Friday, September 7, 2012

Caught Unprepared

We had a scare last Sunday morning and I thought we were going to have to make a run to the ER. The nurse woke me at 4:30AM because Maggie was struggling to breathe. I flew down the stairs and started pulling out all my tricks to calm her down so she could breathe normally. I put her in her chair because sitting her upright is better than being flat. We also changed the trach while the nurse suctioned and cranked up the oxygen. It didn't seem to be helping, but Maggie was so panicked it was hard to tell.

I figured we better go and I started grabbing things I would need. As I raced around the house grabbing things I realized how unprepared we were. It used to be that everything was in a bag ready  to go, but Maggie has been so stable lately that bag has been put away. I could see that Maggie was calming down, but I wasn't positive she was ok and kept gathering things.

As it turned out, she did recover fine and we did not go to the hospital, but I learned a lesson from that and have been getting an emergency kit back together for easy access. Now that I am Maggie's conservator, I have to include those papers in my emergency kit so that  I can make decisions for her. I decided to put the papers I needed regarding the conservatorship, her medical history including allergies and medications and  a copy of the insurance cards in an envelope in the nurse's chart. They are marked as for emergency use and I can grab them in a flash.

I will put her emergency bag back in the hall closet with a change of clothes, some food, feeding tubes, diapers, catheters, books, a change of clothes etc ready to go. Then I will just have to grab my phone and charger and her music we can hit the road.

I figure if I'm ready we won't need it.

I would make a suggestion to anyone out there caring for a person with special health care needs. Do a history on the computer and include the medications and allergies and update it whenever there are changes. It's so easy to get the doctors up to speed when you arrive and they are very appreciative of the organized delivery of information. I also put it on a flash drive that I keep in my purse so they can copy and paste if Maggie gets admittted. I know the information is correct and complete and avoid scary mistakes.  I even bring a copy with me to the various medical appointments because it is just too hard to remember all the drugs and dosages. If anyone wants my template I'm happy to provide it. I just made it up, but it has everything you need!



  1. I would LOVE a copy. I made an extensive Life Plan for Sophie, but it was nearly ten years ago, and it sort of overwhelms me to start modifying it!

  2. Excellent advice. Thank you, Sally.


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