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Exhasuted in Lousiana

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
I have not been on much - I am in La (New Orleans area and Baton Rouge) assisting with children who need medical care, especially the few hundred children with cancer who need specialized care. Unfortunately, many of them do not have medical records (that would be a luxury). and some tell us they have cancer but we are also looking for parents or guardians. Children with cancer grow up quickly in many ways so the older ones have a good idea of the meds and schedule they had - some have their scripts of they had oral meds and some have access to their docs but still others can ID their oncologist or family dpc or Dr. Dave (Reminds me that I may have to revisit my own practice of having kids call me Dr.C - I thought that was a good thing but in a hurricane, would they know my last name? That said ,I do have electronic records that thx to Hurricane Juan are available out of province).

And these young kids with cancer have been exposed to such toxic water - and for them a cavity can be fatal!! - that it is so worrying!!!

I hate to whine but I am exhausted!! There is so much despair and shock that it is overewheming! I have been in so many situations overseas that may have been worse than this (I mean no one is shooting at us here and the Canadian and American amries are neareby and friendly!!!) but it is the enormity of this and the fact that it happened in North America that is getting to me. I am taking a short break tonight but I am reminded that these kids and their parents cannot take a break from their struggles!!! And the cats, the cats!!! So many meowng for unknown humans!! Two Siamese babies were saved today by some wonderful US military guys with big hearts! I am caring for them in my little place here - YY may have company if we do not find their "owners" tho I have to wonder who would leave these tiny babies? (They may be 12-15 weeks old).

I really look up to the docs who are here whop are from New Orleans and have lost their own homes and yet are here helping their patients!!

I know I am tired and my chronic pain acts up in times of stress but oh my God, this is such a horrendous situation that I hate to complain at all. I still have a home to go to! Anyway - if my posts are short, that's why!! There is progress but still so much to do - and so many wonderful people here giving of themselves that it is humbling!!
post #2 of 20
Reading your post gave me goosebumps! Bless you for caring and taking care of the children that need it! I wish you all the best adn you are in my thoughts to keep your strength as you do this and to take care of yourself.
post #3 of 20
Oh you dear!! Sometimes I wish I could go help the relief effort, but I don't know that I could mentally handle all of the despairity! Lots of prayers, hugs and thoughts are with you and everyone else helping the relief effort!
post #4 of 20
Congratulations on helping assist with Katrina victims.
post #5 of 20
Just wanted to offer you some hugs and encouragement. What you are doing takes so much strength and compassion; I admire all that you are doing!
post #6 of 20
Hugs, encouragement, AND a standing ovation!
post #7 of 20
Bless you for helping, BUT what OF the animals? ARE they being rescued? ARE they still shooting dogs? So many different reports so PLEASE tell us what is really going on with them!
post #8 of 20
Thank you for what I know is exhausting and sometimes depressing, but very gratifying work. I would love to be there, working right next to you. It's just impossible with my obligations to my own family here. People like you warm my heart, and appreciation just isn't a strong enough word. Take care of yourself during this ordeal.
post #9 of 20
Originally Posted by Amandaofcols
Oh you dear!! Sometimes I wish I could go help the relief effort, but I don't know that I could mentally handle all of the despairity! Lots of prayers, hugs and thoughts are with you and everyone else helping the relief effort!
You are doing a great thing!!!
post #10 of 20
G- where are you getting power from? I have a friend that is there rescuing cats and dogs and she can't log on to her internet from there at all?
post #11 of 20
Cyberkitten, I truly feel for you. My parents are down there right now, not as rescue, but as truck drivers bringing in the needed supplies. They've been there since Saturday and the emails they are sending us are heart-breaking.

{{{Hugs}}} to you. I know you need a break, but I also know you won't take it until you've done all you can. Please know that I wish I could be there with you to help temper what you are going through, and also know that you have my utmost admiration for your dedication.

post #12 of 20
God bless you for giving of yourself to those who are in need. Sending you prayers of strength & hope!!
post #13 of 20
Please let me know about the medication supply in LA. I'm working with some contacts to ship medications to the NO area. If you have any additional contacts, pm me. Thanks, and God bless everyone who is down in the trenches, you included, Cyberkitten!
post #14 of 20
Thread Starter 
Hissy, we have power at St. Jude's Affiliate hospital in Baton Rouge - so that is my power source at the hospital but I logged on personally today with the help of the Canadian military - most of whom usually live and shipped out of my home city of Halifax, Nova Scota. I mean, that is where they came out of and now they are all up and down the Gulf Coast. They happily did not have to unload their cots (some purchased at WalMart when these marvelous troops (now I know where the term trooper comes from, ) could not get them fast enough from their own HQ in Ottawa and can you believe it, Canadians from this same convoy ended up repairing a HOCKEY rink so the state of Mississippi can use it as centre top work from, lol This was supposed to be coincidence but one wonders if someone has a sense of humour among all the devistation and misery, lol I recall once in Somalia on one of my a Doctors without Borders tours of duty, our little group and the sick children we had in our care were under fire by the various renegades in that conflict and the Canadian "peacekeepers" showed up in the UN blue hats. I cried that day to see them and had never before in my then rather young life appreciated the army as I did then. I rather feel that way here even tho it is not the same as being shot at but it's nice to see a friendly face that has power for my laptop. I think of my laptop as sort of my luxury item a la Survivor - which I think was supposed to start tonite but I did not see it. We have our own series here and it's much more important!! I installed server software on it so I would not be forced to depend on an ISP lacking power tho I have been able to use the Cdn military's sattelite commuications to tap in top my own ISP at home. Since obviosuly, just b/c I have power does not mean any internet companies are up and running normally - tho there are some in Baton Rouge or so I have heard.

