Modern technology has blurred the definitions surrounding death and dying. It has cast a veil of doubt upon the idea of discussing end of life issues with the young and old, healthy and ill, vibrant office workers and even our most dedicated medical professionals regarding realistic, spiritual, and compassionate choices before or at the end of life. As a result, patients and family members find it increasingly more difficult to make informed decisions at this most difficult time. This is a self-help guide offering you facts based on research, anecdotes, and suggested reading, all intended to help you make the right choices when navigating the stormy seas that we will all face someday. Chapter one of this book is called, So here I Am in a Place I Never Imagined. Don’t find yourself there! Quite often, heart wrenching, end-of-life decisions must be made in a moment’s notice. Are you prepared? Have you discussed your wishes with a trusted loved one? Is your physician on the same page? Are your caregivers on the same page? Are you certain your final wishes will be carried out? This book was written to help you understand many of the issues you may face, and help you unravel their complexity. So, when the time comes, you can think clearly and make informed decisions on behalf of the dying, be it you or a loved one. Learn the difference between Healthcare Advance Directives and Durable Power of Attorney. They vary state by state. Learn what CPR really is and how it is performed. Learn how successful CPR really is, and understand many of the possible complications. Learn the difference between life-support and mechanical ventilation. Learn the reality of the financial impact on dying individuals and their families. Learn how modern technology prolongs the dying process, and how the line is blurred between life and death. Learn and understand the confusing term, “terminal.” Learn about prolonging life vs. quality of life. Learn the consequences of withholding the truth from you regarding your illness or outcome. Learn what it means to hold on or let go. Learn to focus on the positive. It can be done. Most importantly, learn to believe in yourself. Learn to empower yourself with knowledge. Your knowledge will arm you with strength and confidence, when making life-changing decisions.
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