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Diana talks about directives, part 4

Sept. 8, 2010
Lisa Newburger, L.I.S.W.-S/a.k.a. Diana Directive provides humorous ways to deal with difficult topics. Check out Diana’s Web page at
This has been a terrible day for me! Bruce actually TURNED ME DOWN to be my power of attorney for healthcare. Word got out that a man turned ME down … and everything fell apart from there. The girls at the front desk were certain that I deserved what I got. Listen, I take very good care of myself, unlike them. They were just jealous!They were so nasty about it that I ended up getting a huge zit right on my china-smooth face. Turning me down is one thing, but causing facial damage is a whole different thing! Devastated by this imperfection, I called my mom and asked her to meet me at the office for lunch. You know when you get lunch in a dental office? It has to be flexible depending on the patient’s schedule. Do you know how annoying it is when a patient is running late? Half the time they don’t call ahead to say they are “stuck in traffic.” This is wasted time where I have to look like I am cleaning or being productive in the office. Ugh! I hate the cleaning part. It is gross and hard to do when you have such beautiful manicured nails.Mom showed up. She was a work of art. As soon as she walked into the office, she started barking orders to the front desk staff about how she was here and wasn’t going to wait. They are afraid of her. She walked back to where I was working on a patient and just stood there tapping her watch, complaining that I was running late. My dentist came in and sweet-talked her into waiting in his office. When I was done, she sarcastically told me how I was wasting her time. She wanted to be at a sale at Nordstrom’s. (That sounds familiar.) We definitely share that genetic predisposition to shop! I can totally feel her pain. “What do you want now? Did you run up another bill at the boutique and can’t pay off? Why don’t you just find a sugar daddy so your father doesn’t have to take care of you?” Ouch! Maybe I should rethink talking to her. She opened the door and ordered Erica, the receptionist, to get her a coffee – black. Where did she think she was? Wendy’s? Closing the door, I asked, “Do you have any advance directives?”“What is that? You know, I am very direct in how I take my coffee.” “Not that, Mom. What if you were in a coma; would you want to be kept alive on a ventilator?”“Diana, I don’t want anything that RIDICULOUS done to me. Just pull the plug.” Oh, thank God! My mom and I really understand each other deep down, even though she can be incredibly difficult when it comes to how she talks to me. But she feels the same way as I do about this decision.“Diana, this is all about how YOU want people to think of you. I don’t want you or your father to watch me live in a nursing home without all the comforts of home. I like my Jacuzzi and espresso maker. I don’t want my hair matted down or my gray roots showing. Do you understand me?”I replied, “More than you will ever know. Mom, will you be my decision maker, my power of attorney for healthcare?”“Do I get paid for it?” That mother of mine always works it from every angle. “No money, Mom. Just the knowledge that you will not have to visit me in a nursing home and waste Dad’s money.” “Ok, Diana. I will be your power of attorney.” Jumping out of my seat, I tried to hug her. Big mistake. We aren’t a touchy-feely family. I don’t have to worry about this decision anymore. I downloaded the Ohio documents from and filled them out. Two of the hygienists witnessed my signature. This was a glorious moment! The only thing better would have been a REALLY GREAT buy at Nordstrom’s.As Mom was leaving, I realized I had no idea what to do with the signed living will and power of attorney for healthcare. I’ll research that and let you know next month. Do me a favor. E-mail me at [email protected] and let me know who you would choose to be your power of attorney for healthcare and why. Looking forward to hearing from you.