Here's today's advice: Please get your legal ducks in order. I'll tell you why. When you have to call 9-1-1 and you get to the ER, you want to be able to have the right to make the hard decisions. You don't want to have to be tortured about these things.
On Monday, when we were getting ready to head to the ER, the last thing I did before leaving the house was to go to the library and pick up the envelope of all the necessary documents: Advanced Directive; Durable POA; Medical POA.
Thirty or so minutes later, when I whipped them out for the Admissions Representative at the hospital., one of the EMTs who had brought us in said to me, "I have never seen that before!" because I guess most people don't have these things in their back pockets.
I get that doing the needful may seem gruesome or ghoulish or some other negative thing, but can you imagine how much worse this would be if we didn't have the power to make the decisions that might need to be made?
Let me be clear: she's my mother. I want her alive. I want her well. I want her to remember me so I can fight with her about all the things she didn't do and she can curse me out and tell me about all the things that she did. But what I want ain't necessarily what I have. What I have is what I have to deal with. That meant that in 2009, upon realizing what we were dealing with, calling an attorney about getting the critical documents done. Back then, we understood that she was as well as she was ever going to be again. We knew the trajectory of this disease and truth to tell, I'm not a delayer. "Get it done now and never have to think about it again" is my modus operandi. We did the needful then and now, we can do what must be done on her behalf. Tough decisions already made. No angst or hand-wringing required.
My recommendation: make the hard decisions before you need to make those decisions. Life is much easier that way.
This is the real world folks. It ain't always pretty.