CA CNA Katrina Volunteers

This is the link to a public photo album http://cakatrinarn.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Nobody Knows the Troubles I've seen

The stories are heartbreaking. “No body knows the troubles I’ve seen” a song I sang to myself for the evacuees many times Obviously a great deal of shock and suffering, and we were trying to treat medical problems.

A 21 year old man came in for a refill of his Ambien, saying he could not sleep. “I watched my Sister die as we came out of the roof. Something hit her in the head.” He had an abscess in his left elbow, “A nail in the roof punctured me.” He had experienced a panic attack the previous day, he said. “I was just waiting in line and became very fearful for no reason.” “I don’t know why God did not take me instead – I would have been glad to go.” I tried to reassure him, saying “God has another plan for you.” – to which he agreed…

Another middle aged woman told me that she was on a bridge at the Astrodome for three days; two days with no food or water. “I watched dead bodies pass by in the river below me, including babies. It was something I do not wish anyone to ever see.”

An elderly woman, 71 years old came into the computer center looking for her husband. She was ambulatory, but was using a wheelchair as a walker. Her two sons were sheltered elsewhere in Texas but hasn’t seen her husband since they were separated at the Superdome. They separated men and women at the Dome when put into buses, and this separated many families.

Kourtney, our opera singer and Pediatric nurse found a 5 week old baby on a cot at the Astrodome, that was cold and blue. She took a syringe out of her pocket and suctioned the baby (a syringe, not a bulb) and revived it. “Our Heroine”

Karen Kalua RN was stationed in Gulfport LA at Keesler Air Force Base as a medic in 1981-1985. “This is why I had to volunteer.” Karen goes on: “At first I was negative about joining the effort with California Nurses Association. Karen was part of the CPMC when CAN was part of ANA – but I had the opportunity to sit next to a nurse in the airplane on the way here and I learned about all of the good work that CNA does.”

Karen is a Labor and Delivery Nurse and worked in the OB/Gyn Clinic in the Arena. She work with a Gynecologist who was “the most amazing man I have ever seen.” The doctor kept a log with all of the patients he saw, and when possible did a telephone follow up on all of them. Karen said there was a problem with female infections of all of the women who had been in the dirty water of New Orleans. They cultured all of them, and it is interesting to note that the infections “all had the same distinct smell.” She was worried that the nurses in screening were not detecting all of the female infections, saying that the women were probably changing their underwear every night – and not realizing they had a problem. His name: Todd Ivey MD.

Meet Daniel, his picture is posted on Carole’s photo album. He was a ceramic tile layer who had worked for the same construction company for 35 years. He proudly shows his hands, knobby from his work. His wife and daughter are in hospitals in Dallas – one had to have brain surgery for an object that punctured her skull. His other daughter is with him in Houston and plans to find a home a stay here with his grandchildren. His company has contacted him saying they want him back to help with the construction work needed now in New Orleans. And he has made up his mind to go. Katrina is fracturing families all over the country.

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