh bugger they only have a couple people on night shift ,geez what good am i here theres no one here and just a mess the mess can wait this time. I fumble for my clothes with the light from my cell phone ..clever gadget these are, wish it would work though. I feel my way out the bedroom door and down the hall, so far so good into the kitchen and its getting a little bit lighter now i can make out all the objects that once were proudly on my windowsill and a treasure to me are now broken in a heap on the floor..who cares now, im safe my children are safe , i unlock my door and hear the crunching of gravel its my daughter with her buggered knee coming to see that im ok .. shes worried about me because the phone had died she thought something had happend to me. I dive to work lucky i live 5 mins from work and there behind me is my daughter making sure im safe and offering assistance i arrive at my hospital work place its about 5:15am its dark , still and sadly errie it becomes a bit hectic, no power, no phones , no outside communication and 25 patients in their beds some verbally able to speak out about their fears and some sadly trapped inside their own heads unable to speak about their feelings and unable….. to tell their stories.

It was a long hard sad and frightening shift in the hospital… beds with air matteress’s eletric bed tilts with remotes…. all usless with out power… had to manually remove mattress’s and put old ones back on beds ,had to elevate patients in their beds with pillows and blankets so that they could eat safely, it was sad seeing patients who cant speak express their fear through sweating so much their bandaids would come off, we were extremley short staffed as the phone lines were out so we didnt know if our fellow colleages were safe and the frightening thing was the waiting and uncertainty of was it was going to happen again!

Since September I have been in other big Shakes one which claimed the building i was in ,there were 17 other people in that building with me and we all were ok and the building cracked like an egg having its top taken off.. the building was condemed and has been since pulled down …sadly.. as it was a part of history of our hospital.

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