Hurricane Sandy – Health and Disaster

I apologize for the lapse in posts on this site. I was affected by Hurricane Sandy. Living in the southern part of NYC, we were hit hard – everyone was flooded, some were injured, and there were those who lost their lives.

In my particular area, the south part of Queens, we had sewer backup and Jamaica Bay come into our homes. We were without electricity for 11 days and without heat for a little over two weeks. The gas shortage at the time, due to electric outage and short gasoline supplies, made matters much worse.And, all the local stores, including drug stores and a couple of hospitals, were closed due to the damage from Sandy. It was a frightening experience.

There are some areas, such as Staten Island and Breezy Point, that are still in severe devastation and without power.

Having Multiple Sclerosis, I thank God I was able to get through the hurricane and work to clean out our basement. I had the strength and stamina to endure what was and is needed, even though I haven’t seen my acupuncturist in a month. Now, we’re trying to rebuild.

What did become problematic is my chemical sensitivity and allergies. After we had the water pumped out of the basement, there was major clean up involved. First everything had to be removed, including sheet rock, insulation, and any wood beams. Then the entire basement had to be disinfected. The Clorox and other chemicals used played havoc on my chemical sensitivities.

In addition to this, my daughter lost her home, so she and her dog are living with me. I’m allergic to dogs.

Between the chemicals and the dog, I’ve been to the doctor twice for an asthma cough.

There’s actually been a number of people with coughs from the flood and its clean up.

There’s still more to come also. The walls in the basement need to be painted with a paint that helps prevent moisture getting through, then after the basement is rebuilt with walls, they need to be painted.

So, all in all, the chemical sensitivity has caused more problems thus far than the MS.

Unfortunately, there’s still much to do and I’m still dealing with FEMA and my insurance company. I’ll try to get back to regular informative postings here this week or next week. And, I’ll talk more about the Sandy experience.

My prayers go out to all those effected by Hurricane Sandy. And, a huge thank you to all the volunteers who took and are taking time out of their own lives to help those in need.

Karen

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