Safety Plan

My local endocrinologist wanted me to get a medical bracelet, solucortef, and training. I went back this past Friday and was asked about my plan. Part of the problem is that I live alone. My dogs, cats, and fish can not help me if anything happens. While I check in with family daily for this reason and have friends of the family that have helped, this is not enough. One of the things discussed was making sure that people I have contact with every day know who to contact if I don’t show up for something. Additionally, I was asked to have a neighbor trained in solucortef injection. I thought that the biggest problem I would have would be a problem with needles, BOY WAS I WRONG.

My downstairs neighbor has been wonderful. She has driven me, while very pregnant, to a doctor when I was too sick. We have a very good relationship even outside of things that I have asked for help with related to health. When I asked her, she said that she was not good around needles. I was going to ask if I could explain the rest to her but she got back with me and said “yes” but to also get someone else. It took a couple days but I finally got to ask my other neighbor. I was really hesitant because she will talk at me for hours and then act like I was bothering her. She is very judgmental and demanding. She looked horrified and told me not to say another word because she didn’t want to be responsible for anything. She then said that I needed to move back to Virginia across from my mom so that she could take care of me. I started to try to discuss it but she was off to the races. I then said, “In the extremely small chance that anything would happen to me and I would need to rely on you, you would rather have me die?! Don’t even bother.” I walked away with her still yapping. While I know that it is a big thing to ask and it is OK to decline, this really set me off. It wasn’t just why or how she declined but everything else that she said. This is the same person that I have listened to for hours listening to her ramble about nothing or repeating the same story. This is the same person that I have given pet and gardening supplies to. I just can’t even relate to her response because I would never do that. I have stepped up when people have needed help. I have pushed myself even when I felt uncomfortable…and for her, a potential lawsuit is more important than my life!

This is a very different situation but when I was in college, someone knocked on my door when I was asleep. She was in tears and had a plunger  extended to me while begging me to get a contact out of her eye. She had fallen asleep and lost her contact. I had a lot to do the next day and was exhausted but I got up and put my contacts in. No, I did not feel comfortable or know what to do. I had no idea why she asked me. Her response was, “I feel safe with you.” Again I was baffled because we didn’t talk much. I worked hard to calm her and assure her that the contact would come out. Eventually a small corner was visible and she asked me to try to get it. As I did, she started crying. I noticed that the lens moved. I then told her that crying was a brilliant thing to do. She cried and it floated back into place.

Another time I was doing a ride for diabetes. I was struggling that day but trying really hard to keep up with my friends. I ended up passing someone that was struggling with both tires entirely flat. She had a shirt identifying her as a diabetic. Rather than letting her know that her tires were flat and continuing. My friend and I stopped because she was not OK. We did the whole ride at her pace and kept checking in with her because she was having bad blood sugar problems and almost had to quit. There were times that we had to completely stop while she checked her blood sugar and managed it.

Trust me. I get that what I was asking was different but I just really can’t get over it. It is several hours later and I really have no desire to ever interact with this woman again. To me, she is dead to me. I can not imagine putting myself above another person like that. When I let my Red Cross Certification slip, it kept nagging at me that I needed to update it. I am a different person. If there were something another needed from me and I didn’t feel comfortable, I would push myself until I was OK with it.

One of the things that I have been changing with myself is I have been trying to stop myself from seeing everything from other people’s perspective. I need to focus more on my needs. Right now, I have no plans for acknowledging this neighbor. I really want to hear from others this time. Please comment!

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3 thoughts on “Safety Plan

  1. I see no reason why you need to have further contact with that neighbor. Maybe a hello if you happen to pass her in and out of your residence. What she said about you needing to move was out of line and asinine. She has shown you who she is. Remember that and move on.

    I live alone as well. I have my solucortef in a bag with needles taped inside my medicine cabinet. There is a sticker outside the cabinet that reads “emergency medication inside”. I recently moved. Luckily I live not even 2 blocks from a fire station. I’m planning to stop over there with an information packet I bought from adrenal insufficiency United. AIUnited.org. It has lots of literature and a website link for proper training of adrenal crisis. If you have them deliver it to an ER or fire station there is no charge. I prefer to go in with the information and introduce myself so I know they realize a real person is depending on them. AIUnited aldi sells other things like patches and car kits so you are identified as AI in an emergency where you can’t speak for yourself.

    The rest of my plan includes a medi alert bracelet (I need to update my info!), a printed list of diagnoses, medications, allergies and all my doctor contact info. I’ll be adding AI crisis information. I keep these in my car and in my house in an envelope marked IN CASE of EMERGENCY. I feel fairly stable and confident I’m okay right now. If that changes and I feel my health is declining in general I’ll consider a life alert or other emergency button type service. They can provide a lockbox forva house key for ems access. I don’t feel I need that yet. We can’t worry constantly, but we can make a plan. There are a lot of alternatives besides neighbors.

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  2. I live in a house of hiv positive people. I barely know them, but would not ask them to be responsible like that. Keep 911 on speed dial and that is the best you can do for yourself. It is asking a lot for people to inject you. You can’t ask strangers to take the place of family. With that said, my own sister would push me in front of a speeding bus. Do the best you can with what you have. Driving you to a doctor’s appt. is not the same as injecting someone. Be aware and respectful of others boundaries? You asked. They said no. Make a Different plan.

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    • I completely agree which is why I stopped and didn’t push any further. However, refusing to be willing to call 911 or family in the event of an emergency does anger me along with being told to move.

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