Saturday, May 11, 2013


The Nursing Home

This is the place where no one wants to go.
Here life pauses, then awaits return
Eerily to infancy with no
New prospects save the grassy plot or urn.
Unless one cannot think or ambulate,
Resorting to this dreariest retreat
Smacks of cowardice. It’s second rate –
Insipid – all too eager for defeat.
Not only brave souls love, despite the hurt.
Genuinely curious ones too
Hold on until the second spade of dirt
Obscures their last remains from public view.
Make each moment count. Be someone’s friend.
Eschew complaint. It pays no dividend.

~ FreeThinke (8/31/11)



Only comments directly related to the item posted will be accepted until further notice. All others, even from friends, will be scrapped by a blog administrator.


  1. Mary,
    Many are forced into nursing homes by their families -- and by the health care system, which can override the patient's and even the family's wishes.

    There is also the matter of going to a nursing home for rehab, then being forced to stay there. I have fought the battle to get my husband released from a nursing home and managed to win, but only because I had intuitively taken certain steps early on. The link I just provided may give you some information that you have expressed a desire to know. Regulations vary state by state; you may be able to bypass your husband's wishes. But you will need an advocate!

    Home care (24/7, 365) costs at least $80,000 a year even at the low rate of paying the aides $10/hour.

  2. Hater's end up in Nursing Homes?

  3. No one looks forward to moving into a nursing home or putting a loved one there. But what to do when your father who is 77 years old, which is not really that old, but who is a heavy drinker, and who smokes heavily as well and refuses to stop. He doesn’t walk to well, in fact he even drives down the driveway to get his mail. He doesn't eat properly thank God for McDonalds he says - he lives alone in a small neighborhood in the Sout skirts of Boston. He is stubborn and refuses to move.
    We have health insurance, but there aren't any plans that cover long-term in-home care, and certainly none that provide coverage 24x7. And Obama’s Healthcare plan dosn’t cover us at all. I guess that you have to be on welfare or be an Illegal to get coverage for that. More and more families are facing financial hardships like this everyday, but I don’t know of anything that the government is doing for the middle-class people or need this kind of assistance. The misconceptions that Obama is helping the middle-class people by giving them public assistance, is just a misconception.
    I have been through this and I’m really fully acquainted with the whole policy. The eligibility for assistance relies on a several factors, it’s determined on household income the size of your family. The extent of your crisis, and whether or not it’s a medical emergency, Obama is doing nothing about the middle class getting coverage for nursing homes. After four and a half years of Obama, can any American expect one word of truth for the Obama administration? I guess not. .It is a mystery to me how Obama can take money that has been payed into medicare not by the government but by us citizens and just give it to a bunch of illegal’s that have not even payed in any kind of taxes. I have been paying taxes since I was 16 and now when I am about to start looking for some of it to come back to me it seems he has stolen it. If a bank president used money like that it is a felony .

  4. Red Herring or not it was fun and very informative.
    I for one liked it.

    Please think about bringing it back again in a different manor. How about a “I hate you because “ week?

    That said, sorry, bit I think that the topic of today sucks!

  5. Oh Gosh, AOW! "Mary," whoever she was removed her own posts. It must have been after you responded to her.

    So far, no one -- not even you -- has even begun to get the point of the sonnet.

    It may LOOK at first glance as though it's about the evils of living in a nursing home, but it's not. It's about what we all ought to do with our lives BEFORE we reach that dismal stage of existence.

    We would have had at least FIFTEEN posts racked up by now, but "Mary" removed hers, and I removed -- and will continue to remove -- irrelevant remarks and certainly the out-and-out TRASH we receive gratuitously every day.

    How things go in the next two or three weeks will determine whether or not this blog will continue past its first anniversary.

    I didn't get into blogging to get into the business of TRASH REMOVAL.

    ALL derogatory remarks directed at Shaw Kenawe will be summarily removed at first glance from now on. This place is not to here be used a dumping ground for stupid invective.

