What Is A Living Will and Do You Need One? Plus More!

Welcome to another Thinking on Thursday topic. As promised I said I would cover topics related to retiring and other Golden Years topics. First off let me state this is my opinion, but if you do some research you will see that my opinion is helped by a lot of legal experts. I think anyone over the age of 20 should have a Living Will. At the end of the post, I will do an update on my pantry and food budget challenge, so there will be a lot of pictures.

We can not discuss if you need a Living Will without a few definitions. First off what is a Living Will? I like to keep things simple, so to put it in a simple way it is a legal document filed with your doctor, family, and anyone else who needs it making it very clear what your wishes are for your medical care should you become terminally ill. What is the definition of a terminal illness? Again, in its simplest form when someone has a terminal illness there is no cure and will cause death. That is a pretty broad statement in my opinion and if you have CKD, like me, they will tell you there is no cure. Now, I think in a lot of states this would be broken down into how long until death is expected, etc. Be sure and follow the guidelines, and understand what a Living Will in your state means.

My husband and I will each be doing a Living Will. Something we should have probably done years ago. But, when you are young you don’t think about such things, like something awful can never ever happen to you.

Again, this is my opinion and my feelings. I have been a nurse for 35 years and I know there are certain things I do not want. For example, I do not want to be kept alive with no quality of life. Quality of Life is a debatable topic, but for me, if I can not do the things I enjoy how and when I want to, I have no quality of life. If I am exhausted all the time, can’t work, can’t exercise or even walk far, am being fed by a machine, am incontinent with someone needing to clean and change me, these are not quality of life for me. If these things were short-term, and by short-term I mean less than 3 months, then I would consider it being rehabilitative, not poor quality of life. Event hat is debatable to me if the expense to do so will be outrageous and put my family in a horrible position of trying to pay just to keep me alive. I have lived an awesome life and while I don’t want to die, I don’t fear death. I do fear no quality of life, however. Dialysis is something I am still on the fence about, especially since I don’t have to confront it yet. It is life-saving, obviously, but I would have to assess my quality of life.

These are the types of things you would need to consider when creating a Living Will and are only examples of myself since I am the best example I can give. A Living Will can be amended or rescinded at any time, so don’t feel like once one is created you can never change your mind, or ask for changes.

Even though creating a Living Will is not something fun to think about, or something that has even crossed your mind, it does take the burden off of loved ones who would be put in the position to have to decide these things should you be terminally ill.

You don’t even need a lawyer. Legal Zoom can assist you, and there may be others. Here in Florida, they provide a sample Living Will you can use, just fill in the areas that need filling in.

Consider the pros and cons talk to your family and then make an informed decision. My family is very aware of how I feel.

Update on the food budget/pantry challenge:

This week we are using up leftovers and a bunch of pantry food items. You will see the labels and ingredients for each item below. I am very disappointed to say that I will not be eating the Stove Top Stuffing as it has HFCS and a lot of sodium, added phosphorus and added sugars. I will eat homemade mashed potatoes instead. Keep reading to learn more.

Tuesday: We had for dinner Dave’s Killer muffins as egg and sausage sandwiches. I like Dave’s products. I like their 22 seed bread better, but this is what I purchased. I did have sausage, egg, and one slice of cheese. I had a large side salad with mine.

Wednesday: I had a board meeting and my husband was going to be late. So, from the pantry, my daughter wanted Campbell’s tomato soup. Unfortunately, I did not read the label until after I had eaten 1 cup. I didn’t even consider that soup would be so bad for me. This soup is full of sodium, added sugar, and I believe added phosphorus. I did not take pics of the label but you can look it up. I almost died when I put it into my food tracker and I had consumed 40 grams of carbs in a 1 cup serving of soup that was not even filling. Good grief! I did have a side salad with it.

Thursday: We had some turkey still leftover from Sunday. So. I put 2 ounces of turkey breast on a spinach and iceberg salad, with some sunflower seeds. Unfortunately, I did not read the label for the Publix salad dressing and much to my dismay it too has a lot of added sugars. I did look up their organic version and it was much better, though you will pay more for that healthier version. I had one Hawaiian roll, again leftover from Sunday, and holy moly look at the food label and ingredients for one tiny roll. That was just lunch, lol. For dinner, I am making some pan-fried organic chicken from my freezer, carrots from a can see the label it is about the only healthy thing I have featured this week other than the organic chicken, and I will have homemade mashed potatoes leftover. My husband and daughter will be having the Cracker Barrel White Cheddar Macaroni and Cheese. I was going to have that too but look at the label and the ingredients. No thank you!

This week has been an eye-opening week for me with my Pantry Challenge eating with CKD. The Dave’s bread, and the carrots, are the only two pantry items that are even acceptable. HFCS, food additives, preservatives, high-fat content, added sugar, high sodium, added phosphorus in the other items are probably not good for you if you have CKD. They are probably not even good for you if you don’t have CKD. If you do decide to eat any of the foods I mention at the very least eat only one portion or even half a portion. Always discuss food options with your doctor or dietitian, if you are even lucky enough to have a dietitian.

That is it for today. I hope you are all enjoying my budget/pantry food challenge. Let me know in the comments.

Disclaimer

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My name is Melissa. I am a certified Health Coach, Holistic Coach, Kidney Coach, LPN, can coach in Herbalism, Aromatherapy, Guided Imagery, am level 2 Reiki certified, and I want to be your Health and Wellness Coach. I am continually learning and taking classes to expand my knowledge base.

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