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Saturday, October 31, 2009

Seeing the forest but missing the trees

Through all the articles and discussions we have here, the common thread involves being prepared. But while most subjects are topics in generalities, like food preservation, water storage, gardening, etc. Recent events have shown me that while the forest is in sharp focus, the trees were being overlooked.

This past week of dealing with my Mother's broken hip, her hospitalization, the surgery, her admittance into a Extended Care Nursing Facility and now the subsequent uncertain future, in hindsight, there were little things that hadn't been planned as well or hadn't been considered.

Like having emergency workers get a person on a backboard down a narrow hallway from a small bedroom is tricky, it would of been much easier if the bed and other stuff wasn't right next to the door creating a chokepoint.

But here's some tips I can offer from first hand experience...

MAKE A LIST of all needed medications, with the prescription Number,

The family Doctor's FULL NAME & phone number

Insurance , The Power Of Attorney, Patient ID, Next of Kin and any "Living Will" Instructions.
Print all that on a paper you can give to the emergency responder.
AND ESPECIALLY Keep it by your door, not filed away for safe-keeping where you'll never find it fast. (I had most already available, but the idea of having it written down to give to the first responder) DUH!

Make a go kit...7 days of socks, underwear, nightgowns, shirts, slacks, etc. PRINT FULL NAME, SEWN OR WRITTEN, IN ALL CLOTHING.
Toiletries aren't necessary, they have that stuff at the hospital.
Jewelry isn't necessary, but dentures and glasses are.

Have a cellphone? Take a plug-in charger with you...trust me, you'll need it.

Expect not to get much sleep from now on, despite many attempts. You now have no free time.

Throw your pride away and accept the charity of strangers, gladly, and thankfully.

Accept that there is no need for modesty in a hospital room...expect to see things you may not want to see... it's not a real problem when shit happens...just don't be surprised.

When you talk with the afflicted family member, be happy, honest, loving, and showing nothing but support... (I've got all that covered). Accept that YOU are NOT the most important person in the room. Be aware that you may be in the way, no offense intended, but just let the experts do their job.

You may expect to have your loved one hate you despite all that you do. They really don't, but they are hurt and confused, and not in control of their lives at the moment, I know I'd be a bit testy too.

Your ego and pride has to be put on a shelf. You may feel tremendous guilt, or feel you're a failure, but it's not true... just deal with it.

Remember...PRAYER WORKS!

Get every family member on FACEBOOK! Post. Post often, and the news gets out.


That's all I can think of for the moment, I'm sure there's more, but that'll do for now. I do know this...

This is what real preparation is all about.

2 comments:

American Trucker said...

Excellent Tips. Those are things we should all think about. I'll keep praying for your mom and family

Western Mass. Man said...

Good ideas. Thanks.
Prayers for your mom.

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