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Diana talks about directives, part 3

Aug. 23, 2010
Lisa Newburger, LISW-S, aka Diana Directive, provides humorous ways to deal with difficult topics. Check out Diana’s webpage at I did it. I made my first BIG decision. OK, it wasn’t as big as choosing to be a dental hygienist instead of a fashion model. Yeah, yeah, I know I’m a little short for that. I just blame my mom. When I made the decision to cap my teeth so my pearly whites would dazzle my patients, it was a no brainer. But this decision was actually pretty important in the grand scheme of things. I recently decided to give my best friend Bruce the honor of becoming my Power of Attorney for Healthcare. Boy is that a mouthful! But starting that conversation with him was tough. I mean, who wants to talk about something like THAT? Bruce came to the dental office to give me a ride home after work. I thought I looked good in his cool, cherry red Porsche convertible. Rich friends drive cool cars! When my last patient FINALLY left for the day, we went into my boss’s office and made ourselves comfortable. You should have seen the glare the girls in the office gave me when I closed the door. Then can you believe the dentist barged in a couple of minutes later? It was a CLOSED DOOR! After he stormed out, Bruce and I were finally alone. How was I supposed to start this conversation? I asked, “Do you ever make BIG decisions?” “Yeah, why?” “I want to talk to you about something important.” “Is it about you?” “Of course it’s about me. What else do we EVER talk about that is important?” I stumped him. We were off to a good start. “You need to do something for me. Be my Power of Attorney for Healthcare.” “What’s that?” “If I can’t make decisions for myself, you get to make them. I know this is an incredible honor, but you can handle it.” “Where did you learn such big words?”
Should I tell him? Men seem to think I’m too pretty to be THIS smart. But the answer will blow him away. “I went on and bought this deck of cards called Heart2Hearts. It has 52 ways to start a conversation on this topic. Will you do it? Hurry up, I need to get something to eat before I wither away. I’m looking thin. That must mean I’m starving all the time.” “Wait a second. You want me to be your decision maker? Why me?” “Because you are my friend, and you make BIG TIME decisions all the time.” “Yeah, but this is different. What are your wishes?” “I don’t want to be a vegetable, hooked up to machines. If I can’t talk, put mascara on, or think, I don’t want to stick around.” “Are you kidding? Diana, living life is the most important thing in the world.” “Not if it isn’t on my terms.” “You are making a big mistake.” “Why?” “Because life is too precious.” “How precious is it if I can’t shop?” “Diana, I may have a thing for you, but I can’t be your Power of Attorney for Healthcare.” “Bruce, don’t be ridiculous. Of course you can do it.” “No, I can’t follow your wishes. They go against my religion.” “Oh come on Bruce, since when did you become so RELIGIOUS?” “On this issue, the answer is no. Find someone who can follow your wishes.” Did he really turn me down? Men don’t do that to me! What am I going to do? If I don’t do anything, I could be kept alive on machines. Worse, if this gets out, my reputation will be shot! I work awfully hard to let men think I’m perfect. I didn’t see this coming. I have to find someone else. This was a tough conversation. I don’t want to do it again. But I guess I’ll talk to my mom. She might not have any bright ideas, but I don’t know what to do. I’ll just let you know how it goes next month. Just keep in mind that you must ask someone to be your decision maker. They need to know your wishes and be able to follow them. And they need to be able to make tough decisions. Who woulda thought this would be soooo time consuming? And to think I could be shopping right now, or eating.