Had an experience I want to share with you. It brings up some good points for me to make me think about emergency preparedness. Maybe this story will for others. Day started out normally. Was out shopping with my wife. Once we got home she started complaining of very bad stomach pains. Not long after that she was violently ill. She said she was going to pass out and I should call 911. That is the number we call in the US for emergency help. The 911 operator had told me to unlock the front door and leave the porch light on. Soon after fire crew and paramedics were in the house. I have two inside cats and knew they would run outside when the emergency crew arrived and left the door open as they brought in their gear. Being completely blind, I could not find or catch our cats as they scampered all around our house. My wife loves our cats as I do, so I did not want them to get away and cause my wife even more stress then she was in already. Luckily just then help arrived to help me catch our cats and put them in a room and shut the door. When the emergency crew arrived they tried to make room for the gurney by moving tables and chairs without luck. I tried to stay out of the way as all of the people rushed back and forth all around me as I stood in the hallway. I stood there listening to all the commotion, trying to distinguish voices I might know from those I did not know. Most of the emergency team was in the room with my wife. Even some neighbors were over. Very soon they picked up my wife and carried her to the ambulance. I did not know they had carried her out at the time. I found out later from my wife. I never got to say good bye to my wife. There was so much commotion I did not even know what was happening. All I knew was she was gone. I was alone then wondering how I would get to the hospital to be with her. Her parents said they would bring me after they had eaten some dinner. I am diabetic and was in the middle of eating and had just given myself insulin, so I took the opportunity to finish eating some food. I put on my jacket and filled the pockets with snack food, not knowing when I would come home from the hospital. Being diabetic I need to make sure I have snacks and do not skip meals. Soon I was waiting at the hospital with my wife. She could barely talk because of the pain and discomfort. She had some monitors on her as well as an IV in her giving her fluids. We got home early the next morning. She was still very sick, so I had to take care of myself and her at the same time. I had to make sure I gave myself injections of insulin and was eating properly, or the best I could. I am recently blind and do not know how to cook or do a lot of things around the house. After loosing my vision I concentrated on keeping my job so I have neglected these household skills. I soon found I need to know where some things are in the place I live.
Challenges and Learnings
• Make sure you know where all your medication is. This includes anyone else in house, including pets. If you are blind they need to be labeled so you can distinguish different bottles of medication.
• If diabetic, make sure you know where all of your supplies are and know how to use them with your particular disability. In my case I need a talking glucometer and a count a dose to fill the syringes with the proper amount of insulin without sight.
•Know where the food is in your house. If completely blind, make sure you can determine what is what. • If you have pets, you need to know where the food is and other related things your pets may need.
Does anyone else have any stories they would like to share to help others? Any tips to help us be prepared for unexpected events?
Look forward to hearing from you.
Contributing Author, Global Dialogue Center