Karl Arnold Belser
9 January 2018

I am starting off the new year on a personal note.

I am continuing to have heart issues and my perspective is changing as to what is important . I am focusing more on family, friends and my social group (square dancing). Further my brother and his wife in New Zealand are experiencing health issues that seem threatening. Hence Jackie and I will likely go to New Zealand to visit them because it is doubtful that they will be able to visit us.

I read the book Being Mortal, Illness, Medicine, and what Matters in the End by Atul Gawande which made me aware about what I am experiencing. Gawande discusses several case studies of his grandfather in India, his father in Ohio and several of his patients. The underlying message is that each individual should have control of the circumstances regarding their death.  Instead of doctors dictating what shooed happen or giving information about alternatives, the doctors might ask the patient about what is important to him or her. Does this person want to avoid pain at the expense of a slightly shorter life for example. Spouses and children are likely to opt for longevity at all costs because they don't want their spouse or parent to die. Longevity with safety might give the patient the most gruesome ending.

Gawande points out that families that are educated about Hospice care which is aimed specifically about peaceful and painless deaths is of great benefit to most people at the end. But to ask for hospice means that all parties must understand that death is coming.

I am definitely making this transition, although I am hopeful that I will live many more years. I know that death by heart problems can just happen unexpectedly. Therefor I have my affairs in order with a new Living Trust and newly hired help. I will hire more help as my needs increase. I want to die at home and I have sufficient money to hire help out to a peaceful and painless death using hospice. I believe that my life partner Jackie is on board with my desires.

I consider what I am doing as an example of how to manage my uncertain future.
Last updated January 8, 2018
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