I was going to post this last Friday, but I got distracted…
Having enjoyed my breakfast, I grabbed my mug of tea and headed for the bedroom to put the finishing touches on my outfit for the day. On the way past the living room, I noticed that I’d left the knitting loom, yarn, and finished hat on the couch, so I grabbed the loom and headed to my home office to pick out a new project.
Once in the office, I noticed that the plants needed watering, and the gecko’s food bowl lacked meal worms. So I headed back to the kitchen to get the tub of worms out of the refrigerator.
Pete and I have spent much of the last week and a half in emergency rooms and hospitals. After years of gradual decline, my 91-year-old dad took a sudden nosedive. He’d been enjoying his new living arrangement, going to the hall parties, filling up on his favorite foods, smiling a lot. Then one day we went to see him and he was curled up on his bed refusing to get up. In spite of bed trays and persuasive nurses, he refused to eat or drink. Then he fell… and fell again, hitting his head.
While we’ve been anticipating this point for years, it was still a bit of a shock. Suddenly Pete and I were faced with huge decisions. Rather than create an advanced directive, where every possibility is considered and plans decided ahead of time, my dad had assigned the two of us joint “durable medical power of attorney.” The idea was that, knowing my dad and his end-of-life preferences, we would be able to flex according to the circumstances.