There has once again been a lot of discussion on TV about the age people retire and how we receive or not, our pensions. Yesterday the government proposed a scheme that would tell all of us at retirement our life expectancy so that we can plan just how we are going to use the pension pot we have and how to be sure that it will last our lives, the TV channels have gone nuts about it! You would think that they had suggested that if you live past that point, you will be forcibly extinguished, not that they are proposed a truly useful system to help you make plans for your future life. I have never understood why people just don’t want to know how long they have to live, it is something that I have always wanted to know, even when I was fitter and slightly healthier I wanted to know. It isn’t that I am in a hurry to die, it is actually the opposite, by knowing just how long you have to live, you know how long you have to do all the things you want to. I have now been given that date when I was diagnosed with COPD, it was I think harder for Adam to accept than it was for me, but knowing has given me a strange kind of calmness. At first, I thought it was because I knew there was an end date to the pain, but I no longer think that. I think it has far more to do with the fact that there is nothing I can do about it and my future is written out ahead of me, just to be lived and with nothing to fear from it, as it will unfold as it does within a given time, OK that time isn’t totally accurate but it is there ahead of me and easier to get my head around than something totally unknown. A bit like the fact that the universe has no boundaries it just goes on and on forever is almost impossible to get our heads around, as our lives and planet tells us everything has to have an end, a point where it is no more.
I do think there is a lot more that the medical profession could do to help all of us now and in the future to manage our own lives. I honestly thing that all of us should have our DNA tested, so that if we have any future conditions that they can see from the test, we will know about it in advance. They already screen for the breast cancer gene and many others have already been found, markers that point towards other possible conditions. In conjunction with annual blood tests and weight checks, a life plan could be set up, taking into account our weight, smoking and drinking habits, lifestyle and of course any medical conditions we have. Once set up it could constantly keep us updated with our progress for a healthy life and warn if we are getting it wrong, plus as they find new predictable illnesses as simple matching program would add those detail to the file as well. I know, because I am one of them, not everyone would want it done, but if it was done as routine at birth, it would become the norm and people wouldn’t fear it, as everyone would have their own plan and what parent wouldn’t want the best possible medical future for their children. I wouldn’t want the test done for myself for one simple reason, I don’t want to know what next horror my body has waiting for me. At this stage, I think I would rather just wait and see, especially when the chances are, that whatever it is, won’t happen at all now thanks to my limited life span, why worry about what might never happen if you like.
Last night was amazingly quiet as far as my body was concerned, little pain, just a great need of sleep, I once again went to bed early but as often happens when I do that, I wake early, expecting my bladder to hold on for more than 11 hours, really is a bit of a big expectation. An early start by exactly the same amount of time I added by going to bed early, seems a bit like a waste of time somehow. I have only been up 4 hours but I am already tired and wishing that I could just go and have a nap if only life were that simple. I am finding it really hard to concentrate again today, this post as taken nearly three times as long as yesterday’s, but when your mind rushes off and you are suddenly browsing Google, well things will take longer. I have now for the past month made sure that I close all other windows other than Chrome and open fullscreen rather than windowed when I am writing my post, that way I only have one thing that can distract me, other than all my shortcuts and spreadsheets. So far I am finding it helpful but on days like today, short of closing all the other pages, there is little chance of me sticking to just one thing. I think I would have to move my PC into a space where I can’t see anything other than the screen, as even ornaments and pictures drag me away from what I am doing. No scheme is ever perfect, but I can try, maybe one day I will find an answer. mind you I haven’t tried blinkers yet, now there’s a possibility.
Please read my blog from 2 years ago today – 19/04/12 – 100 Birthdays and more
Recently it seems as though the once cherished telegram from the Queen on achieving the age of 100 is no longer that rare, 100 seems to be somewhat expected. When I was in my twenties it seemed unthinkable that I or anyone I knew would reach such an age and that included my then baby daughter. A respectable age was somewhere in the early 80’s and by that age you would expect to be quite frail and dependent on others, cars were almost forcefully removed by the family once you were in your 70’s, it was unthinkable that someone that age could drive without crashing, today they are vaguely discussion if it might be a good idea to retest people once they are over 75. Our expectation of life has changed so much that it seems almost unrecognisable to those I based thing on as a child. I’ll reword that, as a child I thought…..
Another thought provoking post. Yes we would all like to know we have a long life ahead of us. If there is some doubt, then it is human nature to not want to know.