Ink & Bourbon
Tilting at windmills. Because those windmills think they're better than us.

End of life planning

We recently had a class on the new MOLST form, or Medical Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment, which is replacing the old DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) form.

It’s better, since it applies to all healthcare providers, when the old one was specific to EMS, so hospitals, nursing homes and so on often had their own internal forms, which we couldn’t legally honor, so a bunch of people who really didn’t want a closed casket got shocked and intubated and had their ribs broken. Plus, it’s more customizable, so you can indicate what treatment you do want. Like, “please do CPR, but don’t keep me on a feeding tube.”  

This got me thinking, and a few pints later and I have developed a brilliant theory on how to make your wishes known on withholding life support, without worrying that the kids will off you for a hangover.

I’ve seen enough lousy quality of life in the nursing homes I’ve been to on the ambulance to have decided how I want to be treated, should I ever wind up in one.

Every morning the nurse is to ask me “Sir, we’re going to shoot you in the head today. Is that ok with you?”

If I am able to answer in an intelligible fashion (or at least shake my head vigorously) they are to treat me as usual.

If I am unable (or unwilling) to respond, or can only go “Pppppppppppppllllllllllbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbb

bbbbbbb!!!!!!!!!!!!” or say something like “How do you like my dress, Mrs Haversham?” they are to bust a cap in me like I was Ol’ Yeller.

Overheard at bathtime in the Paracynic household

Me: Ok, little buddy. Time for tubby.
Seth: Can I take my clothes off?
Me: That would help, yes.
Seth: Can I take my pants off and dance?
Me (shrugs): Sure. We’ll just pretend it’s Last Call.

What? He asked.

My four year old son was asking me about primary and secondary colors.

Him: Daddy, what do you get when you mix red and blue?
Me: Purple.
Him: How about blue and yellow?
Me: green.
Him: What do you get when you mix green and orange?
Me: Centuries of sectarian violence.

Now, tell me if I’m missing something

But as far as I can see, the only reason to oppose gay marriage is that you are an asshole.

Nothing about letting other people have the same rights as you takes away anything from your marriage. It matters to them because it will allow couples a handful of important legal rights in very stressful situations.

If I am brought to the hospital in a coma, and my wife tells the doctor to treat me aggressively, or to let me go peacefully, they will listen to her. My girlfriend of twenty years will get no respect at the ER.

Especially if she shows up while my wife is there, deciding whether to pull the plug.

For sick partners, end of life decisions, child custody, inheritance, all those things that occur when we really don’t need added stress, the married person is pretty much covered, the life partner, regardless of how long they’ve been together, or how committed they are, is not.

So, why not extend that  courtesy to a long term partner, who wants to commit to someone?

It’s not about hurting the “sacred” nature of marriage. Liz Taylor, Larry King, and Britney Spears have already made a mockery of that, and nobody’s trying to take marriage away from celebrities.  It’s not about religion. No really, it’s not.  The Catholic Church won’t marry gays, but neither will it marry two Jews or Muslims, or even Protestants, but we aren’t trying to take marriage away from heathens.  It’s not about producing children, since we don’t try to take marriage away from infertile couples, or couples who just don’t want kids.

So, the only thing that I can come up with is that you think gays are icky, and don’t want to give them rights.  We go down that road and we’ll have to let broads vote and darkies drink out of the same fountains.

Now, if anybody has a real, constitutionally defensible reason we should treat homosexuals like second class citizens, please let me know, because right now, I’m just gonna run with the theory that you’re an asshole.

40 Hours? I though you said you work full time.

When I was growing up, my dad worked one full time job.  He had one degree. We had a three bedroom ranch house, two cars, and went on vacations. We lived pretty well. My mom didn’t work until all three kids were in school.  We all had extra activities like art lessons, riding lessons karate, dance, whatever.

I am pretty much right at the median household income in America.  I work 64 hours in an average week. And not at a minimum wage, unskilled job, but as a paramedic and an orthopaedic technologist.  I have two degrees.  We live in a two bedroom ranch house in the same town I grew up in. We drive a ten year old car and a thirteen year old car. We have one child who has activities.

Everyone I work with on the ambulance has a second job. A mere 48 hours at a skilled, demanding, professional job requiring multiple licenses, continuing education and constant recertification doesn’t put us at a median household income.

When attempting to quantify the progress the middle class has made in the last thirty years, the best value I can think of is “fuck all.”