Real People Hurricane Relief

Real People Relief is for individuals, families and groups who wish to help a person or family directly, with no "middle man" "Be The Change" Ghandi "I pray that I may not be tempted, by indifference or selfishness to withhold from others the help I have received." Author Unknown to me

Saturday, December 01, 2007


Jean; Winnie, Dora
Email: - alleymarziacat @

Location: - Back home in the suburbs of New Orleans.

Number in Household: - 1 human, 2 cats -- Jean, female, 47, two cats, Winnie, male, 15, Dora female, 5

After Katrina my husband and I moved four times before coming back to New Orleans nine months after the storm. We had been lucky compared to many, but in order to return to New Orleans we had to sell or give away most of our possessions and we came back dead broke. We were both affected negatively by the instability and uncertainty brought on by Katrina, the repeated moves, my poor health, the inability to find work that could support us and extremely high stress all of this caused.

A week after we returned home, my husband walked out on me with no warning --leaving me disabled with no income, no insurance, no transportation, no place to live and no hope. He has refused any attempt to talk since then. I was very nearly committed to a mental hospital because I sunk so far into depression and desparation that I was unable to function.
Through the amazing kindness of others -- many of them people who never knew me and I have never met -- I recieved comfort, clothing, emotional support and more. I was also taken to a psychiatrist and a doctor to get the mental and physical help that I couldn't get for myself but so very desperately needed. I narrowly avoided eviction, homelessness, committment, loss of my foot to Diabetes and the horror of having to give up my precious cats.
Right now I am waiting to hear about the decision on my Social Security Disability claim -- the spousal support which I am receiving is barely enough to cover my bills and is only in effect until just after the first of the year -- after which I have no idea what will happen or where I will be.

I would love to have a Merry Christmas before I am plunged back into worry and uncertainty. The outpouring of help that was recieved is now gone since over a year has past since Katrina. I do not think that I am entitled to any help, but if someone is ABLE to assist me I would be forever in their debt.

Current Living Arrangements: - Apartment

Help: - Red Cross, FEMA; UU Church members in Hendersonville NC, Jefferson Parish Human Services Authority, Medical Center of LA at New Orleans.

Needs: PRAYERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Foods: Cat food both "wet" and dry -- they prefer Whiskas or Meow Mix Pouches and Purina One Dry but any kind is good! They also love Whiskas Cat Treats.

Human Foods: Soy Nut Butter, Oatmeal, Grits, Bread Crumbs, Cannned Squash, Canned Beets, Canned Turnip, Mustard or Collard Greens. Canned Okra with Tomatoes, Canned Tomatoes (stewed and plain), Raisins, Canned Fruits (low sugar), Splenda, Crackers, Spices -- Mrs Dash and others, Sugar Free Iced Tea Mixes or Sugar Free Drink Mixes, Coffee with Chicory, "Peanut Free" Almonds or other nuts.

Paper Products: Any type and brand, not picky.

Computer Supplies: HP 92 and 93 printer cartridges.

Cleaning Supplies: Again, anything, not particular about brands.

Household Supplies: A "medium" size pot with cover would be great -- somehow I wound up with a GIANT pot and a tiny pot, no nice medium sized one. I could also use a collander, a pair of kitchen shears, a set of knives, a blender, a small food processor, a crock pot and a toaster.

Clothing: I usually wear 6x tops, the brand "Personal Touch" fits very well in a 6x and in SOME 5x - Colors in any combination of black, blue, purple, green, red. For pants I usually take a 4x or 5x in a stretch or "slinky" material in black or navy - the Maggie Barnes brand fits well. For panties I wear a size 15 in a full panty. Bras can be a 54C or 54D depending on fullness of the cup. I could also use a pair of Diabetic Shoes -- I take a size nine in a SIX E width -- very hard to find and expensive. And very large no-elastic diabetic socks.

Stores you shop at: Wal Mart, Winn Dixie, Big Lots, Dollar Tree, and Catherines. I would love to be able to shop at Michael's, Borders, Barnes and Noble, and

Other: Catholic Bible, Crucifix, small statue of St Gertrude of Nivelles or St Francis of Assisi, St Gertrude of Nivelles or St Francis of Assisi Medal, Weight Watchers Online Membership or membership in another online weight loss program, Sewing Machine, Sewing Light, Scented Candles, Spray Deoderant, Advil or Aleve. Gift Certificates....

I would be happy with ANY of these items "pre-owned" (used) -- [well maybe not the under garments]

I know that if the distance between us was not so great that we would be terrific friends. You have been a rock for so many people and I really am amazed that you are back helping again when you face such personal and familial challenges yourself!

I have had a few episodes of breathing problems with my O2 sats going down as low as 56 and 65 on different days with 87 or so being about average. But overall I have had more good times than bad.

