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Everything posted by Nightingale

  1. Hi, everyone! this is just a reminder to have a good chat with your families about your wishes in a medical emergency. It's not intended as legal advice (please talk to an attorney in your state about that, as the below is just generalizations, and the below documents do not apply in all states, though they can be used as guidelines for your family regardless), just a collection of what I've learned personally from going through it with my family. My grandfather passed away about two months ago, and because my family members didn't know the right terminology for some things, there was a lot of confusion in the hospital a few weeks before his death, and I wanted to share it to hopefully spare some other folks similar issues. For example, my dad and my aunt didn't know the difference between an "Advance Directive", a "Medical Power of Attorney" and a "DNR, or Do Not Resuscitate Order". You can imagine the confusion and problems this caused. An advance directive tells your doctor what kind of care you would like to have if you become unable to make medical decisions (if you are in a coma, for example). If you are admitted to the hospital, the hospital staff will probably talk to you about advance directives, but that's not the time to think about them. You should think about them beforehand, when it's not an emergency or high stress situation, and you can talk about things with your family, and an attorney if necessary. Everyone should have one of these, because it lets your family and your doctors know whether you want extraordinary measures, and if so, what kind. Your family won't be left wondering what you'd want if you can't speak for yourself, and accidents can happen suddenly. It's perfectly okay to tell them to do everything they can, and it's okay to tell them to do nothing. It's just not okay to tell them nothing, because they'll always be left wondering if they followed your wishes. A good advance directive describes the kind of treatment you would want depending on how sick you are. For example, the directives would describe what kind of care you want if you have an illness that you are unlikely to recover from, or if you are permanently unconscious. Advance directives usually tell your doctor that you don't want certain kinds of treatment. However, they can also say that you want a certain treatment no matter how ill you are, like pain medication, feeding and hydration, etc. Advance directives can take many forms. Laws about advance directives are different in each state. You should be aware of the laws in your state. Many hospitals have forms for advance directives at their front desks and will provide them to anyone who walks in (the main desk, NOT the ER). These forms will help you discuss things with your family and ask questions to help you think about what you would want in various situations. A Medical Power of Attorney/Durable Power of Attorney lets someone else make health care decisions for you. A durable power of attorney (DPA) for health care is another kind of advance directive. A DPA states whom you have chosen to make health care decisions for you. It becomes active any time you are unconscious or unable to make medical decisions, or it can be active at any time, depending on what you've chosen. A DPA may not be a good choice if you don't have another person you trust to make these decisions for you. Some doctors are hesitant to declare someone mentally not competent (in the case of Alzheimer's or something) while they can still communicate, so that's something to be aware of and discuss with your attorney if you are facing a mental illness. These forms are not permanent and you can revoke or change the people you've selected at any time. For example, my parents are my medical POA, but if I'm in a long term relationship or have adult children years down the road, I'll probably change that. (as an aside, there's also a regular Power of Attorney that allows for managing finances and the like. Talk to a lawyer about this. It's different than medical POA, and someone who's your medical POA can't act as your power of attorney and manage your financial life. Laws vary by state. My parents are my POA. You should pick someone you trust completely.) A DNR is just what it sounds like. Do Not Resuscitate. A do not resuscitate (DNR) order is another kind of advance directive. A DNR is a request not to have cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) if your heart stops or if you stop breathing. (Unless given other instructions, hospital staff will try to help all patients whose heart has stopped or who have stopped breathing.) You can use an advance directive form or tell your doctor that you don't want to be resuscitated. In this case, a DNR order is put in your medical chart by your doctor. DNR orders are accepted by doctors and hospitals in all states. When my grandfather was admitted to the ER with pneumonia and breathing trouble, my aunt told the doctor that my grandfather had a DNR, when what he had was an Advance Directive. It asked that he not be sustained on machines indefinitely. That's very different than a DNR, but the wrong thing ended up in the chart because my aunt didn't understand the terminology. Luckily, because my mom said "they told the doctor about the DNR", I was able to say "Wait a second! Grandpa doesn't have a DNR. He has an advance directive. The paperwork is in the top drawer of dad's desk. Get it and give a copy to the doctor." We were able to get everything straightened out very quickly without anything going wrong. However, if that phone call had come an hour later, my grandfather would've died that night, because he needed some care that a DNR wouldn't have allowed him to have. So, I guess the point I'm trying to make is: 1. talk to your family about your wishes, write out your advance directive, and make sure the appropriate people have copies. 2. Consider who you want making decisions for you if you can't. Do the paperwork if appropriate. 3. Understand what a DNR is and what it is not, and unless you have the paperwork in your hand and are absolutely certain, never tell a doctor that someone has one. And really, none of the above is really a substitute for having a good heart to heart with the folks that will make decisions for you. Be honest and let them know what you want. If you're religious, it can help to involve clergy in the discussion. Whenever we were uncertain about what to do for my grandfather, as he was a very devoted member of the Catholic church, we found that the priest who worked as the hospital chaplain was a great help because we knew that Grandpa wouldn't want to go against the church's teachings, so knowing what the church's opinion was on certain medical interventions was a great help. Some other things I've learned over the last two months (again, not legal advice, talk to your lawyer): Make sure you have a beneficiary designated on all bank accounts. If you own real property, look into a living trust, because probate is expensive and a pain in the ass.
