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


HCDE Reality Check

The sooner everyone realizes that the sole reason the HCDE exists is to provide jobs to the HCDE administrators, teachers and staff, the sooner citizens can stop getting upset when the HCDE does what is in its own best interest. It's really not a foriegn concept if you think about it.  Most of us get up and go to work out of self-interest, earning a paycheck, not because ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Abolish Bail For Poor

Our terribly overcrowded Hamilton County Jail may get some help from an unsuspected corner – the Obama administration is tackling the fact that right now over 450,000 people are in our country’s jails because they are too poor to pay for bail. It is a violation of the Constitution to “punish people for their poverty.” As the Eighth Amendment provides, “… excessive bail ought not ... (click for more)

2 Juveniles Arrested For Arson In Sevier County Fires

An investigation by special agents with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, National Park Service, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the Sevier County Sheriff’s Office has resulted in charges being placed against two people in connection with the deadly wildfires in Sevier County.  Last week, at the request of 4 th  District Attorney General ... (click for more)

Shannon Whitfield Already At Work Eliminating Sole Commissioner Post In Walker County; Process To Take 4 Years

Shannon Whitfield is already at work eliminating the position he won by a landslide in the recent election. Mr. Whitfield, who takes over at 12:01 a.m. on Jan. 1 after a 16-year reign by Bebe Heiskell, noted, however, that it is a four-year process. He said the two House members and local senator are working with him on legislation that must first be approved. That should ... (click for more)

Top-Ranked Bradley Uses Fast Start To Beat Baylor

There’s no question that the Bradley Bears are ranked first in the initial state wrestling poll and they proved they deserve to be in that top spot following a 43-30 victory over the Baylor Red Raiders. Baylor is ranked fourth in that first poll and will surely be a force to be reckoned with in Division II as the season progresses, but the Bears are head and shoulders ahead after ... (click for more)

Run-And-Gun Tyner Shoots Down Red Bank 71-33

Tyner opponents better batten down the hatches if the Rams ever iron out their half-court offensive struggles. Even without that weapon showing up Tuesday night, the Rams showed they have a run-and-gun assault that can bury an opponent under an avalanche of points. And their defense is as tenacious as ever. Tyner outscored Red Bank 15-0 to start the second quarter ... (click for more)