    As of today, we are not admitting Anonymous posts. That is subject to change without notice at the discretion of the blog administrators. It all depends on "the weather." ;-)

  6. Sue, I'm genuinely sorry about your father, who is only a few years older than I. (:-o

    You are right in not looking to the government for a solution to your problem. In truth there may not BE a solution. Every one of us is in effect a "prisoner" of the way we have chosen to live our lives -- and every one of us is subject to receiving blows from an always Fickle Fate.

    This starkly humorous poem by Robert Frost may not help you very much, but it sure gives good advice:

    __________ Provide, Provide __________
    The witch that came (the withered hag)
    To wash the steps with pail and rag,
    Was once the beauty Abishag,

    The picture pride of Hollywood.
    Too many fall from great and good
    For you to doubt the likelihood.

    Die early and avoid the fate.
    Or if predestined to die late,
    Make up your mind to die in state.

    Make the whole stock exchange your own!
    If need be occupy a throne,
    Where nobody can call you crone.

    Some have relied on what they knew;
    Others on simply being true.
    What worked for them might work for you.

    No memory of having starred
    Atones for later disregard,
    Or keeps the end from being hard.

    Better to go down dignified
    With boughten friendship at your side
    Than none at all. Provide, provide!

    ~ Robert Frost (a brilliant, but notably difficult man who lived into his nineties)

    With few exceptions "The End" is always hard. It's what we do BEFORE it arrives that matters.

    The best thing you could for your father in my opinion would be to love him -- humor him -- let him live out his days as HE chooses,however foolishly -- and graciously LET HIM GO when the time comes. I do not believe there is any virtue in prolonging life just for the sake of prolonging it once it becomes nothing but misery.

    My best wishes to you.

  7. They say that every ideology has an " innocent believer" for whom the sake of appearances must be maintained.

    I just never was naive enough to believe that pShaw was "the one" for whom Morpheus HAD to believe. ;)

    Enjoy your new role as Agent for the Matrix, FT! You're going to have a LOT of stains upon good manners to remove. :)

  8. Yep...

    You're going to be busier than Ed Harris on The Truman Show maintaining this Potemkin village of "going along to get along". ;)

    jes' prophesizing...

  9. Deriving satisfaction and achieving fulfillment in life is a very serious business, Thersites.

    Mockery, flippancy and sarcasm can carry us just so far, and then we need something much finer.

    HATE WEEK was like all things real a PARADOX.

    I found it hysterically funny to see so many make absolute fools of themselves, but at the same time I felt infinitely sad to see so much waste of a series of perfectly good opportunities to shed light, pour oil on troubled waters, use ingenuity, give encouragement, express appreciation for beauty, see the humor in absurdity, and above all to make every effort to attribute DECENT motives to others -- namely me, of course. §;-}

    They had their chance. I NEVER SAID that "HATE WEEK" necessarily HAD to draw expressions of contempt, derision, bitterness, wrath, accusation, etc.

    Everyone was perfectly free to use the OPEN THREADS as THEY CHOSE.

    The result may have been predicable, but it was no less discouraging

    The same was true of my I-thought-valiant attempts to meet others of opposite political persuasion half way -- or better.

    In the end their bitter, mindless partisanship overcame my overtures of sincere good will and comity.

    Tragi-comic -- as is LIFE itself, eh what?

  10. I meant exactly what I said in these words from today's "offering."

    Not only brave souls love, despite the hurt.
    Genuinely curious ones too
    Hold on until the second spade of dirt
    Obscures their last remains from public view.

    Make each moment count. Be someone’s friend.
    Eschew complaint. It pays no dividend.


    And The Carousel spins 'round and 'round and 'round and 'round and 'round.

  11. There's more truth in poetry than any mere recital of Facts and Figures.

  12. Imagine, for a moment, that I announced that no one, absolutely no one, could deride mr Ducky... upon pain of immediate censorship.

    How much "truth" would there be in the resulting comments?

    jes sayin'

  13. ps pShaw views the world through a different anamorphic lens... one she aspires will one day become synonymous with "the Master Signifier".

