In our time together, he taught me a lot, including much of what I know about advanced care planning. He had thought extensively about what he wanted at the end of his life and was the first person to tell me that he did not want under any circumstances to spend a single day in a nursing home. If he entered the hospital for any reason and I thought he was going to need to be discharged to a nursing home even for a few days of rehab, he did not want any medical support at all; he preferred not to survive if nursing home would be the result. He was very adamant about this. He was worried about having an illness that would weaken him so that he could not be independent, but not take his life. His wife had spent years in a nursing home and he was very afraid of a similar fate. He had had this same conversation with his cardiologist, too. And just in case I had any doubts, he would remind me of this conversation from time to time. Did I mention he was a retired physician?
As I stated above, he died suddenly at home after laughing at a joke. I think of him often, especially his reminder of the true meaning of "attending physician." Just attend.
|I attended a football game a long time ago where the sharp eyed will see Emily in the formation.|