Good Days…Bad Days With Maureen Pratt

Maureen Pratt Author PicMore than ever, if you have a chronic illness, you tend to rely on some form of technology. I’m reminded of this especially today, when several technical systems in business seem to be experiencing technical “glitches” that have resulted in temporary shut-downs (United Airlines, for example, was grounded for a few hours, and even as I type this, the New York Stock Exchange is, in great part, also down due to technical issues).

How does this relate to those of us with chronic illness? And, how can we avoid problems due to tech troubles?

Here are some things that might help us be better prepared if the technology we rely on suddenly goes “down”:

1) Keep a paper copy of all medical test records and physician assessments – if a data base is lost, you’ll be able to recreate your file more easily.

2) Try not to wait until the last minute to refill prescriptions – if your pharmacy or insurance company system goes down, you might not be able to get your refills exactly when you want and/or need them.

3) Maintain a reliable form of communication at home and elsewhere – Is your cell service unreliable? You might want to also keep a landline in case of cell transmission failure in an emergency. Also, maintain a reliable portable phone so that you can communicate when you are on the road.

4) Invest in a wearable medical emergency identification tag and notification system. If you are in an accident and unable to communicate, you will need appropriate and immediate assistance; it might take up extra time for someone to find and explore your purse or wallet for an emergency contact and other information, but if you are wearing a bracelet or other id “tag,” the information will be more readily available.

5) Keep some cash on hand at all times. ATMs are wonderfully convenient, but they, too, can stop working if there is a power outage or other technical problem. Help yourself cope with these potential problems by maintaining some physical cash where it is easily accessible.

6) Communicate with neighbors, building managers, and others about any mobility issues and assistance you might need in case of elevator malfunctions. This is especially important in case of fire or other emergency; if you need assistance in evacuating, you’ll want to make sure that information is in the right hands!

These are a few of the important items to consider so that you’ll be ready if our modern technology fails us – please share any others so we can all benefit and be even better prepared!