    The old "master signifier" is gone. Daddy doesn't punish violators any more.... daddy. :)

  14. Life is like a circle, the end returns to the beginning. We start off life with someone feeding us and changing our diapers. Life often ends the same way. It use to be family doing it. Now it is the hired help.

  15. No... life is NOT a Sloterdijkian Sphere... that's just a reflection of the symbolic plane trying to insolate the psyche from the Lacanian Real.... kinda like was FT is attemting to do for pShaw. ;)

    Now back to FTs "Critique of Cynical Reason"....

  16. "ps pShaw views the world through a different anamorphic lens... one she aspires will one day become synonymous with 'the Master Signifier'."

    Thersites, your obsession with me and what I think is sadly remarkable.

    Since neither you nor I have had any sort of interaction except your taunts addressed to me and my rebuttals to them that you know exactly NOTHING about me. You know (because of your frequent and compulsive visits to my blog), about my political leanings and perhaps my taste in poetry. Not much else

    It is worth noting that you seem to be unable to direct your attention elsewhere and need to continue with your taunts and jibes directed at me.

    What does that say about YOUR life and what you do with it?

    Get out and visit the sick, the sad, and the needy. Take a walk in the park and enjoy the blossoming trees and flowers. Read a book of poetry.

    Your role as chief cynic in charge of this part of the internet is getting old.

    Try being a mensch.

    Definition of a cynic: A person who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  17. Was I obsessing over you? I thought I was trying to talk FT out of obsessing over you.

    Who knew?

  18. ps - You're a nafka after my own heart. Really!

  19. Now back to FTs "Critique of Cynical Reason"....

    Infinitely preferable to Thersites' pedagogical exhibitionism.

  20. Why cynical reason beats the alternatives...

    "Did you know hat the first Matrix was designed to be a perfect human world? Where none suffered, where everyone would be happy? It was a disaster. NO one would accept the program. Entire crops /of the humans serving as batteries/ were lost. Some believed we lacked the programming language to describe your perfect world. But I believe that, as a species, human beings define their reality through suffering and misery. The perfect world was a dream that your primitive cerebrum kept trying to wake up from.Which is why the Matrix was re-designed to this: the peak of your civilization."
    The imperfection of our world is thus at the same time the sign of its virtuality AND the sign of its reality. One could effectively claim that the agent Smith (let us not forget: not a human being as others, but the direct virtual embodiment of the Matrix — the big Other - itself) is the stand-in for the figure of the analyst within the universe of the film: his lesson is that the experience of an insurmountable obstacle is the positive condition for us, humans, to perceive something as reality — reality is ultimately that which resists.

    Zizek, "0n the Matrix..."

  21. Well, dear friends -- BOTH of you -- and ALL of you who may be present but unaccounted for -- I have taken on the difficult task of doing my best to love everyone regardless of their faults or how poorly they may relate to each other.

    A thankless task -- perhaps even a fool's errand -- but as the saying goes, "Someone's gotta do it." ;-)

    I see Ms. Shaw DID get the message in today's sonnet. I'm glad, but not surprised.

    My very own family presented me with a microcosmic version of the conundrum that faces us here.

    When I was but three years of age, my mother became seriously annoyed with one of her sisters -- my "favorite aunt" of the day -- I felt heartbroken. It was made infinitely worse when Mama said to me in the heat of the moment, "If you ever say anything nice about her or try to talk to her again, I won't love you anymore."

    Of course she didn't really mean it, and the silly incident subsided very quickly, but to a THREE-YEAR-OLD words like that could be very traumatic. I've never forgotten how I felt at that moment to his day, and I can still remember the dress my other was wearing and see the room where this happened in minute detail.

    I was treated to many more such incidents over the years as various members of our fond-but-fractious clan clashed with one another -- usually over trivialities.

    Eventually, I came to realize that indulging in this sort of interaction -- for whatever "reason" -- was pointless, and a terrible waste of precious time.

    I don't condemn my relatives for it, however, I miss all of them very much. I just wish they'd been smart enough to stop wasting the years they had together with hurtful nonsense. They DID love each, which made it all the more absurd.

    Sorry, Thersites, but I will NEVER stop trying.

  22. That's okay, FT. I'll STILL love you. ;)

  23. Now HERE'S A cheerful, uplifting thought:

    A bilious temperament may shower
    Many a lush and fragrant bower
    With noxious regurgitation
    Withering blooms and vegetation.
    But roots of every healthy plant
    Remain immune to toxic cant.
    And soon the stench will clear away
    As Beauty returns renewed by Decay.

    ~ FreeThinke (of course!)

    What does that say when put more directly in the vernacular?

    Shit feeds the crops and makes the flowers grow.

    Now you know why I [generally prefer to express myself in verse. ;-)

  24. Hey, you guys! Learn to READ, will ya?


    Cut the comedy.

  25. Thersites said (to Shaw Kenawe:)
    ps - You're a nafka after my own heart. Really!


    From the Yiddish, taken to mean a promiscuous woman; a slut; a whore. Very similar to the Yiddish term 'koorvah', although generally understood to be somewhat less severe in nature, in that koorvahs do "it" for money, whereas nafkas more often seek physical or emotional gratification.


    Your attitude is very much the same as a sad old shut-in, sitting on the edge of his bed, looking at the immense and beautiful world outside his window that he can neither open his heart to or, worse, ever understand.

    “Scratch any cynic and you will find a disappointed idealist.”

  26. I'm a kynic, NOT a cynic,

    Is Rappaccini, perchance, your father?

  27. In a surprising turn Zizek excludes himself from the all-encompassing cynicism that touches all reality by aligning himself with what Sloterdijk calls kynicism: “Kynicism represents popular, plebian rejection of the official culture by means of irony and sarcasm: the classical kynical procedure is to confront the pathetic phrases of the ruling official ideology – its solemn, grave tonality – with everyday banality and to hold them up to ridicule, thus exposing behind the subtle noblesse of ideological phrases the egotistical interests, the violence, the brutal claims to power”(29).

  28. This comment has been removed by the author.

  29. Finally! I'm getting back to this thread!

    FT, I responded to Mary because she seemed desirous of information as to how to protect herself from being confined to a nursing home. I hope that she returned and read the information!

  30. Now, with regard to today's poem, the last two lines, as is often the case in poetry, evince the main point.

    Make each moment count. Be someone’s friend.
    Eschew complaint. It pays no dividend.

    But I must say that, very often, those of us who have gotten glimpses of what a nursing home can be like do develop a sense of dread that -- if we are not very, very careful -- cause us to fret instead of enjoying the life that we presently have. Anyway, that issue has been a problem for me for the past few years. Most who visit here know why, so I'll omit the details.

    Something else in the poem resonated with me because, a few days ago, I got a letter about my mother-in-law's Alzheimer's plight:

    This is the place where no one wants to go.
    Here life pauses, then awaits return
    Eerily to infancy with no
    New prospects save the grassy plot or urn.

    The situation is so bad for her. Maybe she is not suffering (We hope!); she cannot think or ambulate, but her longtime boyfriend sees her every day and occasionally needs to confirm some medical matters with family members. Her boyfriend has gone on with his life (Make each moment count) and, at the same time, has not deserted my mother-in-law. He is a brave soul -- perhaps the bravest I've ever known.

  31. I hope that I'm not too far off topic with my comment just above. Sometimes a poem does speak in different ways to different readers.

  32. Bravery surely runs in the family. :)

  33. Your poem stirs mixed emotions for me, FT.

    I am a PT, and have worked in various nursing homes, most of which I will not return to due to the poor standards of care. I have met such a wide variety of people, and witnessed such different reactions to the nursing home environment.

    I don't think the majority of residents (patients) would choose to be there, if they had better options.

    In the past, if someone had Parkinson's, a stroke, or a hip replacement, they would be approved (by Medicare) to stay in a rehabilitation hospital anywhere from 3 weeks to 2 months or more. Now, it's much harder to gain access to rehab facilities, and more and more, people end up at a nursing home for "rehab", like AOW said. It's just not the same, though, and people often lose ground, medically.

