This evening after I left work, I made a trip to the emergency room up the street from the house. It wasn’t actually an "emergency" but I didn’t have time to go to the doctor during the day, so I went to the emergency room with my problem. Seems *something* (ant, spider – don’t know) got a hold of my left foot Saturday. I didn’t feel anything when it happened, but I noticed by Saturday evening there were three small bites on my left foot that I knew were not mosquito bites. I told myself if it didn’t look much different by Tuesday that I would go to the doctor, and so I did. I wanted to make sure that it wasn’t something that potentially could be serious.
I arrived in the ER around 5:30, filled out the paperwork, and went to take my seat. I was shocked at how the number of people there waiting to see a doctor. The room was full, with about 25 people in it. I asked a nurse who walked by if this was an unusually busy night for them or if it was average. She informed me that it was average and that there were some nights the numbers were even higher. There seemed to be a revolving door of patients coming in and out of the ER. The nurses, assistants, doctors and other staff were busting a move to make sure everyone was taken care of. I had to wait until about 6:45 but I did get seen. Luckily, the doctor, once she took the first look at my foot, said that the bites on my foot weren’t of the poisonous variety (like a brown recluse spider bite would be, for example) but that they looked liked red ant bites. I don’t know how that happened if it did, because when something is crawling around on your foot, you usually know it. The only thing I can think of is that some insect bit me while I was walking around in the grass Saturday with strappy sandals looking at houses. In any event, the doctor reassured me that everything would be just fine, and that I needed to put some Benadryl cream on it (and/or Neosporin) and that the bites should go away in a few days. Whew. My only complaint was that it wasn’t a male doctor because if it was I could have reported back to everyone here that I had a man at my feet earlier this evening
In any event, my hat is off to the hospital staff there at the hospital I went to. You guys work hard around the clock to take care of people’s ailments to the best of your ability, and do your best to reassure them that everything is going to be ok. I can’t tell you what hearing a doctor say "everything is going to be just fine" does to calm my nerves.
And speaking of hats off, a major hat tip and big time thank you goes out to the rescue agencies and our fine men and women in the military (like the Coast Guard and National Guard) for doing an amazing job of stabilizing the areas affected and for their rescuing stranded residents. While sitting in the waiting room of the ER, I was watching CNN on the TV there and some of the footage shown of the rescues were quite dramatic and heart-stopping. I saw one where two small children were airlifted into a helicopter from a wire basket. The wind was blowing steadily and the basket was not completely steady so there were some harrowing moments there. CNN was reporting that some 1,200 citizens had been rescued in New Orleans thanks to the heroism of the US Coast Guard and other rescue teams. Click here to see a video of the USCG rescuing people who were stranded on top of their homes. It’s amazing.
By now, I’m sure most of you have seen the footage of how devastated La. and Miss. are right now (click here for photos of the area – hat tip: Michelle Malkin). Those areas are going to need some major help – lots of it is coming, but they will need more. Click here to find a relief agency you’d like to help via donations of money, food, clothing, etc. And as always, remember the residents there in your thoughts and prayers. So many families have lost everything. It is so heartbreaking to see.
Update: Glenn Reynolds has more relief links.
****ALL RESIDENTS ON THE EAST BANK OF ORLEANS AND JEFFERSON REMAINING IN THE METRO AREA ARE BEING TOLD TO EVACUATE AS EFFORTS TO SANDBAG THE LEVEE BREAK HAVE ENDED. THE PUMPS IN THAT AREA ARE EXPECTED TO FAIL SOON AND 9 FEET OF WATER IS EXPECTED IN THE ENTIRE EAST BANK. WITHIN THE NEXT 12-15 HOURS****
Jeff Parish President. Residents will probably be allowed back in town in a week, with identification only, but only to get essentials and clothing. You will then be asked to leave and not come back for one month.
FEMA numbers to begin assistance process 1-800-621-FEMA or http://www.fema.gov.