I exercise 5-6 days a week, alternating cardio and strength. I eat a healthy diet. 5 days ago, Easter morning, I had a heart attack (specifically a NSTEMI - non-S-T elevated myocardial infarction). I'm recovering and even back at work, praise God and thanks to some terrific medical professionals. Here are a few things I've taken away from the experience.
1. Don't ignore the feeling that "something's not quite right". I woke up with a funny feeling in my chest. Tried to walk it off, but within about 5 minutes I knew this was not indigestion. Had I waited, the damage likely would have been much worse. As it was, I had 10 (count 'em, ten) stents placed in one of my arteries due to a complete blockage. But my wife got to run 2 red lights driving me to the hospital, so that was cool...
2. Don't drive to the hospital, call EMS. That's from my brother-in-law, the doctor. Got it, James!
3. Know where your important documents are - like medical powers of attorney (MPOAs) - so your agent can put his/her hands on them without delay.
4. GET YOUR ESTATE PLANNING DONE. All I could think of while lying on the table in the ER was, "I have to update my will...". Yes, the cobbler's children often have no shoes. It would have been okay regardless, but there are some things I want to revise.
5. If you've been diagnosed with elevated cholesterol, stay on your meds - this is probably what put off this heart attack as long as it did, that and exercise and eating well. I was diagnosed with high cholesterol at age 30 and have been on meds (off and on, mainly on) since then (I'm 61 years old). I spoke with 2 thirty-somethings in the 4 days after the heart attack, each of whom had recently been diagnosed with high cholesterol. I told them what my cardiologist told me: "This heart attack didn't start yesterday, it started 30 years ago."
6. Tell your people you love them. Early and often. Don't ever take family and friends for granted. I can't express how overwhelmed we are by the prayer chains, offers of help, meals, encouragement, and check-ins from folks we haven't seen in years but who contacted us for updates and to tell us they were praying for us. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
7. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength, and your neighbor as yourself. We were on the receiving end of the second greatest commandment because people obeyed the first and greatest commandment.
I'm doing well and getting used to the new medications that will be a part of my routine for the rest of this earthly life, and I'm looking forward to what's next. And a long bike ride soon. Thanks.
At the Jacobson Law Firm we do a lot of estate planning and probate a lot of wills. Ideally, the transition between making a will and settling an estate is seamless, with everything set out ahead of time and all parties in agreement, or at least acknowledging and following the stated desires of the person who made the will and then passed away. Ideally...
But what about the immediate aftermath of a person's passing? The will hasn't been probated, the house may be a mess, family may be unavailable (either geographically or emotionally), and an important decision needs to be made and, frankly, can't wait for people to show up: what to do with the earthly remains of the dearly departed. I'm in that stage of life where the people around me (including myself and my wife) are losing parents, and though it's usually not an issue, occasionally there will be power struggles between the kids as to Mom or Dad's wishes regarding interment, inurnment (a new term to me, learned because I'm presently involved in my church's construction of a columbarium, which is where an urn with cremated remains is kept), donation to science, etc. Whether it's a sincere desire to honor Mom's wishes or just control issues, there can be extremely sharp disagreements about how to dispose of the body. Wait, that sounds like we're trying to cover up a murder...
Fortunately, a Texas statute, Health & Safety Code Section 711.002, clearly spells out whose right and responsibility it is to decide on disposition of remains, and in what order. Generally, it's:
To avoid any misunderstanding, especially if you know there are those in the family who will make a big deal out of disposition of remains, it's a good idea to sign an Appointment for Disposition of Remains.
As always, the above is legal information, not legal advice, and it's based on Texas law because I'm a Texas lawyer. If you have questions, consult an experience estate planning attorney to discuss your options.
Musings, observations, the occasional whineage and some funny stuff.