    Anyway, I struggle with my emotions around this issue.

    I met a lady about a month ago who is now, most likely, a permanent resident at the home.
    She's 92, and had a stroke recently.
    She's very bright, creative, and surprisingly healthy.

    Her stroke took away her speech. She has become so incredibly frustrated at the inability to communicate, that she has given up. She won't get out of bed, and is losing strength.

    The staff forces her to eat, sit up, etc.

    I absolutely cannot feel right about this. Everything about her screams, Leave me alone!!! but they continue to talk to her like she's an infant, forcing her about.

    I know it's somewhat off topic, but it's a complicated issue.

  34. Yes, Jen Nifer, I understand.

    I have witnessed much in the way of tragic illness and end of life phenomena, and taken care of several people who were coming to the end of their tether.

    I firmly believe in allowing people to CHOOSE whether they want to remain alive or die peacefully by simply letting themselves go.

    What you describe is a form of TORTURE in my opinion. It is certainly no kindness.

    There usually comes a time in every life when Death becomes our very best friend.

    That said, too many people surrender too easily, give up on life, and let themselves become a burden to society -- but most of all to THEMSELVES.

    The maon reason I am a staunch Conservative is the deadly fear and loathing I have of being MCIRO-MANAGED by an Officious, Insensitive Moron who "goes by the book," and vainly imagines she (or he) knows what's best for me -- for for her (or his) future prospects as a healthcare professional.

    God save us from the Socialists, and the army of Sociologists and Social Workers who implement their arrogant, condescending schemes "for the good of all."

  35. At the same time, I desperately want this woman to put more effort into her LIFE.

    Where do we draw the line when it comes down to living and dying?

    I mean to say, it is in large part up to the individual whether they are getting something out of being alive.

    Gosh, what a heavy topic. My heart feels cold just thinking about it.

  36. I've seen it, FT, forcing people about.
    And I agree, it is cruel and inhumane.

    Medicare promotes this kind of thinking.

    If the home wants to be reimbursed at the highest possible rate, the patient must participate in x hours of therapy (speech, OT, PT) per day.
    So often, the patient is unable to do this, and ends up sitting in the wheelchair doing nothing while the clock ticks away.

    Biomedical ethics are left behind.

    The older I get, the more my views change on end-of-life issues.

    I have nowhere near the fundamental evangelical Christian outlook I once had. (And I dont say that sarcastically or condescendingly.)
    I am sometimes shocked and amazed at how my views have changed over the past decade.

  37. Sooner or later REALITY has a way of trumping starry-eyed, idealistic thinking, Jen Nifer. I frankly think that's a GOOD thing.

    "Ye shall know the TRUTH, and the TRUTH shall set you free."

    The Truth is not an idealized vision of how things should be. And it's not a warped, cynical worm's-eye-view of life either.

    Nevertheless, at root Life is good. We must never doubt that. tempting though it may seem at times.

    I like to think that cultivating a strict habit of considering how OTHERS might be feeling -- no matter how poorly they may ACT -- is probably the best way to combat depression and anxiety.

    Even if blind, crippled, and wheelchair-bound, we may STILL do others some good by showing honest concern for THEM instead of just turning inward to focus on our poor suffering little SELVES.

    Egocentrism may be the deadliest disease of all.

    I've had the privilege and good fortune to know several individuals who lived well into their nineties -- and one to age 101, and another to age 105.

    All were happily involved in life to whatever extent they could be almost to the very end.

    Other's much much younger gave up early and moldered away in various stages of alcoholism, drug addiction, self-pity and snarling contempt for their fellow man. They all died in their sixties. A couple actually committed suicide.

    Extreme egocentrism is the foundation of most mental illness and a long slow way of committing suicide.

  38. How I long for a return to WHOLESOME IDEALS and a love for true BEAUTY in the popular culture, instead of the perverse, demented, strident, hard-edged ugliness we've embraced since the Sick-sties.