I got a rollator walker that helps me be more steady on my feet when I have to stand and walk a little. It has a seat so I can flop down and catch my breath when I need to!

Also under the good news category is that I was cleared for and I have been doing a medically supervised Pulmonary rehab program which is allowing me to get moving and to begin building much needed stamina. I have been progressing well because I feel confident nothing will happen while I am being watched and monitored. (or if it does the hospital is connect to the building where I have the rehab workouts)

Unfortunately, I am about 1 month away from running out my coverage for Phase II and the Medicare Advantage plan I have does not cover Phase III at the rehab center where the respiratory therapists work. They feel that once one graduates from the Phase II that going to a regular gym/fitness center should be good. Alas, while I am on 3 lpm at home and 5 lpm when doing simple activities, when I exercise at the Pulmonary Rehab center I am on 8-10 lpm! Plus I am monitored at all times -- partially due to my need for such a high flow (I can still drop to 82 or so on 10 lpm while exercising!) . I am scared that all the good I have done with the Phase II program will be lost when I can no longer go there and work out under the conditions I need to have. They charge $176 quarterly for the Phase III if no insurance is picking it up. THAT would be the ULTIMATE assistance if someone could adopt my rehab!!!

If there is anyone who can help, I could still use a pair of diabetic shoes and some extra wide diabetic socks. Both are in the extreme extra large sizes so I would have to arrange for them to get them from an online source or directly from my podiatrist. He charges $140 for the shoes and the inserts that I need. I only have one pair of shoes -- the ones Medicare allows -- and well, having one pair of shoes is pretty darned sad! LOL The socks are not cheap either ---they are around $13 a pair! I have 4 pairs of socks but I only can wash clothes once every week or so... In between, the socks get a spritz with some dollar store fabric freshener and deodorant....I know, yucky huh?

Speaking of dollar stores, I don't even know if such a thing exists but I do a lot of shopping for cleaning supplies and some basic house items at Dollar Tree. A gift card or certificate for them would be terrific too! As would be a Wal Mart card...I get cat food, my food and almost anything else I need there too...they have the little motorized carts that I can use to get around.

I also would still love a Catholic Bible. The lady with whom I had brief contact last year never followed through. I still use my other Bible but being a Catholic having the special version for Catholics would ease my heart. A small statue or a medal of St Francis of Assisi would be much appreciated as well -- I have sorta adopted him as my Patron because of my affinity for animals.

An extremely lightweight vacuum cleaner would make my life easier and my house cleaner. My normal, heavy vac became too hard for me to use and the little stick vac/electric broom thing that I got from my dad bit the dust -- probably literally with having to pick up after cats. But I have to keep things clear even if it is hard because the lungs can't handle dust. (It takes me up to three hours to vacuum my 500 sq ft apt and the kitchen is not carpeted! LOL )

I know this is a long list and it's still a long shot that anyone will be able to help. As before I would ask that all families with children be adopted BEFORE my name is even considered. Kids have to have Christmas!!!!!!!!!!!!

got the boxes -- thank you SO much...the pots are beautiful and I can't wait to try the sewing machine.

Right now I am not able to stay in my apartment because the AC is broken! It got to 100 degrees in there so me and the cats are temporarily by my parents.

PLEASE let me know if there is ANYTHING I can do to help you out. You've been so supportive and good to me, I really would love to be able to assist you in return!

Thinking of you and thanking God for sending you to me.

It's Pulmonary Hypertension and some sort of unspecified Obstructive Lung Disease. According to the doctors both are *PROBABLY* related to my Sleep Apnea which is related to my size. (Though hospital food helped me lose about 12 pounds in 2 weeks and I am at my lowest weight in 10 years! LOL Some side effect!)
Despite doing every test in the book (Haha, the resident that was taking care of me actually showed me his little pocket book of conditions and tests etc.) except a Lung Biopsy (apparently, they are 99% sure it is not cancer, so they did not want to risk a biposy where they have to knock me out considering all the other problems I have.) They actually did a couple of the tests twice!
And indcidentally, I was stuck for IVs, arterial blood gasses and other procedures 21 times...and they took 26 vials of blood!
I was the Mystery Diagnosis of the month -- I was even presented at a Lung Conference to see if anyone there had an idea of what else they could do to get a more specific diagnosis...but alas, I remain a mystery...*sigh* I know they say women should be a little mysterious but this is ridickerous...hehe. I am trying to keep my sense of humor since I find this hard to swallow.
I know you were trying to find me some help and I was totally unable to get back to you or get emails for two weeks...because I just got back from two weeks in the hospital --- I have lung problems and I am going to have to be on home oxygen. They also prescribed medicines that would cost about $1000.00 a month. Since my income is ZERO dollars a bodes not so well for me.

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