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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Recurring Nightmares 2

Boiler Inspection Nightmares

Recurring Dreams and Nightmares: Many people have the same or a similar dream many times, over either a short period of time or their lifetime. Recurring dreams usually mean there is something in your life you've not acknowledged that is causing stress of some sort. The dream repeats because you have not corrected the problem. Another theory is that people who experience recurring dreams have some sort of trauma in their past they are trying to deal with. In this case, the dreams tend to lessen with time.  By Lee Ann Obringer
Proper boiler maintenance among other processes included an annual safety inspection by the State of California.  The importance of maintaining the boiler throughout the year was for the sake of safety and certification.  Both safety and certification were of equal importance.  If you didn’t operate safely, someone could be injured or worst yet killed.  If you didn’t achieve certification, you wouldn’t be allowed to operate, and someone would be in trouble and possibly get fired over it.  The State inspection was always scheduled for Memorial Day weekend because of the time required for the natural gas operated boiler cooling time.  The three day weekend was barely enough time for the boiler to cool enough for inspection, and to be brought back on line to operate the following morning by 4 am.  The plan for the inspection actually goes on the calendar a whole year in advance.  While the holiday weekend is a very busy business weekend, we still shut down operations at noon on Friday to allow as much time as possible for the boiler to cool off for inspection on Sunday at noon.

The recurring nightmares got so bad that I didn’t want to fall asleep, for fear that whatever was after me in the dream would become visible, and I didn’t care to face it.  The nightmare was always the same: in my nightmare I just moved into a new (older house) house, two story with a basement. The electrical panel was in the basement. Just as I was about to relax for the evening in front of the television set, the lights would flicker and then go off, creating total darkness. I would look in the dark for a flashlight and make my way to the basement door. As soon as I walked approximately half way down the stairs, my flashlight would go dark, and the basement door would slam shut. The room starts turning cold, and I had the sense that someone or something was approaching me in the dark. I knew by instinct that whatever it was, it was evil and meant to hurt me.  If I had any control over the nightmare I would have made sure that I had a weapon to fend of whatever was trying to get to me.  I remember as part of the nightmare telling myself to wake up, but it seldom happened fast enough.

On the post “Recurring Nightmares - May 27, 2013” I talked about my uniform size for a reason.  Part of the boiler inspection included the necessary internal inspection of the boiler through an oval inspection port (manhole port; approximately 14 inches at the longest part and about 10 inches at the widest).  My two Maintenance Engineers were over 6 feet tall and over 220 in weight, I was the smallest person and the candidate to perform the internal inspection.  The pipes through which the flames travel to turn the water into steam occupy most of the center of the boiler (about 17 inch clearance all around the pipes).  All I had was a flashlight to perform the visual inspection, wiggling and crawling around the humid hot interior for about 40 minutes.  All the time I was inside the boiler all I could do was worry about what would happen if I somehow became swollen and couldn’t get through to the port to the outside.  At least four or five times I would work my way to the top port or any of four other smaller inspection ports to catch a breath of fresh air.  Being small wasn’t enough to get into and out of the boiler, I actually had to be a contortionist.

Once the boiler inspection was completed, and certified we refilled the boiler with water, and fired it up.  The inspector would go have lunch and return to make a final inspection once the boiler was operating and there were no leaks.  After the successful completion of that day’s inspection, I went back to a normal sleeping pattern (no more nightmares).  The subconscious mind has more control over our life than we realize.  While the inspection was on my calendar, I never gave it much thought, but subconsciously I was dreading the event, and my mind was definitely fearful of it.  Think about the nightmare; lights go out (darkness), flashlight in hand, sensing something around me (fear of suffocating/possible death).  I don’t understand my subconscious but I am working on trying to influence it.  The best is yet to come…..

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