We all get vulnerable at one point although we hate to admit it. I was reminded of my own vulnerability in a local hospital the other day.
Maria, my life partner’s uncle (favorite uncle) had gotten a stroke. This ugly moment gave me a vivid reminder of what my mother had gone through for 6 years until she passed away.
Of course we called the ambulance and he was rushed to the hospital (no time to feel vulnerable at this point) but as we get into the waiting room of the emergency area …this is where it hits me. OK, we reacted quickly but given the state of the emergency room, the medical staff, the mayhem, the rest of the people in the waiting room with the same worried look on their faces, this is when Vulnerability sets in.
We wait; no one tells us anything; we’re desperate and we want news – any news from a doctor – any doctor, but it doesn’t come.
I don’t care if you are rich, smart, powerful, poor or a celebrity …we are all mortals and life compels us to live those uncomfortable moments. In fact I was thinking while in the emergency waiting room that even if Vitali Klitschko was in the same room, he’d feel vulnerable too! He’s a big guy, strong, tough. He is as vulnerable as I am right now. He would be scared, worried and terrified that one of his family members is suffering.
What’s my point? Don’t fight it when you’re feeling vulnerable.
OK, so what do you do about it?
Even if you have private health insurance and you get better hospital service the result is the same – you are vulnerable. By the way, your loved one that is ill is not vulnerable at this point – it’s too late. They are suffering and they are too busy battling whatever ailment they have (if they are conscious enough to know what is happening).
You, on the other hand are vulnerable since you cannot control the situation.
When something this severe and personal happens and it will happen, it’s important to remain cool and calm. It’s human nature for you to panic and in the intensity of the moment, you cannot think straight because this crisis is too personal. Before this happens, let me give you a few suggestions:
1) Have the data of the local, preferred hospital ready and have 2-3 numbers for ambulances. We had to call 3 ambulances before the last one (SMURD) came. This is not a good time to start looking for ambulance numbers on the Net. File these numbers under the word ‘emergency”.
2) Have all the data of your loved one handy in Outlook or your contact file (full name, CNP, Social security number, date of birth, full address) where you normally put business -type data. In my case, I didn’t even know the full name of her uncle. Imagine if I was the one who had to register him at the hospital!
3) Have someone help you. When an emergency occurs to a loved one, have a friend or relative help as a backup (inform them in advance that you may call them). This friend or relative can help you deal with the details and they can think straight when you can’t.
4) If your spouse or loved one has a rare blood type, put this also in the Outlook or contact file as well as a blood type and a mobile number of a potential blood donor with the same blood type.
What I described above is simple planning.
You cannot prevent a medical emergency but you can plan what will inevitably happen to you and therefore minimizing your vulnerability.