Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Let's Talk About Today

My day began early and with the following two posts on Facebook:

1. "The time needs to change.  Getting to school in the dark is just not right."

2. Note to self: Beginning a 7:30 ear training class with harmonic dictation in the minor mode is not a good way to start the day.

And so went my day.  It had an early and rough start, but by my 9:00 class, things were moving along fairly well.  Five classes later, I was done teaching for the day and more than ready to come home.

Weber has been home from school for two days because he has Shingles on his face.  The worry was that it would go to his eye, but thankfully that hasn't happened.  I think that we were fortunate to have caught it relatively early and he started the anti-viral meds before it got too bad.

So how is the best way to spend the afternoon when one of you is exhausted from a long day that started early and the other has Shingles?  Meet with your estate attorney to rewrite your wills, powers of attorney, medical directives, and HIPAA releases. It's no fun, but it is necessary.  Fortunately, we found a great estate attorney who was helpful, efficient,  and had a great personality.  I consider a "hat trick" with an attorney to be pretty darn amazing!  So now its all done and we don't have to think about these things any time soon unless we have some major changes in our world.  Hopefully that won't be for a long while!

One piece of advice that the attorney gave us is to make sure that you have a HIPAA release form.  THIS IS NOT THE SAME AS A MEDICAL POWER OF ATTORNEY!!!  We all think that a medical power of attorney gives us the right to all the medical information related to a loved one.  With the passage of the HIPAA regulations in 2004 (I think) this is no longer true.  The medical power of attorney may give you the right to "pull the plug" perhaps, but you may be making the decision to do so without a complete picture of your loved one's medical condition because you are not listed on their HIPAA form as one who can receive specific details of their medical condition.  Crazy, but true.  I ran in to this with my dad.

When dad was in the hospital the last time, we needed to begin making arrangements with hospice.  Because I did not live close and was not there day in and day out for my dad's treatments, he had not specifically listed me on his forms as one who was privy to all of his medical information.  During his final week when I told him that he needed to do that, he said that that was ridiculous.  Of course they would give me all the information; I was his daughter.  Wrong!  He had to specifically inform them in writing that it was OK.  Doctors risk an expensive fine for each instance in which they violate the HIPAA laws.  Even if you are not ready to write your will, you may want to consider consulting an attorney for at least this one form.

None of us wants to think about estate planning and end of life issues, but it is a lot better to do it before it becomes absolutely necessary.  Doing so is one of the greatest gifts that you can give to your family ,and really yourself.

On to happier things...pumpkin bread and a cup of coffee before I go to bed, relatively early for me!

Today;s photo prompt was "repurpose."  At our house, every cardboard box is repurposed as a cat bed.