Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Let. It. Go.

Earlier this month I was entangled in a prescription nightmare. Four prescriptions needed to be renewed or refilled involving my doctor, who had just moved to a new clinic, his MA (medical assistant), a mail order pharmacy, a specialty mail order pharmacy, and my local pharmacy. It sounds complicated, but it shouldn’t have been, except for the fact that mistakes were made by nearly every person involved. What should have been simple became a convoluted mess.

I didn’t realize there were any problems until several days after I had seen my doctor, when he had updated my prescriptions on the computer. Normally, I am a very patient person, but as the days wore on, so did my patience. I pieced together a maze of mistakes and followed up with all parties involved, while slowly untying each thread and following the likelihood of each scenario. If I tried to explain the details to anyone, they couldn’t even follow what happened. Suffice it to say, the frustration was getting to me. Medications were running low and I was going to be heading out of town. Over a two week period, I grew angrier by the day, particularly when the MA wasn’t following up to let me know what she was doing, if anything.

I kept trying to keep my cool, breathe, troubleshoot, breathe some more, and tell myself⎯Let. It. Go. I imagined blowing the anger into a balloon and releasing it. That damn balloon was so heavy with anger; it kept coming back to me. A few more breaths, and many balloons later, I finally heard from the MA. By then, I had already taken care of everything.

Day in and day out, we all face life’s little surprises. Loosing one’s patience and having it push into anger is never a good thing. But I know I need to give myself a break. I am a work in progress. I learn by bringing awareness to my feelings, and as I do, I work through whatever it is I need to work through. I’ll just have to make sure I have plenty of balloons on hand.
Balloon launch photo courtesy of Alison H

Monday, January 20, 2014

Get Your House In Order

Last month my husband and I finally started the process to get our house in order and update our legal documents. While we had last wills, and a community property agreement, we needed living wills; and, come to find out, we didn’t have a durable power of attorney for financial issues in place. Intending to take control of this matter, we met with our lawyer and proceeded to draw up nine documents. Other than the community property agreement, the following documents are for each of us:

  • Health Care Directive to Physicians and Family: Allows a patient to give instructions about medical treatment; as well as refuse life-sustaining treatment in the event of terminal illness or injury, or becoming permanently unconscious.
  • Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care Decision: Written authorization for someone to act on your behalf, with regards to health care or life-sustaining treatments, while you are living and can no longer speak for yourself.
  • Durable Power of Attorney: Written authorization for someone to act on your behalf, with regards to personal finances, while you are living.
  • Community Property Agreement: Allows your spouse to inherit your money and property without having to go through probate.
  • Last Will and Testament: Written authorization naming someone to manage and distribute your money and property after you are deceased.

These documents not only spell out your wishes, they take the burden of decision making off family members. 

This may be a subject you have delayed action on because you don't want to think about it, or you don't care what happens. Perhaps you don't understand the options or the consequences. No more excuses! It is time to take control! In a year when I am focusing on balance in my life, getting my house in order seems like a good way to start. Taking care of these documents has somehow centered me. Isn’t that what balance is all about? I no longer need to concern myself with getting it done. It’s done. I suggest you get your house in order by talking to a lawyer and/or visiting the following websites:

  • Caring Connections: This website is packed full of information on what you need to do, and you can download your state’s advance directives form. These may be filled out and signed without a lawyer.
  • Aging with Dignity:  This websites Five Wishes gives you many things to consider and allows you to express how you want to be treated if you become seriously ill and unable to speak. Whether you use their document or include some of the ideas introduced in Five Wishes in your own documentation, this is worthwhile to reflect on. These may be filled out and signed without a lawyer.

Note: If you have these documents in place, or it has been awhile since you looked them over, I would suggest you review what it is you do have in case you are missing something or you need to make changes.
Surprise photo courtesy of Audrey Bordes

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Random Thoughts - Words

Every once in awhile, I hear a word or saying I haven’t heard in years that makes me smile. I always find myself thinking we should use the word or saying more often, if only to break the monotony of everyday words, or to make you or someone else smile. That being said, randomness in thought and conversation can be artfully used throughout ones day. Here are some of my favorites:

Humdinger                Shiver Me Timbers              Gadzooks                     Hoot                       Gobbledygook             lollygag         jabber                    Cockamamie
Lickety-split      Gee Whiz       Shape Up Or Ship Out           Holy Cow

Just for grins       Jiminie Cricket's        Persnickety    geez Louise 

                 jeepers creepers         Doesn't that just beat all

In an attempt to artfully randomize my word-speak: I will do my best to come up with a humdinger of a word once in a while as I jabber my way through my posts. That will be better than a cockamamie idea or a bunch of gobbledygook, don't you think?  It’ll be a hoot! Now don’t be persnickety, and see what you can do instead of just lollygagging around your word-speak.

Doesn't that just make you smile?
Words photo courtesy of Pierre Metivier

Saturday, January 4, 2014

See It, Feel It, Trust It

It's the beginning of a new year and time for me to declare my annual word theme. This annual declaration gives power to whatever word I select. I’ve been doing this for the last eight years and have found it to be an influential process which triggers focus and centers my mind, body and spirit.

Balance is my word for 2014. I will bring attention to balance and consider balance each morning as I wake, and each night as I drift off to sleep. Balance will help me make better decisions, insure I am steering in the right direction, and essentially give me guidance as I move throughout this year. I am fully motivated by this word and embrace it completely.

I will see it, I will feel it, and I will trust it.

What word motivates you? Will you see it, feel it, and trust it? Make it your theme and allow it to steer you in the right direction.
A bit more balanced photo courtesy of Mish Sukharev
“See it, feel it, trust it.” Dr. David Cook, Golf’s Sacred Journey, also theme in the movie Seven Days In Utopia