Tuesday, September 29, 2015


Today is my 87th birthday, with thanks to the NHS and particularly King's College Hospital for keeping me upright still. As my family are aware, I expect to die around July 2016 but they all say I will continue past that horizon. My feeling about it is that quality of life is better than quantity of life, so its fine to step out of Samsara while I still have my marbles, eyesight and reasonable mobility. (the miracle cure for macular degeneration isn't likely to be available for another five years, by which time I will be long gone)

Today we had a stairlift installed, because although I can still manage the stairs, its with increasing difficulty, and I didn't want to wait until one day I get stuck. Luckily its only necessary to navigate stairs in the House to get to the W rooms; otherwise the route to the places on different floors there are all accessible by lift.

PS we just watched a TV programme about two people with terminal illnesses who donated their bodies for medical research. One of them had a good deal of pain at the end, and once again I wondered how those who are against assisted dying can square their consciences with the fact that palliative care doesn't work for one in five of the terminally ill. I certainly hope I'm not one of the 20%, and that when I do come to the end it will be at home, and that I can avoid too much dramatics.

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