  2. Honestly, I think they're all pretty good. If there was a way to make their names green only in the forums they're moderating, it would make it less confusing, since sometimes they're jumping into the discussions for fun and sometimes they're wearing their "mod" hats. =) Especially in Speaker's Corner, we get a lot of the "You're a moderator!" "Not in this forum!" stuff I know the site software probably won't allow it, but just a thought.
  3. Her dad was in a very serious car accident and is in a coma. His condition is very serious and uncertain. She and her family can use any prayers/good thoughts/support that we can offer. __________________________ Amber- My family and I are thinking about you and are praying for you and your family! Best wishes for a speedy recovery for your dad! -Kris-
  4. When you feel the wind in your face and remember what it felt like at 120 miles an hour when it was so damn cold at altitude, but you didn't care because it was so awesome anyway and your lips were freezing but you couldn't stop smiling. When you see a wind sock miles from the nearest dropzone, but start thinking about landing direction and wind speed. When you get that whiff of Jet A and you think it's the best thing you've ever smelled. When you hear that buzz that only comes from a turbine and start looking around for jump run. When you hear a name, maybe not even the same person, but the name, and your mind goes back to your last day at the dropzone before you all got together for her ash dive. When you can look up at the sky when its that perfect shade of blue, and think "damn, I wish I were up there!" no matter how long it's been. Then you're a skydiver.
  5. Over time, colors tend to start to blur. I'd go for greater contrast.
  6. I've still got his info in my cell phone. Just can't seem to bring myself to erase it. Miss ya, Deuce!
  7. Can't see the caring bridge site without making a caringbridge account, FYI. Note: if you make a donation on the caring bridge site, it goes to support caring bridge, not Amanda.
  8. The conclusions drawn when an electrical engineer, a civil engineer, and a mechanical engineer come together over Guinness: Build them. Build them in areas far away from the ocean. Build them in areas that are not prone to quakes. Yet build them to the best earthquake standards. AND the best tornado standards. Combined. And make sure there are sufficient back-up generators to make everything running. And since the plants require water for cooling... all nuclear power plants will now be located in: SALT LAKE CITY! There is a large lake, it's central, and well, um... (they look at their beer and refrain from political incorrectness and order another round, noting that if someone else isn't drinking it, they must make up for it!). Yes, you will have to run power lines, but better the lines go down than the plant blow up. Problem solved, more Guinness was ordered, and they turned to me and told me to write the law to make that happen and figure out how to put it on the ballot in every state. um, guys? I'm a lawyer, not a miracle worker, and it'll take a LOT more Guinness to solve that one. And I need to remember not to drink with engineers.
  9. If I can render medical assistance or something like that without putting myself at risk, you bet. I try to keep my professional rescuer first aid/cpr certificates current, even though I'm not required to have them anymore, as I've used the first aid more than once. Am I going to get involved in some kind of physical altercation or interfere in a crime? No, but I'll call 911 and be a good witness.
  10. Do you still look at the flags and figure out which way you would be landing, and how much brakes you would be applying as you do? I was looking out the window at the windsock on a nearby building and thinking exactly that earlier.
  11. ...well it sure got cheaper for me! ....but I have yet to make more than 3 jumps in a weekend.....and I still only jump every other weekend. Hurry up and get the heck out of my house kids! I think the most I ever did was 8 in a day, at the World Freefall Convention. I wish I was still jumping. The sky is that perfect shade of blue today.
  12. It doesn't get less expensive, though. You just do five jumps a day instead of one.
  13. "Freedom's just another word for 'nothing left to lose.'"
  14. Yep. I've got the cash, but my medical condition will not allow me to jump most of the time, and on the rare occasions I can, being able to make two skydives or so a year isn't really the safest way to go about it. When's the last time you jumped?
  15. Largely, because I think today that love is considered disposable. Whether it's a marriage or long term relationship, instead of working things out, people walk away from the best thing that's ever happened to them, and then they wonder why it didn't work out. Looking at my family, there has been only one divorce ever. My parents have been married for almost 45 years. My grandparents were married for 64 years before my grandmother passed away, and my grandfather followed her 26 weeks later, and for most of us, those were just 26 weeks of a year, but for him, those were 26 weeks without her, and the worst weeks he'd ever lived through, and this man was a World War II combat veteran. I think it's all about perspective. Once you marry someone, they're family, and you don't walk out on family, you work it out. When you don't view leaving as an option, you approach things differently. Everyone in my family who has had a long marriage (pretty much all of them) has said there were times they were tempted to take the easy way out and divorce, but because they'd made the commitment and decided they were in it together, they worked it out and came out stronger for it. So, that's my perspective as to why finding it is difficult... we keep finding it, but we keep throwing it away once we have it, and it's not something we find very often.
