Early last week, my special needs kid, who has epilepsy, was having a hard time. He bit off the tip of his finger (just the fleshy part, but still) from anxiety. He kept having seizure after seizure.
Eventually, he was rushed to the ER for seizures that were lasting way too long. There, he was altered and sometimes nonresponsive.
We spent three long days in the hospital. He is recovering, but still struggling.
When we got home, I wasn't feeling so well. By morning, it was clear that I was very sick. My husband drove me to the doctor's office. The doctor could not get me to respond to anything, including pain stimulus, and called 911.
Turns out, I was exhausted, dehydrated, had low oxygen levels, and had strep throat.
I'm still sick, but better. The oxygen levels were low because of the swollen throat and not asthma, thank goodness.
Through all this, you'd suspect that I wouldn't open my planner much.
On the contrary, my planner saved my sanity.
The notes in my planner helped the doctors to diagnose and treat us.
In the ER for my child, I was able to give details on the durations and details of the seizures based on notes in my planner.
In the ER for me, while I was passed out, my husband was able to find and give them the medications list in the Files/Notes section of my planner. He looked it up on the planner index while I was unconscious.
On the first day that we went to the hospital, I realized I needed a bunch of stuff at home. So I started a list, right on my daily pages.
A daily plan lets me stay calm in a crisis, since I don't have to remember everything and can concentrate on the important stuff.
In our case, that list meant someone else could run by my house and pack the things that we needed at the hospital.
There are things that need to happen, even in the direst circumstances.
Having a daily checklist is important for keeping life running smoothly, but it is critical in a crisis.
I noted on my daily checklist that I still needed to take my meds and make a prep plan daily, and that someone else had to water my plants.
If I hadn't had my calendar, I would have been lost. I had to reschedule doctors' appointments and therapy, arrange backup care for my other child, and generally deal with the rest of life.
Having an up-to-date calendar at all times that shows an overview is MORE important in a crisis than any other part of the planner.
I blurred the picture on purpose, but all those scratch-outs? Stuff I canceled to be in the hospital with my kid.
While I was recovering from my own hospital stay, I had to note the times I took my meds. I had to deal with pharmacies and follow-ups.
I've never had such a bad memory as during this week.
A simple log on a daily plan freed my mind to rest.
It's not how I usually use my daily plan, but it worked. It's important to standardize how I use my planner so that I know where to find and put information, but having flexibility on the daily pages is priceless.
We are okay. It will take a while to fully recover, but my son and I both will be better.
In the meantime, my planner was the MOST important tool for getting us there.
The doctors at the hospital told me my charting was even better than the nurses! Good thing, as it helped us figure out the seizures.
If you still haven't set up your planner, take a moment and create one. Learn to use it now, while things are stable.
Even if you don't carry a planner, consider an emergency plan - complete with a hospital packing list for family, an extra phone charger (trust me...someone will need this), an updated prescription list, and an updated medical history.
If you have kids, have a list of sitters available to call. Consider sitters near your nearest trauma center, too, even if no one close to the family lives there.
When crisis comes, you'll be ready for anything.
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