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Dec 2, 2020 - 11:58:05 AM

mander

USA

4487 posts since 10/7/2007

I've had the freedom to choose on my mind a lot of late. My mother is 92. She has always had the sharpest mind. She, like her mother before her, has often said, "I don't care if I lose my body, but I don't want to lose my mind." She has had three strokes in the last month, all of them have effected her body, but have left her mind and ability to speak intact. I can't help but feel that it is just a matter of time before she loses the ability to speak her mind and she will be trapped within her own fragile body. It saddens me deeply. Being able to express ourselves, being able to voice our choices and having those choices be respected is what makes us feel human, it is what makes us feel like we matter.

And yet, in reality, we seldom, if ever, have the choices other people think we do. For instance, a coworker was planning to follow her fiancé to Washington State where he was accepted for college. Then Co-Vid happened. He reapplied to Tennessee and California, both accepted him. He chose Tennessee, but then Co-Vid happened again. He is now going to California, but guess what? A housing shortage. He will be couch surfing between friends until he is able to find a place of his own, at which point, they hope to marry and she will join him. Not their first choice, nor their second, not even their third choice. Life chose for them.

I'm wondering, what percentage of your life do you feel was your "choice" versus Life and other circumstances, chose for you?

Dec 2, 2020 - 12:08:55 PM

Owen

Canada

7491 posts since 6/5/2011

Choice?   Realistic choice?   Like: Ya want I punch your shnozz with my right hand? ...or my left hand?  I suppose it varies from 100/0 to [almost] 0/100.   Fwiw, apparently, the "average" US man shaves half his face.

Dec 2, 2020 - 12:16:03 PM

mander

USA

4487 posts since 10/7/2007

quote:
Originally posted by Owen

Choice?   Realistic choice?   Like: Ya want I punch your shnozz with my right hand? ...or my left hand?  I suppose it varies from 100/0 to [almost] 0/100.   Fwiw, apparently, the "average" US man shaves half his face.


You sure about that? On average, only half his face needs shaving. Given the amount of men who sport various types of interesting facial hair, I would venture to say, he only shaves about a fourth of it. :-)

Dec 2, 2020 - 12:16:30 PM
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DC5

USA

16054 posts since 6/30/2015
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Sorry to hear about your mom. My mother-in-law suffered from normal pressure hydrocephalus brought on by Lyme disease. Another reason for hunting deer. She was a very bright, intelligent and active woman. She was the state librarian in New Jersey and Rhode Island, and became the CIO for the state of Rhode Island and set up their first web page. She also photographed the first nuclear bomb tests back in the 40s and 50s and helped build and manage the first purpose built sports car road race track in the U.S. Probably one of the most remarkable women I have ever met. Within a month she went from being mobile, to being wheelchair bound. Then she started losing her ability to speak. We know her brain was still fully intact because of the way she reacted to conversations, but she could not talk to us and we could see this frustration in her. We tried to find ways for her to communicate, but they did not work. She had one Nigerian caretaker who could get yes or no communication from her by holding her hand and feeling her response. Ultimately she ended up in a nursing home and passed away on Christmas Eve, during a blizzard, about 8 years ago. I too would rather lose my functional ability than lose my mind, but being trapped with a fully functioning mind and no way to communicate must have been sheer torture.

Dec 2, 2020 - 12:38:55 PM

mander

USA

4487 posts since 10/7/2007

quote:
Originally posted by DC5

Sorry to hear about your mom. My mother-in-law suffered from normal pressure hydrocephalus brought on by Lyme disease. Another reason for hunting deer. She was a very bright, intelligent and active woman. She was the state librarian in New Jersey and Rhode Island, and became the CIO for the state of Rhode Island and set up their first web page. She also photographed the first nuclear bomb tests back in the 40s and 50s and helped build and manage the first purpose built sports car road race track in the U.S. Probably one of the most remarkable women I have ever met. Within a month she went from being mobile, to being wheelchair bound. Then she started losing her ability to speak. We know her brain was still fully intact because of the way she reacted to conversations, but she could not talk to us and we could see this frustration in her. We tried to find ways for her to communicate, but they did not work. She had one Nigerian caretaker who could get yes or no communication from her by holding her hand and feeling her response. Ultimately she ended up in a nursing home and passed away on Christmas Eve, during a blizzard, about 8 years ago. I too would rather lose my functional ability than lose my mind, but being trapped with a fully functioning mind and no way to communicate must have been sheer torture.


