Health Policy$ense

A Heck of a Day

Chris Feudtner's Powerful Piece in JAMA

To me there are three things everyone should do every day. Number one is laugh. Number two is think -- spend some time time in thought. Number three, you should have your emotions move you to tears. If you laugh, think and cry, that's a heck of a day.”

― Jim Valvano

Number three, check. I just finished reading A Hand to Hold, a moving and powerful JAMA Piece of My Mind by LDI Senior Fellow Chris Feudtner. In it, he details his father’s last hours, and I was reminded of the end of my father’s journey just a few months ago, as I held his hand.

Number two, check. The piece made me think about my end-of-life wishes. When the time comes, I want those orders: Do Not Resuscitate. Do Not Intubate. Do Not Hospitalize. Will anyone follow them, in the face of upset, agitation, or fear, without a strong, loving advocate like Chris?

Number one, that’s still to come. And then it will be a heck of a day.