I’m just sort of getting through life now. The better part of a year is spent healing. About a year after that, I got diagnosed with diabetes. I was put on insulin within months as the pills did not work for me.
I was able to get a job or two and work for a few years. My most memorable job was at Gulfstream during the hurricane Katrina project. It was a crazy time of working 12 or more hour days 6 days a week. I don’t know how I got through it, but it was something I was most proud of that I DID do it. Of course the formaldehyde exposure didn’t come out until months later, we had no idea people were getting sick from those trailers until we started reading about it in the papers. All of a sudden it became clear to me that between Gulstream and Fema it was going to turn into one big cover-up. I was sick all the time I was working there. Given that I spent my entire shift outside inspecting trailers through the cold of the winter, it seemed a safe assumption that I had a chronic sinus infection. We all thought that. Cold pills were traded through the plant like crack through a crack house.
I’m no longer proud of the work I did there. That was taken away from me, and that’s why I came forward with what I knew. It’s important to me that I not only do the right thing, but teach my daughter that you do the right thing even though there might be a personal cost to you.
After my work at Gulfstream I started getting sick, and going back back and forth to the hospital again. Only this time I did it without insurance for most of it.