I feel for your mom. That had to have been difficult.

Dec 2, 2020 - 2:02:18 PM

Owen

Canada

7491 posts since 6/5/2011

quote:
Originally posted by mander
<snip> You sure about that? On average, only half his face needs shaving. Given the amount of men who sport various types of interesting facial hair, I would venture to say, he only shaves about a fourth of it. :-)

Of course I'm not sure.  I got it from but when I try the site now, I get an advertising box covering the graph that I had looked at.  It was sort of, roughly speaking, kinda, evenly split between clean shaven and beards, with others sometimes yes, sometimes no.  So I added 1/2 the sometimes to beards and 1/2 to clean shaven  --->  50% shave virtually all their face, 50% virtually none of it.   100% divided by 2 [groups] = 50% = 1/2.   But ya, my method doesn't account for bits and pieces of facial hair sticking out here and there, so 1/4 could actually be closer to it.  wink

Edited by - Owen on 12/02/2020 14:04:37

Dec 2, 2020 - 2:27:45 PM

Paul R

Canada

13671 posts since 1/28/2010

The wife's father. when asked when he'd want them to pull the plug, said, "When I can't read."

As far as my life's choices being made for me, I can repeat what I've said in other threads here. I was born three months premature and was supposed to die. I had great, supportive parents who put me through university. A good friend told me to me crash with him in Toronto to look for work. I did substitute teaching to stay alive and discovered my vocation. When I decided to become a full-time teacher, I found that teacher's college was free. I had known her previously, but accidentally meeting her in Eaton's book room started something that resulted in marriage a year later.

A lot of it is being active and ready when opportunities arise, so you can take advantage of them.

Dec 2, 2020 - 2:36:37 PM

Texasbanjo (Moderator)

USA

25364 posts since 8/3/2003

My mother was about the same as yours: clear mind, very unhealthy body. She felt the same way as your mother did. She was lucid until about the last month of her life when she went in and out of reality. She was always afraid she'd be a burden to me. She wasn't, not ever, but she was a handful during the last few years as far as taking care of her. I was glad to do it.

Hopefully, you mother will be clear headed until her last days.

Dec 3, 2020 - 2:15:57 AM

phb

Germany

2362 posts since 11/8/2010

Like your mother my mother was more afraid of losing her mind than of losing her body that she anyway loved so little that she abused it with nicotine and alcohol. When she finally got ill enough to agree that I would bring her to a hospital, they found cancer in several organs without even looking for it. Her mother had died from cancer or the 1970s chemo that they treated her with and I have no idea how that was for my mother to witness but she always said that she wouldn't want any cancer treatment and stayed with the resolution until her end. In her last months and weeks in the hospital she was very much worried about whether the cancer was also in her brain. I believe that what worried her were only some of the side effects of not smoking and drinking while she was in the hospital and possibly of the medication they gave her. Throughout this last period of her life there were only few choices she could make but those mattered a lot, most importantly the choice to stop treatment and have me bring her home to die.

Dec 3, 2020 - 2:45 AM

m06

England

9554 posts since 10/5/2006

I wish the best for your mum and you. I can empathise as my mum was as sharp as a tack until a series of mini-strokes at 89. They set in motion a gradual receding and decline of her faculties. It is tough and intensely painful for loved ones and all we can do is love and care.

You ask what part did/does choice play in my life? As we all do in life I made some broad choices in good faith and then in time and quite independently emotional truths made themselves powerfully apparent and felt. That process of maturation necessitated me making some different, healthier choices. I would be surprised if that is much different to anyone else.

Consequent on a broad pattern of life choices, in relation to any individual choice we make we are all subject to what is arbitrary and unknown and also subject to what is unacknowledged.

We don't control outcomes, we daily adapt to truth and circumstance.

Edited by - m06 on 12/03/2020 03:00:51

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