With all this talk of anxiety and the need to medicate me against it, I wondered why, after living it with the consequences of MND, for five years or so, I should now find myself anxious, or worrying about it whenever the question arose.
I suppose it was because when I was diagnosed I read various descriptions of the disease and the effect it was likely to have on me. I believe it was the emphasis on the fact that every patient was different and therefore the timescale of events vary from patient to patient and, that being so, I took the optimistic approach and assumed that the various stages of the disease would occur later rather than earlier. That, indeed, is what has happened. The deterioration in my case has developed fairly evenly over the last five years. Bearing in mind that all of the articles one reads, about the effect of MND, say, as a rough guide, show that 50% of MND patients died within 14 months of diagnosis and the rest within five years. To show how random a guide this is, I know personally of one young man who contracted the disease and died within nine months. I also know another gentleman where the disease stopped at his waist, in other words only affected his legs, and that was 20 years ago. With such a wide range of dates I always optimistically opted for the longest. Well, I have now reached the end of the generally accepted period, where all MND patients should have died i.e. five years. After that it’s anyone’s guess for the random few who beat the odds.
I suppose thinking about it made me realise that I was far closer now, to dying, than I was say five years ago. I have always said, when the subject was raised, that I had no fear of death. That, indeed, was the case. The truth of the matter was I’ve never given it very much serious thought. The majority of time when the issue was raised, was when I got into a discussion about God- that is if he existed or not. I always took the view that although I’m not a serious Christian, as I could claim to have ‘played by the rules’, that is, observed the 10 Commandments, I might be forgiven for not having been to church every Sunday. In any event there is nothing in the Bible, to the best of my knowledge, about churches or having to attend one once a week. So far as I recall all the Bible says about congregation of people who have gathered to worship God was, when two or three are gathered together …
So, where does that leave an unbeliever? Well, clearly if there is a God and you present yourself at the Pearly Gates, the likelihood is you might be rejected. On the other hand, if there is no God, which is what I believe, then I will be no worse off having not believed. These deep and serious questions, which in the past have tended to become the subject of discussion at the end of a good dinner party now assume a different mantle as, like it or not, I am going to find out, sooner rather than later. When I say sooner, it has been made clear to me that I could go (die, depart, expire or simply,’ drop off the perch’) at any time, then the question becomes more serious than a topic one gets stuck into after a good meal. I say all this now as justification for an increase in my anxiety level. Having said that it must be a subconscious anxiety as I have never consciously given the subject much thought, that is, until now. It is more than possible and the increase in anxiety is that for no apparent reason I find myself, most evenings, what one might describe as edgy. Unable to settle down comfortably. Nervous about bed time; the hoist ; choking on my food or pills. In other words nothing to do with dying at all.
Smiler and Kimberly came to lunch and before they left I was able to use them to help me to sort out the muddle, I got into posting various blogs entries. It was the sort of job you needed to have three hands for and as, I do not have one, I was at a serious disadvantage!