and the Importance of Living Wills
When Ann and I got married, we did all the legal things necessary for an efficient legal marriage. One of the issues was the living will or what is known by my exacting legal eagles as the advance health care directive. It was for me more than merely dotting the i's and crossing the t's. I just didn't want to be kept alive in some comatose/vegetated state for months or years without any hope of recovery. I have seen on TV Schiavo and others. I have seen it within my family and friends. When my mental time is up on earth, it is the end for me...even if blood is still circulating through my arteries.
To say that I was emphatic about this matter would be any understatement. I didn't want my family and friends visiting a vegetable and consequentially remembering me that way long after I was gone physically. To illustrate my determination about this desire not to be a family vegetable, four years ago I fell off a ladder while painting and hit my head on a block wall causing a subdural hematoma, which in lay term mean bleeding within the brain. My neurosurgeon removed a part of my skill the size of a bagel to allow the brain to swell and a month later replaced it.
However, my wife saw me come out of surgery with breathing tubes and a tube coming out of the top of my head to drain the blood from my brain. Seeing me this way reminded her about not prolonging my life needlessly. She told the doctor and the nurse that he didn't want that type of life after an accident like the one that just occurred. The nurse assured her that this was normal and all would be well. However, the next day when the nurse told me that if I didn't eat that they would have to put a feeding tube down my throat. However, I refused even after Ann pleaded with me to eat. Interestingly, when the nurse came toward me with the feeding tube, I finally recanted. Mind you; I don't recall a moment during the 4-weeks in ICU and IMCU...and still don't.
Nevertheless, I was back teaching three months after the accident that fall like nothing had happened except for a hearing problem. My normal life now is centered on kayaking and biking each day, teaching my college classes, planning overseas trips (one soon to Burma/Myanmar and the other to Scotland), writing, and babysitting for two young grandsons once a week in Indy. It couldn't be better.
However, there I was watching the Republican National Convention...as an Obama supporter. Why we have either convention when the nominees are already known is beyond me unless either party merely wishes to party for several days. I was watching the convention as a respite from working and besides one of my two favorite actors was going to speak...Clint Eastwood. My other actor idol is Sean Connery and between the two of them hardly is a movie in which I haven't seen either of them acting.
Clint and Sean are kind of role models for me. While both men were born 13 years before me in 1930, they were models of style and demeanor to me as I ventured into adulthood. Interestingly, as both actors grew older, I also changed with them because I could identify with their older versions...as I aged.
Sean and I need to talk about the Scottish quest for independence in 2014. I also know that Clint is a republican. Nevertheless, I still watch all his movies...it does make my day.
However, Dina Ruiz Eastwood, his present wife, and Clint didn't have the same attorney writing a living will for them as Ann and I had. That speech was a precursor of my dreaded fear of what I will be like 13-years from now. Remember this day, August 30, 2025, a day that I surely plan to be alive. However, I want to be sentient as I am now...nothing more, but certainly nothing less.
Beyond the fact that this great actor, winner of 4-Academy Awards and 3-Golden Globe Awards while being nominated for a total of 23 awards from both groups, on that night at the Republican convention, Clint did a subpar acting moment in his 11:15 minute rambling. Aside for the acting issue, this imaginary Obama conversation lacked factual accuracy.
As for accuracy regarding the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, it was Bush II and Cheney that saw the linkage between Iraq and Afghanistan...and that linkage was bin Laden. No one today believes in any bin Laden linkage with Iraq. In addition, Rumsfeld could not find bin Laden for nearly 8-years and dissed Obama for going after bin Laden as an easy call. Rummy said, "I don't think it was a tough decision. We've seen a lot of instances where presidents over the years have -- have had to make decisions like that." Daily Kos
Well, two issues: first, Rummy couldn't find bin Laden, which Obama did just over 2-years in a new administration, and second, when Bush was going to get Asyman al-Zawahri, bin Laden's second in command, in 2005, Rumsfeld was afraid at the last moment of complicating international relations with Pakistan. Obama did carry out the raid on bin Laden and faced Pakistani anger. I don't understand Rummy's easy task comment about getting bin Laden. The only easy thing was Rummy playing chicken at the last moment...like he did.
Another factual error was Clint's dissing attorneys, like Obama, who mix politics and their law degree. Obama did in fact get a law degree in 1991 at Harvard magna cum laude. He was able to do that while being the president of the Harvard Law Review. The factual error had to do with Romney who graduated with a law degree from Harvard in 1975. He graduated a bit academically behind Obama. Romney was not the Harvard Law Review president and he only graduated cum laude. Before you jump all over Clint for that error, Clint wasn't in country in part of 1975. He was in Switzerland filming the movie, The Eiger Sanction. However, someone should have briefed him about what he missed while he was out of the country.
And as much as I love the actor, Clint said this with a straight face, "We own this country...." Really? Each of us? Well, I'll trade my bit of America for Clint's or certainly for Romney's massive bits. In reality, I'd settle for Mitt's bits of America that are in offshore banking facilities-beyond the IRS. I'm not greedy.
What I don't get about Clint is not that he is a republican...my parents were also. I knew that Clint ran on a republican-esque ticket in Carmel-by-the-Sea in California. He won and was their mayor from 1986-1988, and I still went to see both films done during his tenure as mayor: Heartbreak Ridge and The Dead Pool. I don't care about his party affiliation. He has had pro choice, pro environmental issues, and pro gay rights for a long time.
As I mentioned at the beginning of this article, I do not want to have some accident or illness and wind up living like a vegetable. While attempting to put my life back together, I read a great deal about brain injuries from the medical experts on the Internet. I had danced with death, and I lead our dance. However, I came across several articles about Alzheimer's or other forms of dementia due to Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). There is an increased risk for TBI, but researchers have found no statistics indicating an increase with various forms of dementia due to Mild Traumatic Brain Injury (mTBI). Since I was not unconscious for 30-minutes after my fall, I would not qualify for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDCP). Therefore, I might have danced past getting Alzheimer's from my fall.
However, I cannot take my medical observation to the bank. Therefore, I am informing David Axelrod that I will vote for Obama again and am sure that he will be reelected. I am equally sure that Hillary Clinton will run against Rick Santorum in 2016 and also will win. I can't wait to write about that presidential election....
Who the republicans will run in 2020 after Santorum loses, I am not sure. A strong possibility would be Mike Huckabee. Regardless, if you question my ability to predict presidential elections, please read Bobby and Barack. If that doesn't impress you with my calling elections, go to the one I wrote in 2009 about healthcare reform.
If not Huckabee, maybe Newt Gingrich will be the candidate.
Regardless, by that time, I can't be sure of whom the democrats will nominate to run in 2024. Nevertheless, it will be 13-years from now when I am 82...like Clint Eastwood was when he stole the day with his speech at the 2012 Republican National Convention on August 30th. Axelrod needs to email the person running the 2024 Democratic National Convention not to allow me to speak...especially during primetime given the possibility of early stage of Alzheimer's. The convention in 2024 doesn't need a repeat of the recent republican convention in Tampa.
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