We often wait so late to let people know what our wishes are that it can often be too late. Well this will be a handy record. Should I ever lose the ability to make my own medical decisions, these are my wishes.

Living determinations

I do not like nasogastric (NG) tubes, do not put one in me. Instead, place a percutaneous gastric (PEG) tube. If the doctor says I will not survive this relatively minor surgery, then I do not need either as it seems I have far greater problems.

If I ever become afraid to shower for some reason, please do not force me to shower. A bed bath is acceptable enough and is a better alternative than forcing me to live in fear. As it is right now when I shower my feet become numb, so please let me live in peace.

I would prefer to stay at home if possible, my home or a home with my children, but I do not want to be a burden. If I am wandering and leaving the house at night, if I am falling frequently, if my caregiver’s health disallows it or if my health is too difficult to manage, then do not feel guilty about placing me in a long-term care facility.

My Spiritual Belongings

For my Warriors and any Orisas I may have, call Madrina and follow her instruction. Do not move them without speaking to her. For my elekes, again, refer to her. I would like my children/grandchildren to have them and any other item that is determined to be acceptable to transfer.

For the Egun boveda and shrine, I would prefer that it be left and maintained. If my children have not been paying attention after all these years, I definitely want it left up so I can have a special place to come to shake my head at them. At the boveda Ed must remain. There is also an Akan spirit there that must remain at the shrine. Although not blood relatives I was very close to them both and I believe we have been walking together for longer than this lifetime.

The items in my spiritual “workspace,” give away or use as you see fit. I have always believed those things will find their own home when the time is right.

My Favorite

Chocolate cake once per month. A one ounce serving is 3 units of insulin (2 if I’ve been running low).

Dying with Dignity

If I am involved in an accident and there is less than an 80% chance I will survive without life support, or greater than 60% chance I will live in a vegetative state, honey, pull the damn plug and stop wasting electricity.

CPR is acceptable as long as I have not been diagnosed with a terminal illness, but do not let me linger, see above.

Dialysis is okay as long as it does not unnaturally prolong life. If dialysis has to be repeatedly stopped due to my blood pressure getting too low, then it is well past the time that treatment should have been stopped.

I personally do not feel that treatment with antibiotics or antivirals is a problem. Feel free to administer this or withhold treatment as deemed appropriate at that time.

If I am terminally ill, skip the curative care and stick to palliative care. Translation – get me a cigar and a bottle of rum, let the doctor order morphine, patches, whatever to keep me as comfortable as possible. If I am still in pain, get an expert in there and order the right medications and do not feel guilty about giving me doses high enough to end my life (if I am terminal, I doubt drugs will do any worse).

If I ask to go outside, help me. I have always felt imprisoned being stuck inside four walls.

If I am placed on hospice, do not let them stop treating my Type I diabetes. They have this stupid idea that high blood sugars do not cause pain. Who they consulted to determine this, I do not know, but there is nothing worse than the feeling of the body shutting down and the pain involved in extremely high blood sugars. I have suffered enough in regards to that. I do not have to be kept in a tight range, but less than 300 is comfortable.

After Life

For autopsy or organ donation, please consult my Padrinos and follow their instruction. Do not donate my body to science and do not burn me by cremation. I actually do already have a plot in South Carolina, but I may also make other arrangements and have them paid for in advance. Check the safety deposit box at the bank for all documents and instructions.

My Loved Ones

Make sure you laugh. I have a wonderful life. While hard, I am grateful for every experience I thrived in and those that I have endured. In that, there is nothing to be sad about. My love for you is nothing to be sad about. Think New Orleans style funeral and take to the streets dancing.