Post Katrina PTSD:I felt like I was dying


It felt as if it came from out of no where, right after saw this black man from Sewage and Water Board speak on the news saying he will hold a news conference on Tuesday about the possibility of power failure with the pumps. 
This intense feeling of knowing this is it, you are about to die came over me and all I cld do is listen to this voice that I believe was a blend of mines, my sister and My Momo. I could hear my heart beat in my ear, sounded like it was about to explode, I had to get off the couch, I needed to lay down but as soon as I sat on the bed the voice told me “if you lay down don’t close your eyes cuz you will not get up”. I called for my sister, Dionne informing her that I wasn’t feeling good. She looked at me, walking off saying “High Blood Pressure is not no joke ” then returning back with the blood pressure machine she brought for me years ago, that I rarely use. I felt light headed, my hands, fingers and feet where tingling, I felt like I was outside of my body, waves of heat came over me in an instant. “Oh shit, Im having a stroke; is this what Hope felted before she passed out and woke up needing brain surgery.” “Im hot or am I not hot, maybe my body needs to be shocked awake.. “Dionne can you get me something cold” She came back with popsicles and asked what I felt and if I took anything other than my regular meds. I didnt and for some reason I felt proud that I did take my blood pressure medicine and didnt hv any other substances in my blood stream as I threw the two popsicles down my shirt which didn’t help. I’m still hot, sitting up in bed looking at my poor lil sister fumbling with the blood pressure machine, I believe she was talking to me but I have no clue as to what came from her mouth. My mind was so aware of every physical change going on in my body as that Ms.Know It All Nurse found away in my head. “You know that your blood pressure is high, your pulse rate  feels like it’s over 120, your dissy, nauseated and the list goes on, you know you bout to die” For some reason I asked myself did I even complete nursing school and to shut up, that Im bout to have Dionne make me an ice bath like Will Smith did on that movie 7 Pounds minus the jellyfish. “Dionne I need more ice, something big and cold alot of it like a block of ice”, she gave me a look over, walked out and didnt come back for what felt like minutes… Leave it to My Sister to go clean up something while Im dying I thought to myself. I laid down and heard her say “oh No you feel like you need to lay down, I need to take your blood pressure!” I extended her my arm, but that voice came back hard and raw, “Get the fuck up, but don’t tell her how bad you really feel, she not gonna be able to handle it.” I sat up and she hands me these two foil covered packs from the frezzer, I stuck one in my pants so that it wldnt fall out, thinking if I put it by my groin as well wld cool me off faster; I asked her to put the other on my back while she strapped the cuff on me. “Oh your over 200, she was reading the numbers as it pumped but it wasnt finished with the reading, but this cant be right you need your feet on the floor, Im getting a chair.” I saw my niece Jamiah looking at me with worry  and I motion for her to get her out of my presence, I cant believe she went outside. In that moment I saw my life flash before my eyes, my heart got heavy, my sister cant do this; “I can’t leave her to see bout shit Im supposed to take care of, my Mama gonna be upset cuz I didn’t plan for emergencies like death, my Daddy said stop living in a state of emergency, my Niyah Jean gonna get put on ADHD medicine, Ebony gonna drop Princess from here made up name and much more will go astray because I’m dead” I thought to myself as the blood pressure cuff tighten again. “We really shldnt be waiting this long, Im having all the symptoms of a stroke or is it a heart attack, I thought to myself wishing the tub was filled with ice.  “Dionne I think we gonna need an ambulance ” came from my lips and pure horror came across her face as she retighten the cuff. “Uhh, No we have these kids here, you look fine, you not seizing, your face not drooping and you’re moving around, but if you want you can Uber the fuck out of here or if you need to die just go ahead the floor right there and I’ll let the people in while I see bout the kids outside”, she said it so calmly but very serious at the same time. Jamiah, came back in looked at me and gave me a kiss, Ebony gave me a smile and Niyah hopped passed me as usual trying to avoid being told to stop something. I looked at the floor which was supposed to be be the doom of me as I saw my sister and girls walk onto the porch as my mind focused on living. My Momo came to me, she just passed in April, she was my everything, my source of goodness, love and my spiritual grounding. I heard a whole bunch of church songs blended into one, then her voice led me to Victory is Mines as I sat in my sister’s makeshift nurses station. I didn’t move my lips, but the song played out in my head and I felt my Momo telling me to calm down as I tapped the tingling out my feet. “VICTORY IS MINE, TODAY ITS MINES!” sang in my heart and soul. Dionne walked in checked on me and I over heard her tell my niece Nene about my request for an ambulance & her denial and her concerns and fears, because of my history of high blood pressure and stress. Pretty soon Nene and Baby Donovan came on duty to observe me. Maybe, because its so talked about in her generation she asked if I thought I was having a Panic Attack…WTF is that, I thought to myself, but whatever it was it did make sense; minus me having high blood pressure all of my symptoms could point to that and gradually I started to feel like myself… My blood pressure was my elevated high normal 140/90, but my heart rate was 124. All the signs where pointing to a possible Panic Attack.

