It happened two years ago.
I awoke in the middle of the night, my tongue swollen so big that it filled my mouth. I was having a major allergy attack. Very frightened, I lay there a minute, thinking what to do. Waking Bo wasn’t an option. He wouldn’t understand and couldn’t help me, couldn’t even call for help, if necessary.
Luckily, I already had an allergy kit with fast-acting Benadryl, two Epi-pens and prednisone, along with printed directions for using them.
So I went downstairs, gauging the reaction, looking for a sign of my throat closing with anaphylactic shock. Should I call someone? Fortunately, the Benadryl worked. I had the pen in my hand but didn’t use it; the swelling started to abate.
And then I began thinking. If something happened to me and I had to be taken to the hospital – or worse, I needed an emergency plan so Bo would be taken care of. He wouldn’t understand what was happening to me and couldn’t take care of himself or our pets.
So I began to plan, talking with friends and family, asking for their input. I ended up with a rather elaborate Emergency Plan which is now posted inside our front door. It begins with a phone chain – who would be called first, then whom he would contact, and so on.
I included medical directions, information about important papers and documents, a list of friends, family and neighbors and how they could help, doctors, phone numbers and addresses. I had to include someone to oversee my own care. At the time I made the plan, my mother was living, so I included her care, but now that section has been removed.
I had to find friends who would take the cats and dog temporarily or permanently if the need arose, and then left detailed information about each pet’s care: daily diets, routines and veterinarian.
Finally, I distributed copies along with a set of house keys to everyone involved, including my lawyer. And the most important copy – posted inside our front door.
I want to believe that if I’m really well prepared – well, you know, they say that what we plan for never happens. I’m hoping.