I’m going to die.

Not today. Well, not as far as I know. One day though, I will die. So will you. I have made no preparations for this because when I’m dead I won’t give any more of a damn than I do now. If possible, I will give less of a damn.

So far I have no signs of death. The whisky flows freely through  my veins, the smoke goes in and out of my lungs as normal. Last time I saw a local doctor, some years back,  his first words were ‘I haven’t seen you before’. My response was ‘You were still in school last time I came here’. Last time I was there was for adult acne in my thirties. If you have that, go there. They have stuff that really works.

He has not seen me again. He couldn’t find anything wrong with me despite my answers to his ‘do you smoke or drink’ questions being off the scale. Oh I had all the tests. Smokers and drinkers always get all the tests. Not a thing wrong. The only medication offered was Champix and I told him he could prescribe it if it helped with his funding but I’d flush the lot. He decided not to bother. I gave him a signed copy of ‘Jessica’s Trap’ as compensation for his disappointment.

Today it is reported that the NHS is letting very old people die. The bad news for the old is… that is what you are supposed to do. It sounds harsh I know, but as an over-50 myself I m in your range too. I have seen people younger than me die. Of brain haemorraghes and cancer and heart attack, and all of them non smokers and non drinkers. Anyone can do it. In the end, everyone does. If you get past half a century, you must know it’s coming any day now.

At my age I would not accept any cancer treatment.  If I was young and had small children I would probably try to hang on but nobody depends on me. If I manage to get to 75 (not entirely likely) I will be amazed. No, I will not accept a year or ten of horrible side effects. I’d take the painkillers maybe. Most likely I’d self-medicate with whisky, it’s more fun and tastes better.

Months of going out in a blaze is far more appealing to me than years in a drugged haze.

Then I’d be back. Neither Heaven nor Hell would take me in so I’m a trainee poltertgeist. It gives me something to strive for.

One day I will die. So will everybody else. If there is anything afterwards, I’ll be back.

I will not go out in a drug haze. It’s strange that the NHS delivers exactly that while deriding those who do it for themselves. No, I will go as I have lived.





36 thoughts on “I’m going to die.

  1. I just had surgery for lung cancer three years ago, no further treatment. Must admit I have serious misgivings about chemo and radiation and I don’t think I would go down that road if I have a recurrence, from what I have seen you may get more time but the side effects are brutal. Still you really don’t know how you will react until the time comes. One of my friends decided against further treatment when she had a new cancer after nine years, she was given two months but lived for nearly two years, increasingly frail but feisty and funny almost until the end. Since I refused to stop smoking I have no doubt they would try to refuse me further treatment but if I want it they would have a fight on their hands.


  2. Seems fair enough. Like you, I don’t go to the doctors. I live by the ethos: ‘First sign of death and I’m off to the GP.’ Last time I went I had the standard tests and came out fine. I told my doctor that I drink too much although I gave up the smokes many years ago. He told me to stick to the standard recommended units of alcohol per week. I said I wouldn’t be prepared to do that as frankly I enjoy it too much. Seems to me your ‘span’ is very much determined by genetics and a modicum of luck. Anyway, I have no ambition to be a very old man and death has no terrors as I am an atheist. Could there be anything better than a dreamless sleep?


    • XX Could there be anything better than a dreamless sleep? XX

      Aye, you could go around, like Leggy, being a poltergeist. Going into the litery section of the local library, and throwing copies of Longfellow, Wordsworth, Burns, etc, at you favourite enemies, whilst singing “Poertry in motion” at the top of your voice.


      • Indeed, Is there nothing more dreadful than being alive for ever? The problem with these sort of experiences is that the person is not dead. The brain is in anoxia. Now if that happened for a few more minutes the person would be truly dead. No more synapses firing and no more dreams. People who lend credence to this pseudo-scientific bollocks are uneducated and irredeemable twats..


        • XX Indeed, Is there nothing more dreadful than being alive for ever? XX

          I don’t know. I am a nosey bastard and want to know what is going on, and how it works out. As there are always new things going on, then the possibilitys are infinate.


        • Some well-educated and intelligent people try to study this sort of thing from time to time. It’s pointless really.

          If anyone ever did find any kind of proof, nobody would believe them. Unless what they found fitted exactly with a particular religion, then not even the religious would believe them. All that effort would be wasted.

          Besides, we have at most a hundred years in this life. If there is another one, that’s for eternity. Plenty of time to explore it then. You don’t get another go at this life and you don’t want to spend eternity thinking about the things you could have been doing here, instead of hunting for something you’re now stuck with forever.

          If there is no afterlife, then looking for it is a waste of time too. Whether you believe yes, or no, it’s still belief and science can’t prove it either way. There’s only one way to know for sure and when you know, you can no longer tell anyone…

          Applying science to belief never works. You can believe things without proof, but that’s an entirely separate thing to science. And it should stay separate.


  3. Since New Labour, the patient’s relationship with the doctor has changed. Because the medical profession resisted Bevan’s attempt to make GPs salaried civil servants, they became indie dent subcontractors to the NHS. The doctor received a payment per head of patients on his panel but his clinical judgement was free . The relationship with the patient was almost the same as with a private patient, except the government paid the bill.

