Recently I was chatting with an 85-year-old cousin, a medical doctor. He’s a widower now. He was very interested in how I worked out the logistics of my nomadic lifestyle—for example, how I manage things like snail mail and medical checkups when I house-sit for people in places far from my previous home.
I explained I use my daughter’s address as my permanent address; she generously, periodically, forwards my mail–bless her heart! I explained that I had a doctor in California with whom I check in when I returned there. That doctor calls in prescription renewals for me and I can pick them up in any state—thanks to computerized services in pharmacies.
Then Cousin got a bit wound-up and said something like, “Why, you’re only one small stroke or a broken hip away from disaster! What would you do then?”
My answer to him was, “I know—but that’s true for everyone, regardless of age or location. Yet I may be decades away from something debilitating. Why should I restrict my life and activities now in anticipation of some far off disaster?”
He said, “Well, that’s true.” Then he repeated his point.
I repeated my point.
We left it there.
But Cousin got my attention.
What I’ve come up with to address such concerns, as a minimum, is that I need to have a written out plan: My Medical Emergency Plan.
Key people in my life—including family and reliable friends in the towns where I typically housesit—need to have an email copy of that plan which I ask them to file and keep. I’ll ask the friends before I send, though. I should probably also carry a printed copy in the glove compartment my car as well.
Here are the topics I plan to include:
Family contact information—name, relationship, email, phone number
My medical insurance numbers and where I carry my ID cards
My current prescription medications; relevant medical info like recent hospitalizations
My primary doctor’s info; other doctors’ info
My car insurance company, phone number
My AAA auto-service number
List of places I frequently housesit and contact info for friends there
My phone number and, separately, my pass-code to my phone
Who my Power of Health Attorney is; where my health directive is
Where the original of my Will is, where other important papers are
In the event of my death, what cremation/burial I want
Now, what have I forgotten?
Dear Reader, if you think of something, please go to my contact info on this site and let me know. I’ve turned off the Comments option on my blog because of spam.
And please have something similar to this for yourself, regardless of whether you’re a global traveler or a stay-at-home. You’ll be relieved to have this sort of thing clearly communicated to your loved ones.
Thank you, Cousin-Doctor!