Thursday, September 21, 2006


Only 3 more days to go on my holiday.

Yesterday I had a course on Advanced Care Planning, it was really interesting, and could be something I'd be interested in taking up. It was started by the Austin Hospital, to empower people to have discussions with their families about end of life issues. Suggesting to people to look at what is important to them and how would you feel about your life if that was taken away from you.
My favourite things would be:
Family - being near those I love
Reading / watching tv - ie being able to see
Talking to family and friends - ie speech!!!
Looking after myself independently - able to toilet, wash, walk on my own.
Scrapbooking - creative outlet, forcing you to think positively about life (it does - believe me)

Give one up!!! without thinking....
Think a little bit more and then give up another
Pass one onto another person, so that they are responsible for that area in your life.
And it went on, luckily ours were hypotheticals, but it happens everyday in hospital. We force people to give up their independence, their homes, the sense of self, enjoyment, arbitaririly take away the pleasure of eating... it was all serious food for thought (yes there was a pun intended there).

So if anyone out there is actually reading this, take some time to talk to your family about what is important to you. Is there any treatments you don't want - say if you have end stage dementia, do you want them to give you antibiotics to keep you alive if you get pneumonia?? Are you in a coma with brain damage, what do you want done? Do you want palliation (symptom and pain management) or do you want the whole kit and caboodle? (surgery, ICU, intubation, CPR)?? There is no right or wrong answer here, it is a deeply personal decision. Pick a person, let them know that you want them to make surrogate decisions for you if you are unable to talk for yourself! Ok lecture over.

Today I'm meant to be scrapping, but my mojo isn't there. I need to make some samples for my class tomorrow, don't know how many are coming. I want it to be a success, I've never taught before, but they are all friendly and want to learn a new skill. Ok, all is good.

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