  16. Concealed means concealed. Know the state laws and follow them, but if they know you have a gun, you've already screwed up.
  17. If I were considering marriage, personally, I'd go with a good prenup. Have a sit-down with an attorney in your state and find out your options.
  18. It looks like the zodiac symbol for cancer, sideways.
  19. I disagree with that. But if you choose to run for any high level authoritative role - I'd vote for you. You just have to be argumentative, don't you? That was a "we" as in the societies of the world as a whole, not "we" as in individuals on My point is that we don't have to agree. We just have to get to the point where we respect the rights of others to make different choices than we would. I think of an ideal world as something very similar to my family's Thanksgiving dinner table: About half of us are Catholic. We've got a couple of Mormons, a few Jews, and last year a Muslim family that lived next door. At least two athiests and one Wiccan. There are a few Protestants (though, to my Catholic Grandma, I think this is worse than the athiests or the witch). Then there are the mix of partly Irish Euro-mutt ancestry Americans, a Canadian, a couple of Mexicans, a Puerto Rican, a Japanese guy, the Iraqi family from next door, and a Texan that turns up occasionally and makes my mother feel awkward by calling her "Ma'am." And a bunch of these folks are happily married, including two gay guys. And to top it off, the Irish Catholic (or Irish Mormon) chunk of us don't tend to follow the niceties of polite society, so politics are often discussed over beer (and Martinellis sparkling apple cider for the Mormon and Muslim folks). However, even though we disagree on some really fundamental things, we all do genuinely like and respect each other. Discussions certainly get lively, though, but as long as everyone leaves like usual via the door instead of the window, we call it a good night and part as friends and family with hugs and good wishes. And on the rare occasion of incidents of window egress, a repairman and an apology (AKA: Case of beer or cider) are sent promptly upon recovery from the hangover and good laughs are had by all about it at the next gathering and the offending party is teased unmercesslessly to ensure that the unfortunate event does not recur anytime in the foreseeable future. To me, THAT is an ideal world.
  20. I have a couple of friends whose lives were totally screwed up. Having a baby was the absolute best thing that ever happened to them. After realizing that all of a sudden they were responsible for another human being that had to eat, wear clothes, and needed shelter, they got their act together. One married the father of her baby, who joined the military. She dropped out of college while he was in boot camp and she was pregnant, but went back once they had a life on base and she had a support network of other moms who could babysit. It took her about six years, but she just finished her BA in computer science. Another kicked the loser baby-daddy out of her life (he has court-ordered supervised visitation that he never bothers to make appointments for). She moved back in with her mom, and is going to night school while her mom is home in the evenings to babysit. So there is hope for your friend. Don't judge, she's pregnant, and what's done is done, because no woman should be encouraged to abort if that's not what she wants. Just be there for her, and recognize that she's going to need a lot of support because most of her friends are not going to want to hang out with her once a baby is in the picture. With everything that's going on with her body, she may be better off taking a semester or two off, but encourage her to go back to school later on.
  21. Granted. If true reality is defined by an arbitrary system of right and wrong then you are right, it does not matter who lives and who dies. My comments are based on the premise God exists, and therefore so does a standard of absolute right and wrong. ... Sorry, but there is NO absolute standard - just opinion that changes with the times. In the 12th Century the Crusades were considered right. In the 15th the Inquisition was considered right. In the 20th many good Christians supported the holocaust. For millennia, despotic kings thought they ruled by divine right. For centuries, conquering armies pillaged their way across continents with "god" on their side. I believe it was Bob Dylan who said "If God's on our side, he'll stop the next war." Personally, I think it's past time to accept that God doesn't actively choose sides in petty human conflicts and it's time to start sorting things out for ourselves and learn to live together, since we're never going to actually agree on anything.
  22. Hell yeah.. lets get rid of them and privatize the whole thing.. we need another private army of mercenaries doing military work inside our own country ... since the military is prohibited from doing that... so far. How about we get rid of them and: 1. Let states regulate alcohol and tobacco, as the federal government doesn't have the constitutional authority to do so. 2. Let the police and federal law enforcement, as appropriate, enforce constitutional firearms and explosives laws. BATFE is a combination of unconstitutional and redundant.
  23. We had someone from ATF questioning whether or not we had pyrotechnics licenses for our black powder shoot last weekend. /facepalm Guess I did a good job of educating him, though, as our conversation ended with "Cool! Can we shoot the cannons?" yup. here's the waiver.