Monday, November 17, 2008

Life is Short

We're all living longer these days, right? The scientific studies tell us so and give us an excuse to put off thinking about the inevitable. Our society doesn't tend to think a lot about death, at least, not our own death. At what age does a person expect to start thinking that their time might be running out? In their 70s? Does someone in their 80s start to muse that it might be time to start ticking off that list of must-does before it's too late?

For someone like Fat Cyclist this question is not theoretical. Most of us, however, continue to either put things off, or set goals, perhaps long-term ones, that we fully expect to be able to achieve. So what say you are a late bloomer? Perhaps you and your partner have sold the family home and found another place in a rural town that you really love. Perhaps you've finally been able to stop work and take up all of those hobbies you'd been thinking about for years. Perhaps you've lost a heap of weight, gotten into cycling, walking and lifting weights. Perhaps everyone at your local gym knows you by name. The owner has even started getting you to take charge when he needs to run errands. You've just bought yourself a hybrid bike and you love how fast you are now and how far you can go. You're planning on doing the duathlon you did a couple of years ago for a second time, just so that you can see how much progress you've made.

Perhaps you're not that old. Perhaps you're only, say, 57. You've had some problems with your health, but you've done everything you can to manage your medical conditions. You know your risks and you get regular check-ups. You've only just gotten started on all the things you want to do and you're feeling excited about life.

Then you start feeling unwell. You don't have enough energy to ride your lovely new bike any more. Your doctor is hopeless but there's a waiting list for the only other GP in town. You struggle for months and start feeling really depressed. Then a new doctor arrives and everyone says he's great. You manage to get an appointment. He is lovely and understanding and runs a heap of tests, and something bad shows up. Something very bad.

So, do you feel angry? Do you feel ripped off? Do you feel like you're being ripped off and that you're being denied the chance to do everything you want to do?

I can't speak for anyone else, but as a daughter I can state categorically that I'm angry. Very angry.


Kate said...

Oh Pip! Biggest of hugs. Take care :)

Marshmallow said...

Oh no! {{{{BIG HUGGLEZ}}}}

Ciara Lee said...

Oh Pip. I have been reading your blog recently, even though I haven't posted before. I am so very sorry. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. Ciara Lee

Anonymous said...

Pip I am here for you as a sister...We should ride this journey together ok? I am feeling angry as well. I love you sis