Part II: You would not believe how many times I've been approached by doctors when I've taken my dad to the hospital in the last two years. They see my dad, who has Parkinson's Disease and has lost lots of weight. I think they feel sorry for him in that he can't stand without help and his skin just hangs off of his body. Almost every time, the doctors ask me about whether I have a Durable Power of Attorney or a Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) Order for my dad.
Recently, Dad had to be taken to a hospital. He had been taking antibiotics at the Veteran's Home for his pneumonia and appeared to be almost over it, but he spiked a fever and was rushed to the hospital. Dad had a lung infection that is inoperable, probably due to how frail he is and will continue to have this periodically until it gets the best of him. The doctor impressed on me how vitally important it is for me to have a Do Not Resuscitate Order and a Durable Power of Attorney. After I explained that my dad doesn't want either of those, the doctor continued to impress on me four or five times, the importance of the DNR, with increasing urgency in his voice, saying that I had to get this so my dad didn't have to experience this terrible outcome, otherwise. He told me that Dad's not able to make this decision for himself and I had to do it.
Then, to top it off, that doctor had an associate doctor call me at home two nights later, telling me again, how important it was for me to get a DNR for my dad and how my dad would have to live on a breathing machine for the rest of his life in a somewhat comatose condition if they tried to resuscitate him. Being prayerful about all of this, I typed up something that said I agreed to a DNR if my dad was likely to have to live on a life support system, and got it notarized, but they wouldn't accept it.
I had one of the nurses come talk to my dad with me for an hour, trying to explain the importance of the DNR, but he didn't want it. He thought she was trying to sign him up for some type of life insurance policy. I finally had my dad talk on the phone to my sister-in-law, who is a nurse. She was able to get Dad to verbally tell her that he didn't want to live on a life support system. To Be Continued...
How to Relieve the Stress of Caring for an Aging Parent: Amy O'Rourke at TEDxOrlando
By: Amy O'Rourke, TEDxOrlando via You Tube