We don’t know what the future holds, as nearly every shift in a trauma hospital reminded me. I would encounter patients who never expected that their day, and sometimes their life, would end in the ER or ICU that night. John Lennon wrote “Beautiful Boy” for his 5 year old son: “Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans.” The song was released the year of Lennon’s murder at age 40. He certainly wasn’t expecting that.
We think our lives will proceed according to a plan and a schedule set by us, and seem surprised when it doesn’t. Most people don’t leave the house thinking, “Today would be a good time to have an accident.” But, you never know what life will toss in your path. It’s only in retrospect that you look back and think how differently a day turned out than what you expected. Part of the reason that people have insurance is to provide some protection in the event of a major malfunction. Working as a chaplain has alerted me to steps people might take In Case of Emergency (ICE). While it’s impossible to consider all the possibilities, recording some ICE details beforehand may alleviate your distress.
A typical admission to the emergency room is from a motor vehicle accident. For many, a smartphone is your brain outside your body. You think that everything anyone needs to know is stored right there. There are potential problems relying on your phone: it may be broken, ejected, locked, or secured by accident investigators. If your phone wasn’t restrained, it may be unusable, damaged or lost. If your phone is password protected and you are unconscious, who has access? Your personal items may be confiscated by those probing the accident while you are transported to the hospital. What information do you have memorized? There are times when a low tech index card trumps electronics.
With all of the cards in your wallet, few people have one that includes emergency contact info and a medical history summary. Even if you can speak for yourself, can you recite dosages for daily meds? Who are your contacts and how can they be reached? Whose your doctor? After a shock, you may not be thinking clearly.
Reading this blog doesn’t mean you will act, but if you are inclined, there are templates that allow you to fill out your information and print a card. Use the search term: free printable emergency medical card.
Life happens, but with forethought and preparation, you can have some peace of mind. Just in case…
© Joan S Grey, 13 APR 2018
IndexCardCure™: Life happens