Monday, April 18, 2011

A Nurse's Note vol.8 "Temporary Housing"

This is a blog entry by a Japanese nurse who joined emergency response team at shelters in damaged area, due to a series of earthquake and tsunami hit Eastern Japan, on March 11, 2011.  Originally, these entries were written in Japanese, and spoken widely in Japanese.  I decided to translate and summarize her notes in English, so that more people can understand what is actually going on in Japan.

She is a nurse who works in Tokyo, and her hospital formed emergency medical response team after series of massive earthquake and tsunami hit Eastern Japan on March 11, 2011.
You can find the previous entry in here: A Nurse's Note vol.7 "Runa-chan (Little Runa)"
The first entry of this story is here: A Nurse's Note vol.1 "To The Damaged Area"


March 19, 2011

It was noisy and alive in school field from the morning.
I could see trucks were coming in more and more.
They were bringing the material for temporary housings.
I did high-five with scary-looking-but-warm-heart truck drivers.

It was a great and happy news, even though there was a waiting list.  It was a better news than yesterday.

There were also emergency vehicles from DOCOMO and au, to recover cell phone signals. There were more people who could get in touch with their family members.
So I did another high-five with DOCOMO staff.

I was getting used to my sticky hear and no make-up and dirty face. We all cheered ourselves up, washing off faces with oolong tea from bottles.
I hoped for water.

Then I found more better news.

It was warm. It was spring sunlight.
Please don't get cold any more.

And the express busses resumed operation between Morioka and Rikuzen Takata, for twice a day!

There was another good news!

An old lady, we sent to emergency care from our shelter, recovered and came back here.
We said, "Welcome back!!"
She said, "I'm home."

It was like a home.

Our uniform had a print "NURSE/看護師", and we though it might be hard to read in English and Chinese character for kids and seniors.
So we used duct tape to write "Kangoshi (nurse)" in katakana.
My tape fell off, while working and sleeping in it, and it was now saying "Kangon".
So all of kids and people called me "Kangon-san", or later, "Gon-chan!", but made me happy.

I had gone to the town next to us yesterday, and called my friend, asking "Please inform people that small community centers are not receiving food and supplies."
Today, the shelter received the food and supplies in the late afternoon, finally.

A man fron Self Defense Military said, "There were calls to Akita to Kyusyu that you don't have enough supplies in here. It is a small shelter, but all of the nation heard you."
It was a relay of life.

I deeply appreciate everybody who paid attention to us, and cooperate.

A baby who had diaper rush and her butt was red like a monky, received more diapers and cream.
There were food like "Miso nigiri", Yakurt, and "Nice stick" from Yamazaki Pan.
From now toward midnight, more medication, IV, and aspirators were supposed to be delivered from Tokyo's hospitals.

My stay was extended from ending on 21st to 23rd of March.

We were preparing to send admitted patients to hospitals in other prefectures. It was beyond proper medical care in here.
Patients might get worried about moving, and their families might not be able to visit so often. However, these patients need proper treatment right now.

In the meeting today, we found there was a survivor after 9 days, in Kesennuma.
We were all happy about this news, but on the other hand, it was still true that lots of senior people were dying in shelters after they surveved from tsunami and earthquake.

We used to want save life as many as possible, but now, we want to save everybody's life.

It is tough for everybody.
My power might be so little.

But may everybody gather up for bigger power.

Continued to volume 9 "Moonlight".


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