Hello to everyone. This is Kait-the-ever-ambilvalent "should I choose bisque appliances for my kitchen". Well fate has stepped in and made a decision for me. There will be no kitchen renovation...at least not for a very, very, very long time. Maybe not ever.
As an SICU nurse at Memorial Medical Center in New Orleans, I was assigned to work at the hospital for hurricane duty, and was there from Saturday through Thursday. I was evacuated (by boat, later by bus) from New Orleans last Thursday, with only the clothes on my back (which had to be destroyed) and one small bag. It is exactly as the news reports portray it - a disaster, a war zone, something that resembles a third world country. We lost generator power on Tuesday, which meant our patient's had no oxygen, no IV pumps for critical care drugs, no air conditioning, no lights, no running water, no working toilets. As you all know by now, the rescue helicopters and boats were slow to arrive. So many people died needlessly. We were helpless to provide adequate care. There was so much suffering. It was intolerable. Just heart breaking.
People indeed were shooting at the helicopters rescuing patients (but not at my hospital). We did have to have armed guards all around our perimeter to keep us safe from looters and people trying to break into the building. There were a few people roaming our hallways that "did not belong there" - no riots or violence, but many of our cots, food, linens, flashlights were stolen. This was an additional hardship after working 18 hours a day in 98 degree heat trying to save lives, to have to sleep sitting up in chairs, in the dark - hundreds of us lying in the darkened hallways. I cannot even express how awful it was. However, we were the lucky ones in our "private, uptown hospital." The nurses and doctors at Charity Hospital and Tulane Hospital suffered under greater dire straits - and greater physical danger than we did. And we were very terrified at our own place.
Almost all of my friends and family made it out of the storm safely. However, so tragically sad, my beloved 85 year old mother-in-law, Rita, and my 60 year old cousin Mario, drowned while trying to help pull his invalid son onto the roof of their house. Mario's wife, Rosemary had to witness them being swirled away by the raging flood waters. This is an unbearable grief. She was such a loving woman. She deserved a better death. They both did. We take comfort in knowing my wonderful father-in-law is there to greet them in heaven.
On the positive side, if one can call it that, I worked along side the most incredible physicians and nurses I have ever known who worked 18 - 20 + hours a day, nonstop to help save patient's lives, evacuate everyone. Back breaking, exhausting work with no resources, "mash unit" conditions. It did not matter what color - black, white, brown. Dedicated, brave, HEROS. We struggled, we grieved. We were grateful for any small victory .
I am writing this post from my DD & DSIL's home in Northville, Michigan. The outpouring of help and support from this small community has been humbling and wonderful to witness. I am safe and sound in the arms of their love. My house did not get flooded, and from neighborly reports it seems to be "okay" without any major damage visible. But I do not know when I will even be able to go back home to see it. So, my kitchen is far from my mind and my eyes. But my LIFE has been saved and I can live many more days pondering "should I choose this or that." Ironically - Sears had a 20% off sale on Saturday (day before the storm) and I actually placed the order for bisque appliances. I do not know if I will ever get to use them, because I do not know when or even if I will ever be able to return to what was once "my wonderful New Orleans", and my family and friends are scattered far from me all across the United States.
So, keep safe tonight my friends of this forum. Hug and kiss all the people you love. Please say some prayers for my loved ones, and all of those who suffered this storm. I am moving tomorrow morning to a rental unit here for the next few weeks, but will try to check in later in the week.
Much love, Kait