Time is a finite thing when it comes to our lives regardless of whether we are healthy or ill. None of us know how long we will have on this planet before our time is up. This is a fact. Also a fact is that while many of us do not wish to talk about it we really need to be having the difficult discussions with our family about what we )and they) may desire should either become unable to make or communicate decisions regarding their medical care on their own.
Nobody really wants to admit that, in fact, we are all dying a little bit each day as it’s much more palatable to think of living life to its fullest as opposed to dying a little bit each day. While I encourage you to live life to the absolute best of your ability despite any challenges that you may face, I also caution you not to be blind to the fact that at some time this end result will eventually come to each of us, often in abrupt ways with little or no warning.
In the spirit of the Boy Scouts I implore you to be prepared. Have these tough discussions. While it’s true that I have previously touched on this, I feel it is so imperative to address that I am touching on it yet again. I have been witness to way too many end of life situations both as a healthcare provider as well as a family member that could have potentially been handled better if people would have these tough discussions before they feel the need.
I have broken many ribs doing CPR on terminal patients because nobody had the discussions when they could have beforehand and called 911 and while I will grant you that this was before the introduction of do not resuscitate orders in the pre-hospital environment I also can tell you that I have worked some since then where nobody had planned for the tragedy to strike or how they wish their loved ones to handle the decisions in their care.
How can you plan for what you don’t know you might ask? By discussing your desires in detail with those closest to you so that they do not have to live with the potential guilt of having to make the decisions for you based on what they think you may have wanted rather than what they know your wishes were.
Rather than drone on for what could easily be thousands of words on the subject and even more thousands of words on personal experiences, I will present you with the very best presentation I have ever seen on the subject. While to some it may seem inappropriate to address such a serious topic with humor one could further argue that a little bit of levity in difficult times can reduce the tension of a tough topic.
There are two links. One is to the full version of the interview and discussion which is just shy of 27 minutes in length. The second will be for those that are time challenged and can’t take the time to listen to the full episode of Dr. Zubin Damania (aka ZDoggMD) speaking with nurse Tim Boon on the subject. For those at least check out the shorter video of the poem by Tim Boon on Dr. Seuss Does Advanced Directives. It is well worth the five minutes out of your day to put this subject into an understandable light for you and those you love.
If you like the video, I do ask that you support their original work by sharing it with others from the original site of ZDoggMD if you don’t choose to share this post. Dr. Damania and Tim Boon have made it ridiculously simple to understand the subject in a lighthearted manner that manages to cover many of the aspects of the subject better than I think I ever could.
Watch or even just listen to the video and share it far and wide. Have the discussion with those in your life now, before it’s too late. Have a comment or experience that you wish to share? Drop us a note below in the comments. We’d love to hear from you!