Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Hurricane Be Gone!

So, if you live on a coast or have family or friends on or near a coast, hurricane season can be a bit stressful at times.  It's been a pretty quiet season for us here in Charleston, SC so far this year.  Actually, it's been quiet (just a few tense moments) since we moved here in August 2008.  We lived in Houston, TX for several years and were quite familiar with this season.  We evacuated for Hurricane Rita, which was not long after the chaos that was Hurricane Katrina.  It was insane.

Needless to say, when it's hurricane season, I develop quite a close bond with my hurricane tracking website.  As I'm typing this mid-day Monday, we have an actual hurricane sitting out there - Irene is her name.  She was just a tropical storm not that long ago.  As you can see in the image below, she's scheduled to make landfall somewhere around 8:00 a.m. on Saturday.  Where might that be??  Charleston, SC!!

Alright, alright, so we've still got several days to go.  Who knows what Irene will do.  For all we know, she could veer east and stay out in the Atlantic, or she could take a turn to the west and head on over to the Gulf of Mexico.  I am not a meteorologist, nor do I play one on tv, BUT in my non-professional opinion I think there's plenty of time before we need to be getting ourselves all worked up.  That said, if the image below is looking like this on Friday afternoon, you can bet I'll be viewing it from the safety of a hotel room in Columbia instead of from my kitchen table!

Obviously there are so many reasons to not want a hurricane to hit.  They're not cool.  They're not - even from a distance.  They're destructive.  Property gets destroyed.  Landscapes get ripped apart.  Peoples lives are cut short.  We're not waiting it out if one is coming here.  I just feel like we're among many families who just can't simply throw a few things in a bag and leave.  It's not that easy when you have a child who is special needs and medically fragile.  I just can't imagine how we'd relocate with everything we'd need to bring for Peyton!  Why not say a few prayers that this hurricane heads off into the Atlantic.

This is a pretty decent sized box full of one week's worth of medical supplies:
syringes, nasal canulas, diapers, wipes, suction machine supplies, etc.
Peyton's has severe central sleep apnea and must be hooked up
 to this little guy at night to measure oxygen/heart rate.
Oxygen concentrator.  Instead of tanks, we use this.  It's run on
electricity - so we don't want to lose power either!  Cannot leave home
without it!!
BiPap machine.  A must have because of Peyton's sleep apnea.
Cough assist machine.  Used in combination with meds/suction, it
forcefully pushes in air and sucks out to force her to cough and
bring up nasty secretions.  It's a must-have item.
Smart Vest machine.  Hose attaches to a vest Peyton wears.  Run for 30
minutes, it vibrates quickly and helps to loosen up whatever "junk"
is hanging out in her lungs.  Another must-have!
Portable suction unit.  We don't even switch rooms without it!
Peyton's "hospital" crib.  Hmm...not gonna fit in my Ford Edge.
Feeding pump supplies.  This is the ONLY
means to feed Peyton!
A case or two of PediaSure...depending on how long we
think we'd be gone.
Peyton's special shoes and leg braces.  She can't sit/stand/walk/crawl
on her own but she uses these when doing therapy.
Stander/Seat.  This comes up to standing straight up.  It has a big
activity tray that goes on it too.  No way it'll fit either!!
Some of Peyton's meds.
More meds and supplies.
Mustn't forget her nebulizer machine (not pictured), nebulizer tubing,
and stethoscopes.
Gotta have the bath chair...she can't sit up on her own.
Some of Peyton's supplies from which I made up the box in
the first picture.
Sorry, Peyton, but your play mat and mirror just aren't going to fit either!
And the big purple wheelchair.  That HAS
to come.  So does the cute kid in the chair!!

So, that's a little tour of the stuff we'd have to bring if we were forced to evacuate.  Don't forget, I haven't gotten to her clothes, toys, her sister's stuff and Ron and my stuff either!!  We have a Ford Edge..not a U-Haul.  To pack up to go anywhere is a major chore.  Just one of the joys of our "normal".  This is why we don't get to take family vacations.  :(

Please pray that we don't have to go anywhere!!

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