9.23.2005

Thar She Blows!

We're waiting for the worst of it, she's almost here. Our winds in Houston are around 50mph but they are expecting up to 80mph soon. We still have power at the hospital but who knows how long that will last.

This place is a freaking disaster. My unit which typically has 15-18 patients has 33. Every bed is full. There is no place for the staff to sleep (contrary to what we were promised). There was no parking anywhere. By the time I arrived to work around 5pm, the wind was whipping around and it was already raining. I had to walk close to a mile with my suitcase and big bag just to get to the hospital. The wind was picking up all the sand from the zoo/park and it was like walking through a sandstorm in the desert. I am the only regular night staff person that showed up. Everyone else didn't call, didn't show. Kinda like the president did; he was supposed to come to Texas this morning to discuss the state's disaster plans. He, also, was a no call no show. I ask you, America, what was the last job YOU had that you could no show for and still expect to be employed the next day? I can pretty much say that most if not all of the staff members (who are REGISTERED NURSES and have LEGAL AND ETHICAL OBLIGATIONS to their patients) who no showed will likely not be employed come Monday. I wish I could say the same for the president.

When I left my apartment for work, my car was one of three in the parking lot. There were people outside, observing the abandoned buildings, and they pointed and gawked at my car as I drove by with an expression that said, "where the hell does THAT idiot think she's going?" on their faces. There were only a few other cars out on the streets.

Right now on the radio they are describing some major fires blazing in Galveston. Some people were injured pretty severely. Yesterday during the mass exodus, a bus full of elderly folks from an assisted living center caught fire, and 20-some odd residents were killed. Only a couple escaped, with major burns. They say an oxygen tank was positioned too close to the fuel tank and caused an explosion. I would like to think that whatever staff members were aboard should have known better. What a tragedy.

There were several other deaths on the road, as well. Because folks were running out of gas before they even got outside of Houston, many chose to sit in stand-still traffic without their A/C on. As you can imagine, this was quite dangerous for some elderly folks as well as some youngsters. I stopped watching the news yesterday, so I don't know many details on how many fatalities there were. I do know that when the local PD's received 911 calls, they were unable to make it to those in need because of the wall to wall traffic. No one would let the G-D ambulances through. People can be such complete assholes.

Most of the extra patients we have here on my unit are elderly people who were abandoned. They don't need to be hospitalized. They're not sick. They were just burdensome to their families who likely evacuated after dumping their "loved ones" on our front porch. I suppose it's better that they brought them here rather than leaving them home alone. There are also people who think that hospitals are shelters. I even think that one local news station BROADCASTED that this hospital was operating as a shelter (WHOEVER YOU WERE- FUCK YOU!). Many people just showed up here with some cockamaimie story about how their oxygen tank was low, or they were feeling weak, or whatEVER- normally things we would remedy quickly in the ER and send them on their way. But today, they couldn't do that. All of those "patients" had to be admitted, along with their entire extended family that they brought with them. Essentially, this IS a shelter. One such patient's wife complained to me that their bed was squeaky and how were they supposed to sleep tonight with a squeaky bed and what was I going to do to fix their squeaky bed??? Uh, sorry. Be grateful you HAVE a bed, because when I get off in the morning I will be welcomed by the floor, like the rest of the nurses here. I don't mean to be bitter, not at all. It just seems that with nearly a WEEK'S warning, people would have made other arrangements to be safe during this time rather than relying on the tax payers' dollars to put them up in a (squeaky) hospital bed that costs thousands of dollars per night. There were busses and planes that took people with lesser means out of this city. Why people wait until the last second to try to find safety is beyond me.

Otherwise, there are lots of down power lines I'm hearing about, not much flooding so far (thank god) and just a lot of heavy winds. I hope the folks in Cameron are safe- looks like they're gonna get it bad.

Keep praying people! Thanks for your concern. Let's all do what we can to help those who are going to be really affected by this storm.

Comments:
Fucking A, Spoonie. Here you go. Grab something sturdy. I am so sorry about all of this. I wish I could help you. I'm so glad you are able to help others. It's going to be a LONG night. I'm thinking of you.
 
Some people are suck fucking morons. Sorry you've had to deal with so many today, or the remnants thereof.
 
I hope the rest of the people you have to deal with are only the nicest and the most appreciative.

There are people in the world that just take no responsibility for themselves or family..they expect someone else to do it.

Be safe.
 
Spoonie, you can come stay with me and ride out the storm. I promise to make the bed squeak.
 
you have the heart of a saint, because I probably woulda bitch-slapped that person! Hope you get to come home today - C just got here!
 
Thanks for the update, Deja. I got on the computer specifically to come here and check to see if you'd had a chance to update, so I'd know you're alright. We're just glued to the news here, watching, wondering, and praying...

Love and hugs to you, dear.

And God bless you for being so dedicated and committed to your patients.
 
Driving around a deserted city must be really spooky. How lucky that you get to deal with freaky weirdos all through this thing opposed to sitting in a far away hotel with a bottle of Jack and having you some fun. Lucky, lucky, lucky...
 
Seriously I would have had to bit my tongue to prevent me from saying "Well, I heard the beds at the Superdome are squeek free, would you like to head on over". Bitches I tell ya.
 
You would think ol' Georgie-boy would have known better than to no-call no-show after what happend with Katrina!

Hang in there Spoonie! Y'all are still in our prayers.
 
hope you get some rest once you get to leave. Now that Rita is not looming over us I bet you will get to sleep easier. I don't know why some people feel like the are entitled to help- hope you met us with others how were more appreciative.
 
Spoonie, you rock. Seriously---more power to you.
 
Bush didn't even show up in TEXAS??? I am seriously starting to question that man's sanity.

I don't get it. AT. ALL.
 
Fellow RN here, dying to know what consequence the noshows suffer. And totally with you on hoping they get the hosing they deserve.

Unconscionable. *shakes head*

And I'm infinitely proud of you for your contribution to humanity. Sorry you had ingrates and morons to deal with. ((hugs))
 
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