Communication: Role Playing
There's a wave that happens and you want to take it and make it a good way than push it in the right direction. So anybody else jumping in the water is going the same way as you. So what if it were a symbol of, you know what? If it were sibling who you think is neutral and maybe not so helpful? You know, could you imagine that kind of person like, if you imagine that kind of sibling who maybe is not helpful, you think, what would you what if you have conflicting like points of view on how the end of life should happen? How would you tackle that if you and your sibling disagree? You really just, you know, right? Well, something a lot of at least if we're talking about the p l a part, we're really talking about executing what that end of life looks like it's making sure that and the first step is to make sure that that paper works there. So it is anyone there to take care of it. Once we have that we can talk about the details is kind of how I see the discussion going, like, I mean, if yo...
u don't, if no one's legally set up to be the power of attorney, then you can't even get into that uncomfortable discussion of disagreement. So that I will say that it turns out, and I know people are from different states, but the laws are slightly different in different states about whether or not there is an automatic power of attorneys. So here in washington state, it turns out if you've never signed anything, then there's an automatic order so that it's your spouse first, then it's your children, you know, and then it kind of goes on from there. So in washington, it turns out there is this kind of order, but in a lot of not all states have not, and so especially if you are in a state that doesn't have that, or you would like the person to be named as somebody who's, not in the automatic order than having the actual document is really important. The other thing I was going to say about these conversations I feel like it's it one of the things that were often doing is, like we projected onto this other person like chanel. You have to do this from a blood on. I wonder what it would be like if I said, you know, she know I was doing my power of attorney stuff, and I was going to ask you if you would be my power of attorney, because I trust you to make these decisions. And I realized that we can't know everything ahead of time, but I feel like you would be a really good person would you do them well, I would but I don't know if I would know um what you want like I don't know I don't know how I would be able to make that choice for you oh, right so you know, in a way it would it would just be kind of this uh you know what I'm like and you kind of know how I would weigh things and then we could have a talk about what what the big harry important things are all right so that you would know and then in between, you know, I realized no one can know, you know, everything inside someone's head so it's really just making the best decision possible eso that you'd have to say, gee, you know, if tony were here, what would he say? I would be the thing I would do that? I mean, why would you want me to do it, though? Isn't there somebody else who would be bettor's here? You know, why not your one of your spouse and still instead of me, well, you know what I think my spouse would be to wound up and too overwhelmed and I think if I told him that you know, I had asked you to help out with this I think he'd be fine with it. I'll tell him ahead of time and in a way it'll take a little bit of the burden off him because what what I'll be saying is you know, it's not like she's going to decide all for all by yourself she's going to ask you but at least we'll have a name one how am I going to know what you really want like hold a plug I don't want to be a vegetable like I don't know what that means exactly right? Well, could we have another talk about that? Could you tell me can you show me what what it is that you mean so I will be totally inform because I'll do it for you, right totally there for you, right? But I don't wanna do the wrong thing, right? Yeah it's like, you know, can I give let me try a global thing for right? Ok, I'd like a couple of reasonable tries and everything, but if it came to where I was going to be stuck in the intensive carrier or stuck on machines and the machines were just keeping me alive and I'd end up dying in a nursing home or in the intensive care unit, then I'd say focus on comfort okay, so if you can get better finding getting better enough to get out of the hospital and live in my own house. Then I say great, ok, if you could get better, what about talking tar being able, like, do what if you wake up and you and are aware and around and then something happens? Like, if you you know what? I would still say that if I, uh, if the doctors didn't think I could get well enough to go back home and live in my own place, then I'd still say, you know, keep me comfortable, focus on more comfortable because even if I can't talk, you know, I know they will be people like you will be around and we can be together even if we can't talk. So the medicine is on ly keeping you alive longer, if if if any medical intervention is just prolonging your death. Yeah, and you can't go home. Ok, then I'd say, you know, keep me comfortable in a couple of reason will try as being like space travel or no, I'm not totally experimental things anything experimental, give anything and give anything a world. Yeah, you know what? Then I think you guys would have to get together and say what do you think does this since seem like something that has a reasonable chance because I don't want to do something that has a one in a million chance or one in one hundred chance I don't think that's worth it to me I don't feel like that not one in one hundred maybe one in ten you know, maybe one five maybe one in five okay reasonable chance that's what I mean by real ok ok better than a point off it's not a needle in the haystack a little better yeah that's a good way to put it better than a coin toss not a needle in the haystack I'm not willing to do it for a needle in a haystack ok ok ok. Well what did you think about that feel like clapping the way a lot of good yeah, that was great. What did you guys think about what what what happened there that you thought was worth remembering like what would you remember? It was interesting listening to describe you know, the measures you would take to you know at the end