Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Reflections on Sandy

Note nurse in gurney. She is holding a sick neonate.

Lets pray that all the sick newborns, newborn babies, children, and sick adults who must be relocated during their illnesses fare safely and well.

     Here in my own rural area of Virginia, despite heavy rains, winds, and some snow from this peculiar storm, we are fine, and so are our animals.   Thank you to people from Russia, Belgium, the UAE, and Nova Scotia who have inquired as to how we are faring.
           This morning I have been watching television and noticing so many things with regard to evacuation and disaster preparedness.   New York and New Jersey have been badly hit, and the infrastructure there is likely not to recovery for weeks.  I saw something this morning which interested me there.  New York University Medical Center had a situation where the level of the hospital which housed their back up generators during the outage had flooded.  This necessitated an evacuation of the hospital including the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.  In my youth, when I rotated through the NICU, if we evacuated, we did so with all babies in incubators.  The news program I saw yesterday showed NICU nurses in scrubs being removed from the hospital in a gurney, clutching tightly a small baby with nasogastric tubes and oxygen masks intact.  This was interesting to me because this is not how we would have performed an evacuation.  The more I thought about this, the better idea this sounded.  Holding an infant tightly will decrease stress, stabilize blood pressure and pulse and contribute to security. Holding the infant will also help to naturally absorb bumps which could occur as an incubator or gurney navigated streets or curbs during the evacuation. I have been thinking and breathing disaster preparedness and evacuation for twenty-five years, and still each day, I learn or are exposed to something else.
           The second thing I heard annoyed me.  Good Morning America had a child psychiatrist on to help urban parents deal with "unstructured time" due to mass cancellations in the storm.Have we, as a culture, fallen so far that we need a professional to tell us how to deal with our own children when school is cancelled?   It's one thing to deal with a child's feelings of anxiety when a disaster occurs.  It's quite another to be at one's wits end because you have no idea how to redirect the attention of the child you brought into the world.  Perhaps the answer is not to overbook your child every spare minute, and learn to talk to him about his hopes, his fears, and his wishes for the future.  Not everything about a disaster is entirely bad.

         Lastly,  I never tell anyone what they should believe or to whom they should pray. However, I would be less than honest and less than who I am if I were not honest about the fact that I pray unceasingly to Jesus Christ, and that the honor and glory for everything that I do that's any good in the world, goes to Him. Therefore, I am sending this prayer out for everyone, Christian, Muslim, Jew, or Agnostic who is adversely impacted by this rare and complex storm.

   Heavenly Father,

             Please help those displaced and effected by Hurricane Sandy to find support, encouragement and safety in this confusing and frightening time.   May they feel supernatural caring and support from you and from those on Earth who are entrusted with Earthly help here.  May they have their medical problems addressed, and find their fears addressed as they realize that they have been granted a continued opportunity to learn and laugh and play in this schoolyard of a world you created for us.  Please address the practical, as well as the loss, and the bewilderment and sorrow.   For those who have lost a loved one, please be with them, and provide to them the love and solace you so graciously provided to me, following the loss of my young son and of my father.     Thank you for the blessings that we know to thank you for, and for those of which we are so blissfully unaware.   In Jesus name I pray.


Gorges Smythe said...

Glad you fared well, we did too. As for your other subjects, I guess they prove that folks can be pretty smart - except when they're being idiots.

JaneofVirginia said...

Thanks Gorges. I learn something every day. Much of what I learn in the world is good, but some of what I learn about people, isn't !