I wasn’t living here when Katrina happened, but I had family and friends who where. I remember calling around with worry after seeing the images on the news. I can still visualize the dead elderly woman covered with a blanket in her wheel chair by the convention center and the scene from the Super Dome. It was a horrible nightmare to watch and I couldn’t imagine what it felt like to those who lived thru it. I wonder how those who stayed or came back feel after events like this…?

I believe I became overwhelmed after the flood yesterday, I tried my best to calm the girls fears by playing a in the trash, germ and rat infested water after hearing their worries of our house floating away and another Katrina. “Go put your rain boots on and I’ll find something to float on” came so natually. As they splashed I managed to pick up overturned trash cans and its contents from the ground. I remember seeing maggots bust out of a floating bag as if I was watching a horror move, but even with my fear of all things creepy crawly I picked it up and put it in the trash can that I put behind the police barricade.
Its like a guilt came over me for coming back to my home town and putting my family at risk, because of my love for New Orleans….
Living here Post Katrina with all the funds allocated to the city one would think New Orleans would not only be prepared to handle a few feet of water, but ready to handle a Hurricane bigger than Katrina. This so called little flood is proof that those with power do not care about the lives of the residents of New Orleans and have misused funds. Where is the money? 

Living here I can honestly say that everyone works even the homeless people have shifts to work the corners, so its not like our people are lazy. Speaking of the homeless; I wonder how they and the animals such as Nola the cat who came on my steps looking for higher dry ground??? The people who 4 walls make up a tent or the bridge underpass..

 The people who make New Orleans what she is are poor, under paid, forgotten and used to make this city what she is. This is a 100+milliom dollar city alone and the people who work the essential jobs make under $20/hr and minimum wage is $7.50. Something is wrong with that. 
Then Sewage and Water Board sends out a black representative with no designer suit or money to match to inform us about a possible answer on Tuesday. Why didn’t the owner, the big wig with the power, surface on the news if only in the shadows, give a news conference especially given face that FEMA wants millions of dollars back from the company. He send out his loyal puppet to speak on his behalf. That man looked nervous to me and I wont be surprised if he resigns before the news conference.
All of this and then some came over me in an instant. I became overwhelmed with life, all its problems, heartache and the love for my family. I had a Panic Attack that literally had me feeling like I needed to clock out in essence to drown it all away, but my love for my sister, mother, kids and family came front. “What would they do without me” played out in my mind and all I felt was saddness. I do not want to feel guilty, as if i put my families life and well being in harms way, physically, mentally and spiritually for the love of New Orleans.
I have soul ties with my home, my birth place, I’m rooted here, I love New Orleans, but I love my family more…

I want to be here, because my ancestors died to make this city all that she is, but its like she “New Orleans” has been entrusted into the wrong hands and until she has a loving, caring, protector again she will never be the same again.

Maybe the possibility of losing money to tourism will set things straight. Like really who wants to come a city thats guaranteed some type of disaster.??
I will follow up with my primary care doctor today, because my heart rate was possibly higher at some point and he may want to run some test just to be on the safe. I honestly think if I was by myself or with someone not as calm as my sister I would hv been transported by an ambulance. Also,  takeing my blood pressure medication as scheduled/prescribed, having a blood pressure machine and remaining calm myself all worked wonders. I would have never believed that a Panic Attack existed or that  the feeling of death being right in your face as if sucking your breathe could feel so real. 

Please educate and take care yourself and family. Don’t neglect warning signs or wait to call 911 if you feel symptoms of distress.

By the way those foil packs where seasoned frozen ground meat and chicken. I was wondering why I smelled of raw meat as I was sensing death near. Honestly, I thought that to myself. Lol Most of all Im proud of my little big sister whom Nene named “Hairdresser Homehealth aide Nurse in management.  😄😂😍🤗

#NolaChic #NolaLife #Nola #NewOrleans  #NewOrleansFlooding #Flooded #SewageandWaterBoard  #HurricaneKatrina #Katrina #PTSD #PanicAttack

10 thoughts on “Post Katrina PTSD:I felt like I was dying

      • Well, actually I write my memoirs and post them here. My two latest are “A Trip Up The Demerara,” and “Cathead Biscuits and Cave Spiders.” A memoir is a true story, embellished to make it interesting, of course. It’s not an autobiography. They are short stories about events in your life. You should try it. Remember, it is “your” story not someone else’s. So it is told in first person from your point of view. As you can see from mine they don’t have to be very long, but definitely need to be interesting. It’s a story, not an opinion or commentary. Try it, I think you’ll enjoy it once you get started.

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      • Actually, I write my memoirs and post them here. My two latest are “A Trip Up The Demerara,” and “Cathead Biscuits and Cave Spiders. To get an idea read them and see. They are not an autobiography but just one of many true stories about your life, embellished to make them interesting but still true. They are simply short stories about your life, ones that you can enter in contest if you like. It sounds like you have many stories to tell, so why not? Remember they they are true, and not commentary or opinion. They are written in first person from your POV. Let me know if you write one, I’d love to read it😀

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      • I read A trip up the Demerara 😮 Wow!! I love that story & the pics OMG! I felt like I was there pulling & rowing too lol
        My Grandmother was a Missionary and I know this was not a mere coincidence. Thank you for sharing with me & helping me in this process

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