Thursday, November 14, 2013

Cleaning the Tanker Truck

Asphalt Tanker Truck courtesy google search

Back in the mid 1980’s our roofing business was doing well, and our credit was good with our supplier. 
They offered to lease/sell us an Asphalt tanker truck that would save on labor and make our jobs friendlier for the environment.  No longer did the tar kettle need to be fed and tended; only a lever would bring hot tar to the top of the roof. 

One draw back was on occasion the large tanker truck needed to be cleaned inside.

Robert was not one to ask his crew to do something that he was not also willing to do. 

While this did not happen often, it was time for the big tanker truck to be cleaned inside.  There was a lid on the top and a ladder leading to the belly of the truck.  Cooled asphalt had caked on the walls and the workers decided that a power driven hammer would work faster than hand tools.

Inside the tank, Robert began to feel strange, and was not aware that the carbon dioxide was affecting him.  Finally he realized he needed to leave and started to climb the ladder.  At the top of the ladder, he lost consciousness and literally fell to the ground.

His workers helped him into the office where he could lay on the couch.  Exhibiting his macho masculinity, he refused to go to the hospital a few blocks away and said he would be okay after a rest.

Sad to say, after that ordeal, Robert was never okay again.  His immune system had been effected due to the lack of oxygen and his black out.  Right away he had no energy, and suffered daily weakness.  His hope was that this would be a temporary condition, but it instead it lasted. 

Finally he realized that we must sell our large and beautiful home, close our business and move to the Oak Woods where we had sometime back purchased a couple of acres and placed on it a mobile home.

Some of the silent diseases such as Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome seem to have no answers as to why or how to cure them.   Most days it is learning to cope and make some adjustments in diet and life style.

We can only point to the tanker accident and conclude that this was the trigger that brought Chronic Fatigue to Robert.  Many days, he could hardly walk across the floor. 

After a time, a very long time, he seemed better.  Mornings he could get around and even do a bit of work around the yard.  Afternoons, his Lazy-boy chair was his companion and TV his entertainment.   
He did become our cook, when I went to work to help keep us solvent.

Then he discovered that he could write stories on his computer and I was happy to edit them and post them on a blog for him.  Musings by Robert, and he will smile at the shortest comment on his posts.

As of today, Robert has several Free E-books available at  Take a look and if you do not have a Kindle, there is a free viewer for your computer available at



  1. I totally relate to Robert; although I didn't fall off a tanker truck. I was plunged into Environmental Illness (EI) with severe Multiple Chemical Sensitivities (MCS), our first year on the mission field due to my first ever amalgam (mercury) fillings put in my teeth in England. Within two days, I couldn't lift a teacup, lay in bed (had to sit to sleep due to the spinal pain), couldn't walk upstairs, etc. In those two days, I went from a vibrant healthy young woman, to an invalid. It took years for us to discover the mercury amalgams were the cause of the problems. By the time we did, the damage to my immune system was irreversible. Chronic Fatigue was and still is a problem, and I have to live in as clean an environment of chemicals as possible. So, I'm still practically a shut-in and my problems started over thirty years ago. Due to much prayer and total dependence on my Lord, daily, as well as serious diet changes, avoiding as many chemicals as possible, I've managed to find some amount of relief from the debilitating joint pain. It's been long, and it's been hard, but my physical problems have taken me into an intimacy with Jesus I wouldn't trade for anything; even health. Like Robert I have found that I can still write, and use the creative abilities God has given me, so have contented myself with those things, rather than drowning in my disabilities. Nothing is impossible with Jesus! I'll be praying for Robert, and would appreciate his prayers for me as well.

    1. So sorry this happened to you. Robert is also sensative to odor and everything must be perfume free. I too suffered from silver (mercury) fillings age 12, and at that time they did not understand the reason my liver was affected and my skin turned yellow, and weakness sent me to bed for many weeks. I recovered, and many years later had my fillings removed. Thankfully, my immune system was strong although weakened.

  2. I'm sorry to hear about Robert. I respect the fact that you both didn't let it affect your attitude and continue to push on. I've read some of Robert's stories and am encouraged by his actions.

  3. I admire how you and Robert kept on and how he got more energy, and now is writing. Good for him.

  4. We never know how the Lord will turn our road from one path to the next, some turnings are gentle and barely perceived, some such as your husbands story are dramatic and starkly observed. I too, suffered an OTJ injury a year ago, subsequent surgery and major complications, which though I returned to work for one month made it clear that I could no longer do my job as much as I loved it, so now I am embracing a turn in the road and looking forward to this newness of seasons of life... I am your newest GFC follower and RSS subscriber.

  5. We have an expression for being knocked out in Norwegian also. It is precisely the same as in English. And believe that expression is better to use than any modern diagnosis. Physical strain can knock us out. And social strain can knock us out. But if we are knocked out, there is always a possibility to recover. Those diagnoses, differently, leaves permanently invalid. And poor. I pray your husband regains his health. I am knocked out myself, I have been for several years, and I know I can recover. Strength is what I need.

  6. When we're faithful, the Father always provides - even if we aren't crazy about where we're planted - He calls us to bloom and choose joy, choose love - and not give up. So glad you two didn't give in or give up - but found a way! So sorry that happened to Robert but so glad he got out in time! Thank you for your stories of faith and endurance!

  7. I'm so glad to hear that Robert survived this terrible danger! I am sorry for what it did to his health. I know that pain, unfortunately. Will go and check out those e-books! Thank you for sharing this story with us. I have added you both to my prayer list! <3 Heart Hugs, Shelly


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