Lesson Learned… you ARE NOT prepared enough for a sudden dramatic life change. Need proof? Here: http://www.advancearrangements.com/
Jeff & I are computer geeks, almost everything online & electronic, shared, updated, etc., we thought we were extremely organized. Compared to… everyone we know, we are much more prepared than most. We were not, and neither are you, trust me on this!
Yes, Jeff knows my medical history… to a point; and what meds I take… to a point, but it wasn’t enough. Yes, I had this information documented & updated but it wasn’t enough. His electronic version was NOT as current as mine, I had some gaps from not being thorough enough and he was with me at the hospital under duress and unable to look in a cabinet at home; all four kids at school! I only went to the doctor that morning for a headache: http://blog.scottsontherocks.com/blog/2013/04/08/its-not-a-head-achy/
I have all the doctors documented, etc., but it wasn’t enough… when did I see them last, what is the specialty? Now suddenly add 15 more to that list and keep in mind that I briefly couldn’t remember who does what or when!?!
Remember that we rearranged our bedroom & my office just prior to my first of three unplanned, long, hospital stays? Everything non-electronic was, and still is, in boxes!
Then comes all the billing… I was diligent about keeping excellent records, but it was not enough. He could find how to login to accounts but many were autopay, autodraft or emailed (and the milk delivery bill is in the milk box!) and he’s done a fabulous job figuring out which does what. Keep in mind he’s doing it manually and I had an app on my computer that manages life for me with few tweaks. While he knows the app, he couldn’t possibly keep up; it was on my computer, not his and you never touch a woman’s purse (I mean desktop 😉 )!
Fortunately, I’m geeky enough that our family shares electronic copies of contacts (family, friends/neighbors, doctors/dentists, teachers/schools/churches, coaches/instructors/teammates) but could you imagine him trying to figure that out too? from a hospital??! while the kids are in school waiting?!?
Now, he’s been going to doctor appointments with me but his information is not synced in MY version…
In reality, what has been going on is “minor” compared to the sudden loss of a loved one or the catastrophic loss of your house. While I was temporarily down for the count, I have been able to TALK and advise or support. I actually have kept a paper on the fridge (for last 15+ yrs) for emergencies, front & back, that I update regularly. He was able to go to the house (house still standing) and look up items as needed.
Have YOU thought about this? Be honest with yourself. Could your loved ones/friends/babysitter find your medical records, will, bank info, next door neighbors phone number… RIGHT NOW, TODAY? Do your loved ones know if you have an advanced directive or want to donate? Do you have a burial plot? Does your spouse know who and how to contact someone if you miss work? We don’t have a home number for people to call looking. What if your cell phone is off/dead/locked? Think non-medical, you are out of town and house floods or your neighborhood is evacuated for fire, a kid or dog gets sick, kid has a flat in the boonies at night in the snow on a weekend… Yah, we thought we were prepared too… YOU ARE NOT!
I am asking you because the hospital asked me/Jeff… or it’s happened to us. Fortunately, kid that was stranded in the snow had neighbor’s numbers synced with her phone! Some of our neighbors were/are already listed as contacts at the schools. I also know that I haven’t scratched the surface of everything I should be asking you!
Do something about it RIGHT NOW!!! Even if it is something like, setting a reminder to do it when you have some time to do it!! [please make me this promise… that you WILL do something and if it is a reminder, PLEASE set it to nag you!]
If you need guidance, I will freely offer and highly recommend this:
Advance Arrangements, is a very dear friend, tell them I sent you. You will not regret being prepared, I promise.
One Year Ago 08/08/2012: http://blog.scottsontherocks.com/blog/2012/08/08/my-tooth-is-looth/