Roy Exum: A Little Housekeeping

Wednesday, November 13, 2013 - by Roy Exum
Roy Exum
Roy Exum

I need to veer a bit away from my unpredictable daily routine to clear up – and clean up – a couple of messes that I created. For instance, I asked myself why on earth I was on Facebook, because it has honestly become a nuisance. But when I opted to terminate my account, I had no idea I would immediately “un-friend” about 5,000 people or that some would think I no longer liked them.

My second error was when, in a story about a man who decided to end his medical life support after suffering a horrible tragedy, I vowed that I want my family to know my wishes are “do not resuscitate.” Whoops. That is neither what I want nor what I meant to say.

So let’s clean these up …

MY GOODBYE TO FACEBOOK?

We human beings have never been as blessed by social media as we are today and, in the years I have been on Facebook, I have accepted every friend request that I have received. At first that seemed like a friendly idea but when that number grew to around 5,000, it became uncontrollable. Imagine getting an email every time any of them did something.

While I tried to avoid “likes” and “games,”  I inadvertently made some of my “friends” mad when I would not “like” Bill’s Used Cars or Melvin’s Stump Removal. Others would send me messages, demanding I answer immediately, and the truth is there is no way that I have found to answer every email I get throughout the day. That sounds rude and crass but if I spend five minutes each on 100 emails, it would take a total of more minutes than I can allow.

I read an article not long ago about simplifying one’s life and a big part of it was how to eliminate time-absorbing tasks where there is little if any worthy return. Opting out of Facebook has been a big relief and, while I appreciate those who were my “friends,”  I need them to know I didn’t intendto “unfriend” anyone when I pulled the plug.

DO NOT RESUSCITATE?

Modern-day medicine is fabulous but the website Wikipedia reveals that over 1.4 million Americans remain so medically frail today that they survive only by means of a feeding tube. Another 30,000 are kept alive in comatose and permanently vegetative states. Wikipedia also claims studies indicate that 70-95 percent of people feel the same as I do about that – no way.

But to demand “do not resuscitate” is a huge mistake that several readers (and two of my doctors) were quick to point out. “What you are saying is that if you have a heart attack, you are prohibiting medical assistance in any way when, in fact, you could be defibrillated, treated, and live happily like many people already do. That’s not good thinking,” my doctor rationalized.

Instead, I was told my Advance Health Care Directive, or “Living Will,” should read something like this: “If I suffer an incurable, irreversible illness, disease, or condition and my attending physician, in agreement with another physician, determines that my condition is terminal, I direct that life-sustaining measures that would serve only to prolong my dying be withheld or discontinued.”

Better yet, a reader directed me to a third-generation advance health care directive known as “Five Wishes” that was developed by a non-profit group called “Aging With Dignity” and is considered by many as a "living will with a heart and soul."

According to the “Aging With Dignity” website, “Five Wishes” lets your family and doctors know: 1. Who you want to make health care decisions for you when you can't make them; 2. The kind of medical treatment you want or don't want; 3.How comfortable you want to be; 4. How you want people to treat you; and, 5. What you want your loved ones to know.

You can go to the “Aging With Dignity” website and actually complete it online for a small fee. Over 18 million people have already done it via the website and there is no one alive who should be without a Living Will.

I’m glad to get those burdens out of the way.

royexum@aol.com


Another Shield Has Fallen

Grief may cause the ranks of blue To bite their trembling lip Allow firm gaze to Keep their tears at bay White gloved hands, folded flag Badges striped with black A last Radio call Fades away A haunting wail of bagpipe Drones Amazing Grace A three shot volley echoes thru the stones Our Lord has called another hero home A rose was placed upon a grave ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Already, 248 Mass Shootings

There is not a word – not one – that I can use to respond to Dr. Loretta P. Prater, whose letter in Chattanoogan.com just condemned the idea that proposed volunteers in the Chattanooga Police Department be armed. Dr. Pater signed her letter, “Mother of Homicide Victim Leslie Vaughn Prater” and I’ve no doubt there is nothing in this world that will assuage the lifelong horror she ... (click for more)

Federal Judge Orders Walker County To Pay Erlanger $8,705,000, Plus Interest; Question Of Attorney Fees And Expenses To Go To Jury

Federal Judge Harold Murphy, in a 63-page ruling handed down Tuesday, ordered Walker County, Ga., to pay the Erlanger Health System $8,705,000, plus interest, on the Hutcheson Hospital debt. Judge Murphy, of Rome, Ga., said the question of attorney fees and expenses owed Erlanger by Walker County should be decided by a jury trial. Walker County and Catoosa County earlier agreed ... (click for more)

Pinkston Says Offer Was Made To Dismiss Lawsuit Against Him If Prosecution Of Detective Burns Was Dropped; Judge Greenholtz "Greatly Bothered" By Any Such Offer

District Attorney Neal Pinkston said at a hearing Tuesday that an offer was made to drop a lawsuit filed against him by Gatlinburg detective Rodney Burns if he would dismiss two perjury counts against Burns. The district attorney said he should not be disqualified from continuing to prosecute the case or else attorneys would begin suing him or the judge to get a new DA or trial ... (click for more)

Up-Front Power Lifts Signal Mountain Past CCS, 3-0

Signal Mountain sent Chattanooga Christian a quick to-the-point message on Tuesday. The Lady Chargers better be ready for a tough match. Well, the Lady Eagles played extremely tough volleyball, used a quick start that set the tempo and went on to crush the Lady Chargers, 3-0, in a District 7-2A match at Signal Mountain School. Signal Mountain’s up-front attack dominated ... (click for more)

Grace Takes 3-0 Win From CSAS In Volleyball

The Grace Academy Lady Golden Eagles didn't waste much time taking a 3-0 victory from CSAS on Tuesday evening at CSAS, Grace winning the District 5-A match by scores of 25-11, 25-12 and 25-20. Alexandra Smith had 13 kills and eight digs for the winners while Summer Dean finished with 18 assists.  Maggie Long contributed 19 digs while Autumn Parrott had four aces to go along ... (click for more)