Saturday, July 26, 2008

Goodbye Dolly

Thanks to all who were concerned with our well-being during the recent storm. I would like to comment back, but having difficulty with the internet, as well as the satellite since the storm. Today (31/2 days post-dolly) is the 1st day with power. 5pm, and the power came back! You don't know what you have until it is gone. When you are sitting in Cat II hurricane with the wind blowing the rain sideways at 100 mph, you realize how little and insignificant you are. Walls shaking, wind screaming, you feel so fragile. Human beings are only flesh and blood, and easily injured. I was terrified...almost psycotically so...I've always been afraid of storms. I've survived tornadoes and thunderstorms...but this was something else. Shingles flying, windows flexing...self flushing tolits (something to do with the atmospheric pressure outside being lower than inside or something technical like that...plain weird if you ask me.)

My hospital...being so kind and caring...sent the surgery coordinator out into the hurricane (6 hours after a very slow-moving landfall) to fetch me for work .... so out into the hurricane I wade...with knee boots, and the water was only two inches below the top of the boots. Then I had the scariest , white knuckled ride of my life, creeping along at about 10-15 mph with water up to the doors, trees in the road, power lines down, driving in the to the resoaca (small lake) and there was road construction...and the barrels had all washed away, and you couldn't tell which part was the road and which part was going into the water....Got to power except emergency generator. No air-conditioning...just a few box fans...floors sweating (you know how they wax them) within 5 minutes I was soaked to the skin with sweat...not a very pleasant feeling. The first patient began immediately cursing ME because it was HOT and I should FIX it. I sweetly pointed out we were in the middle of a hurricane...and was promptly informed a little wind was nothing...and I was to fetch coffee...of course we didn't have any coffee...because a coffee pot is not considered emergency equipment and does not rate a RED EMERGENCY there was no coffee. I was then informed by this patient that I was to get my ASS out of his room and GO TO THE CIRCLE K and get him some DAMNED COFFEE!!!!! Hummmmmmmmmmm....and just how was I suppose to accomplish that...on a hurricane...with objects flying around in the air?????? I made him some instant coffee with hot tap water from my stash in my locker...which he REFUSED to drink after I went to all the trouble. Later a corrections officer who was having to sit with an inmate asked for coffee and I offered him the same thing...and he and his partner were very grateful...and very appreciative. At least somebody thought I was doing something right!. We lost part of the roof on the 4th floor and patients had to be moved to third and we had a mix of med/surg and telemetry/PCCU patients. I kept moving fans around trying to keep my patients as comfortable as possible...but it was really really really miserable.

Today...I have power. The air-c0nditioner is cranking and the humidity is coming down in the house. Life is good.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Well Hello "Dolly"

Looks like we may be in for a hurricane folks. Here the nurses are already getting antsy...reviewing hurricane prepardness charts...logging onto the weather net every hour or so...and the storm hasn't even cleared Cancun yet! Why do you thing we are so anxious. One word "Katrina"! Nurses got racked over the coals for making decisions in crisis situations. Everybody else can flee before the storm, but nurses are required to stay, and report to work. To hell with your family, to hell with your home, to hell with your safety. Even if a mandatory evacuation is called by the mayor, you still must report to your job and be prepared to work without leaving or lose your job. A hospital in Browsville fired a nurse who didn't report for work during a hurricane...came to find out she didn't report because she was killed on the highway trying to get to work ... now that is just wrong! Anyway, when "Rita" was coming in I worked at a LARGE hospital in a South Texas City, and the power's that be decided not NOT evacuate during the mandatory evacuation because the new building was rated for a "hurricane 3". My comment "Yeah, I believe that, remember the building was built by the people who forgot to caulk the window's and it rained inside the first time the wind blew"! Sure, and I really didn't like being their when the wind was whipping up to gusts of was scary as hell. Add to that the weather channel with hourly Tropical Updates...and the anxiety level is astronomical! So this time, guess I will risk my life in my trailer, because if I evacuate to safety I cannot report to work...and will be fired...then again...if the hospital blows away.....

Anyhow, anticipating being called in if they decide to evacuate to help with patient's. Good think census is low. Hey, maybe they'll send me to San Antonio and I can hang with my brother and nieces!