How Am I Supposed to Get Home?

Vulnerability. I guess this is a feeling many of the elderly and disabled have, but I do not like it!

What brought this up? Yesterday. Yesterday stunk! There was a series of unfortunate events that once again drove home the point I am not the queen of my world. Maybe not even a princess.

School had a two-hour delay. Bad roads. I had been told the transportation company would make accommodations for bad conditions. Apparently not the case. They wanted me to go in early as usual. No clue what I was supposed to do if I got there and they decided to close for the day. How was I supposed to get home?

My husband took me but he has been sick. It has been aggregating another medical condition he has. He says I worry about him because he is my back-up ride. Well, there is a grain of truth in that. Also not sure how I am going to manage my life and his needs if he is down and I am blind. Best not to worry about now. Put it away if you are not able to deal with it in the here and now. DBT distress tolerance skill.

Then my ride home, who has been totally reliable for the past ten months, forgets and leaves me! She came back for me, basically wasting an hour of her day, but I had limited options and she felt awful. Just the same, there was a certain sinking feeling associated with the whole thing. I really felt lost. The world can quickly go to Hades and there is not much you can do about it. Vulnerability.

So what exactly can be done? I found all sorts of stuff about dealing with emotional vulnerability a la DBT but very little about reducing actual vulnerability. I am talking about the real deal here. I want to be less vulnerable!

What I found was actually on a disaster website…and yes, there are times I think AMD qualifies. 7 Ways to Reduce Vulnerability and Prepare for Disaster suggested knowledge. Know your risks and know your options. Once again, have plans B,C and all those other letters.

That leads to their second suggestion which is having a social network. There is strength – and flexibility – in numbers. Have a number of people you can depend upon. Whom can you call for rescue?

Remember when you have run through your personal resources, there are always community resources. Whom can you trust to save you? Under what circumstances? Police and fire departments have responded to plenty of calls from people with lesser needs than, for instance, being stuck ten miles from home and having no way to get there. Know the non-emergency number of your local community services and, when all else fails, call. You might not get a ride in a police car, but they should know which church or social agency would be willing to come to your aid.

That taps into another suggestion: be adaptable, and creative. If the usual solutions don’t work, try the unusual.

I cannot really see how I can bend two of their suggestions – impact avoidance and mobility (mobility problems being a huge part of this mess!) – into being useful to my dilemma, but I might be able to use the last one, subsistence. The article suggests having go bags for natural disasters. Might be an idea for my situation, too. I try to make sure I am not stuck without my phone. I carry cash and at least one credit card. Packing a lunch and a change of underwear might be a little extreme but not unheard of. The basic idea is to have resources.

Not saying doing these things will eliminate vulnerability but they might limit it some. At least I feel a little better about it. How about you?

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