Those who know me know that I am very sarcastic at times. I make jokes and exaggerate for a laugh and am, at times, self deprecating. So, when I complain about not being prescribed Valium I am half joking. I am also one of those people who doesn't often take medication unless I am half dead. Mother Nature has blessed me with an incredible immune system and even temperament so I haven't had much need for over the counter help in my life. The February earthquake in Christchurch was an exception.
While my mind recovered from the shock of it, my body took a bit longer to get back to normal. After the earthquake I broke out in an all over body rash (literally 3/4 of my body was covered in a red rash) that lasted for weeks and still comes and goes during times of stress. For a person who doesn't often suffer from these sorts of things, it is incredibly frustrating. So, when I joke about needing Valium or some other anti-stress medication, I am half serious because that rash is a bitch. Mentally, I can deal with the stress but I don't think I can deal with 3 new weeks of itchy.
As I sit here and write this blog, Christchurch is still shaking. Since the first 4.3 shake yesterday, they have had no less than 30 aftershocks the highest at 6.0. I would have passed out from the stress by now if I were there. I really cannot comprehend how people can stay there. When Adrian and I were caught in the February quake, my body pumped adrenaline continuously for 6 hours, then I got to come back to Wellington away from the aftershocks. Though we've had a few rough shakes here, it is nothing compared to what Christchurch is going through, yet, every time I hear a loud noise or a semi drove by, the adrenaline flows again. I could actually feel it releasing into by bloodstream. I suspect that this is what caused the rash in the first place - my body couldn't deal with all the chemicals it was pumping into itself. Now, multiply that by 100. That is what I suspect these mothers are feeling every time they send their babies to school, send them outside to play or put them to bed. Will it happen now? In an hour? Tomorrow? Will it just shake the house or crumble it? Will my car fall into a liquefaction hole on the way to work or will a boulder roll of the hill and crush us? You can say that I am being over dramatic and a worrywart and quote statistics all day long but until you've been standing in front of a building that is literally crumbling toward you and until you've run through a park with liquefaction spouting up in front of where you are trying to run and until you helplessly look on while people are bleeding and begging for help and there is nothing you can do....don't judge me when I have that 3rd glass of wine or roll your eyes when I need a minute to compose myself every time the news shows pictures of the destruction. We're on the same freaking fault line.
From The Independet-an Australasia newspaper.
"For those charged with the unenviable task of trying to predict where the next major quake would strike it was always Wellington that created the most concern thanks to a prominent fault that is expected to produce a major earthquake in the next few decades and runs directly through the city centre."
There really is no answer. Nobody can predict if and when an earthquake will hit we can just prepare ourselves as best we can and keep living our lives, charging our cell phones and avoiding tall buildings just in case. I am also avoiding tunnels and bridges.