I completed my advance directive and I must say that it was not as easy as I thought it was going to be.

And while it was not easy, I know it is extremely important. I knew what I wanted, but it makes you really think about who you are asking to follow through with your wishes when the time comes and exactly the type of care you want to have. Do I want to donate my organs? Do I want life sustaining treatment? Do I want to allow for tube feeding?

I found out how important a little more than four years ago when I had to make decisions regarding my father’s care. There are no words to really describe the emotions that come along with making decisions you know are right when there is no advance directive to guide the way.

Since then, I have said over and over again that I do not want extreme measures to be performed when the time comes for me. I also want to donate any and all organs that might be possible. But saying it in words is one thing. And putting it in writing is another.

It ripped my heart out to make the decisions that had to be made for my dad. It was also hard on different family members because there was nothing in writing.

So, on this day, National Healthcare Decisions Day, I find it important to do what I know is needed. It is in part for me, but also to help those that would otherwise have to guess what I want.

I’ve heard about how families intervene and override the wishes of loved ones. Some don’t want to accept the reality of what is happening. And I don’t want that to happen for those closest to me. I want there to be no question.

So, I am hoping that the people that I have designated will respect my wishes when the times comes. Do you have an advance directive completed? Have you had a conversation with those closest to you?