I am doing good with my RA with the exception of my hands. My fingers have been stiff, swollen and hurting pretty bad over the last month. I have also had trouble hanging onto things, which isn't the best situation for me. I work 12 hour shifts using a 6 inch square point knife and a utility knife all day long. In addition to this, when changing doctor blades on the ink cavities on the print decks of the press, the blade is essentially a 4 foot long razor blade. One of the pressmen that I work with slipped, and the blade cut through the cut gloves we wear, cutting across the inside of his thumb to the bone while severing ligaments and tendons.
We had a severe winter storm pound us Friday afternoon and night. The weathermen had predicted it so I packed an overnight bag, not really thinking I would need it when leaving for work Friday morning. We had rain for about 36 hours before the winter storm hit us. The rain changed to sleet and freezing rain, then snow. Plant management came through telling everyone that they could go home if they wanted to. My check was going to be short next week already, so I told them I would stay. There were enough of us to keep running the press and as most everyone was leaving, I checked the radar. Ooops, maybe I should have gone on, oh well, it won't be that bad. That's when one of the guys I am working with tells me, "I have only seen them do this one other time ... believe it was around 78 or 79." Turns out we received 7 inches of snow on top of sleet and freezing rain While that is not much to other locations, you have to remember our average yearly snow fall is 1.1 inches, some years we don't get more than a dusting and occasionally we don't get any snow at all. The street department does not have the equipment or manpower for this type of winter storm, so it is crippling. I worked 4 extra hours and got off at 11 pm to head over to Steve's house. Steve is a fellow pressman and lives a few blocks away from work. I pulled out of the parking lot and was immediately, completely sideways at 10 mph. I straightened my truck back up and carefully feathered the gas pedal only to be sideways again. This is probably the slickest stuff I have ever tried to drive on. Glad there is a convenience store at the corner. Forget Steve's, I bought a small pizza, turned around and went back to spend the night at the plant with 4 or 5 others. I slept pretty good, you would be amazed how good a plush office chair feels after being on your feet for 16 hours.
We didn't lose power like they originally thought we might, and after putting in 12 hours Saturday, I drove home that night. It felt good to be back home but I was so tired I pulled my steel toed boots off (had them on for 39 hours straight), showered, ate and fell asleep on the couch. All in all, feeling pretty good for my first day off today ... even if I can't go ride.