Being a caregiver in the ER is usually pretty awful. It feels like I’m always in the way. The hospital staff seem to either ignore me or the patient – they never acknowledge both of us at once. I have to walk the fine line between advocating for my loved one and making myself a nuisance. Sometimes it feels like the staff are providing care based on how they view me – I’ve had the best ER experience when I’ve been calm and professionally dressed.
Usually you don’t know ahead of time, but sometimes you know when a trip to the ER is more likely, like when a chronic condition is flaring up or when beginning a new treatment. It helps to be prepared.
I keep a bag packed with a few items that are handy for trips to the ER as well as weekends away. It’s got:
a clean t-shirt,
a toothbrush and toothpaste,
a notebook and pen,
a book, and
granola bars and other snacks.