17 August 2012
One final check on the five-day weather forecast, pretty much as it was before the maximum predicted temperature of 27°C.
Doctor Margaret Saunders, from the Arthur Rank hospice, in Cambridge, came to have a chat this morning. Last time she came in ran out of time to discuss such matters as how they deal with the patient who feels that he has had enough. I put this to Margaret who pointed out the difference between the patient who unilaterally decides he has had enough and the patient whose medical team agree that his quality of life has clearly dramatically reduced. In this latter case the hospice would respect the patient’s wishes and allow him to die peacefully maybe with a little bit of help from the hospice’s medical team to make the end as pain-free as possible. Obviously this something that I will have to go into more detail and discussion with the hospice staff as time goes by and I get weaker and weaker.
We discussed the benefit of me having a consultation with the Speech Therapist and agreed that there was nothing she could do to improve the quality of my speech except perhaps for some breathing exercises. In the end we decided that the possible benefits did not justify a special consultation. Similarly with the Dietician, we decided that it would only being worth having a session with this specialist if my food became increasingly difficult to swallow. Having said that Alice knows enough about diet to thin the food out and avoid lumps. The only justification for a special consultation with the Dietician would be if I began losing weight and required some added calories.
In any event it was made quite clear to me that hospice way cannot be confused with the Swiss Dignitas Assisted Suicide scheme. Whereas at one time I would have nothing to do with the hospice movement, the more I see of Dr Margaret Saunders, my resolve not to be involved with the hospice at the end, is weakening.
We went on and to discuss slight changes in my medication where the side-effects may not be so severe.
Paul the ‘computer’ came this afternoon, to babysit and make some minor adjustments to my computer which were not very demanding so we spent the afternoon chatting with one ear on the cricket. After a shaky start losing, four wickets for 54, the South African’s stopped the rot and went on to host a reasonable 309 all out. England responded badly by losing two quick wickets.
The good Dr Michael arrived from Sweden, after I had gone to bed, so that I did not see him until the following morning.
Mark, I am so glad you made it to Lords for the cricket on your birthday. I know there will have been mixed emotions, but isn’t it good that you saw all your old friends and were able to say a quiet farewell. I guess it was a very special day. All best regards, Penny