How to Deal with Medical Emergencies on the Road

October 1, 2016 | RV Life, Travel Life

Living on the road full-time moving from city to city every few days, few weeks or months can be a hardship when faced with a medical emergency. Things can happen that we are never prepared for, but should take some precautions, so when faced with hard times everyone knows how to handle things at home.

We were hit with a medical emergency on a day that we were suppose to be moving to the next city. We ended up in the emergency room with my husband having to have abdominal surgery, which resulted in a five-day hospital stay and two weeks of staying in a town that we had no intentions of staying in. We were only in this area to pick up our new RV, which we had done on the Tuesday before this happened. Our plan was to head to D.C. to continue on our four-month trip that we were in the middle of; however, our plans were drastically changed.

The biggest obstacle we faced wasn’t going to the ER. The biggest obstacle was that I don’t know how to hook up and pull our fifth wheel and unfortunately we couldn’t stay in the site we were at at the state park. I drove my husband to the ER not knowing how bad the situation was until after several test including a CT scan and blood work were done. The word surgery started floating around and by 11:30 I had to leave to somehow get the RV moved while not knowing what would happen while I was gone. The hardest thing I’ve had to do in a long time is leave my husband at the hospital with so many unknowns and go handle the RV situation.

I was lucky that the dealership we just bought from was willing to send someone over to move the RV. By the time they showed up I had the fifth wheel loaded, but couldn’t get the hitch to lock into place. I could have probably pulled the RV and parked at the next location which I found right across the street, without help, due to the adrenaline rush I was on, but I was still scared of screwing something up and we had only owned the RV for three days. By the time the driver showed up, an hour late, I was growing more anxious as all I wanted was to be at the hospital. I also had two dogs to care for while all this was going on and they knew something was wrong.

Finally by 3:00 pm I was set up and able to head to the hospital. Let me tell you the worse fear is to get to a hospital knowing you left your husband there and being told he wasn’t there, then being told he was in surgery. After what seemed like a lifetime I was brought up to speed as to what was going on and began the wait for him to get out of surgery and finally make it to his room. Five days later we were leaving the hospital hoping our stay in this town would end on the following Monday after his follow-up visit. Unfortunately the doctor wanted to wait on removing the staples, so we would be around another week.

I cannot express enough how important it is for all persons to be able to drive and set up the RV. I’ve watched and helped do the outside stuff enough to know how to hook up water, electric and sewer, so that part I’m familiar with and so should all of you be. Driving on the other hand had only been for about 20 minutes in our old rig, but that will be changing once we leave here. I never want to be put in this position again of not knowing how to do something when it comes to our home.

Since my husbands recovery will take 4 to 6 weeks and then eventually another surgery, we are headed back to our home base in Florida for the next six months at least. Not what we had planned, but we’re just thankful that he’s okay and everything worked itself out in the end. Once he’s all better, we’ll get back on the road headed west.

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