Nickie Coby (puppybraille) wrote,
Nickie Coby
puppybraille

Fire!

Thankfully, it wasn't a real fire. There I was, at 6 AM, maybe almost getting the pain under control (or not), and considering trying to go back to bed. I was reading a mystery to which I already know the ending, and just chillaxing. The revery was broken by the shrill shreak of the fire alarm and the bright flash of strobe lights. And in that moment, I realized the need to be prepared.

You see, I only vaguely remembered that we had fire exits, but not where they were. I had no plan of what "tools" should come with me, and I couldn't hear well enough to navigate to an unfamiliar area. There wasn't a fire, but it was still scary. Please, everyone, make sure you know what the plan is for fire. If you have a disability, make sure you have appropriate accomodations and that someone is aware of your presence. In my case, my R.A. helped me out. Make sure the person who says they'll help you knows the proper method (pushing a wheelchair if necessary, guiding, spotting you down stairs). Then, if you have a service dog, ask someone to check that the dog is not in your room if you're not present. Mostly, just know the plan and be efficient.

Be prepared, even if it's a false alarm, for an increase in pain levels if that is something you contend with. I try to avoid stairs, and needed to go down three flights of them, and that increases pain. Being aware of these things is important, so you know how to head it off if possible.

Enough sermonizing, but I wanted to comment, since it took me by surprise. Oh, and I did find he Amitriptyline with the help of my sister. And also, my friends were key in helping once we were clear of the building, and they made sure I got back to my room safely after the all clear. Communication was key, and I'm grateful for such good friends who looked for places for me to sit and were aware of the challenge of entering an unfamiliar environment.

Tags: college, disability related, guide dogs, stories with a point, tool box
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