Being unprepared when you have Addison’s Disease, or any other Adrenal/Pituitary disease can be dangerous and even deadly. A car accident, any type of injury, a sudden illness, food poisoning or an unexpected emotional event can take you to a crisis situation quickly. Learning something bad about a loved one, a heated argument with a co-worker or family member, even exciting news or happy stress can land you in the land of the ER. Often In the land of the ER there is no one that knows what to do with you and how to treat you. You must be prepared. Always. Using the word “stress” has never gotten me anywhere in the ER…..tell them “Addison’s Disease”, “adrenal insufficiency” “cortisol deficient:, “steroid dependant”…..whatever will get the point across.
- ALWAYS have your emergency shot with you and know how to give yourself an injection
- DO NOT assume that paramedics in an ambulance will administer your injection….they won’t
- DO NOT bring your injection to the emergency room and expect them to do it….they won’t
- Be prepared if going to the hospital, chances are the doctors and nurses won’t know what to do with you
- Keep a list of all your medications and supplements with you at all times
- BEFORE going to the ER call your endo, ask him to alert the ER staff and give them instructions for treating you
- Keep extra meds with you always, you might need some in a hurry
- If admitted to the hospital, make sure you have your own steroids with you. Nurses often cannot get to you on time with your oral doses. If you need it…take it. Better to take some extra than be without
If you end up in the ER alone, you need to be able to explain your condition to the Nurses and Doctors. There are many forms and printouts on the Internet that you can keep with you and give to the ER to help them understand what is going on with you. Make it clear that you need fluids and IV steroids RIGHT AWAY….you cannot wait for blood work results. Hopefully you will never be alone, a family member or friend can get the point across sometimes better than a sick person. I am planning a trip soon, and will be flying alone for the first time since I have been diagnosed. I plan on being over prepared. I will be stress dosing, staying hydrated, and will be carrying emergency instructions along with my shot just in case. My Husband has even talked me into getting wheelchair assistance in the airport so I won’t rushing and stressed out. The long walk to the gates would probably exhaust me anyway. You can never predict when a situation can turn into a crisis, be prepared for anything….always. Just like the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts!