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Ten More Years

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  • #20759
    % MAN
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    • Total Posts 5104

    In the main section Corm posed the following question:-

    You’re on your death bed. You can have an extra ten years if your selected horse wins a match.
    [/color:1lz0eek2]

    Now I replied along the lines that I wasn’t too sure if I would want another ten years and it was subsequently suggested I was being depressing in making that comment.

    I don’t think I was and, as it more a topic for the Lounge than the main forum, I thought I would raise the topic here.

    The first point to note is I did not say I definitely would not take the extra ten years, I said I wasn’t too sure.

    After all if I was on my death bed, I would obviously be in a bad way – I certainly would not want another 10 years if it involved poor health or the like.

    If the extra ten came with the guarantee of good health then I would possibly consider it – although I say only possibly because if I could give the ten years to somebody who would make better use of it than me I would quite happily give it away.

    In his initial response Jonibake asked the question “is life really THAT bad”

    He is approaching it, I believe, the wrong way. Indeed it is because my life has been so good that I am not that bothered about having the extra ten years.

    Putting it bluntly I have achieved most of all I set out to achieve in life and a hell of a lot more besides. The few “outstanding” things I have not done are relatively unimportant.

    I have a great family and wonderful loyal friends, some of whom have been part of my life since our teens. As a friend recently said to me “I have known you longer than anybody else apart from my sister.”

    Without wishing to sound arrogant, I know I have been very fortunate to have done things, been to places most people only dream of. In other words I have had a bloody good life.

    I have, more than once, been in situations where my own mortality has been to the forefront – that has probably shaped my views.

    At the risk of being accused of being depressing again I have also known too many people who have died before they had a chance to achieve what they wanted . . . . I wasn’t going to let that happen to me.

    The big trouble is far too many people are too afraid to face up to their own mortality – certainly in Britain people seem more happy to discuss their sex lives / financial problems / indeed anything – except their own mortality. That is why there are so many regrets when loved ones die.

    That is also why religion is so important to many people as it conveniently by-passes the issue of death by offering the “promise” of some form of afterlife – a “promise” which, conveniently, can never be proved.

    So yes, I may take the ten more years but I wouldn’t be too fussed if I didn’t have it. I have enjoyed life, I still hope to enjoy it for many more years to come, but if the end came tomorrow I would be in no position to complain – I have very few regrets.

    I think the following sums up my approach quite well:-

    Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate and wine in one hand, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming “WOO HOO what a ride!”
    [/color:1lz0eek2]

    So be happy – enjoy life but accept all good things have to come to and end and remember it’s better to go out at the top than on the long downward slope.

    #386477
    reetlass
    Member
    • Total Posts 433

    Great posting, Paul, brought tears to my old eyes :cry:

    #386482
    Steeplechasing
    Participant
    • Total Posts 5766

    Paul, that’s one of the best and most thought-provoking posts I’ve read on any forum.

    I suspect views on mortality depend a lot on age and, as you mentioned, health.

    On August 18th 2011 I turned 58 without ever having had a health problem (bar minor inconsequential blips). In early September I cycled from Glasgow to Edinburgh – 50 miles and could have done 50 more.

    Over 15/16 September I walked 60 miles across the Lake District with a few racing/twitter pals.

    On September 28th, a fine sunny day, 2 miles into a planned 25 mile bike ride, a taxi came out of a junction and ploughed into me. Half my right tibia was destroyed (since carefully rebuilt by superb surgeons), my hip is damaged, fingers on right hand are numb and am now getting spells of vertigo (first major effect, a face-plant on the kitchen floor last Thursday breaking my nose and whiplashing neck).

    I’m not complaining. I feel the years of health I had were hugely precious and can’t believe how lucky I was in having them. Millions of people would doubtless swap lives with me. But had you offered me 10 more years of life on September 14th, I’d have grabbed them gladly.

    Now I think I’d probably say, "Give them to someone else. My race is run".

    Never argue with a fool. He will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience, then onlookers might not be able to tell the difference. https://lazybet.com/

    #386489
    aaronizneez
    Participant
    • Total Posts 1748

    Paul

    As you rightly point out it would depend on the circumstances with regard to health etc. If I could be guaranteed an extra ten years of healthy life I would take it without a moments hesitation. Why wouldn’t I want to stay around and see more of friends and family and perhaps do something I don’t realise at the present time I want to do in the future (if you get my drift). The one thing I want to do more than anything is wake up tomorrow morning with the chance of either doing something I’ve never done before or more importantly see the smiling cheeky face of my six year old son. I never tire seeing him smile or hearing him laugh, something which I never thought I would feel. I came to fatherhood lateish in life at 38 and yet if you had asked me when I was 37 I would have told you it wouldn’t have overly bothered me to have gone through life childless. If the opportunity arose to have another ten years to experience things I maybe haven’t yearned to do previously, well I would bite your hand off. There is always something new to do wheteher you realise it or not. Take every healthy second you can get and make the most of it as once you’re gone, you’re gone. The only afterlife you’re going to get is in the minds of those you leave behind.

