Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Sept 7

Thank you for all your thoughts and prayers.

Nathalie and I are doing well.

The TV stations are finally talking about something other than this stupid hurricane, so I will start doing that as well. I'm very grateful that Nathalie and I survived this safely, that our most valuable possessions are safe, and that our friends are safe as well. Many of them suffered some losses, and a few lost everything, but the general mood here is that despite the shortcomings of some of humanity and despite the destruction caused by this natural disaster, we're all going to be alright.

The local bayou hospital where I'm working now is seeing some of the after-effects of the storm as some of the injured and refugees are coming our way. I had to amputate the leg of a man that got severely infected as he waded through waist deep water, trying to save his family. He was so grateful to be alive and to know that his little daughter was safe at the local shelter that he didn't even flinch when I told him his leg had to be amputated. "I'm just thankful to God that I'm here..."

This kind of attitude makes it easier for me to work the hours that I have to, and gives me energy to go volunteer at the local hurricane shelter after work. The hurricane has shut down all normal activity of my main training hospital in New Orleans, and as a consequence thousands of people have temporarily lost their jobs, Nathalie being one of them. Not to be thwarted, Nathalie is also volunteering her time at the local shelter with me, giving to those less fortunate.

We're lucky to have each other, to have saved our irreplaceable items, and to have a place to stay (for now). I feel for those at the shelter, and volunteering our time to care for them who need medical care is the least that we can do. Everything happens for a reason, and perhaps there is a person at the shelter that needs Nathalie and my attention. Perhaps this person will do something great for mankind in the future and needs to overcome a medical illness right now. Perhaps this is why we survived the hurricane and why we're currently in this small bayou town and why I spent the last 14 years of my life training to be a doctor.

Or, maybe not.

Regardless, Nathalie and I are going to go volunteer, even if it is just to provide a person willing to listen to a refugee's story.

I hope you are doing well, too. Thanks again to everyone for your thoughts and prayers.