Thursday, August 10, 2017

Distressing

There is a chap I know. I see him from time to time. He is about 60 and his wife of a similar age and they have three grown up sons. He may well have been gay in his early life, back when he was a London and then a Sydney bus driver. He and his new wife rented a nice old Tudor style flat in Balaclava. They then mortgaged themselves to the hilt and bought a house in the suburb of McKinnon. He worked hard, often doing a lot of work overtime and outside of work did gardening and lawn mowing. She too worked hard and they prospered. If you know anything about property prices in McKinnon, they were once quite reasonable, like when they bought their house. They are anything but reasonable now.

As a bonus, her mother also bought a house in the same street, a few doors along. She died and they inherited quite a bit of money from the house. He has also had some smart financial advice along the way. Neither are at all pretentious, she with a very nasally strong Australian accent. He can be a little bit gushing and a bit too gay at times.

We did socialise with them a couple of times but our lives were very different and we did not become great friends. They were just pleasant people, and they did buy an old piece of furniture from us once. We have been to their home a couple of times as they steadily renovated and once attended quite a good party they held.

They have travelled quite a bit and that was their plan for retirement. As he said, we have plans and we have the money.

A couple of months ago she found difficulty in moving and had to give up work. Doctors suggested it was a pinched nerve or, because he speech had changed, perhaps a minor stroke. Tests were done. He was vague about it when I asked him the results.

How many muscles are in the face? Many! When I asked him yesterday, as I write, how she was, every muscle in his face twitched. It was amazing and disturbing to watch, as his mind raced through whether he should tell me or or not. He did and I guess I am quite honoured that he trusted me enough to tell me, whereas he won't be telling many others as he does not want pity.

She has Motor Neurone Disease, also called ALS and Lou Gehrig's Disease. I knew nothing of these aside from the names. I took a crash course with Doctor Google and her outlook is not good and it seems to be one of the most cruel diseases anyone can have.

As we spoke about it, he came close to cracking up, and because of that, so did I. All our plans have gone, our lives are finished. No, I said, your plans are no longer appropriate, but you still have your lives to live and to make the best of. That was before I knew anything about the disease. They will still have a life, but it is not going to much of a life and not for very long.

Things like this happen all over the world all the time to people, but it is just a bit different when it someone who you know.

20 comments:

  1. You are right, I am sure it certainly feels different if it's someone you actually know. Sad one. Greetings to you.

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  2. It is a truly vicious disease. One of several. And yes, it does hit hard when you know someone who is affected.

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    1. EC, it seems Professor Hawking's longevity is the exception.

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  3. Life can turn on a sixpence or the point of a pin...all too often the latter, as was proof to the lives of those referred to in my current post in my own blog.

    We never really know from one moment to the another what is ahead for us...

    Carpe Diem...Seize the day... for most of us....easier said than done...

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    1. Indeed Lee, and that was somewhat worse as it happened to a younger person and there was certainly no advance period to get used to what happened.

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  4. Horrible. What more can one say!

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    1. Horrible is a good word, Cro.

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  5. That's very sad Andrew; I wouldn't wish Motor Neurone Disease on my worst enemy. I hope he can come to terms with a lifestyle other than what he had planned. As you say, he has money, so at least he can afford the care she needs to be comfortable.

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    1. River, yes, it is a severe disease and you are right about affording all extra care needed. I think our government provided care is quite good in these situations too.

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  6. Very sad news for your friends Andrew, it's certainly an awful diagnosis.

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    1. Sami, we are very sad for them. Thanks.

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  7. Very sad Andrew, life can be so cruel! Hopefully they will have lots of support from family and friends.

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    1. Grace, I they have a quite a large extended family and I am guessing their sons have partners etc.

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  8. Such a cruel disease. Not much more you can say.

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    1. Maire, frankly I was quite shocked when I read about the disease. Cruel is right.

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  9. Oh Andrew, I'm so sorry, that is terrible news, such a terrible and fatal disease, although, the famed revered physicist Stephen Hawkins has lived with it most of his life, to old age in fact, somehow, but he's the only one I've heard of to survive it so long.

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    1. Strayer, yes, Hawking is a rare case indeed.

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  10. Oh Andrew ..... the poor things. Mum reckons that's the worst disease ever. She watched a friend suffer with it. Peeps just have to be like me ..... enjoy every minute because the next minute just might not come along, aye?? I thought I'd breathed my last breath just 2 days ago. A whopping big dog took a chunk out of me. I didn't enjoy that minute too much but I'm ok. Mum's a bit shaky though.

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    1. Oh Charlie! And I am sure you did not provoke the other dog at all. What a nasty dog. Don't let the incident make you unfriendly to other dogs. Most will love you to bits.

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