Throughout the course of time, I have become aware of the swinging of my opinion pendulum in regard to my health – past, present and future. To be more specific is, without question, a difficult task; summarizing a lifetime into a few paragraphs. To hope for some understanding of who I am versus who I was and how I feel versus how I have felt. The old adages apply to varying degrees for many of us. Youth, for me, carried a certain sense of “indestructability” combined with a feeling that there was “plenty of time.” Experience has shown me that there are often harsh consequences to many choices made from that perspective. And as the pendulum will swing, there are opposite extremes that “you can never be too safe” and “live like there is no tomorrow.”
Perhaps I have been lucky in my life beyond measurement. After 20 years as a blue collar employee in construction and industrial work, and another 21 years in the healthcare field, I have had a rhythmic swaying of change in my thoughts on the degree of “care” in health care and the genuine concern for health over profit. I have heard some say that “nothing in life is free.” I have seen the outcomes of over-confidence in industry with changing economy as multiple steel mills closed their doors around me. Fifteen years’ experience as an overhead crane operator in three different plants under two different unions taught me that no amount of faith can prepare someone for the sudden loss of employment. Equally critical is the same impact now with the ongoing downsizing and re-distribution of staffing in the medical field in the face of enhanced opportunity for access to coverage.
The solutions to the dramatic and often sudden changes in our lives to some degree can be as simple as planning with a variety of options available in a multitude of ways. Preparation is the key to survival. I accept that some people will continue to make poor decisions (as is their right) and that others have the responsibility to continually provide stability. As with my swaying opinion of the “care” available in health care, I have vacillated between feeling that all generated income was profit driven greed to the belief that there are sincere efforts to meet the needs of people. Every day I observe acts of genuine sacrifice to provide care to those in need of it.
No matter what degree of doubt or faith I have pondered in the intentions of the health care field, the final outcome of what will happen to me when change finally occurs will still greatly impact those responsible for the stability I may no longer be able to maintain on my own.
Caring Choices trusts that the solutions to the never-ending questions of how life will end depend strongly on the preparation and ongoing dialog involved. Discussions not only benefit the dying, but also loved ones who remain. Conversations can soften the impact of painful decisions and lessen the burden of those we love who will bear the responsibility of these final decisions.
(c) 2014 CaringChoices