Planning Ahead For Illness/Emergencies
If you have children, caring for their health needs while managing your own can be a real struggle. Planning ahead is the only way to manage both your and your child’s healthcare needs. Life happens, and sometimes our child has an unexpected illness or injury. Or the whole house comes down with a stomach virus. Ugh!
If we can think ahead about possible problems, it can help us to be prepared. As a parent with chronic health issues, this can make the difference between being okay versus having a crisis.
The Dreaded Bug
If you have school-age children, you know that cold and flu season starts as soon as the school year does. So check your medicine cabinet and ask yourself these questions:
- What over-the-counter medications did you use last year? Tylenol, Pepto-Bismol, cough drops or syrups, vitamin supplements, head lice treatments, essential oils, etc.?
- Do you have these medications/supplements in your supplies?
- Are they expired or almost empty? Get more.
Then check your pantry and ask yourself these questions:
- Do you have an extra package or 2 of toilet paper and a couple extra boxes of tissues?
- What are your preferred liquids in case of upset stomachs? Jello, popsicles, ginger ale, Gatorade, Pedialyte, tea, etc. Add whichever you use to your next grocery shopping list.
Weather & Other Unwanted Messes
These questions might seem too early, but time flies by so here goes:
- If you get weather emergencies in your area, make sure you have a three day supply of non-perishable food and water for each person.
- If you get snow and ice in your area, do you need Ice Melt or salt?
- Check your snow removal equipment. Is it in good operating condition?
- Make a list of anything needed so you can get it when these seasonal items show up in stores.
- Smoke detectors need to be replaced every 10 years! Use a Sharpie to mark the date next to the battery when you install a new one. Do yours need replaced?
- For more information on planning for emergencies, check out this post.
Planning For Doctor Visits
When both you and your child have health issues, life can get very complicated. My youngest son needs a visit to our local Children’s Hospital tomorrow morning. This drive to the hospital will take about 90 minutes give or take due to morning traffic. There is a lot of walking and waiting and then more walking. I find it utterly exhausting, emotionally and physically.
So here’s my plan to make this easier on both of us:
- Check the route for construction. There are never ending road construction projects here.
- Take something to drink and eat.
- Take toll &/or parking money. I keep a plastic baggie for change, so I don’t have to hunt for change with every trip.
- Make sure you have the necessary insurance card(s) and social security number(s). As the parent, you will also need your driver’s license or state id card.
- Make sure you have your own medications/inhalers, that you may need while out.
- Take something to do while waiting for both you and your child. I usually take my Kindle, because it’s lightweight.
- Charge your phone.
- Check if you need gas in your vehicle, if you’re driving.
- If using public transport, check the schedules so you have plenty of time to get there without having to rush.
- If going to a hospital, take a sweater for both of you. These places are usually freezing.
- Leave with plenty of time so you don’t have to rush!
Kids With Complicated Health Problems
My Child’s Experience
When my son was three, he needed treatment for cancer. Since there were many planned and unplanned trips to the hospital, I kept a hospital bag put together all the time. It contained what we both needed if he had to stay in the hospital.
I also kept a binder with all of his records in it. His chemotherapy protocol and every hospital stay for neutropenia were recorded. I wrote down my questions and the answers to them. I also kept track of his at-home medications in it. That binder became my brain. Literally, I remember middle-of-the night hospital admissions, where I would hand my binder to a resident or intern and tell them to read it. I was just too muddled to answer their questions.
Your Child’s Experience
Your child’s doctor is the best person to ask regarding your child’s health needs. Learn all you can about his/her condition(s) and what to watch out for. Ask if there’s anything special that needs to happen if your child gets a stomach bug or a cold. Knowing these things beforehand will keep your child safe and give you peace of mind that you know what to do.
Finally, no one has it all together all the time. Do your best to plan for possibilities and go with the flow when life throws you a wrench! Enlist help whenever possible. Planning ahead will help you and your child flourish!