In a recent letter to “Dear Abby”, a woman wants to know if it’s OK to ask a friend who has a medical condition where she keeps her meds in case of an emergency. She doesn’t want to invade her friend’s privacy. Abby responds with ”of course it’s OK to ask”.
I would suggest first asking one’s friend “if” they would like this help before asking “how” to help. To go a few steps further, I think not only is it OK to ask but it is considerate to talk with our friends about what could be sensitive issues. We could think of this as a way to deepen and strengthen our relationships.
Recently, while traveling with my cousin we were able to go beyond the usual check-in and catch up talk and share more vulnerable feelings about our aging bodies and our anxieties about health issues. From this discussion, I experienced a deeper connection and I also learned a new trick for dealing with my meds. She put her thyroid medication out on the counter before bed so it was easy to grab first thing in the early morning. The medication needed to be taken on an empty stomach. I also take thyroid medication when I first wake up and usually end up pawing through my medicine and supplement bottles in a mostly dark bathroom to find the right bottle. By being willing to talk about sensitive issues I not only found I have more in common with my cousin besides all of our family stories. I also learned something useful about handling my meds.
As you know, I think it is important to complete our Advance Directives. It is also so important to talk with those we are close with about what we deal with in our daily lives__not only our practical concerns but also our deeper vulnerabilities.
Reva Tift M.A. Advance Health Care Directives
~ Consultations for the End of Life Care
© Copyright 2014 Reva Tift, Director Advance Health Directive Guidance