We never know when something could go wrong or we need additional help, and the best way to manage this is to be prepared and have a plan.
We all know that when there is a natural disaster, we usually have a plan of where we will evacuate to, who we will contact, and what essentials we need to take with us.
This plan is exactly what we need to have ready to go just in case when we are dealing with a chronic condition. Thinking about these things ahead of time and discussing with the people close to you, helps to limit the unnecessary stress on yourself and others in the critical moments.
Plan for emergencies. Decide before an incident and make a plan:
- Who is your main contact? Who can you call for help? This may be your next of kin, your neighbour, emergency services, helplines, and support services. Have their phone number as accessible as possible!
- If you need emergency treatment, does someone close to you know how to administer it? Make sure the people around you know how to help you.
- At what point do you call for help? Know your limits when dealing with symptoms and it is best to be safe and overreact, than to put yourself in a dangerous situation.
- Where will you go if you have an issue? We may not need emergency services to attend to us, but do your research to find out which medical clinics and pharmacies close by are open at all times.
- What do you need help with? It may be difficult symptoms, accessibility or transport, whatever you could possibly need help with, make sure the people around you know.
- What do you need? Consider what items you would need to take with you if you needed to leave quickly or need someone to retrieve for you.
Along with having a plan of action, we need to have our paperwork, devices and essentials in order too. These are some things to consider preparing which can be vital in an emergency and very useful to have accessible and in place.
Plan Support Tools Preparation:
- Health diary – up to date information on your recent symptoms and issues. Read more on my post My Biggest Game Changer: A Health Diary.
- List of emergency contacts, doctors, emergency phone numbers.
- Medical ID bracelets, necklaces, cards or tags with information e.g. allergy, organ donor.
- Medical ID information in your phone for emergency services to access.
- A list of medications you are currently taking and dosages – in your phone, in your health diary, with a carer/another person, on the fridge!
- Medications and scripts in an accessible place or set up electronic medication orders, like in this post about Becoming a Regular At Your Local Chemist.
- Set up your phone with Voice Activation Technology, like Siri, to call for emergency services quickly. Set up and learn shortcuts, and research what emergency apps are available in your area, like Red Cross.
- Check and update your important and legal documents and compile them into an accessible place and keep a copy with a close person, at another location and/or on a cloud drive.
- Write an essentials packing list for emergencies and travel so you know what to grab in a hurry!
- Also consider what things to carry with you at all times – water, snacks, medication, phone, ID cards and equipment.
Having everything ready to go makes us feel more prepared and at ease if anything should happen. Limiting stress while dealing with a chronic condition is usually a #1 goal and anything you can do to help is worthwhile!
I will also be following up with another post on Managing Both A Chronic Condition & An External Crisis, by adding a booster pack plan to your original plan to help limit any additional stress and symptoms over a longer time period. Stay tuned!
Take care, plan ahead, I’ll keep the light on.
Being in pain or managing a chronic condition while also having an external crisis play out in front of you, can really add to the stress and therefore the symptoms that you manage. From my own experiences, here are my suggestions for managing both a chronic condition and an external crisis.
One of the most transformative things that I have implemented in my medical journey was to start a daily diary.
The pharmacist is probably going to be a frequent person you’ll see when managing a medical condition, so it is reassuring to get to know them and their services.