Ontario, Canada has recently (like last week) granted us humans the same rights as most farm animals… that is, if we’re going to die (soon) anyway, and not ‘peacefully in our sleep’, we can now legally seek out a medical professional to guide us through this process. Suicide per se is still illegal (although I doubt that the penalty for this crime will ever include capital punishment ) but for the unfortunate among us whose life is near its end by such horrific killers as ALS, many types of terminal cancer and all sorts of nightmares that promise to make our last days torturous for both our families and ourselves, there may be an alternative coming soon to a hospice near you and you might not have to keep your intentions a secret anymore making this whole ‘death with dignity’ deal much less arduous for everyone.
You’ve heard of “death by cop” - at least on TV and the news, when someone chooses to force law enforcement personnel to draw and use their weapons rather than face the consequences for his/her crimes. While that ‘solution’ might save the court system time and money and provide the victims of these crimes with a kind of unjustified justice, most police are trained to aim for centre mass when they fire a weapon, so it is rare that someone in this desperate state of mind is subdued and lives to attend his/her own trial.
I tell you the above to ask you this: How would we define “Death by Diabetes”? Suppose you didn’t ‘qualify’ for doctor-assisted-suicide? Suppose your combination of trials and tribulations was not deadly but instead a long and agonizing subsistence of constant pain and angst? And not for a year or two, like ALS, but for 30 years or more? And not ’ with family’ but entirely alone?
What if you’ve been saddled with non-terminal but non-curable spinal degeneration - as in complete loss of disk cushion; and what if you lived your earlier years with some degree of ‘reckless abandon’ and now suffer the consequences of competitive track and field meets before the day of 14" foam landing pads behind the high jump poles? What if your childhood was punctuated with beatings and other violent acts that now make it difficult to breathe comfortably or to fit in with the people around you? What if your foreseeable future was only a deterioration of your current plethora of mental and physical disorders and more unhealable injuries than your average Evel Knievel type?
Doctors work diligently to keep us breathing but not a whole lot of time and energy is directed towards making that breath worth the effort and sometimes I have to wonder just how much pain we must endure before someone considers our suffering much the way we consider the suffering of our beloved pets and service animals. “They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?” It’s just people who have to suffer forever and we even get to understand/lament the pathetic hopelessness of our condition.
So can anyone hazard an educated guess as to how long and how hard it might be to abandon this losing battle against Type II diabetes? Suppose your A1C was never going to drop under 10 no matter how hard you dieted and how many pills you took? Now that ‘physio therapy’ is no longer therapeutic and even movement in general is soooo difficult, would anyone else really notice if you stopped taking those pills and injections? I wonder how long it would take for one of that myriad of “Complications resulting from Diabetes” to make a head cold lead to terminal pneumonia or angina to result in a myocardial infarction of unrecoverable proportions? Maybe a stroke will ‘do the job’ before I have to put my non-existent family through the caretaker’s ordeal of Alzheimer’s? And without that long-suffering family to take on the care-taking job, why does ‘society’ have to bear the interminable burden of my neediness? I’m not exactly Stephen Hawking, here… just a nobody who serves no real function to anyone else in the world outside of my husband and his cats.
Who’s going to know the difference between ‘poor health’ and ‘skipping meds’? How long would the inevitable take and hard would it be to ‘lose my battle against type 2 diabetes’ if I no longer bore arms against it?
Finally, I wonder how long it will take for this post to be deleted?. Maybe someone will be able to respond to my question before it is deemed ‘inappropriate’.