    Along those lines, I think you may enjoy tomorrow's post in honor of Mother's Day, although it's focused more on a remarkable COUPLE, their career, and their FIVE children rather than on motherhood, per se.

    Wonderful people still exist, and wonderful things are still happening. It's only the perverted, contrary, focus of the enemedia that keeps us from enjoying the best things in life and knowing more about them.

  39. I was in a nursing home for 5 weeks after I had a stroke. It was a good nursing home! I actually liked the place, which Mrs. AOW picked. It lived up to its reputation!

    But I knew that I wasn't going to stay there forever. The point of being there was for me to get well enough to return home, which was only 1 mile away. Mrs. AOW was there with me most of the time, too.

    I may still be in bad shape. But life is for living, and I am living the best life that I can under the circumstances!

  40. Wonderful people still exist, and wonderful things are still happening.

    SO TRUE!

    My career has put me in a position to think a lot about death and dying. I have probably spent too much time on it, in fact.

    I love Mr. AOW's attitude. Life is for living!

  41. Everyone should so blest as to have an advocate like Mrs. AOW in their corner -- and every advocate who tends the sick should be so blest as to have a grateful recipient of loving care like Mr. AOW.

    God bless you both, and may He give you the grace to KEEP UP the GOOD WORK.

    You may not know it, but you are inspiration to me and many others.

  42. Reality is what is. We can evade reality for a time perhaps but in the end reality always has its way. The laws of nature, physics, and mathematics, as well as logic and reason will not be denied.

    Understanding the physiology, skeletal, muscular, and neurological issuses that impact the quality of life allows one to influence their reality and existence in a short term positive way. Ultimately reality is what it is.

  43. FT,
    An inspiration? That's a nice compliment, but the past few weeks things here have not been inspiring.

    Lately, both Mr. AOW and I are too exhausted to enjoy the finer things that life offers.

    Getting older ain't easy no matter what the circumstances are.

    I think that my fatigue is worse this year because this year's group of students and parents is not any easy group to work with. A sign of the times, I think, because of the poison of the "doctrine" of self-esteem.

  44. When it comes to "The One", AoW, YOU are the "real deal".

    Zizek, "The Matrix or Two Side to a Perversion"

    The falsity of The Matrix is perhaps most directly discernible in its designation of Neo as "the One." Who is the One? There effectively is such a place in the social link. There is, first, the One of the Master-Signifier, the symbolic authority. Even in the social life in its most horrifying form, the memories of concentration camp survivors invariably mention the One, an individual who did not break down, who, in the midst of the unbearable conditions which reduced all others to the egotistic struggle for bare survival, miraculously maintained and radiated an "irrational" generosity and dignity — in Lacanian terms, we are dealing here with the function of Y'a de l'Un: even here, there was the One who served as the support of the minimum of solidarity that defines the social link proper as opposed to the collaboration within the frame of the pure strategy of survival. Two features are crucial here: first, this individual was always perceived as one (there was never a multitude of them, as if, following some obscure necessity, this excess of the inexplicable miracle of solidarity has to be embodied in a One); secondly, it was not so much what this One effectively did for the others which mattered, but rather his very presence among them (what enabled the others to survive was the awareness that, even if they are for most of the time reduced to the survival-machines, there is the One who maintained human dignity). In a way homologous to the canned laughter, we have here something like the canned dignity, where the Other (the One) retains my dignity for me, at my place, or, more precisely, where I retain my dignity THROUGH the Other: I may be reduced to the cruel struggle for survival, but the very awareness that there is One who retains his dignity enables ME to maintain the minimal link to humanity. Often, when this One broke down or was unmasked as a fake, the other prisoners lost their will to survive and turned into indifferent living dead — paradoxically, their very readiness to struggle for the bare survival was sustained by its exception, by the fact that there was the One NOT reduced to this level, so that, when this exception disappeared, the struggle fore survival itself lost its force. What this means, of course, is that this One was not defined exclusively by his "real" qualities (at this level, there may well have been more individuals like him, or it may even have been that he was not really unbroken, but a fake, just playing that role): his exceptional role was rather that of transfer
    ence, i.e. he occupied a place constructed (presupposed) by the others.

