You know life is getting real, when your doctor does this!
I’m sure among my many posts, this one digs the deepest and may give you pause.
Last Monday we went to our primary care provider for our annual physicals. As part of the visit, our doctor handed us a form that he said we should fill in and give back to him. Lo and behold, it was an advanced directive form. Could life get any more real than at this moment?
Bob asked the doctor quizzically whether we were in worse shape than we had thought. Our doctor chuckled, then replied; “It’s always best for you and your family to make your desires known for life-sustaining treatments before an actual event occurs.” We surely couldn’t argue with this logic. But then he added I think to comfort us; “I already have my advance directive filed.” I guess this was supposed to make me feel better, but it was him telling me his age and me knowing that I was 10 years older than him that really caused me more angst.
However initially, we said: “Ghee-sh, we both are very active and young at heart, but we must be getting really up there.” So, we took our forms home with us. Bob, being an emergency medical technician (EMT), and familiar with the form, filled his form immediately without any questions. But, I pondered the meanings behind some of the questions and decided I wanted to research a couple of the questions about providing treatments indefinitely vs. “on a trial basis,” where I was supposed to define the trial period. My thoughts went to “so my heart just stopped beating, but no one knows why yet, so if I can be resuscitated then perhaps I’m not dying yet, but rather, have some acute malady that can be fixed.” If this were the case, I know I would want some medical intervention until a clear diagnosis/prognosis could be fully developed. However, if I were resuscitated and intubated and placed on ventilation machines, at what point does this treatment become too extreme and/or too expensive?” Hence…I turned to the Internet and research.
The long and the short of it–my answer probably will be 30 days and no more life sustaining efforts. But, my research led me to this story about a young man said to be brain dead from a 4-wheeler accident, declared dead after 36 hours, and his miracle story!
Now I ask you; “When would you let go and let God?” Would you want life-sustaining treatments to begin, would you prolong your life until you were declared “brain dead” by medical professionals, or would you make no advance decisions and rely on your body to turn cold and your heart to stop beating before others advise of your time of death?