Yesterday’s surgery was an eye-opening experience for me on several fronts: first, tackling the onset of my own inevitable bodily decline at the start of my senior years, and knowing this process is retrograde at best, with the periodic application of medical attention and drugs; and absolute at worse with the inevitable decline towards death. Second, I was struck by the conversations—which I could not help overhear during pre-op—between surgeons and two other surgical patients lying on gurneys behind screens to my left and right. These patients were both older than me (I’d sat near them in the lobby) and I sensed fear in all of us as we waited, as well as in their voices as they asked and answered questions while their doctors responded honestly about diminished capabilities after surgery.
It was a sobering experience for me to entertain my own fear of debility and possible death—something which I thought I’d already attended to well during the course of my life, especially in the effort of writing Going Alone—as well as to lay there trying on the vicarious fear of debility and death from a man and women a decade or so ahead of me in life. It’s cliché to suggest there is no time like the present to LIVE, though clearly some patent phrases become so for good reason—if only we’ve the good fortune and foresight to see, and to see in time, in order to do something about it.
My name is Kurt Bell.
You can learn more about The Good Life in my book Going Alone.
Be safe... But not too safe.