“DNR Alert”…. Is it for me or the refrigerator?

As one gets older and begins to have suspicions that some measure of senility may slowly be creeping into their minds, perhaps in some way that is a blessing and allows them to express themselves in ways not familiar to others around them. As we all know its not unusual for such individuals to express to us concerns we may not quite relate too. Due to recent events in my life I have developed this deadly fear regarding the death of my refrigerator verses my own death.

Although it is quite common in our culture today to litter our refrigerator’s doors with a potpourri of items from pictures of the grand-kids, cartoons, advertisements, coupons to various “To Do” lists, from time to time it becomes incumbent upon us to attach something of some significance or importance to us on our refrigerator doors. I admittedly had a few magnetic ads on my refrigerator’s freezer door but fell sadly short of the quantity I would need to keep pace with the norm found in most homes. Such was the case for me a few months back.

At that time it had become necessary for me to enlist the care of a part-time caregiver who was mainly involved in house cleaning duties and some measure of cooking. In the early stages of this care-giving endeavor I was informed that since my “Living Will” stipulated that I should not be resuscitated due to a cardiac arrest event that I would need to post a DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) form in my home visible to the public and particularly to any EMT personnel who might be called to the house should it be necessary for the caregiver to do so in an emergency situation.

Immediately I thought what could be any more appropriate that posting my “Do Not Resuscitate” order on the door of my refrigerator. Who could miss seeing that I wondered? And so it came to past….

A few days later as I passed by the frig and glanced over at the DNR form it all of a sudden occurred to me that perhaps this might cause some confusion in an emergency situation. The “Do Not Resuscitate” seems at this point actually quite apropos for both the frig and me. My concern over this issue arose from a blog post, “Taking It To the Limit One Day At A Time“, which I recalled having written in June of 2014 about my old, reliable refrigerator that I had owned for so long and the fact that it was over 25 years old.

Now of course it is completely silly and outrageous of me to think anyone would think the posted DNR form on the refrigerator door was for anything or anyone but me since I am the only “living” thing in the house. Nevertheless what if I wake up in a hospital one day and they inform me that my refrigerator has been buried. What if one day I come into the kitchen to find my refrigerator no longer running, I faint from the shock, and the EMT crew takes me to the hospital and the refrigerator to the morgue without trying to resuscitate it. In that referenced blog post I basically talked about the age of my dear old reliable refrigerator and surely wondered just how much longer the frig would be with me. So this scenario is not completely out of the range of possibility.

For now, the only solution I can come up with to alleviate my fears is to tape the DNR form to “my” back and remove it from the refrigerator door. My family of course thinks I am being quite silly over the entire thing but they are simply not aware of the true insight you get as you make efforts to master your consuming senility…. 🙂

10 thoughts on ““DNR Alert”…. Is it for me or the refrigerator?

  1. On occasion (now being an example) I contemplate the advice to post medical information on my refrigerator door. And immediately I realize it would take a day or two to remove everything fastened to the front and sides of my refrigerator: photos, coupons, take-out menus, greeting cards, drawings, important names and phone numbers, etc. Which to keep (and where?) and which to discard? Suffice it to say I’ve yet to post any info on my fridge. (It has, however, occurred to me to have “DNR” tattooed on my chest … ) I really can’t imagine EMTs running around the house or rummaging through my car or purse looking for directives while I’m lying there unconscious and not breathing. Sure, if I flat-line in a hospital, they’ll know about the order. But elsewhere … ?

    1. I agree of course, especially if you are alone without anyone around you who knows you, like in the middle of a grocery store. I am actually going to start carrying a copy around with me in my billfold. Short of your suggestion for the tattoo there isn’t much else one can do I suppose unless to opt for a necklace with a pendant or a bracelet… 🙁

  2. Funny. 😉 Since I am not yet alone, it’s not a problem for me. However, with recent health issues, it does remind me that both of us need to take care of things like wills and powers-of-attorney.

    1. Morning Mike! Yea, as much as a pain in the butt as those declarations are they do need to be attended too. And you’re right, having a spouse or family member around most, if not all the time, gives one a real sense of security when it comes to emergency heath issues. And as far as the DNR is concerned, that’s not on everyone’s list of things to do… 🙂

  3. Thanks for the Fats Domino recording. I loved Blueberry Hill. I had a forty-five record I played over and over when I was 13. I’ve always fondly remembered Fats.

    1. Yea, Blue Berry Hill was his biggest hit. May have been a couple of years older than you when I first heard it. For sure in those days it was quite popular. I just changed my featured song to “Blue Monday” yesterday which was another big favorite of mine. 🙂

  4. You do raise an important issue about where to leave not only DNR instructions, but a current list of medications readily available in times of emergency for those of us who live alone. I, too, tongue-in-cheek, immediately thought of a body tattoo for the DNR.

    More realistically, perhaps a labeled envelope with necessary paperwork taped to the interior side of the front door would be readily seen if we weren’t alert. You remind me I’m remiss in not taking care to have my own information more visibly available.

    1. Yea, for a while I also had a list of my medications & doctors along with their addresses and phone numbers on a list attached to the refrigerator but finally removed it.

      Right now I figure if I am alone and am able to call an EMT I can tell them where it is. If I am not able then I am assuming it won’t matter anyway because no one will know I have had a medical emergency. Everyone else who knows me knows where the information is so I will have to depend on them to insure compliance. As of now that is the best I can hope for.

      This conversation among the bloggers who have responded to this post has suggested to me that perhaps a call to the local EMT company might shed some insight on where they might like for it to be posted of kept. I may just do that today… 🙂

    2. Joared… I did contact both my city’s local fire department who is normally first on the scene in an emergency situation and also our local EMT company and they informed me that they were trained to look for DNR Forms either attached to the refrigerator door or over your bed. They recommended that you put a copy of the DNR form in both places, one on the refrigerator and one over your bed or on the bed headboard.

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