    "Maybe I just want to fly
    I want to live I don’t want to die
    Maybe I just want to breath
    Maybe I just don’t believe
    Maybe you’re the same as me
    We see things they’ll never see
    You and I are gonna live forever "

    #386492
    Jonibake
    Participant
    • Total Posts 4454

    Paul that is a lovely post which I read and then immediately re-read. I was only joking when I wrote my comment but I am sure you know that.

    Having said that I have just had a look at your google profile – "freelance writer, webmaster and grumpy old man" – perhaps I wasn’t so far wide of the mark after all! :)

    Live long and prosper sir! :wink:

    "this perfect mix of poetry and destruction, this glory of rhythm, power and majesty: the undisputed champion of the world!!!"

    #386493
    KINGFISHER
    Member
    • Total Posts 1508

    I have, more than once, been in situations where my own mortality has been to the forefront – that has probably shaped my views.

    I remember you mentioning this before Paul on another thread.I felt at the time it may have been inappropriate to ask you about them.However under this topic you have created here i would be fascinated to hear your near death experiences if you would kindly like to elaborate? Cheers, Gord.
    By the way how old are you Sir?

    #386495
    % MAN
    Participant
    • Total Posts 5104

    Excellent point aaronizneez and from a younger perspective than myself – I undoubtedly had a similar view at your age and, of course, having young children puts a different perspective on things.

    When we are young we all want to live forever don’t we?

    We also think we are invincible as well – something we soon learn we aren’t.

    It’s probably wrong to make presumptions but I suspect Jonibake also made his observations from a "younger" perspective than myself.

    Let me say I can fully appreciate and understand people saying they would like another ten years and I would never criticise anybody for wanting to take it.

    I am at an age where, each year, one has to cross a few more names off the birthday card list and that makes you think, "sod it live each day as it comes.

    The biggest challenge I face is not blowing the savings too fast – just in case I do hang around another 30 years :lol:

    #386498
    KINGFISHER
    Member
    • Total Posts 1508

    The biggest challenge I face is not blowing the savings too fast – just in case I do hang around another 30 years :lol:

    Geezus Paul You’re not the 80yo you come across as then? :oops: :lol:

    #386501
    % MAN
    Participant
    • Total Posts 5104

    I have, more than once, been in situations where my own mortality has been to the forefront – that has probably shaped my views.

    I remember you mentioning this before Paul on another thread.I felt at the time it may have been inappropriate to ask you about them.However under this topic you have created here i would be fascinated to hear your near death experiences if you would kindly like to elaborate? Cheers, Gord.
    By the way how old are you Sir?

    A couple of hairy moments when I was working for Her Majesty.

    Plus a couple of health scares Gord.

    The first when I was a mere whipper-snapper of a 31 year old and I had a heart attack – luckily a very mild one but I didn’t know that at the time, I thought I was a goner. That one was down to lifestyle, too much booze and burning the candle not only at both ends but in the middle as well (and I’m still, to this day, convinced it is just coincidence it happened after a very "lively" week in London with a lovely WRAF officer)

    The other one was about six years ago when I had another health scare which was sobering. It was a condition which has several possible causes from "reasonably harmless" to, literally, "you will be dead in six months" – the three weeks whilst I was having the tests and awaiting the results were probably the longest of my life.

    Obviously they ruled out the "worse case" cause as I am still here but it was certainly made one re-assess ones priorities.

    It didn’t really hit me until I actually received the "good news" but I still clearly remember walking out of the hospital, going to my car then just bursting into tears.

    #386503
    % MAN
    Participant
    • Total Posts 5104

    The biggest challenge I face is not blowing the savings too fast – just in case I do hang around another 30 years :lol:

    Geezus Paul You’re not the 80yo you come across as then? :oops: :lol:

    I bloody feel it some days :)

    #386505
    KINGFISHER
    Member
    • Total Posts 1508

    Thanks for the honest response Paul,i wont make a Joke about the WRAF pronounced ‘WAF’ as its a serious thread but when one looks back on ones life we always love to reminisce about our Sexual conquests……….Am a thinkin about her now! :lol:

    #386522
    gamble
    Participant
    • Total Posts 4602

    positive sobering posts
    non sleepers
    not park keepers
    reached their zenith
    parted some peaches
    filled their breeches
    climbed their cliff
    eaten their roasts.

    What about the guy in a mac :(

    #386566
    Gingertipster
    Participant
    • Total Posts 29897

    I think the following sums up my approach quite well:-

    chocolate and wine

    in one hand, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming "WOO HOO what a ride!"

    So be happy – enjoy life but accept all good things have to come to and end and remember it’s better to go out at the top than on the long downward slope.

