Life as it is

Readers of long-standing may remember the saga of the porch being built. In the end it took a total of 4 years. However, it is now one of my favourite places to sit and meditate or to read and watch the birds at the feeders.

The pheasant this morning sent me scampering for the camera. You can see the dank, dreary weather; I know the photo isn’t all that great but it gives a true picture of life at Dalamory just now. In the summer the sun shines right into the windows and lights up everywhere; in the winter it’s lovely to be warm inside and yet to have the sense of the garden all around.

As a follow-on from the discussion about care of the elderly and palliative care, you may like to look at a moving story here, where a woman called Amy Berman describes her experiences on being diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer. It helps to give a fuller understanding of the dichotomy between health carers and those seeking the chance to make the most of the limited time they have left.

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13 Responses to Life as it is

  1. Marcia Mayo says:

    Thanks Freda, I read the article and posted it to my Facebook page. By the way, your porch is beautiful.

  2. Thankyou Freda. The poor woman has an absolute right has a human being to decide for herself what would best serve her aims. The article reflects much of what I wrote as a comment on your previous blog but from the sufferer’s perspective. How do we make ourselves heard as individuals and not just some amorphous mass of sick or ageing humanity?
    How do we stop the remorseless use of aggressive standard one-size-fits-all treatment regardless of the patient’s wishes?
    Once again I’ll repeat my (doubtless boring) mantra “quality, not quantity”.
    By the way, your photograph is lovely, I envy you your view – and your conservatory – if not your weather.

  3. freda says:

    Amy Berman seems to have managed to articulate her thoughts and feelings on her choice of quality over quantity; but what about all the people who are too frail, vulnerable or muddled to make the point to their medical team? The ongoing discussion on this topic is making me want to do some online research to see where people can have a voice. Let’s be honest, to find where I can have a voice well in advance of needing it, I hope.

  4. I read the article on Marcia’s FB page and posted it onto my friends and relatives.

    Love your porch, I wish my screened porch was enclosed and had such a nice view. Truth be told, we have an apartment building behind us, although when the leaves are out I barely know it is there. You have a beautiful view, although I imagine after a while the snow becomes tiresome.

  5. freda says:

    Actually, Dianne, that shows the smaller back garden (there is a forest over the track) – the view from the front is even nicer, with mountains and trees. The snow has been bad over the last few months and there will probably be more to come; pictures as and if!

  6. Tabor says:

    I have been watching The Big C on my computer via cable and it is very Hollywood, but also giving me a little perspective on getting the news and then having to continue to live on day at a time. Lovely view!!

  7. Cloudia says:

    What a magical visitor you had!

    Treatment is not always the best care. . . Physicians have their ways, sometimes you need to find your own (sometimes with their care – sometimes without- sometimes despite it)
    Aloha from Waikiki

    Comfort Spiral



  8. Anne Gibert says:

    A couple of years ago I wrote a blog post about my mother’s death. Here’s the conclusion of it — the whole post is rather long and rambling. I’m repeating it here because I think it emphasizes the complexity of this problem.

    “Here is the question I ask myself. When is a life no longer worth trying to prolong?

    I know my mother did not want to die. She was proud of being 100, even though previously she had hated having people know how old she was. Until a couple of weeks before she died she was still able to converse part of the time, she recognized people and there were people she loved. Life still held pleasures for her. It was not she who decided the end had come. It was the medical community, essentially, that made the judgment, probably from a cost-benefit basis, that this life had reached a stage when it should be allowed to end without intervention.

    I can understand this point of view. We must sensibly allocate scarce resources. Then I think, how will I feel if the time comes that someone else decides that I have lived long enough? To be honest, I think the answer might be different for me at 76 than it might have been, say, 40 years ago.”

    I am now almost 79, and the question is still not answered to my satisfaction.

  9. Lyn says:

    That is a beautiful room! I would spend a lot of time there, too.

  10. LC says:

    I love the glimpses of “grander” views you have shared with us before, but your smaller garden just fits into the intimate coziness of your sun porch. What a treasure! And thanks so much for the link about Amy’s experience. I read her post and also bookmarked the GeriPal blog for a longer visit later.

  11. freda says:

    Anne, thanks for sharing the piece about your mother. It is going to be more and more difficult as the “baby boomers” enter old age. I don’t know about you, but I’ve always been conscious of my own separate being, from a very early age. And I still can’t imagine not having that voice in my head. On the other hand there is a very real sense that life goes on after death – and how much I have faith in that, depends very much on the kind of day I am having.

  12. Julie Tomkinson says:

    Seeing your porch, very nice by the way reminds me of a recent GCSE mock paper I marked. Q – What is conservation?
    Ans- it is a glass room at the side of your house that old people sit in.
    You might like this too, Q- Is recycling good stewardship? Ans- yes it is and it can make you loose weight and get strong.
    Q- what is a civil war Ans- one where there is no fighting.

  13. freda says:

    Love the exam questions and answers, Julie. I used to mark Insurance exams (supposed to be under-grad level) and there were some real howlers, including the people who couldn’t answer the question but wrote a long involved sob-story about how they had to pass or they would lose their job.

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