I'm busy training and planning for my solo bike tour across both islands of New Zealand, Tour Aotearoa! I'm riding as much as I can (thanks to the nice weather!!), gathering gear, working with sponsors, raising money to finance the trip, booking plane tickets, planning routes, and making all sorts of plans. I'm even making plans incase I get hurt or die. I'm putting together my advance directives, which is pretty much a written document stating my medical treatments, my living will and power of attorney.
When planning a month long bike tour one would not think that this would come into play. When thinking of a fun ass adventure why would you have to think about death? Well, you should but you don't need an adventure to kick your butt to think about these things, but I guess I do. I've had these forms for years, thank to my mom who worked in hospice, but I never filled them out. Before I leave for NZ I will have them filled out and then I'll discuss them with my family so that we are all on the same page. Why is this important? Think about it. If someone I loved was hurt, unable to make medical decisions I rather know what they want than have to guess. This is a stressful time already, having a plan helps take away some of that stress.
Now, who should be in charge of making sure your wishes are being followed?? Your spouse or partner may not be the best person. It might be too much for them to take on or they might not want to do it. This is a big thing to take on. That's why talking about it openly and honestly, is so important. And it's okay if someone isn't or doesn't want to be in charge of making sure your wishes are followed. It may be a better task for a sibling, parent, cousin, friend or child. Again, I know this may be uncomfortable to talk about and to face. If something were ever to happen to me I want as little stress from my family as possible.
So I've downloaded my forms from AARP (click link to get your own), filling them out and my family has agreed to meet to talk about my wishes. This meeting may be difficult for some, my family is a multi-family where there are a lot of people that need to come together that may have different or views on what they feel is best for me. At the end, the best decision for me are the ones that I put into play. There will be no questions on what is best for me or doubt on what to do if/when the time comes for those. I'm grateful that my wishes are being met with open arms with little to no dispute, thank you in advance family!
Regardless if you bike race, mountain climb, paddle board or surf the web, I feel it's beyond important to have an advance directive in place. Be heard even when you don't have a voice.