Since moving to New Orleans two years and and two months ago, I have experienced plenty of rain, heat, and flash flooding. However, I experienced my first bona fide hurricane when Isaac paid a visit to Louisiana, commemorating the seventh anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. I had heard the many stories from patients, coworkers, attending physicians, and neighbors alike about their experiences during Katrina. It all seems unfathomable given the times we live in, but many do say that New Orleans is like an isolated third world country right here in the United States. In fact, that is one of the qualities that drew me to train here in the first place!
I have to admit that even my summer vacations in rural Kerala, India, where the electricity is shut off for at least one hour per night, did not prepare me for the four hot, sticky, hungry, stir crazy days without power last week. I am thankful, however, that our home and belongings, including our two year old cat Tulsi, were spared from damage. I am sorry to know that so many others were not so lucky, especially those who survived Katrina with emotional and psychological scars that have yet to heal. Their endurance, however, is one of the qualities of New Orleanians that I continue to admire.
Despite the weather challenges, delayed responses, and at times painfully slow lifestyle, there is a magnetism that pulls people back to this city, something that can only be understood after living, working, and playing here. Isaac took away the comforts of internet and cell phone access and reminded me that writing used to be an integral outlet prior to starting residency. Now, I am excited and hopeful to begin writing again, looking back on these past two life-changing years and looking forward to the experiences ahead.