27. Emergency Preparedness

One of my bags – blue “Alex Dragonflies” 
The Washington Post, August 2003


I’m not fighting this anymore.  I’m going to bed.  That’s right, it’s not even 6pm, and as soon as I can get some sheets on my bed (the old ones are in the wash – thanks, Mom!) I’m going to climb in and shut my eyes.  You’re probably already appalled, but in the spirit of full disclosure I should tell you I spent 2-3 hours in bed this afternoon.

There are a couple of reasons for this:  1)I think I’m fighting a cold and 2)my vision is in that weird transitional stage where things get worse before they get better.  At least I hope this is a sign that it’s going to get better.  I certainly hope it’s not worse…period.  Things are “moving” more than usual and this is why I used to keep my eyes closed or down all the time (until OT6 told me that wasn’t allowed anymore).

I was told earlier this year that napping was a no-no in that it could poach my night-time sleep. Mommy was not a fan of this advice, and after I fought the urge to nap for a few weeks she said, “Listen to your Mother:  take a nap!”  It was a huge relief when I started feeling free to nap if I needed to, and I’ve since been advised that I should rest in the afternoon if I need to.

When I was hospitalized all I wanted to do was sleep.  I’d be lying there thinking, Umm…my brain is all messed up.  Please let me lie here.  But lying there was not allowed – I was supposed to be getting rehabilitated.  So my nurse dug me out of bed for my own good, put me in my wheelchair and handed me off to my PT.

Okay, I take that back – sometimes resting was encouraged.  In fact, one of my nurses used to bring me a blanket that was all nice and toasty from the blanket warmer and tell me to sleep if I could.  I often can’t when it’s the proper time to sleep, which is part of the reason that some folks frown upon naptime.

The rain is getting harder outside and I can hear the wind blowing  in big gusts intermittently.  We’re all waiting for Sandy, and I will likely post this on Monday night as opposed to Tuesday morning in case our power goes out.  I’m also hoping that my anticipatory posting will decrease the likelihood of the storm doing damage in our area. It’s like if you buy a snow blower – that year there will be <1 inch of snow.

One of the biggest power outages I can remember happened back in 2003.  We were preparing to go to Ernie and Ruth’s wedding and I was still making handbags.  Since the power went out I hooked my sewing machine up to our little generator and finished up the silk bags the bridesmaids were going to carry.  If the power goes out this time I will not be doing any sewing.  In fact, I will not be doing any sewing if the power stays on, either.

Poor Mommy tried to go buy some milk on Saturday morning but was thwarted by the attempts of Everyone and Their Brother who were out in full force looking for bottled water and toilet paper.  I once saw a documentary on WalMart and how their computer system is so advanced in tracking consumer spending habits that they know when a storm warning is in effect people rush out to the store and buy strawberry Pop-Tarts.  I’m completely serious.

There are some situations, however, that toaster pastries will not address.  Although I have to say that eating a hot cinnamon/brown sugar Pop-Tart at my sister’s house would make me feel better.  Still, there are some things that no amount of emergency preparedness will make you ready for.  For instance, if I had known I was going to get sick I would have cleaned up my guest room (which was littered with boxes and clothes from my Africa-trip packing) and closed out my credit cards.(Note:  Autopay = Bad in my situation.) These actions would not, however, have eased the major angst my family and I were in for.   The only things that help me, and I’d bet the farm that my family would say the same, are the habits I practiced in my old life – when reading and writing were no problem, I could stay awake for a very long time, and I earned a living like everyone else I knew.

So I’m going to go take my contacts out and get Ed.  I wouldn’t want him to be alarmed by the storm.  We’ll find out tomorrow how bad it is.  In the meantime, I’m going to bed – goodnight!