Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Getting my affairs in order (finally)
At the age of 43 something like this should have been completed and filed long ago, but it was not. Like many people I never thought of planning for the ultimate end we will all face some day because I never thought it would be a possibility before at least age 125 (lol).
Well now with the possibility of DBS surgery I have been forced by circumstances that age 125 might not be realistic (It takes me awhile to see the obvious). So began the uncomfortable days that turned into weeks of uncomfortable dancing around the subject with my wife. Almost daily one of us would mention that this really needs to be done and we would discuss a few points but always ended up changing the subject avoiding the real discussion; what are my wishes should I reach an untimely death or life long incapacitation. Several weeks went by and the same dance continued with no action being taken on my part until the day I realized what it meant. Preparing for an unexpected tragic event does not necessarily increase your chances of that event happening. I think deep in my mind I thought if I prepared my will and advance directive I was increasing my odds of something going wrong with the surgery. Of course I now see how ridiculous this is, that would be like saying if I buy car insurance I increase my odds of getting in an accident.
When I finally decided to complete these documents I just needed to ask Ann one question but I did not want her to know I was going to complete the process the next day by myself. I knew this was something that if she had a choice would not want to actively help in completing. So I asked her in a vague conversation like the many we had before about this subject, what were her thoughts or wishes if something should happen. She gave me the answer I needed to finally as Nike says “Just do it". She told me that on what could possibly be the worst day in her life she did not want to make such key decisions as to my medical condition or final arrangements. I respected that and I knew what I needed to do and the following day it was complete.
When you create a will or and advance directive (living will) whether it is done because your facing a complicated surgery or your just being proactive it is not an easy thing to do. I spent the better part of a full day completing the questionnaire on http://www.legalzoom.com a site I found to be easy to use for these types of services. I found the process both emotionally draining and personally satisfying that I have taken the steps to ease the emotional burden on my wife should the day ever come she has to utilize these documents. In regards to the emotionally draining part: this activity forces you to reflect on your life to date and evaluate relationships at that specific moment in time and how this affects your choices and decisions. I personally have some very complicated family relationships that had to be addressed in this process and it was not easy but it has lifted a burden off of me that has been there for many years.
So to close this entry I wish that if you learn anything from my experience do not wait until you are forced by circumstance to have your affairs in order.
Next entry: The baseline testing process