WHY? Because I Love Him

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For my New Year I want a healthier oilfield man (OFM)! Our oilfield guys seem to have all kinds of crazy habits that they either pick up in the field from someone else or develop all on their own to keep them going, but none the less these habits are not all health conscience. I think both the strangest and most concerning habits my Hubby has adopted in the field, are all centered around one particular area, staying awake and having energy.

 Focus Area # 1 his nutrition. Some of my favorite phone calls with my OFM when he is on his hitch are during his grocery shopping trips. Between his commentary on the local “Wal-Mart crowd” (really babe because all normal people grocery shop at 11PM) and his apparent irritability, I get a play by play of the necessities which mind you break all my eating rules! The list: Monster Energy Drinks, COFFEE, Creamer, More Creamer, Mountain Dew, and oh yea some food, but only spicy food! Seriously! All my husband’s meals evolve around caffeine and if there’s no time to eat he reaches for a red bull or another pot of coffee. Occasionally his company man will grill steaks, or the safety guy will whip up burritos for breakfast, but his eating or lack of really concerns me. When my husband drilled in North Dakota and literally had nothing in the form of a grocery store nearby, I’d make homemade meals which he would take to the rig and that were his food for his hitch. Not only was his food home cooked, but at least I knew when he did eat that it was healthy. Now that he is back in CO, I’ve also tried implementing a diet at home, thinking he’d take the habit to the rig, UH yea wrong! My latest attempt on getting him to eat better is to go grocery shopping with him before he even leaves Grand Junction and that has actually been somewhat successful plus it’s almost like a day date, sexy I know!  It’s not that I want to control him or even change him, I know his job is hard and busy, but I do know if he eats well he won’t need sugary drinks to keep him going and in the end he will be an overall healthier hubby and daddy!

 Focus Area #2 his sleeping habits. This particular topic has actually been the reason for a few arguments between my OFM and me. Either he isn’t getting enough and he is a dick (sorry there really is no other form of comparison) or he just gets so frustrated that I don’t get “it” as in life on the rig and that sleeping is not always an option. Ya see, here is my oilfield fed up wife attitude on this whole not allowing guys to sleep thing. First, I’m sorry but there is this tiny underlying factor called labor laws, enough said there. Secondly, the gospel on these rigs is safety. Safety, safety, safety! Got it however, you tell me how a man who has been up for three days straight trying to trip out of the hole or hitting gas, or running casing and has ZERO sleep is safe in any way? Sleep deprivation is not only a hazard to the safety of others on the rig, but the rig itself! I think I forgot to say my OFM is a tool pusher, so with that said he does not work twelve hours on twelve off like the good old days when he was a driller. He lives at that rig for two weeks and literally is at the beck and call of both his crews. No joke ladies, there have been times he has went to bed at 2am sleep in his recliner in his office for about 45 minutes and got up and started his day! Most importantly it is affecting us at home. To make matters worse when he does get to come home (did I mention I’m on pins and needles his whole drive home) he is so dead exhausted he crashes and hard! Zero energy, I mean none! He doesn’t want to do anything, he is usually grumpy, and it’s heart breaking to see! I see the effects on the “outside” what this lack of sleep is doing to him, I can’t imagine how it is affecting his health on the inside. The only solutions I’ve found is to give up phone calls, texting, and any other form of communication while he is at the rig and has down time,  if it means it could be spent getting even a 20 minute cat nap in. Then when he is home I just have to try even harder to be patient and understanding even if it means taking my daughter to the park for an hour so he can just sleep. P.S Can I just give a big shout out too all Tower Pushers in this particular area, without which NO Tool Pusher would ever get any sleep!

 Focus Area #3 get him to STOP SMOKING CIGARETTES, yes ladies pot is now legal in good old CO so just to clarify, and we are talking cigs here. Wait, we did this once before so let me rephrase myself, get him to STOP SMOKING and NOT START CHEWING. Not that my other two areas of concern fall anything short of pretty dam important, but the nicotine use by my OFM is the pink “smoky” elephant in our lives. The first few months I was dating my husband I had no idea he smoked, honestly I thought he enjoyed taking my manly little wiener dog out to potty every morning at my apartment complex. I figured out my OFM was a smoker once we moved in together after dating about 3 months. It didn’t bug me too bad at first, but then I got pregnant and things changed. That was the first time he said he’d quit. I actually think once the baby came he began smoking more to what resembled a coal train. That was the second time he said he’d quit. From there, I was on maternity leave, he was working overtime, we had a newborn, and new bills. Last November, out of the blue he says I’m done smoking. BAM last pack, third promise, cold turkey. He was a stud, a grumpy stud, but a stud none the less. Well that lasted until this past summer. We are one of those families that would rather be beached and camping on a lake shore line over an ocean front vacation any day, but with R and R comes adult beverages and for my OFM no Bud light is complete without a smoky treat. Failed attempt #3! I actually don’t even count attempt #3, I’m being generous, and he was chewing at the rig that whole time! Again, listen I know his job is stressful, I’m not his mother, but I am not going to encourage it either. He smokes like a mad man at that rig, and it’s affecting his life, his health even away from that rig. He has told me before it wakes him up or helps his stress, but in my heart and in my mind I know it could kill him.

