I'm back. Thank you for all the prayers

The fires are still burning but much more contained. There’s still a lot of smoke in the house and outside. It’s not really visible but causing dry skin, watery/itchy eyes, and scratchy throats. I’m wearing a protective mask, even in the house, as a precautionary measure. There’s likely to be long term residual effects of smoke inhalation down the road.
We were very fortunate to be evacuated while there was still plenty of time to get out but we were urged to go quickly and it was mandatory. The police were at the exit to our neighborhood with a list of all the residents and crossed us off as we left. Then they went around and spray painted a circle in front of every empty house so police knew they were clear.
When we got to the shelter I was having chest pain and was taken by ambulance to the ER. I went from there to the cath lab where they put in a coronary stent. I was discharged the following day and went back to the shelter. My son asked if we could get a hotel for one night so he could take a shower because he had been working his butt off at the shelter. One of the 5 star resorts had reduced their usual $269-$660 per night rooms to $99 so we went there. As we were checking in, a random stranger told the front desk she would pay for our room that night. They called us later and said she was paying for the next night as well. They provided three free meals plus snacks; movies, popcorn, coloring books and crayons for the kids, 250 sets of sheets to the shelter and free use of their gym to evacuees. It was pretty amazing. So many hotels and restaurants contributed rooms and meals there’s no way to adequately thank them all. Even the shelter had restaurant meals delivered. Before we even arrived at the shelter, truckloads of donations had been delivered. If you can name it, somebody donated it.
The first night at the hotel we had dinner with four people we had never met. All of them had lost everything. They were talking and enjoying each other’s company and grateful to be alive. One of them said to me ‘It’s just stuff.’ She’s right but it was humbling none the less.
The following day I stayed at the hotel and my son went back to help at the shelter. That night, I couldn’t sleep because I was so short of breath. I went back to the ER and was admitted with Takotsubo Syndrome, also known as broken heart syndrome. They’re not sure what causes it, but believe it’s from an overdose of stress hormones that stun the heart muscle so it can’t pump at full capacity. Mine was functioning at 25% and I really thought I was going to die. It’s a temporary condition that resolves with medication in 2-8 weeks but it was REALLY scary. I had some problems with some of the medications they gave me because I have a lot of drug sensitivities. The one they gave me for nausea pretty much anesthetized me. My lips went numb. My words were slurred and I couldn’t move my arms or legs. I was terrified I was having a stroke. It took a couple of days for it to wear off but it finally did. I was in the hospital for 8 days.
The overall experience of the fires and evacuations are difficult to put into words. It was very hard to decide what to take and what to leave behind knowing that you might lose it all as thousands of people did. I am very, very grateful that my house survived. I now know what things to have ready to go at a moment’s notice in a disaster. I packed my photos, some clothes, my medications, cash, the dolls I have for sale on reborns.com, and a few kits, mohair, and my paints so I would have a starting point if my house burned. Important things I forgot were my mortgage papers, my birth certificate, my marriage and divorce papers, my homeowner’s insurance policy, my address book (which is my contact with the outside world lol) and a list and value of the contents of my house.
My heart aches for the people who lost loved ones, but considering the magnitude of these fires and the number of people affected, relatively few lives were lost. Some of the firefighters lost their own homes while trying to protect ours, and couldn’t even be with their families. I can’t imagine how hard that was for them, or for their families to know the danger they were in every minute. I have never personally seen such an outpouring of love, caring and connection between strangers as I have during this catastrophe. It has deeply affected me and confirmed my belief of how much good there is in the world.
I’m glad to be back. I missed you guys. A LOT.


Glad your alive!

What a strong person you are! You persevered! It must be very hard though.

Jean, I am very happy you and your family are ok and that you still have your home. What a scary medical situation, too. Welcome back!

Thanks. I’m SO glad to be back.


Thank the good lord you are Okay.

I am teary eyed just reading your words and all you went through. I am so thankful that you are back and that your house survived. My heart goes out to you and all those affected by the devastating fires. I agree with you; it’s in times like this that we find the good in the world, it seems.

Soooo glad you’re back, Jean. (((HUGS)))

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So glad that you’re ok and that you still have a home.

Thank God you are ok :heart:

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And welcome back hugs

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So glad you are back home and doing better now. What a scary time for you and your family!

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The very very important documents I have in a safe from Walmart . It I should fire profe for some hours but don thinks trust it…anyways . It’s not to big but fits the very important once wich are very hard to replace from home from Europa .( live in Canada ) . The box is a bit heavy but I can carry . I know I have to get that box out in case of emergency .

We talked with my daughter to have a memory stick thee with our pictures as well …just in case. Soon I will put togheter that one .
Rest is stuffs but I worked hard for every furniture etc.
The kids would be sorry to loose the stuffies but hopefully this never ever going to happen .

I am glad you are home

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I can’t even imagine what you and your family have gone through and all the other families. I am so glad you are getting better. Your words have made me so grateful for my family. I think sometimes we take things for granted until we see and hear what others have had to go through. God bless you.

This is me, my eyes filled with tears almost instantly.
I am so glad you’re okay and your home was spared. We are glad to have you back!

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Jean, I am so glad you are back home safely. What a scary ride you had! I’m so sorry you had to go through all of the medical misery, but so glad you had access to the care you needed. The hotel sounds like it was wonderful. What lovely generosity people expressed! I hope your home and air are soon clear of smoke - I also find that very irritating. Welcome home and welcome back to the forum!

I’m so sorry for all that you’ve gone through. Praying for healing and protection. Glad that you and your family are okay. This entire situation hurts my heart :pensive:

I’m so glad you are safe but it sounds as though you have had a very traumatic and frightening experience. Enjoy every day in anyway you can that makes you happy.

Welcome back. You will continue to be in my prayers and I hope that each day is better and brighter.

No words just tears, glad you are doing ok.

Welcome back @jeanhai, what a terribly scary time you have had!! I am so thankful that you are ok and your house and family was spared from the devastation of that horrible fire. Blessing to all who made your stay easier for you. It’s really good to know that all is well on the health front, you must have been terrified through the whole ordeal. I’m glad you’re back with us now!!