    Agree with most of your sentiments Paul, particularly about religon. Yes, enjoy the chocolate (sugar) and wine (alcohol) but be careful of overdoing things.

    I was diagosed with type 2 Diabetes in my 30’s. Despite type 2 being a so called "disease of the old and/or overwight", I’ve never been more than a few pounds over my "ideal weight". And (at the time) no history of the disease in my family. You should have a blood sugar level of somewhere between 4 and 7, mine was 24! It’s also led to Glaucoma, with something like a 5% chance of going blind.
    Now I can have very little chocolate / sugar or alcohol. Just because I wasn’t overweight, didn’t mean I was "fit". I take far more exercise now and feel a lot better for it. Though still suspect wil soon need insulin instead of tablets. Do wish I could have more chocolate! At least my diabetes changed my outook on life and hastened my decision to concentrate on betting.

    Value Is Everything
    #386575
    Gingertipster
    Participant
    • Total Posts 29897

    Abandon hope all who read this.

    Death does not worry me. like you Paul, another 10 years would be dependant on my health. If diabetics look after themselves they can be fairly healthy and live to a reasonable age.

    What I do not want is to waste away in body and mind. My grandmother was diagnosed with alzheimers at the age of only 64. Very stocky, overweight woman at that point. She went through every stage of the disease (not all do). Forgetfulness, even used to ask her husband "who are you". Swearing, when asked to have a bath she’d say "bloody buggers, you think you knows what I bloody does" (not always "bloody"). Walking the dog around the roads by the church, the congregation and vicar were blessed with "keep that f…..g dog under control"! This for a woman who before the disease took its tole you never heard swear, very docile and polite. Violence, thankfully not as bad as it can be with some (that I saw anyway). Did raise her hands and try to push or punch. Hiding things, finding slippers in the oven, putting things away in totally the wrong place. Unpredictable, patting things such as furniature and cookers! Incontinence, peeing and shitting herself, yet often objecting to wearing pads! When I say objecting I mean objecting.
    Looking after her killed my grandfather (died of a massive heart attack), he did an amazing job, so patient. There was laughter too, if you didn’t laugh at some of the things, you’d cry. Could not get it in to Nan that he’d died. On the day of his death and days afterwards every 10 minutes it was "where’s father" and tears fell? At the graveside Nan said "who is it then"? Thankfully though, Grandad did not see her in the latter years at the Nursing Home. Suppose they did their best, but her state of mind and body got worse and worse.
    Unfortunately, being stocky meant the wasting away took longer for her than usual. 20 years after diagnosis she was all bones and in pain. Our family grateful when pneumonia finally killed her. I just wish she could have been given a lethal injection years before.

    It’s not the forgetfulness or similar that disturbs me. After all, they don’t really realise how bad they are. If I was like that so be it. But the wasting away and pain should NOT be allowed!!!!!

    Unfortunately however, opposition to youtheanasia means I will need to commit suicide sooner than I’d wish if I am ever diagnosed with alzheimers.

    So, far from wishing for 10 more years, there might be more than one reason I’d wish for 10 fewer years.

    Value Is Everything
    #386584
    % MAN
    Participant
    • Total Posts 5104

    I know what you mean Ginge – I lost my father to cancer at the end of 2010 and although the final stage was "relatively quick" it was horrific to watch him go through it.

    Seeing a once proud and independent man being totally dependant on others and being stripped of his dignity was terrible and I know he would have despised that.

    On the alzheimers front I remember my best friends mother suffered from it and it really dragged on. She spent the last 18 months of her life curled up in a cot like a baby, the only "blessing" as my friend put is was "she’s so out with the fairies she hasn’t a clue what is going on."

    It is a shame we have such a mediaeval approach to the end of life in this country.

    I have made a living directive saying what treatment I would (or more importantly would not want) were I in a position where I could not express a wish myself but the law in this country does not go far enough for me, unless you happen to have a "sympathetic" doctor you have to "let nature take its course".

    It isn’t cheap but if it came to it I will have no hesitation in using Dignitas, it’s a shame people have to resort to going to another country to die, in an anonymous flat, with dignity but that’s what is necessary in a "caring" country like ours.

    #386586
    Eclipse First
    Member
    • Total Posts 1569

    If the doctor told me I had 6 months to live I’d have the last week in June and first week in July for the next 13 years!

    #386587
    Gingertipster
    Participant
    • Total Posts 29897

    She spent the last 18 months of her life curled up in a cot like a baby, the only "blessing" as my friend put is was "she’s so out with the fairies she hasn’t a clue what is going on."

    Strangely Paul, we’ve often described alzheimers as life in reverse. Baby-like in the end. Unfortunately though, instead of smooth, soft skin it was folded skin and bones. And although am sure she did not "know" how bad it was, the pain was only too evident with every movement.

    Value Is Everything
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