do you know?

Do you know about your mom’s, dad’s, sister’s or brother’s medical history? If you had to take one of them to the emergency room, would you be able to answer all those questions about family history and what they are allergic too, their date of birth, their social security number, their health insurance information? Do you know what current medication they take? Do they know that information about you?  Do you know who would take care of the family pet in case of an emergency, do you have the contact numbers? Do they have that information about you? Does your emergency contact know this information? Do you know what their medical wishes are or who their power of attorney is and do you have a copy of that information? Do they have yours? Do you know who would take care of the kids in case of an emergency, whom your nieces or nephews would be taken care of by? Do you know how many surgeries they’ve had in the past or if they are allergic to the anaesthesia?

I know we all put that kind of stuff on the back burner because it’s not going to happen anytime soon, yes, we have emergency contact written down on medical plans and on wills and things but rarely do we share that kind of information with others, even family members.

I use my sister and my mom as emergency contacts but I know they have no idea what medication I’m currently taking, what I’m allergic too beside pencillin, who would take care of the furkids in case of emergency and all those questions that they ask in emergency room or hospital. Come to think of it, my emergency contacts don’t even have a key to my place.

And I have no idea about my sister’s information. I didn’t know our family history on my mom’s side, I didn’t know that my grandmother and her mother and her mother before that have had aneurysms and have stroke history. I didn’t know that much about my mom’s history and yet I was the emergency contact yesterday.  I’ve never seen my mom looking so frail and so old before, she’s not that old, she doesn’t normally look that old but yesterday was a different story and I didn’t know all the answers and I couldn’t answer all the questions. Made me think, she has no idea about me besides what I’ve told her in the past and in an emergency situation, would she remember all the details if I couldn’t speak for myself?

And maybe its time we sat down and wrote all that information out and hand it off to our emergency contacts, it could save our lives someday.