Being able to care for someone successfully requires a bit of dark forethought. Someone just pessimistic enough to say, “I need to know your meds, your wishes, and who I need to be in touch with in case something happens.”
It’s like being prepared for a natural disaster in the community, only you are preparing for the day when that person you love and cherish gets ill or has an accident. In either case, you aren’t hoping for it, but a smart person will plan for it anyway!
In our case, I have notebooks in my office with my wife and my children’s medical history, medication lists, and advance directives, wills, etc filed in them.
Yes that seems morbid, but when something happens I know I can go to one spot, grab one item, and have everything I’m going to need for that person.
Ironically, I do not have one of these for myself, though it is something I need to work on.
Beyond those, which I’ll deep-dive into in a later post, I talk to my wife. No I don’t expect her to reveal every detail of her doctor’s visits, but if there’s a medicine change, a plan change, or a concern that’s cropped up we try and keep each other informed on those.
And lastly, for this moment, I have a phone list. People I call when a need arises to pray, to watch kids, to help shuffle people around, and even doctors I need to call to let know of a change in status, hospitalization or even just for advice in the moment.
Now I know this seems a bit excessive, but in an emergency having these things easily accessible while save valuable time and energy. In some cases, simply knowing what medications your loved one is on might save their life, in others it’ll simply be a comfort in knowing who to call or that you have someone there to talk to and pray for you and them.