Thursday, May 21, 2009

Small Town Living...

Its National EMS week, did you know? We kind of take for granted that if we get hurt, someone will come take care of us. Not all countries are that fortunate. It really is an enormous blessing that we have Emergency Medical Services. I salute you and thank you!

I live in a small town (less than 2000) and so our emergency personnel are truly sacrificing their time as volunteers. I have been told that our town did not have an ambulance service until the late 1970's. Apparently if you were injured and needed to get to the hospital, the HEARSE would transport you!!! Okay, that sounds so ludicrous and archaic, but that would have been the practice when I was a small tot!!!!!

Do any of you locals remember that??

This week the local ambulance crew was having their monthly training and asked us to come present information and training about Mickey's allergies. What an incredible opportunity. We got to explain about his specific situation and our concerns. All of them were so receptive and caring and it gave us a great sense of peace that they were so much more aware.

Mickey is allergic to milk protein, banana and avocado. The milk protein is very hard to avoid but the banana avocado show us that he is very likely to react to latex as they are considered cross-reactive.

So that is how we got tied into the local EMS as I had called them a few weeks ago to inquire about the medical supplies on the ambulance. I was assured that their stuff was latex-free as they get their equipment from the hospital which is latex-free! What a relief that was for us! The last thing we want to worry about if our son is having an allergic reaction and can't breathe is if the tubes and equipment that should be saving his life could endanger it much more!! So as long as it happens in our small town, we should be fine!

We were told that we should get stickers for our car in case of an accident as Police officers will often don latex gloves as they are usually first on the scene. Also if we are travelling outside of our community, most other ambulance services are not latex -free.

Mickey wears a medical bracelet but they told us that often times medical personnel would not think about looking at a child's wrist before intubating them or touching them with latex gloves.

The ambulance squad also walked us through what we could expect if we called them for an allergic reaction and their protocol. That was really good for me.... even though at points as they were saying "if the patient crashes then" that I was thinking, "oh my, they are talking about Mickey!!" So yeah, that part was a bit unsettling.. just the reality of the situation. But overall, just being able to picture what they would do is very calming.

It made me so thankful to be part of a small town, full of good hard-working, volunteering people.

So make a point to thank your local chapter.(or join their facebook page -- that's a modern way of support!!) We all get encouraged in our tasks when we feel appreciated.

And don't forget to pray for them.

Enjoy your Memorial Day Weekend!!

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