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What a difference a year makes
Posted December 31st, 2012 - 5:10 pm by from New York, United States (Permalink)
Last year I remember posting about going out with friends on New Years Eve to a restaurant and wearing a cocktail dress,stockings and heels. This year the restaurant is not even here having been washed away in Huricaine Sandy. It's been tough lately living in the aftermath of this nautural disaster. We still are living in half a house,but at least we have a house. The walls and floors are pulled up and since their is no insulation in half the house it's still kind of cold. I know there are people living in refugee camps and homeless people that live every day like this. We had no electricity for two weeks and not heat at all for a month. People died. Houses went up in flames due to gas leaks. The house across the street has a chain link fence around it and a condemned sign on it. We had seven feet of salt water in our basement and 4 feet in the other parts of our house. Just imagine half of your belongs washed away. We had a bulldozer pick up our belongs off our front lawn. Furniture,Christmas ornaments,photo albums,clothes,coats etc. But,we are alive. Six milion people were without light and heat. We had to wait two and three hours in line for gasoline. There were National Guardsman and cops at the few gas stations because there were fistfights because peoples cars or the gas stations themselves would run out of gas.
We would sleep in our clothes and me also in my down coat because I could not get warm. We would wake when the sun came up and go to sleep when it got dark. We had no electricity for two and half weeks and no heat for a month. There were no traffic lights or street lights. Most businesses were closed and boarded up. This could happen to anyone at anytime. This storm happened on October 30. We all got up and went to work and school everyday. We got pizza and food in a public park. They also did some of our laundry. My husband would still put a suit on and go to court. I went to the furniture store and sold mattresses and chairs to people that lost everything. I would get to work,plug my phone in and cry in our morning meeting. I was thankful to have a job,a warm place to go to each day. I am selling a ton of furniture but also just listening to peoples stories. A lady came into the store looking for a small sofa for her office. Someone pulled me away to get them mattresses. She came back and pressed alight blue card in my hand and said, "I am a pychologist. You look exhausted,come see me for free". I did and it has been a big help. Her house flooded and her neighborhood looks like a war zone. For one hour a week I talk,cry and now laugh too. She gave me 'permission' to not shop or cook for Christmas. We are living a new normal. We talk to insurance adjusters and try to get money to begin rebuilding. This storm is supposed to be giving two Billion dollars in relief funds to its victims but he have not seen a penny. My husband is an insurance attorney and he has very accurate recordings,photos etc of what we lost and what he need to rebuild. They just say that there are millions and millions of claims ahead of us. We have saved for a rainy day and it is here. All these contractors deal only in cash and thank God we had some.

Just when we thought our lives could not get more chaotic it has. On Christmas morning one of my sons was holding the door open for the other two to carry Grandma in in her wheelchair. He said, Mom I have been getting these bad headaches. He sat down,I think I watched him have a seizure. He was very pale and sweaty afterwards. He said he can feel them coming on and often smells or tastes something weird before. My brother has epilepsy. We went to the pedatrician the next day who referred us to a neurologist we are seeing soon. The pediatrician thinks he is stressed out because of the storm. I hope and pray that is true but I don't think so. I know about this life from my brother. They are not supposed to drive etc. and it can be areal challenge.

All of a sudden I feel stronger. If I have to deal with a kid with epilepsy now I will become a warrior. I don't give a shit if or when this house gets done. Now the big question is weather we get MRI's and Catscans in NYC or stay local.

Say a prayer for me and my family. We are looking for a brighter and happier New Year. We are going out with three other couples for dinner tonight and we will get by with little help from our friends. There are no gaurantees in life and you really don't know what tomorrow will bring. My wishes are for all of you to have a Happy and healthy New Year. One thing that is helping me 'put one foot in front of the other' is going to France in April and meeting many of you for the first time and looking forward to meeting some of you again.

Peace and love,
Judy

Posted December 31st, 2012 - 5:33 pm from Victoria, Canada
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Posted December 31st, 2012 - 6:12 pm from Seattle, United States
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Posted December 31st, 2012 - 6:50 pm from Thornbury, England
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Posted December 31st, 2012 - 7:23 pm by from Welwyn Garden City, England (Permalink)
Hi Judy,
You have my great admiration for being stoic and going to work in such adverse conditions. Thank you for sharing the good and the bad news.

Some of you know that I had epilepsy from the age of 21, and the consultant told me I would never live a normal life and might need to live in an institution!

I have lived on barbiturates since and after more than a dozen grand mals over about 10 years, including hospital admission, I haven't had a fit for 27 years. I had 2 careers. And over 85,000 drugs!

I have met many "disabled" people, and I went to the Olympics and Paralympics, and people most challenged work harder.

There are many famous people in history who had epilepsy and not the drug help available today.

I am deaf too and still have a great life with many choices.

I hope that his diagnosis is clear and treatment effective.

And that 2013 is good for you all.

Be warm well and enjoy,

Val

Posted December 31st, 2012 - 8:29 pm from Portland, United States
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Posted December 31st, 2012 - 8:31 pm from Portland, United States
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Posted December 31st, 2012 - 10:08 pm by from Langley, United States (Permalink)
France in April? Can anybody come?

Cherie

Posted January 1st, 2013 - 1:17 am from Saint-Brieuc, France
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Posted January 1st, 2013 - 1:21 am from Portland, United States
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Posted January 1st, 2013 - 6:16 am from Sydney, Australia
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Posted January 1st, 2013 - 6:51 am from Antwerp, Belgium
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Posted January 1st, 2013 - 1:56 pm from Essen, Germany
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Posted January 1st, 2013 - 2:22 pm by from Venice, Italy (Permalink)
Judy,
a big hug from Venice.. and , just to be a little lighter, I promise you that if one day you will come to Venice, I will prepare a special dish of Lasagne Agnese for you!

I wish and hope that everything will go better this year for you and your family!

Daniela

Posted January 1st, 2013 - 4:37 pm from Ilminster, England
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Posted January 1st, 2013 - 10:18 pm from Berlin, Germany
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Posted January 2nd, 2013 - 6:42 am from Mumbai, India
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Posted January 3rd, 2013 - 10:54 am by from New York, United States (Permalink)
Thanks everyone for your kind words.
Judy

Posted January 3rd, 2013 - 2:20 pm from Alicante, Spain
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