  45. "Y'a de l'Un" (Jean Wahl)

    Plato, "Parmenides"

    "If One is not, then nothing is"

  46. FT, there is excellent insight in your poem which I'm sure that those of us who have been exposed to life in a nursing home, either personally or through exposure through visitation of another in such a facility, would reach the logical conclusion: "How can I avoid that particular fate?"

    Rebelling against that looming future vision is logical, I think, but there is likely something more subtle that would need to be recognized—what actions or changes can I make in my life to avoid reaching this end? I believe many people unthinkingly act or indulge in what may seem to be frivolous or harmless behaviour in the short term, however this becomes an act that becomes a longer term habit that may become addictive. We can all relate to alcohol and drug abuse as well as overeating resulting in harmful results. Less obvious may be harmful substances which are contained in the convenient and ever-present fast foods. Is it by accident that so many people line up regularly to stuff their fat faces with fast food,. And is it accidental that this type of food is laced with an over-supply of harmful additives such as sugar, salt, greasy fats and white flour, which more evidence shows is directly related to the serious health issues that plague more and more countries in which these fast food empires thrive?

    I didn't think I'd ever say this, but I agree with Mika Brzezinski and her crusade on this issue.

  47. Thanks, Waylon, but I'm sure you realize by now that most people would literally rather die than give up their pet vices. It's just a fact of life.

    I'm a serious advocate of SELF-DETERMINATION for terminally ill individuals and those utterly depleted by the ravages of great old age -- and their family members or loved ones who must bear the burden of endless tending.

    In other words I strongly favor allowing people The Right to Die on a strictly individual basis.

    And yes, I do see "assisted suicide" as an enlightened policy, when it's truly wanted by those most closely involved with tragic situations from which death is the only possible escape.

    If that makes me a 'liberal," then perhaps I am -- at least in that and several other moral and "social" issues.


    All I can say to you and your husband, AOW, is Please "don't weary in well doing."

  48. I'm a serious advocate of SELF-DETERMINATION for terminally ill individuals and those utterly depleted by the ravages of great old age -- and their family members or loved ones who must bear the burden of endless tending.


    FT, not sure I see much in the way of SELF-DETERMINATION in the lives of the terminally ill, those "utterly depleted" by the ravages of "great old age". Are you saying that their last act of self-determination should be the acceptance of the final solution, swallowing the poison pill, to make a final exit from this vale of tears?

    IMO, if that's a conscious decision of the part of the individual then so be it. Shouldn't matter if one is a conservative, libertarian, liberal or communist. If the will to live has gone is there any point in taking up space and sucking the air on this beautiful blue planet?

  49. If the will to live has gone is there any point in taking up space and sucking the air on this beautiful blue planet?

    In three words:


  50. Recall, AOW, you may be exhausted, fed up and even weary; but you may still be an inspiration to others who struggle to do as well as you do!

    That may seem counterintuitive at first read. The focus on the good is an ethical litmus test.

  51. KP,
    The past several weeks here have been inordinately difficult. I think that we have finally pinpointed one reason for my recent exhaustion: lifting that scooter is getting too strenuous for me to do without painful consequences. Yesterday, I realized that a new physical ailment I've got could well be the direct result of lifting too much weight too often.

    I think that we'll try renting a van a few weeks after this school term ends on May 30th.

    This school term has also been very difficult for several reasons that I won't detail at the moment. It is possible that the wear and tear of this school term is the major factor -- not the lifting of that scooter.

  52. A friend and coworker of mine with MS eventually had to stop coming to work a few years ago, he could no longer get his scooter in and out of the van he owned. He died last Fall.

    I used to help him load/unload it. It was a real bear! And the cost of automation (hydraulic lifts, etc.) was prohibitive.

    I feel for you, AoW!

  53. Unrelieved stress is an enormous factor in exacerbating physical ailments. I believe it could also be a CAUSATIVE factor in many.

    I've been there, done it, and KNOW, believe me.



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