The Calm Before The Storm
To my fellow peers in the path of the tropical storm/hurricane, I wish you a safe ride through this beast of a storm off our coast. We’re currently experiencing the calm before the storm with Isaac on our doorstep. It’s starting to rain and the wind has picked up. The clouds are wildly whipping around and things are deteriorating.
I’m watching Florida Governor Rick Scott talk on TV,; yesterday he declared a state of emergency and now they are putting resources into place. In our area, the biggest concern is rain and wind.
The storm is moving west and looks like it will be a category two hurricane when it hits land late Monday or Tuesday. What does all this do to my mood?
How does a hurricane bearing down on me affect my mood? It’s odd, because I went into survival mode!
I filled up on gas, got my generator working and have two days worth of water. We cooked what needs to be cooked and bought enough canned food for two days. I also made sure I have my meds…although my wife just told me I’m out of one of them — but I have back up for it.
I’m contacting my family and getting the kids ready in case we have to flee. This is far from going overboard; it’s just basic preparation during hurricane season.
How we prepare for a tropical storm could be compared to how we prepare for that storm of the mind and/or a mental health crisis. What are some practical ways that we can be ready for an episode or hospitalization?
One thing you should have is a health care PROXY.
Everyone over the age of 18 needs to appoint a health care agent. There are two situations in which a health care agent will be needed:
- Temporary inability to make health care decisions – no matter what your age is. For example, you are having an outpatient surgical procedure and are under general anesthesia. Something unexpected happens and a health care decision needs to be made. If you have a health care agent, since you are temporarily unable to make your own decisions, the health care agent may make the decision. Once you become conscious again, the health care agent would no longer have any authority to act;
- Permanent inability to make health care decisions – this would arise if you were comatose from a terminal illness, in a persistent vegetative state, suffered from an illness that left you unable to communicate or, if elderly, suffered from senile dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. Under these circumstances you would obviously be unable to make your own health care decisions. If you don’t have a health care agent, all appropriate medical treatments will be provided to you. If you have appointed a health care agent, your health care agent can be your voice and make your health care decisions according to your own wishes, or your best interests.
Here is a PDF example of a Health Care Proxy Each state has a different proxy. Check your local area for the right one for you.
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Stewart, C. (2012). The Calm Before The Storm. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 6, 2015, from http://blogs.psychcentral.com/humor/2012/08/6610/