of your life or if you were in that situation you know, like what struck you about that? Just like the sky wondering I think listen because it's hard to describe like certain situations, you know oh right, right and, you know, going over all the different aspects of and we get mired in the details of what if story, right? Yeah, and I know that I think that happens a lot in medical settings and I think people are all mired in the what about this treatment of that treatment, whether the chance of all those really things but really, when you talk to most people it's really about are they going to make it out of the hospital and go home to their yeah, exactly where they're going to make it out of the hospital and go home to a nursing home that's way different for a lot of people right now they're not going to make it out of the hospital right then just folks ever right social like those are you know what? What could you what would I be able to do when I got home? That would really help that really helps simplify? What are some of the big things? Does that make sense? Because I feel like that's, a big part of the place where people really get hung up and I feel like that's easier to talk about because it's not so much about the details of the medical treatments it's about how you want to live if you're you know, if you're if you think if you're sick, you know, I appreciate for somebody who has, you know, limited, you know, thinking abilities you know, because of something like alzheimer's than I do think it's a little different yeah, but saying things might still be some aspects of that might still be yeah it's not so much the medical one I'm concerned about it's actually financial because because that's taking away control of you know him he's feels like he's losing control of his life and even the fact that it's not necessary right now, I don't need to but you know, at some point we will need teo and so that's the hard one for me, the end of life when the medical I don't, I actually think will be an issue it's really the financial one because it represents so much that's interesting, you know, fight if you don't mind my asking. I mean, what do you think it were presents for him? Uh, freedom and independence I mean, he even, you know, he lives on an acre and a half he has he travels a lot or used to be my mom used to and she was alive and his hobbies are things that are outside, they're not reading, they're not watching the tv his night of god, he's an active guy and so as his world gets smaller, that is scary for him, I think that's and money, as you know, represents so many things other than just money itself you know if there was a first small step about that that you want to start what do you think the first small step might be well he's actually already and this is you know it might a lot of it can be more in my head as we were talking about that in his but he has started voluntarily doing things like I have passwords to all of his accounts and that sort of thing so he's given me that but it's that idea that I would have the power of of actually taking them away from him if that makes sense I think is is scary to him right that's the part that I see and so again going out probably work on he's a very organized person so you know try to come at it from that angle like it's finished getting you organized so that we don't have to think about this anymore and you talk about supportive or non supportive my sister there's four of us but my one sister and I are the primary people involved in stuff has happens a lot families and she is supportive but in a back handled sword play so she's not quite as assertive as I am and so she'll backpedal sometimes and so I want to bring her in but I feel sometimes if my dad would push she would actually do more harm than good because she would start okay, never mind we don't have to be oh yeah you know that sort of thing how did you bring up the password thing? Because that's a great example of ah great small stuff we actually have had we had a little so for everybody out there we had a little lise little extension of our lease on life my dad was diagnosed at the end of last year and he was he suddenly I mean it was just a quick all of a sudden losing it and we got him on we noticed and got a man and got him on medication and the medication helps a lot a lot on dh so when he came back out of that he realized things were going down and so started the problems he where he has a lot of trouble right now is with technology andi used to be abbott technical person and so he started volunteering things because, um he knows he's losing certain things yeah, but I can also tell the uh medication is not as effective now as it was a year ago so we're going to start another what could I try a little something with you so chanel you know what you're my, uh mom let's say right hey, so uh you know, I'm wondering if we could have a little talk about like passwords and stuff would that be ok if we talk a little bit about it like what kind of passwords? Well, you know, I know but everybody has all their passwords for their bank and stuff like that on and I know that you want to be independent and managing it for as long as possible, right? Yes, I've been talking to the doctors about the medicine and I feel like that's going okay, right? I go to the bank every friday morning and I deposit my check and I get out money for the weekend like I haven't for forty seven years gets me out of the house and I think that's fantastic and I would like to see do that forever, right? And I think I could help you do it every once in a while, you know, it's good to have a backup and so if the if then if any time something happened then I could fill in for you? I only forgot that one time and that's just because I was wasn't myself I just wasn't feeling like myself that day yeah, everybody has bad but I have got to get up, go to get my walk, got a write the checks and make sure you know, I have been financially responsible my whole my whole life, yes and so I feel like that financial responsibility I want I want to see that continue, so uh I don't know that I need help with that well, so this is where you know what I hear from other people? Is that having a little backup plan? It's really a good thing? That's a restaurant? Well, I'm just going to my house. No, no, no, no, no, we're not we're not anything. What? We don't need anything like that. Okay? I'm just wondering if you could have the