Bah Humbug

Photo on 12-12-13 at 12.01 PM

 

I find these days that my mind is racing far ahead of my body.   Objectively my condition has declined but not dramatically.  I can still walk, unassisted in the house and with a cane for short walks out.  I still drive.  Although not speaking Iuse pen, paper and technology to communicate.  I can still feed and care for my bodily needs, although require more assistance.  I can still read and write.  Friends tell me I look good.

But this “reality” does not correspond with my mental state these days.  As I think about my future I am more and more focused on all the negatives – things I can no longer do and an even longer list of capabilities falling away.  I know my future is increasing isolation in my decaying body, less mobility, more discomfort, breathing difficulties and pain.

And I also can sense the pain my decline is bringing to the people closest to me, and want to spare them as much as I am able.

I feel so conflicted.  There is still life and value in living.  There are still many things I can do, people to hug, books to read, movies to watch and music to enjoy.  But the prospect of my accelerating decline make me want to take the “easy way out” much of the time.

Being a good decision analyst I understand the error of making a choice that forecloses options prematurely.  I awoke this morning determined to speed my process by not eating.  I have no explanation for why that idea dominated today.  Stewed in those thoughts most of the morning, started writing thispiece and googling starvation. Started making a spreadsheet in my head. 

I cannot explain the thought process that has led me to decide finally to have my breakfast at 11AM this morning.  Neither the spreadsheet nor the google were especially helpful. Somehow it just came to me that this decision was, indeed, premature.  But my family has pointed out that this is not my favorite time of year, and I should postpone major decisions until the New Year.  So I have retrieved my “Bah Humbug” hat from the closet shelf and will wear it for the next few weeks as a reminder to live my life one day at a time.

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11 Responses to Bah Humbug

  1. Barbara Gems says:

    Ah, Stuart – my heart goes out to you as you struggle on. I (and I’m sure many, many others) are so glad you ate your oatmeal. Perhaps we are selfish in wanting you in our lives a little longer – and nobody can really feel your mental and physical pain. I hope you will continue to eat your breakfast, write your blog, hug your friends, and be here.

  2. Karen B. says:

    You, Stuart, have always had my utmost admiration for your depth, insight, understanding, kindness, and a soul as deep as the center of the Earth.
    You have always been, and will remain, my hero! Thank you for being you!!

  3. Stu I feel like you sometimes ,,, you are always in control .. Try and just look at today , I think that tomorrow I will be worse so I settle into today … I know it’s a long and cruel death … Maybe we are chosen … You can still food and that’s good .. and you still walk and spend time with precious people … As you say to be ..be strong for everyone who loves you … Love you and a hug xxx

  4. Dick Katz says:

    Hey Cuz:
    You are one amazing MAN!

  5. Tom Murphy says:

    Couldn’t have said it any better my friend … I feel this way EVERY day. I think we will both know when the right time is … it will be when we can no longer say: “There are still many things I can do,”

    Now go put on your Happy Holidays hat – that’s what I’m doing!

    ========================================================
    And I also can sense the pain my decline is bringing to the people closest to me, and want to spare them as much as I am able.

    I feel so conflicted. There is still life and value in living. There are still many things I can do, people to hug, books to read, movies to watch and music to enjoy. But the prospect of my accelerating decline make me want to take the “easy way out” much of the time.

    ========================================================

  6. Dave Curtin says:

    Stu, One of the greatest, if not the greatest, slogan in our fellowship is living “one day at a time” knowing there is nothing we can’t get through with the love and example of friends and family. Love you, Pal, Dave
    p.s. Does Roz know about these lovely ladies you are corresponding with?

  7. Trisha Derr says:

    Stu – you teach us so much. love, Trisha p.s. whatever your decisions, we know you fight the good fight.

  8. Thinking of you and sending strength and virtual hugs.

  9. kadiet says:

    Thnking of you and sending strength and hugs!

  10. Joel Itskowitz says:

    Stu:
    It is easy for all of us to get caught up in the Bah Humbug mood during the holidays as we tend to get wrapped up in the doing and the stress that the holiday season brings and that can lead many of us down the road of depression. We always focus on what we haven’t done or what we could have done. Do it different this time: look back at the year and count your top “Wow Moments.” Celebrate challenges that you were able to turn into opportunities. Certainly you have had many “Wow Moments” this year and you continue to inspire all of us.. What you focus on grows and is contagious.

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