Chapter 3: Prepare for Battle

This chapter gives practical information on how to prepare for hospitalization of a loved one. 

Medical directives and insurance coverage

Critical illness events can happen quickly, as they did for us, or may unfold over a longer period of time. Either way, having your affairs organized in advance of chaos is wise and a great advantage … though too many of us put it off.

✔ health care directives
✔ last will and testament
✔ health care power of attorney
✔ do-not-resuscitate directive

Understanding medical insurance coverage whether private, Medicare, Medicare Supplemental, or Medicaid is daunting. But this I do know for certain: Whatever the health care insurance circumstances, it’s best to take time to understand the coverage or lack thereof.

Even if you think you know what is covered, reach out to your carrier or insurance agent and do an in-depth review anyway. This chapter offers practical ways to engage in a conversation about your coverage.

Finding medical experts for your loved one:

It’s going to help immensely to gather information about the surgery and disease on your own. Try to digest why your loved one is in the hospital or having surgery to begin with. Start with a quick internet search for example. Then form your specific questions to ask your physician prior to surgery or hospitalization. The doctor and medical team will answer your concerns, but you must ask the questions. It may feel surreal and painful to face but try your best to do it anyway.

Questions You May Want to Ask Your Doctor:

  • What is the best surgery or treatment option at this point?
  • What is the risk/benefit to each option?
  • What is the likelihood of survival from the disease if we do the less invasive vs. aggressive treatment or major surgery? What is the quality of life likely to be?
  • What are the two or three most worrisome things that we should be prepared for during recovery from surgery?