For my New Year I want a healthier oilfield man. I want a healthier, more rested, and less stressed man for his company, his family, and most importantly for himself. I never knew hardworking until I met my husband. He works harder than any person I have ever met and I want him to have a long beautiful life to enjoy all that he has worked hard for. Sure at times it comes off as nagging, controlling, or straight bitching, but dam it I love him. I tell him all the time, you run that rig, don’t let it run you. It is a crazy industry, but at the end of the day there is no industry without the health and safety of our oilfield men. Cheers to a New Year, but a healthier year for my OFM, even if it is still done one hitch at a time!

 BUT SERIOUSLY ya’ll, ideas or recommendations for any of these areas where your OFM struggled, or is struggling, or has experienced success, I’d love your advice! Find me on FB https://www.facebook.com/becky.arnold.18 or MSG me at rebecca@realoilfieldwives.com!

 

About rebecca

Becky and her family live in the beautiful town of Grand Junction, Colorado. She has been an OFW for almost three years, has a degree in Business Management, and works fulltime as a Digital Sales Manager for a local news station. She and her husband have one three year old daughter, Riley who is sweet, sassy, and even in heels and boas likes to pretend she is a dragon, that’s right ladies a dragon. In addition to work, Becky also volunteers on a fundraising committee for a local hospital, is a marketing chair member for a local not for profit, and helps pitch in at her daughters pre-school to raise funds. In her spare time (because she has SO MUCH of it) this OFW enjoys gardening, building projects on Shutterfly, cooking, golfing with her hubby, playing volleyball, and enjoying time on the lake with her family. Follow Becky on Pinterest and Instagram.

Comments

  1. My husband has been addicted to Red Bull for YEARS, but this past year, we discovered Young Living Essential Oils. And my upline told me about their Ninjxia Red and Nitro, and how it gives better energy than a red bull without the crash. So I asked my OFM to try it for 30 days. So he did, and 5 days into it, he asked me to order MORE, he felt GREAT, wasn’t having such a hard time sleeping and had so much energy!! I HIGHLY recommend trying them to get off the energy drinks!! Please feel free to contact me for more info!!

  2. Silent Brick says:

    My wife pointed me to this article as she has to several others here and it’s always enjoyable reading about people facing the same problems. As a toolpusher on a land rig, getting sleep for your husband is going to be difficult if he’s got a new or relatively inexperienced crew. When I was up in the rockies, I noticed that the good crews learned enough to not require the pusher to riding herd on them all the time. Hopefully your husbands crews will reach that state soon.

    None of us out here like the unhealthy aspects of the job. Admittedly some of us have it easier than others, but it’s still hard to restrict yourself from the caffeine or a quick snack to help keep you going. I’m lucky in that my job I am 12/12 on/off while out on the rig so I can manage enough sleep usually and our company has a very strict max 16 hour day policy as well. Even with sleep though, stress can keep what sleep you do get from feeling like enough. Eating healthy is hard too out on the offshore rigs. Contrary to myth, the food out here is horrid. What little veggies there are tend to be oversalted and over cooked into mush. Sometimes there’s salad you can eat, which helps and if you’re lucky fresh fruit. And if you ask the companies, they claim they offer lots of healthy options but that tends to be only when someone from the outside is looking.

    The worst thing though is being away. Nothing makes that easier. And nobody outside the oilfield life really gets it either. My wife is ready to deck people at times when they smugly tell her “You chose that life, so you shouldn’t complain about it.” Course, that makes me want to deck them as well, since I /KNOW/ how much work my wife does when I’m away, not just her own job but keeping up with the house and bills and plotting new ways to save money and keep herself sane til I come home. Worst of all is that helpless feeling you get when she’s dealing with something serious and you can’t do anything except try to call or email her when you can just to try and remind her that it might not be soon but that you WILL be home.

    I’d like to thank all the ladies that run this site for putting it out there to try and help others, I know my wife has found it a help and I’m sure many others do as well.

    Silentbrick
    Somewhere out in the Gulf.

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