Life's about to get rough with you
Yes. We need wills and ACDs. My dad had an ACD and not a DNR which meant they did work to save him, even though it all failed. If one is dealing with a parent or spouse with dementia, you need to have a *durable* PoA which means you act as them in all matters, medical or otherwise (I had one for each of my parents). Given what I dealt with with my mom, I think I've been denying reality to myself by not taking care of these things.
We're working on the meat-space support system as well.
Excellent reminders. So glad to hear that things are on the upswing and you have a chance to correct the slips. Something we need to do, too. We keep saying we are going to get to it, but our wills are about 30 years out of date! Take care and a hug for you and him.
Right on, Cedar. Your advice is very smart and very necessary. I am glad your Beloved is recovering at home with you to watch over him. You both have our prayers!
Thank you for posting this - you are so right about POAs, DNRs, and all the rest of it. My best to your husband and to you.
We three completed Advanced Care Directives one month before my husband's mother (who lived with us) had a major stroke. The ACD gave us power to make nuanced decisions for her, as follows: Her stroke silenced her voice AND made it impossible for her to swallow. She had directed that she not be kept on artificial feeding, BUT she had to have some kind of artificial feeding in order to survive to get therapy to be able to swallow, again. We knew what she meant--she didn't want to be kept artificially alive when there was no hope of recovery. We decided to give her a PEG--a little tube directly into her stomach from her abdomen. It's very low tech and allows food and medicines to be given. She worked hard for six weeks and was then able to safely swallow food and drink again. For the next 18 months, she was able to enjoy home cooked meals in our home. We kept the PEG because it was so much easier to grind up her medicines and give them via the PEG than for her to struggle to down large tablets. I loaded all of our ACD papers into my Microsoft Cloud, where I could pull them up on my phone. A DNR is not flexible and is subject to interpretation by people who don't know you. Go with the ACD. Have a lawyer help you understand the wording and the implications.
Advanced Care Directives have different names in different states. Also, recommend reviewing preferences with whoever is listed on your paperwork.
Really glad, your husband pulled through and you have lined your paperwork up.
Glad it all worked out OK.
I had a couple of stents installed in Providence Hospital, down in Anchorage, a few (3 or 4) decades ago and blood thinners prescribed to keep a couple of other heart arteries flushed and flowing. So far no complaints.
I had a moderately high cholesterol level and my doctor suggested I get a cardiac calcium CT scan. It only cost $50 and the hospital does not charge insurance to have more people get the test. It only takes 5 minutes. My score was 190 which is moderately high. I then saw a cardiologist and had the test repeated with dye. This test took about 10 minutes and it did show some blockage. I then had the follow up with a catheter inserted and dye injected into the cardiac arteries. They found that the LAD (the widowmaker) had 80% blockage and they inserted a stent. I probably would have had a major "surprise" in the near future if that was not done. I had no symptoms before the first test but do feel that I have more energy now. So the bottom line is to at least get the cardiac scan done. Our hospitals do not even need a physician's referral to schedule one.
By good fortune, ten years ago I needed to have a hernia repaired (I was 65 then) and needed cardiac clearance. The good fortune was the cardiac PA that I've worked with ever since. After several years of regular testing she wanted me to get an angioplasty and they found a 75% blockage in my left anterior descending cardiac artery (LAD, the widowmaker) and inserted a stent. So we avoided the drama and pain that you just experienced. Also, by good fortune, some years before that we'd had an attorney help us prepare our estate documents, which included our ACDs. So, yes, get regular cardiac checkups and definitely work-up your estate planning documents (even if your "estate" is as small as mine) to show your love for your loved ones.
Have your documents reviewed by an actual lawyer instead of winging it. An attorney (like myself) would have informed you of the difference between a DNR and an Advance Directive. (I'm glad you did figure that out eventually.) For the record, a Medical Power of Attorney must EITHER have two witnesses OR be notarized.
Never drive a heart attack patient to hospital.. always call 911. You lose precious time.
In the US, the entire system is designed to deliver maximum 90 min “door to balloon” service level. It is not just important to save the person but also to save the heart. “Time is muscle”.
90% of the US population is within 10 min of a fire station. Firemen and paramedics are trained to break doors, climb stairs, provide cpr , give immediate meds (ex nitroglycerin). They also continuously communicate with the nearest hospital er, coordinate care while driving and make sure the er is ready to go as soon as patient arrives. They can also blow through stop lights!
Neighbors. I have always made myself known to my neighbors and done what I could to help them. I babysat their kids in an emergency. I've brought in their mail. I've called them when a suspicious car was in their driveway. In turn, when I need help, they will be there for me....
<I>, was that he didn’t want a DNR. </i>
Oh thank God, one fewer things to dance around for a friend.
I spent a lot of time today yelling at my poor husband about this.
This makes me so grateful that I recently dragged my stubborn man to do all the things Will and PoA. It also makes me think about our plans for retirement in the not-so-distant future with a new perspective. We're in a place we don't want to stay but where we have a support network. Going to where we'll also have one limits our choices, but it's probably worth it.
We have that paperwork. But we haven't updated it since we moved to Minnesota. I will tackle that.
Yes, it's been long enough that I need to go over all of that again and update it.