passwords in a place where I could get them if we needed them so that we could use that safe. All right. How do how do I write them now? You know, someone's not going to come in and find him? No, we could put him in a safe deposit box or something like that. Okay. And what you're going to use him for? No, I'm on lee going to use him if it's an emergency. Okay, like, if something happened to you and it was an emergency that way I could make sure that everything was financially taken care of and nothing bad would happen. So fun visiting my sister in the summer and the power goes out when I can't catch my eye flight on time you go to the bank on friday, they would call me and say, could you go to the bank for me and I'd say, oh, yeah, okay okay, great it's important that someone goes to the bank on friday we just want to keep doing that all right because I want to keep do you want to keep you doing what you're doing ok, ok that's what? I need power of attorney at the bank I think you have the keys but it's the principle of how to help you keep how could I help keep you doing more the same thing that you're doing because if your thing is you want to go to the bank every friday right? I can help make sure that you don't go to the bank every friday even if other stuff's going on right? Well, any were what I like about that is you were continuing to be helpful and not continuing to be it wasn't threatening like you weren't giving your you are telling me that I couldn't do it or not you make sure that something could keep happen because you really attached to go into the bank so I'm saying let's make sure you can keep going to the bank I like how you don't back down either but I also not backing down, right? Yeah saying hmm she's backing off until I'm not because I wanted to really sort of hang in there and see a little bit about it that we're right we have another question as far as communication do you feel that you have a responsibility to share your views with the person that you're having the conversation with think about what he and his father so right, but from personal experience you know, my father was in the hospital and, um they said to us, well, the chance of him becoming conscious again is this and his wishes were no life support no nothing but we still had to make that decision he may be conscious again, but he won't be it won't be out of the hospital ever so you still we saw it and interpret what the doctor was saying compared to what his wishes are sure so do you think you have a responsibility to tell this person you having the conversation with what your views are? You know what I mean? Can well, yeah that's a cool yeah way talked yesterday a little bit about I just want I love that question and add on to what we talked yesterday little bit of a living will some one of the purposes being you know what your wishes are. So at some point whether somebody agrees or disagrees with you, um is ok but it's all more it's almost a little bit more of a moot point to knowing what somebody's wishes wishes are in a way but this becomes this complicated thing about listening to what the doctors were saying trying to figure that out and making the choice cycle's bento what chase you know how you feel and what you want to see if you're comfortable like watching happen important factor yeah when it's complicated when it's complicated I suppose if your father says I want to be alive and I want to be kept alive no matter what then you know what his wishes are but if it's I don't want to be on life support but you're so you're on life support but you're awake you know and then it gets a little bit more complicated um so here's you know here's what I could say I mean I think your obligation is to say you know, as the person who would be the power of attorney is to say you know what I will do the best I can to make decisions as you would make them right yeah but then I might need to I might say to chanel so uh so she know I know you want me to be your power of attorney right? And I know that you want to be on life support no matter what because you know that is what you you know that's important to you do everything right do everything possible right? And you know what? I'm thinking that that would be hard for me I am wondering if you know maybe we should have somebody else help me because I think it be really hard for me to watch well, what would be hard because you so you're not you're not land down, I'm the one in there. I mean, we just keep keep the machines that I care about you isn't it will be hard for me to watch you in that in that condition because I would be really worried that you were uncomfortable. Well, can you keep me comfortable? I mean, it's, I just want to make sure that if there's any chance at all that aiken come back, I want to know no matter what, right? Like, even a one percent chance for you that be okay, stranger things have happened to me like that was one I'll go with one for a while, one for a while. How about one? Well, oh, I see. Ok, then, if if if I said to the doctors she said she'd go with one percent chance for a while, but then if it's not working after awhile, then what would you want me to do? Well, if you couldn't do it like a year, a year, ok a year or maybe two? Well, so so you know, I'm not sure if I could do that, you know, but I don't have anybody else who can you're the only person who is nearby that I think I can trust because nobody else you can do it either you or I don't I don't really have anybody close by. Well, so here's what I'll tell the doctor then I'll tell them that when you and I talked uh and we'll hopefully we'll talk about it many more times in the future, but no knock on one of the one you and I talk to you said you'd be willing to go for a one percent chance for a while, maybe even one or two years and I'll do my best to make those decisions. Is that okay with you? Yes, and I'll write that down, and if you tell the doctor that and make sure that nobody none of my sissy family who wants to come to a healing circle on me is going to try to make me better and or pull jerry white circle and I don't want any healing circles know he wouldn't want candles I want I don't want anybody to say that like it's, not ok and that we're going to unplug her because she's getting too expensive? I don't care how expensive I am yeah, and a song as you tell the doctor and as long you can't handle being there that's fine, but don't let the doctors turn off the