About Do Not Resuscitate Orders

A recent news story highlighted an ethical dilemma that arose for doctors who were treating an unresponsive patient and found “Do Not Resuscitate” and a signature tattooed on the patient’s chest. Fortunately, the physicians eventually were able to locate an actual Do Not Resuscitate form for the patient and could, therefore, honor those wishes.

Just what is a Do Not Resuscitate, or DNR, order? A DNR expresses, in a legal format, your wishes not to have lifesaving measures performed should the need arise. This document provides clear direction for your hospital, assisted living facility or nursing home.

Upon admittance to a health facility, you may be asked about your wishes should an event arise where you are unable to answer in the moment. For example, if you stop breathing, have a heart issue, a stroke or any other condition that may put you in a position for life-saving measures, do you want the hospital to do everything possible to keep you alive?

There is no right answer. You may decide you want life-saving measures, or you may decide you don’t want them. When my parents were nearing the end of their lives, they made the decision that they had lived full lives and if they were to stop breathing, they wanted to be left to die. The point is that you should make this decision at a time when you are able to avoid the decision being made for you.

Although DNR is a common term, you may hear some hospitals refer to this as “no code,” which means they won’t call for help to revive you if you stop breathing or are unconscious. The hospital may also refer to “allowing a natural death,” which means the same thing.

If you haven’t already, discuss your Do Not Resuscitate wishes with your doctor, hospital or healthcare facility. They will let you know how to proceed with the proper paperwork.

Source: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/do-not-resuscitate-dnr-tattoo-leaves-doctors-debating-whether-to-save-his-life/

Do you want to learn more about navigating the health care system? Pick up my book Your Hospital Stay in which you can learn about the other documents you should have in place.

6 Tips for Staying Healthy This Holiday Season

Happy Thanksgiving! As quickly as Turkey Day comes and goes, the holiday season is far from over. While this is a time for love and laughter it is also a time for over indulging and too many sweets. With parties taking over your evenings and weekends, and the temptations of cookies and candy, it’s hard to stay on track and stay on top of your health. Today, we’re going to share 6 tips for surviving and staying healthy during the holidays.

Don’t go hungry
This is possibly my number one rule. It is a huge mistake to go to a holiday party or a work function hungry. Go with a full stomach so you can graze and enjoy the food but not over indulge.

Get your workout in
Be sure to get up and get your workout in early. It will help to kick your metabolism in to high gear and burn fat all day. This way you don’t have to worry about having a few cookies while out at night.

Offer to bring a healthy dish
If you’re going to a party where you’re asked to bring something be sure to bring something healthy. Sure, maybe your famous pecan pie isn’t super healthy, but bring something additional to balance it out. This way you know there is at least one option that’s good for you. And get creative, it’s so easy to make little tweaks to make something more nutritious.

Always have water
Water is another really important one when it comes to this. It helps to keep you full but it also helps to be sure you don’t get a little too tipsy. Drink lots of water with your meal and be sure to have a glass between each drink. There’s nothing worse than embarrassing yourself at a company party or waking up with a raging headache.

Mind your portion sizes
Portions are key when it comes to being sure you don’t over eat. Keep protein to the size of your palm, veggies to the size of your fist, carbs to the size of your hand cupped and sweets and sides to the size of your thumb. If you’re still hungry you can always go back for seconds but you’ll feel rude if you don’t finish everything on your plate.

Don’t forget to enjoy
All in all, don’t forget the reason for the season. Obviously your health is important but family and friends come first. Don’t beat yourself up for falling off track.

 

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2 Health Items to Bring When You Travel

Holiday season is upon us, which means you may have some plans for travel. Whether you are hitting the road or catching a flight, there are two things you should always make sure to bring with you.

First, bring any medications you and your loved ones will need while you are away. This includes daily medications, as well as any “as needed” medications. It’s best to bring them in their original package to ensure you use the right medication during travel. It also helps TSA agents at the airport identify what you have in your bag. If any of your prescription medications are running low, consider refilling them before you travel. It’s usually easier to do so at your own pharmacy rather than in a different location that may or may not have your particular store. Also, even if you’re not traveling, it’s a good idea to refill prescriptions before holidays, which may impact pharmacy hours.

Second, bring your health insurance card. If you keep your health insurance card in your wallet, you may be all set. Just remember, if you switch wallets for travel, be sure to grab your insurance card. Hopefully you won’t need it, but you never know what might happen while you’re away. One of your family members might get sick and need to visit a local clinic. You may need to fill or refill a prescription while you’re away. By taking your health insurance card with you wherever you go, you will be prepared for the unexpected and possibly avoid extra out-of-pocket costs.

Want more tips about health insurance? Get my book