death defying decisions
MJE is by nature pretty controlling, not to an unpleasant degree mind you but I just like to be in the driver’s seat as often as possible. So, sticking with the automotive analogy, when my car starts petering out I want to make sure that the mechanic doesn’t do something stupid, unnecessary and expensive when it just isn’t going to make the car last any longer. To wit, I’ve been perusing materials pertaining to end of life (human not automotive) decisions.
Well it turns out it’s a bit more complicated than I thought. Fortunately, there is a 26 page guide and questionnaire put out by the Death, Near Death and Certain Death Society that those of us who are not immortal should consider completing and sharing with our doctors and health care proxies. Given the subject matter the title is catchy and upbeat, “The Tool Kit for a Better Death!” It’s divided into nine sections, or “tools” for you to keep in your “death toolbox. “ For example Tool #2 is “Are Some Conditions Worse than Death?” Hell yes, the OB&C’s family reunion I have to host in May. There are a lot of “What If” questions like “If you are in severe or untreatable pain on a scale of 1 to 5 do you “Definitely Want Treatment or “Definitely Do Not Want Treatment.” Really? Who the hell is going to say I definitely do not want treatment except maybe members of Masochistics Anonymous. Or “How Do You Weigh Yours Odds of Survival” well last time I checked no one is getting out of here alive so I’d say 0% on that one. Tool #5 is “After Death Decisions to Think About Now”, isn’t that an oxymoron, how can I think about them now when I am alive when they are decisions to be made after death? Tool #6 includes a helpful section entitled “Five Times to Re-examine Your Death Wishes…” It’s the five D’s: Decade, Death, Divorce, Diagnosis and Decline. Seems like one of those might be a day late and a dollar short so I recommend sticking to just four of the D’s.
FYI, there’s a quiz at the end so pay attention!