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The Importance of an Emergency Action Plan (EAP)

As I’ve expressed before, I’m out with my friends a lot. 

As someone with several chronic illnesses, my health can tank at any moment. In fact, it has many many times. 

As a result, my family and I have an emergency action plan. However, that only works when I’m with family. When I’m out with friends, it’s a totally different scenario.

And that was what I experienced yesterday.

I was out playing video games at the local library with a few of my extremely close friends when my friend cracked a particularly funny joke. I started laughing, and that’s when the situation became extremely dangerous.

All of a sudden, my asthma started acting up as my lungs closed. One of my friends, who isn’t good under pressure, walked outside, knowing that his panic just wasn’t going to help the situation. Meanwhile, my best friend grabbed my purse and searched for my inhaler – which wasn’t there.

I’m usually pretty good about keeping my medication in the one purse I always carry with me, and while the rest of my emergency medication was in my designated emergency pocket of my purse, my inhaler was no where to be found. That was definitely a huge mistake on my part, one that is pretty uncharacteristic of me, but in that moment, a somewhat minor situation turned potentially deadly.

What basically saved my life was the fact that my close friends and I have a very well oiled emergency plan set up. For instance, all my medical ID information is on my phone and can be accessed since my friends know my passcode. My insurance card is in my wallet and my close friends and family all know exactly what to tell the police/ambulance when they arrive. Everyone in my life also knows how to administer the Epi Pen in my purse, and if they forget in the heat of the moment, there’s a card in each Epi Pen case detailing exactly what to do.

Some of this might seem excessive, but it was this preparation that not only gave my friends the confidence to know what to do, but it also saved my life.

If you are in a similar situation, please make sure not only your family, but your friends know your EAP.

“Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst.”

-Proverb

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