Communuications in general is very bad here. Cell phone use is sporadic at the best of times even with my trimod. I just sort of gave up on that notion. It reminds me if being in regfugee camps actually tho - not the physical plant of the hospital of course but the setuip at the airport and other staging places.

I have to admit I just assumed this was general power - but it could be a generator. I know when we had Hurricane Juan in Halifax, we used our generator at the Children's hospital in Hfx. (Not to compare the two - there is NO comparison whatsoever.) I am frankly so focused on what I am doing that unlike my usual curious ER nosy self, I did not ask the source of power. As long as it's there.....

Where exactly is your friend? If she could find some military guys, they might give her power for a short period so she can upload messages, I write my email or messages and save them so I can upload them at the same time. That way, I do it all at the same time. I also replemish power for my laptop at the same time. I mean, she can't expect them to part with their own source but they might help her if she needs it urgently??? I have a priority list and the medical ones are the 1st - if I do not have time to do the others, Ido it at another time.

When we ventured in to New Orleans, I did not see power and I would be afraid if there WAS power what with all the lines down all over the place! There is a huge military presence in New Orleans

As for the pets, there are wild rumours here too and I could not really answer that question vis a vis everywhere in La. However, when we last ventured into the outkirts of New Orleans ansd to the airport - where there is also power provided by the military - (sort of a Mash triage unit there) - many animals were being brought there to be sent to other states. I do know however at one point, the numbers of animals were overwhelming the staging area in Gonzales (sp?) and thus, volunteers provided water and food to animals in the area while room was made by flying out these animals. I know of none being shot - think that may have been a rumour,(There were rumours this was happening in St. Bernard's parish but the Cdn guys from Vancouver who made it there did not see that) Certainly ,none were shot on an official basis that I have heard of - which of course does not mean it did not occur. The worst thing I heard was that some pet owners opted to euthenize their pets when informed they could not bring them. I have to wonder about the method of euthenization and guns are seen by some ppl here as fast and easy - esp if they had no access to medications, if indeed they knew how to properly administerv them. The rationale was that they did not want their pets to starve to death or suffer. I have to say I could never leave my animals - that would be akin to leaving my child. I can well understand those New Orleanians who have stayed because of their animals!! I have not heard anyone say they have witnessed any shootings of dogs or animals but even some medical rescue ppl (those who are not animal ppl) see nothing wrong with shooting what they call "dangerous" dogs like pitbulls who are in the way of rescurers. I tried arguing with them but I have no time for ppl like that and it emotionally drains me from my own objectives. These are the same ppl who think humans should be the priority and who do not understand "all the fuss" - as one nurse here called it - about animals. I tried explaining it but it seemed to make no impact. Either I was not going a good job of explaining why pets are important to us and are members of our family or it was a lost cause to start with. I suspect the latter.

In NO, I have seen packs of dogs. I think many cats are in hiding but any animal rescuers I have talked to or army ppl say it is "easier" to get the kitties now because they are hiding less and so hungry and starving that they come out into the open. Thoser poor babies must be soooo scared!!! I did talk to one woman - a doctor here - who was allowed to return to see what's left of her home and see if her 2 cats were OK. And I am not sure what district of NO she is from but she said she could not find her own kitties (and needless to say was most disttessed about this - I think they are hiding or like some may have drowned (some have been found drowned) but I did not raise that speculation with her - they may well be still alive, I HOPE!!!! However, despite her own distress, she broke the glass of a window of someone she had been communicating with somehow thru the NO newspaper and the 2 cats from that home were there. But the ASPCA would not take them since they said they had no room so they gave them food until they could return for them and marked the home ro indicate pets were there.

My friend is out of NO and the convent (Sacred Heart) is OK. She is working with the Catholic Charities tho - I could not convince her to take a few days to get better herself!! The worst stories I have heard from medical ppl are similar to the above ones about animals. Medical professionals who work in hospice care opted to give their patients large doses of morphine or other narcotics as the flood waters headed toward the top of the hospital rooms and there waas no hope of getting these ppl out. I hae wondered what I would do in the same situation. We located the doctor of a child with cancer today and that was great tho the doc had been unable to save his records. No matter, we will figure out a new protocol! I just hope we can do something that will work for this child - and not reinvent a wheel that might not have. But it's better to try!!!!

Had to share these pictures: (which you may have already seen since I think they are AP but honestly am not sure.) Nite Nite for now!

post #15 of 20
Thread Starter 
Just saw your post about med supply - pharmacutical companies have been sending shipments of supplies to various hospitals but there is a shortage.

I am thrilled you an donate medicationsI know companies like FedEx are sending our stuff free of charge and I'd love to say send them here BUT I do think they need to go through a proper portal. That is:

La. State Board of Pharmacy
Steve Collins
Phone: (225) 925-6496
Cell: (225) 202-6820

email: scollins@labp.com

post #16 of 20
Thanks. The more contacts, the better!

Keep up the good work!
post #17 of 20
Hugs and prayers being sent! Bless you for caring!
post #18 of 20
Great job you are doing, it must be very emotional also, I don't know if I could hold up, I wish you all the best of luck, and prayers. And Thanks for doing what you are doing.
post #19 of 20
You are amazing. Thank you so much for the work you are doing to save lifes both of humans and their pets.
post #20 of 20
Wow - Thankyou for all your hard work, it is truly amazing.

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