2013 February 01 Couch Potato and Living Will

Predawn at Inks Lake, Texas

        Today’s discussion at the Men’s Coffee was basically on three areas: Oil (recovery and transportation), Weather (here in Texas and in the various states from which we came) and Fishing (Inks Lake Dam in ‘generating’ which means water released which means fishing improves).

       It is 9:38 a.m. and Ella has just left for the Women’s Coffee.  I have no idea what their topics of discussion will be … probably how to maintain a secure hold on their world domination. 

        It is now 12:15 and we just finished lunch (left over Chinese from yesterday mixed with some more rice and chicken).

        I had several things in the mail from the VA today.  The results of our trip to the VA this week include: A return visit to the Cedar Park Clinic on February 8th, a visit to the VA in Temple to consult the Ortho doctor about the x-ray taken during the visit this week, and an introduction to M.O.V.E. (an exercise program) at the Cedar Park Clinic on February 21.  They had also scheduled an eye exam at the Austin VA clinic on April 30.  However, I called to cancel the eye appointment since we will be well on our way to Iowa by then.  I did get a call back from the eye clinic and they said they would try to reschedule to an earlier date.  I told them that it would be just as easy to visit the clinic in Temple as in Austin.  He said that he would send the information to them also.  So I may or may not have an eye exam before I leave Texas.

Any veterans out there?  If you have dealt with the VA Healthcare system, how would you rate the experience?

        I also called the NuWa factory in Kansas and set an appointment to take the Hitch Hiker to them on April 29th.  That way I can have people who know what they are doing examine and repair our non-working slide out.  I’m really hoping and praying that it is a simple, quick and inexpensive fix.

        I have never visited an RV factory.  I hope that we have time to take a tour of the factory while we are there.

Have you visited an RV factory?

Before or after your purchase?

        This has been a total ‘couch potato’ day.  After lunch, I worked on my blogs.  I was feeling a little sleepy … and hey! I’m retired … so I took a nap.  Now usually for me a nap is 15 to 45 minutes, well I just woke up and it is after four.  That means that the most I’ve accomplished is to update my calendar, my blogs and make a phone call!  By all accounts it has been a beautiful day (70 degrees, mostly sunny, light breeze) and I’ve been inside and inactive during it all.

        I do have one other project to take care of, filling out an “Advanced Directive: Durable Power of Attorney / Living Will”.  I picked up the forms when I was at the VA Clinic in Cedar Park.  The advanced directive portion is fairly easy.  I just need to have it in writing who can make medical decisions for me if I’m unable.

        However the second part of the form is the living will.  There are a series of questions followed by three possible answers: 1. Yes. I would want life-sustaining treatments., 2. I’m not sure. It would depend on the circumstances., 3. No. I would not want life-sustaining treatments.  Some of the questions such as, “If I have a condition that will make me die very soon, even with life-sustaining treatments”, to which I can say a definitive “No”.  But what about this question: “If I have a permanent condition where other people must help me with my daily needs (for example, eating, bathing, toileting).”  Even though I wouldn’t want to live in that condition … do I really want to give up on life just because I’ve lost control? There are quadriplegics such as Doctor Stephen Hawkins and Christopher Reeves who continued to be vital parts of society while living in those conditions.  I think I’ll mark that as a “Yes”.  To the question, “If I need to use a breathing machine and be in bed the rest of my life.”  I think I’ll have to mark, “I’m not sure”.

        The final question on the form is “How strictly you want your preference followed”.  You can choose to have them as a “general guide” or “followed strictly”.  I find that, as in the rest of life, the questions are easy … it is the answers that are hard.

Do you have a living will?  How did you feel

while you were completing it?  And afterward?


Published by Tom

husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather, and Santa

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