machine, ok, what would you rather have them do instead of the one circle I like cut my stuff to be around me some of my favorite things you like to bring a broad you'd like him to bring in some stuff some things you know, this is the room hospital smell funny? I don't like what I smell so you'd like to also so maybe some stuff to make it nice and pretty I could have a do that okay, getting pretty is on making it pretty if you can't handle it pretty and then if I can't handle it is ok to take a break yet just don't turn off the machine, ok? Actually like healing circles, by the way, I like that is so funny that is so funny that's interesting, though, because I mean, what happens if somebody can't handle it like then you should absolutely say this thing isn't for me yeah, this actually isn't I don't think I can, right? Yeah, because I think one of the ways people get, uh, um kind of wound up yeah, they, uh either are the power of attorney and they really don't know what someone wanted, right? Right? Or they don't know what or they feel differently and they feel like they've got to do their own thing, right? So if I might, I mean, this kind of dives into the whole uncomfortable conversation where you don't want to do that like and is that really fair to be putting someone in a spot where you kind of back him into a corner or I mean, at what point you relent? I guess is is where? Because you've been really good at not backing down in a very comfortable way, right at a certain point in time if you're hitting a wall, you know, I mean, well, I did say that traditional just now that I tell all that I tell the doctor the one in one hundred thing shortly here too, that was but, you mean sure, uh, just kind of in general, like, I mean, that specific was was good because you've now put it on that doctor that I mean, you're bringing another responsible professional person into that discussion that in the what if situation, but, um, you know, if it's I'm asking you to be my p away like, no, seriously, I don't want any part of it like I'm I'm not doing that mohr on weight, you back down on that? Yeah? Or you know, mom, I need I need you to get your pio and order I need I need this for me at a certain point that you can't beat that horse until it dies, so I mean, how do you extricate yourself when you need tio circle back at another time I guess is yeah so good question so you know what? I have a couple of thoughts about that so that times I was talking here you know and I wasn't backing down part of what I'm looking at is how upset or bent out of shape is she getting right and she wasn't that bent out of shape no she was just a she was kind of thinking thinking out loud about it but she wasn't bent out of shape right if someone is really getting way upset I mean I think the question is if someone started to get waves and then it's time to back off and because if you try and push while they're upset you're going to do more harm than good right right and so then it beat the time to say um wow I can see this is like a big topic so we should we should table wouldn't come backto because you know you try and have somebody agree to something when they're upset you know bill they might feel kind of pushed into it result yeah and that won't be good for you in the long term because really the reason you're doing this is you want to strengthen this relationship right right you want to be doing it you want to be in this conversation because you trust this person where you want to be able to carry out something for this person right? And so I think one of the things they're I just mentioned is you know, mom, you need to do this for me well, you know I'm wondering if you could maybe next time around come up with a reason that it would be in mom's best interest like remember when we were talking about I'm going to help you keep going to the bank how could mom see that as something in her best dreams? Right? Because then then doing something uncomfortable is about helping her live the way she wants to live and so maybe next time you could come back with something different now one of the ones I used on my mom because my mom and I were really close was mom, you've got to help me to help you like I can't do this alone you've got to help me and you know, there are a lot of studies that show that one of the big um incentives for people to do this is that it makes it easier on their family members so actually saying, you know what? I know that we're dealing with a lot of stuff with this illness and I'm willing to do whatever it takes and one of the ways that you could make it a little easier on me is if we could have this one talk once it'll just settle my stress level and that was really I would really appreciate that does that make sense? Yeah makes really good because it really is true that people do it because they think it's going to make it easier on their family because most people who are, you know, dealing with a serious illness bag they know that it's a lot of work for all the people they love in their life, right? And so if you say you know really help me, I'll be able to you know, it will just be one thing off my plate and I just you know, I would really appreciate it most people will will say ok, I'll spend you know, I'll spend ten minutes on that, right? And then the thing is if you get into this conversation and it's way more complicated than after some short period of time, you go ok, we need some help, right? We need to call the social worker we need to call somebody to find us help us walk through this together because we couldn't do it on her own and so we're not gonna keep beating at it right cause going back to it and backed what if it's not working that just sets up a negative kind of reinforcement, right? Who wants to come back to that covers who wants to come back to that right? But if you get to try and go ok now we need some help him right exactly. Yeah. Then, at least when you start, you're trying with something new in a new person who can often, like, change the dynamic of a little bit it's. Interesting that you bring in other researchers like you bring up social worker, but maybe one of your parents, friends or a great idea, right, you know what if you had if you knew that one of your parents friends had done this, yeah, I should call someone. So book she's done this before, and children are all right. And then that would actually be, like, maybe way, even less threatening than a social worker, right?