Tuesday, September 13, 2005

To sleep, perchance to dream.... NO THANKS.

I cry every day. A lot. The littlest thing might set me off. I can't watch the news at all - that's a definite trigger. Nor can I view pictures of the city. Yesterday I only cried twice though... a definite improvement. My sister says she cried all day long - so that only counts as once, right?

I cried when the church group brought sandwiches to the food stamp office for us. I cried when I found out my brother's (B2)co-workers chipped in cash to pay for the gas for him to come rescue us. And again when his friend pressed money into his hand for him to go shopping for fresh produce for us. And yet again when the I saw the $20 a lovely lady, Tiffany, at the shelter hid in a prayer booklet that she gave me as I left. And again during the holiday my niece, K3, and her 'friend' J, should have spent having fun, but instead used it to drive hours to pick us up from the shelter and deliver us to the airport. K3 even volunteered to walk the dog while I used the facilities and she's not even a dog person. Talk about devotion.

But the crying list is endless.

I cry over what was and what might have been. What I lost and the little I have. I cry because I am so grateful to be alive, my family and friends are almost all safe and accounted for, the kindness and generosity of strangers, the anger and animosity of the ignorant, and the uncertainty of our futures.

If I'm not crying, I'm worrying. A lot. When I think about things. Any things. Which I try not to do very often. I've much experience in blocking out distasteful thoughts. A skill which has come in quite handy lately. Like Scarlett O'Hara - I won't think about it today. I'll think about it tomorrow.

Sometimes though - stuff is too overwhelming. And I absolutely have to think about it. Deal with it. I've been dealing with insurance companies, banks, government agencies and all the associated bureaucracy.

I even had to call to make a payment on my FLOODED storage unit so that when the waters do recede, my stuff isn't sold at auction before I have a chance to sort it out. The wonderful gentleman on the phone asked "Is there anything else I can do for you today?" And I laughed. "Yeah, I've got a list.... First you can get my car out of the parking garage in downtown New Orleans...." He laughed with me. I appreciated that.

I worry most about the health of my parents - this was hard and very draining for them. I worry next about where I'll live, what I'll do for a living, what ~K~ will do for schooling. And I can't even really talk about this stuff, 'cause, well... See the section on "crying" above.

Also, I've been sick and so has ~K~. Some family members think it's because we had to walk through the polluted flood waters to get out. Others think it's a reaction to the tetanus shot I had to have. And ~K~ thinks it's because she's allergic to grass (we could only grow weeds in our yard - no grass)(where does she get these ideas anyway?). Or it could be that both the cat and the dog insist on sleeping with me in a twin bed. Or that when we arrived here - there had been 2 other cats and 3 other dogs previously occupying this space.

But now my mom is getting sick too. So add that to the section on worrying as I have no health insurance nor do we have a medical care system to rely on here.

On top of that I don't sleep well. And when I do, I dream. Always flood dreams. While the dreams are not necessarily bad - they are always filled with water. You know, it's a wonder I'm not getting up to pee more than usual during the night. You have to look at the bright side of everything, don't you? Last night however, the water dreams had bodies floating. I hope that was a one time deal.

Anyhoo, we've been keeping busy doing regular household tasks and then getting rides to stores for basic necessities as we can never remember everything we need all at one time - no matter how many lists we make. Trying to get suitable clothes and we all need shoes - specific types for specific foot ailments. And have the pets looked at by a vet - just to be checked over.

We still don't know what's going to happen to us, but at the very least, we are all together. Yes, we are quite fortunate indeed.

Again, thank you for your good thoughts and prayers sent our way.


  • At 10:48 PM, Blogger David said…

    I'm not a doctor by any stretch but maybe the illnesses you described are a stress reaction of some sort? It could also be from the water, etc. but spending the week in your hot, stuffy attic with little water/food/sleep probably didn't do your immune system much good so maybe it's a combination of the two? I'd on't know...just throwing stuff out there..

    And thank you for the comment. Having had a lifelong love for/fascination with dogs, it broke my heart to hear what you bore witness to but were powerless to do anything about. There was a story on CNN last week about a guy who swam around with his 3 dogs for 8 hours until he was able to take refuge in the French Quarter. Nobody would let him get in a rescue boat with his dogs so he just kept swimming. I'm still not sure if they're letting people leave their homes and evac. with their pets. I saw one story that said they were and another that said the opposite. It kills me to see/hear how "man's best friend" and other "beloved" pets have been/are being so casually and cruelly kicked to the curb for no reason other than piss-poor planning and a lack of coordination/vision/will/resources/etc...

    BTW...I think it's worth mentioning that my affection for your fair city stems from a visit my wife and I paid back in July 2003 when we stayed at the Hotel St. Marie on Bourbon Street. Unfortunately, in large part because we were the guests of a friend from Pensacola who was less than enthused about staying in NO any longer than he had to, we didn't get to see anywhere near as much of the city as we wanted to.

    We had lunch at Johnny White's, Hand Grenades at the Tropical Isle, beer and muffalettas at some really cool place with arched ceilings, and a bunch more drinks at several bars I can't remember, before gorging ourselves on a big fat pile of greasy food and even more drinks at Margaritaville in the wee hours of the morning. Were it not for the miracle of modern medicine known as Alka-Seltzer I probably wouldn't have made it out the hotel room that day but thankfully I did and was treated to a mess of coffee and beignets at the Cafe Du Monde...having grown up there these may be place and things that you've come to take for granted, much as I have for many of the local attractions here in Tucson, but I was completely and totally smitten with the city (or what I saw of it)in a way I've never been before. So, in a nutshell, that's why I've been following this so closely...even though I don't live or have family there, on a psychic level of some sort it still feels like I've lost something...it's hard to explain.

    At the risk of sounding trite, at least you do have your life, your family, and friends...it is truly staggering how many people lost everything they had and worse, those who will simply never be found or accounted for...

  • At 3:28 AM, Blogger McSwain said…

    Hang in there, lady. I'm a stranger, but you don't lose my support just 'cause you lived through this. God bless!

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  • At 5:31 PM, Anonymous Colorado Health Insurance said…

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