(FYI this is a repost) Inconceivable Ian! The pictures from Southwest Florida, which I consider my home away from home, are unbelievable. My parents have a place in Marco Island, which fortunately appears to have escaped serious damage, but the disruption to areas like Sanibel Island and Fort Myers Beach seems insurmountable.
When I say the word "inconceivable" in my head, I always see the image of the character, Vizzini, from the movie "Princess Bride," one of my all-time favorite movies. It was also one of the first major roles for Robin Wright, who went on to play in Forrest Gump and more recently in the show "House of Cards." This show is based on a corrupt political couple (the Underwoods) who rise to the Presidency after Francis Underwood served as a Congressperson from Gaffney, South Carolina. I managed to watch both the movie and some episodes of the House of Cards this weekend while taking breaks from hurricane coverage and cleanup. I would certainly hope that House of Cards is not based on actual events, but given the news coverage of politics these days, I am left to wonder!
While compared to Florida and Pawley's Island, Charlestonians dodged a bullet with the storm, but it was still nasty. As we continue with the cleanup, it is important to note that most accidents from hurricanes occur during the aftermath and the cleanup. Many injuries fall within the scope of wound care and hence, plastic surgery. The wounds people incur during the clean-up, which can be nasty in and of themselves, are often complicated by serious infections due to contaminated waste and water. So be careful, seek medical attention if needed, and don't forget to stay up to date on your Tetanus shots!
Given the extent of the destruction in Florida, I felt compelled to look into volunteering to help. I reached out to Samaritan's Purse and was interested in positions for medical volunteers. Samaritan's Purse is not providing medical services for this disaster, and you may remember that they set up a MASH-like medical tent in Central Park during Covid, I view this as a good sign, meaning that local hospitals are able to meet the needs of their residents. I have also heard that Tampa hospitals are absorbing the medical needs of South Florida as well. However, Samaritan's Purse does have plenty of opportunities for volunteers willing to help on the construction front. Unfortunately, I do not feel that my skill set lends itself to putting tarps on roofs, etc. I manage to get banged up and bruised with the simplest of household projects! Just ask my staff on any Monday morning!
At the same time that the wrath of Ian was unleashing its destruction, I also heard a news story (yes, I watched a lot of news coverage over the last 5 days!) of another study that touts the benefits of hugs for heart damage through the release of oxytocin. I have long known the positive effects of hugs to improve Takotsubo Cardiomyopathy, a heart condition caused by emotional stress. Through my dear friend, Liz Tyson, I have become familiar with an organization called The Comfort Cub which was founded by a woman named Marcella Johnson. Marcella tragically lost a son shortly after birth, causing profound grief with physical effects; amazingly, the weight of sadness and her physical symptoms lifted when her father handed her a heavy plant, and hence the story of the weighted "cub" began. These weighted cubs, when hugged, have afforded relief to countless individuals who have suffered from loss. The cubs were delivered to Uvalde last spring. Those suffering from Ian and who lost everything would likely benefit from a Comfort Cub! But they at least need hugs!
For my song of the week, I am circling back to Princess Bride and to Mark Knopfler, who sang the theme song for the movie. But instead of the movie theme song, I want to highlight another Dire Straight hit from 1985, "Brother's in Arms." We are living in scary times. North Korea launched a missile over Japan this morning, war rages on in Ukraine, and South Florida looks like a war zone. But at the end of the day, we are "One," the title of another great song by U2.
We are all facing higher prices at the pump and at the grocery store. Just a little friendly reminder that if you are interested in some filler, and either want a more minimal correction or are worried about the impact on the wallet, Allergan does sell 1/2 size syringes. Stay posted for specials on our social media sites as well as promotions from Allergan. If you don't have an Alle account with Allergan, now is a great time to sign up to maximize those rewards. Call us anytime if you have any questions!
I hope everyone has a great week and can return to normalcy after the storm. I've started working on the next podcast. Feel free to send us feedback or suggestions on plastic surgery topics for upcoming episodes!
'Til next time,
Heidi Williams, MD