    Now it is utterly different. GPs are given targets for certain types of treatments which the Health Ministry favours and are rewarded accordingly. Ultimately it is always the case that “he who pays the piper calls the tune” .

    I realised this when I received a letter from my GP which began ” The Department oHealth recommends ..” I was rather cross with the doctor and said that he knew me and trot the
    Ministry and I wanted to know what he thought. Now I have received an invitation to be vaccinated against measles to prevent shingles. Having had a friend who was seriously ill with this, I decided to accept but what about my wife? She was not invited. So I asked they’d practice nurse. I have just turned seventy and only those between age sevent and seventy one are eligible for this vaccination. As my wife’s age is a few years different from mine, she will not be offered the treatment until the government decides. When I asked the nurse what she thought of this, she answered ” We are not allowed to think”

    Big Brother is here in the surgery.


    • only those between age sevent and seventy one are eligible for this vaccination

      Do you mean that only those are subsidized or that only those are able to get the vaccine? It costs about $60, but well worth the price not to have the spouse moping about with another case of the shingles. Money well spent, I say.


    • ” We are not allowed to think”

      People accept that instruction. “Do not think about it, bigger brains than yours have done that for you”.

      It took me a long time to realise just how devastatingly powerful you become when you change from ‘Mr.’ to ‘Dr.’ So many people just believe every word you say. Even when you are pronouncing authoritatively on subjects you know nothing about at all, and on subjects you’ve just made up on the spot.

      For me it’s just an amusement, but others have turned it into something very nasty indeed.


  4. In 2004, my 92 year-old gran was repeatedly sent away from the GP and A&E – she couldn’t walk three steps without having to stop, almost dying from being out of breath. Previously, she had been incredibly fit. Never used any walking aid. Every time over a period of a couple of months all these ‘doctors’ said it was ‘all in her mind’. She was never prone to hypochondria at all.

    She died shortly afterwards due to a blood clot on her heart and lungs.

    They don’t care.

    They don’t care about me and I’m 50 – treatment refused. MSP could do nothing, but tried really hard.

    P.S. It’s Heaven or Hell for each of us. I don’t think you get a choice of inbetween.


  5. Anti-tobacco has been telling me that some members of my family were going to die since I was 8. They started telling me that I was going to die from the age of 18.
    But as yet they haven’t told me which non-smoking related death they would recommend in preference.


  6. My spelling mistakes are due to a black patch appearing on the screen with white letters, urging me to Follow “underdogs bite upwards” . I can’t make it go away so can’t see the type underneath it. Added to my IPod’s habit of correcting what I type automatically to its own idea, this causes the problem in anything much longer than this.


  7. The only medication offered was Champix and I told him he could prescribe it if it helped with his funding but I’d flush the lot. He decided not to bother. I gave him a signed copy of ‘Jessica’s Trap’ as compensation for his disappointment.

    Heh! And that’s why I read your blog, LI.

    I went last week to a very state-of-the-art private clinic in Ubon Ratchathani because I had a slight pain in my side and my wife dragooned me there. They did all sorts of stuff with ultrasound scans and poking around my abdomen, and listened to my abdominal gurglings with stethoscopes and finally told me I had a kidney stone, but that it could be ignored as it wasn’t blocking anything. They also told me my liver and spleen seemed A-OK, and there seemed to be no problem with lungs, blood pressure etc etc. First time I’ve been to a doctor in nearly twenty years.

    Interestingly, the subjects of drinking and smoking weren’t even mentioned. My faith in Thai doctors went up a couple of notches.

    Oh, and it cost me about twenty quid for all that lot.


  8. When we die, officials will fill out a ‘death certificate’ affirming that we are dead.

    However, you will not find on that paper why we died,
    It will not list ‘cardiac arrest(your heart stopped beating)’ or some such info..

    The ‘Cause of Death’ portion will be only list the sequence of events or diseases that led to your ticker not ticking.

    It will look like this.
    Explanations in parantthesis for those like myself that do not speak medical babble.

    line A is the primary cause and line B is the secondary cause

    Line 32
    Cause of Death
    Part 1 Enter the diseases, injuries, or complications that caused the death. Do not enter the mode of dying, such as cardiac arrest or failure.

    line A. Due to rupture of the myocardium. (muscles of the heart ripped)

    line B. Due to Acute myocardial infarction (massive heart attack)

    line C. Due to Coronary artery thrombosis ( clogged arteries)

    line D. Atherascherotic coronary artery disease ( plaque build up/hardening of the arteries)

    Part 2
    Other significant conditions contributing to death but not resulting to the in the underlying causes given in part 1.
    Diabetes hypertension diet smoking

    (Required in some states)
    Line 35
    Did smoking/tobacco use contribute to the death.


  9. “I’m going to die.”
    Commonsense is on your side with respect to that prophecy and in another sense, death is highly probable yet uncertain, Leggy. The mathematical position is always open to extreme optimists.


    • Well, technically, every minute you don’t die leaves you with the option to live or die. It’s always 50/50 whether you will be alive or dead in the next minute – so it always remains possible that every flip of the coin comes up ‘heads’ – never ‘tails’.

      What you need for eternal life is a double-headed coin.


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