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‘I Did It’ — Nurse Practitioner Shares Her Inspiration to Complete Her Health Care Directive

Published in Home Health Services, Hospice Services, Palliative Care, For the Health of It, Advance Care Planning Author: Ingrid Cresencio,CNP,AGNP

I am Ingrid Cresencio, born and raised most my adult life in a conservative Filipino family. Pictured with my dad at my graduation, I am presently a Palliative Care Nurse Practitioner here at St. Cloud Hospital.

End-of-life conversations are not a common practice in the Philippines. For some time, our culture believes talking about death is asking for it to happen. So, if one becomes seriously ill and unable to speak for oneself, the family takes on the responsibility of deciding whether to continue aggressive management regardless of the outcome; because not doing so feels like giving up, or to forever carry the guilt because they have not done enough.

Ingrid CresencioI know the struggle because it happened in my own family circle when my father was seriously ill. It was hard emotionally and psychologically. During that time, we were in the turmoil of the battle to keep him with us, or to just let go because he was in so much pain. When my mother signed the DNR (do not resuscitate) request, I felt like we were giving up. I believed then, that we had failed him. I wish we had known what my father would have wanted, thus it would have been easy for him and for all of us.

However, that experience left me with a lot of learning and brought me to my profession now. It has inspired me to advocate for myself while I still can. Now that I have my own family, I want to give them the gift of knowing my own health care desires and lift the burden off their shoulders when they must make that big decision someday. This is the reason I made my health care directive.

I would like to encourage everyone to do the same. Everybody, regardless of health status must complete one. For life is beautiful, but it is also cunning and uncertain. To direct how I would like to live until I die is one big accomplishment.

To get started on planning your road map, visit Advance Care Planning. Free educational sessions are offered through our community partner, Light The Legacy.