Do you really love them? Prove it. Now.

December 1, 2011 § 13 Comments

This is going to be short and pointy.

Do you ride a bike? Then you’re going to crash.

Read that previous line until you believe it.

Your next crash will likely result in minor or no injury, but there’s a small chance…very small…that it will be catastrophic. This means you could die, or worse.

Worse means different things to different people. To me, it means having to suffer the agony of “heroic” medical efforts when the end result is that I will remain in a vegetative state (worse than my current one). It means pain from invasive procedures. It means my family and friends having to endure watching me go through it. It means saddling my wife with horrific medical bills that she will never be able to repay. Most of all, it means having to stay alive but not getting to be “me.”

Think about what “worse” means for you, then answer me this: Do you know what an advanced health care directive is? If you don’t, simply put, it’s this: An order, signed by you while you’re still healthy, telling the doctors what kind of care you do and don’t want, and telling them what you consider to be quality of life.

Now that you know what an advanced health care directive is, you need to sign one, have it witnessed, and make sure your significant other knows where it’s located. Give your doctor a copy if you have a regular physician.

Put off doing your taxes. Put off finishing that report. Put off the dishes. Put off your vow to start daily flossing, even. But please do this. For you and for those you love. It’s one thing to say you love your family, it’s another thing to get smashed to a pulp while enjoying your “hobby” and leave them holding the bag. Man up, or woman up, and save the excuses for race day.

Here’s a link to the form I use.

Here’s a link to information about advanced health directives.

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§ 13 Responses to Do you really love them? Prove it. Now.

  • Brenda Lyons says:

    well said. thank you. will do.

  • Appalachie says:

    Reading your blog a few months ago also convinced me to add a $2M UM coverage to my car policy, and my agent confirmed it would include coverage if I’m hit while on the bike.

    I’ve been seriously procrastinating on an “advanced health care directive”. I’d better get on it, or else wife might trip over herself in a rush to unplug life support one day ;-)

    • Donut says:

      Each time someone tells me that they’ve upped their UM coverage it makes me feel like all the ranting and cursing and blogging and howling at the moon is worth it…every single keystroke. The funny thing about the Internet is that it feels so disconnected from the real world. We ride bikes together and hang out and see and hear and feel in 3-D, but once things are cast out into the big anonymous Interweb it can feel like trying to raise the level of the ocean by spitting. When people like you take the time to ping back and say that you’ve done things like bump up your UM it’s a jolt of the coolest kind of reality. Really appreciate you growing the pool of protected cyclists, and really, really appreciate you letting me know. Good on you for tackling the advanced health care directive. Ride safe–be lucky.

  • mark says:

    I’d argue that making sure you’re adequately insured trumps the advance directive in priority. My brother crashed a few months ago. Week long hospital stay + not enough insurance (he’s self employed) = spot of bother for him and his family.

    I crashed last week (neither of us has had a bad crash ever and we both have one within a few months?), and though I didn’t need a hospital stay, I did need X-rays. I work for a big company with nice health benefits. X-rays didn’t cost me a dime.

    If I die in a crash (or after a crash because they unplug the machines according to my advance directive), there’s enough insurance to pay off the house, get the kids through college, and leave a bit of a nest egg to spare.

    I love cycling, but I love my family more.

    • Donut says:

      Agreed. Insurance first, by all means–that includes 1) life insurance if you peg out riding by yourself or due to your own fault, 2) maxed out uninsured motorist coverage in case you get hit by an uninsured motorist or underinsured motorist (estimated 85% of insured California drivers only carry the minimum, which is $15k, won’t even cover your first day in the hospital). The UM is dirt, dirt cheap and can be done today with a phone call.

      The advanced health directive can be done in five minutes, so although it’s less important than insurance, there’s no reason to delay. Sorry to hear about your crashes. If you were hit by a car I hope you have a lawyer, and more importantly, that you recover a.s.a.p. Be careful, be lucky, and thanks for the comment.

  • Mo'Nilla says:

    I had “No Code” tattooed on my chest.

  • Carey Downs says:

    Master Wank, Your words are defiantly not wasted on cyberspace. I’ve really come to enjoy your musings and seem to always find them insightful, witty and as in this case of practical value. Plan to up my UM coverage and finally get that advance health care directive in order. If nothing else I won’t feel guilty the next time the ER folks ask if I have one…..

  • […] advice: if you really care about the people who care about you, you’ll take the burden of making life’s most difficult medical decisions off their shoulders; I’ve put off completing my own advance healthcare directive far too […]

  • Mo'Nilla says:

    RE: Notary
    Actually she was! And when she applied her official seal to my right nipple, it brought tears to my eyes…knowing I’d just removed the burden of pulling the plug from that evil death squad at the hospital.
    Maximum UM coverage is definitely the order of the day in a state where almost 20% of all motorists are uninsured. In hindsight, it was a huge mistake letting so many damned immigrants into this state over the years. Of course, I’m referring to all that white trash from AR, OK, and TX.

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