Do you live your life more in years or more by the day?
Please only choose one.


  1. Hi Nicola!
    Can you explain more about this modification of expectation?
    Are you able to describe the exact moment when your perspective changed?
    Do you do any sort of long-term planning or is everything of-the-moment now?

  2. WARNING – For some this might be Too Much Information
    For me this was a change from taking *time* for granted to being grateful for every minute I have and making the most of every minute I have. There is also a combination of taking pleasure from small things – like having a bath, being able to walk in the sunshine to being able to rid myself of the dreaded colostomy bag and paraphenalia.
    I was ill for three months with what was thought to be a kidney infection – when they stopped treating that with antibiotics the “unknown” problem flared up with a vengence. Basicially an abcess on my colon caused by diverticultis, burst and infected the rest of my system – I was about 6 hours from major organ failure. I had emergency surgery where about a foot of my colon was removed – it took over a month for me to recover enough to return home. It was nearly three months after surgery until I could have a bath safely and walking unaided on my own took about the same time. At that stage I would chose one goal a day and celebrate each one. From keeping food down ( which was a major issue to start with as they had left me with a *kink* in my bowel (Only one I asked?) – to walking further, to going out in the car, whizzing around supermarkets in their wheelchairs – to sleeping through the night again – all were small steps.
    The exact moment the perspective changed was reading through my medical notes in hospital and discussing with a medical friend exactly what they meant – and realising how close I had come to not being here at all. Survival is the first goal – getting out of hospital was the second goal – but each has to be done on a day to day basis.
    Survival is still my daily goal – to get through the day without any set backs, to enjoy what I can of the day, to be content.
    Surviving and being up on the day of course is a means to an end – seven days of survival is one week of survival.
    There are things I would like to do , and I plan on doing and I work to wards them in the choices I make on a day to day basis – but it is not the end of the world if they do not happen.
    I think maybe I refuse to put pressure on myself anymore.

  3. Ooo! I love it when comments begin with “WARNING” — thanks, Nicola!
    I also thank you for the beautiful story.
    I think we are born with the horizon and then when catastrophic events strike and we survive we come to realize life is cheap and the dawn is not as long as the day and eternity is only science fiction when it comes to preserving the original body.
    I suppose if the young knew it could all end in a flash there wouldn’t be much use in hoping to live. I guess that’s why the young are best suited for war: They believe they are untouchable.
    As we age and the end becomes nearer than the start, taking a long-view of life and its assets begins to darken as we reflect back on what we had, what we lost and what we hope to regain in the last remaining moments that consist of the bits of our being.
    I am impressed you were “allowed” to read your chart and that your care staff discussed with you what happened. That would not routinely happen in the USA.
    Charts, even though they belong to you, are not really considered your property by default unless you press the matter.
    There are even hospitals and doctors offices who — if you move or change doctors and ask for your records — will tell you the documents do not belong to you but you can pay for a copy.
    Reminding them it is Federal law that all patient original records are the property of the patient at all times quickly gets what belongs to you in your hands.

  4. In the UK you have the right to obtain your medical records upon request. Mine were at the bottom of the bed at the time – and one of my best friends is a Doctor. (So maybe I cheated a little by asking him to translate them into laymans language.)
    I think you are also spot on with the age comments – although personally I am where I want to be , doing what I want to do and with who I want to be with – so I wouldnt change a thing.
    I do have some major decisions on the horizon though – or a window in which to make them. My 90 year old mother is very frail, I live in a house that we bought together – I own a small percentage of it – I have to decide if I stay and fight to raise the money to pay my brother his half of my mothers legacy (the house is her only asset now) – or to sell up and move on. We shall see.

  5. Hi Nicola!
    You were very lucky to have such a sure and certain hand to defend you and explain to you what happened! I like the cheating!
    The hardest thing for many people is to live without regret. We are always making choices — both short and long term — and once the decision is made and set in place it does no good to reflect back with regret on the choice not taken. If you realize a bad choice was made, look to the future to rectify it and not backwards to stew over it.
    Is the house on your website the house in question? If so: FIGHT FOR IT! The house is beautiful and elegant and you can feel the spirit and the history sopped into it on purpose and by osmosis.
    Don’t let such a powerful historical amulet fall into the wrong clutches!
    You can only move Heaven and Earth once in a lifetime — in addition to the ongoing fight for life — and that house is worth shattering the heavens and burning the land to keep.

  6. I intend to fight with everything I have got ….. I just know I am going to have to move heaven and earth and more ……….. have done it once, I can do it again! (I think this is known as the *girding your loins* phase.)

  7. David,
    I live/lived for each day.
    My life changed so drastically from one point to another and that too without warning that I haven’t quite figured out a long term planning for me.
    Moreover, I am not a good at strategizing. I accept life as it comes. But one thing is for sure – I live the way I want.

  8. Yes! You are right!
    If I wake up tomorrow morning I will see what life has stored for me 😀
    At least, as long as I am alone…!

  9. Interesting!
    “Entire world and view” changes or we accomodate/adjust more?

  10. Being in the same space and living a life together commands an entire change in both people for the relationship to work. You cannot behave together as you do alone because alone your interests are self-centered and don’t immediately affect the person next to you.

  11. David, so maintaining an individuality/independence while sharing the same space and life together with someone is a myth?
    I think it’s a myth, it can’t be done. At least I can’t do it.
    I have lived with couple of roommates/housemates as I started my life in a residential school pretty early and later at some point in my life I shared my room too, when I was in college. It’s a different dynamics altogether. For me, it demanded almost the same level of cooperation, understanding, compromise and adjustment to have a healthy environment as it needed to “live together” with someone – may be a little less intense.
    But some think it’s not. They can/should maintain individualism/independent life-style even after sharing the same space or living together with someone. Does it create a harmonious life?

  12. Hi Katha —
    I think you can be independent in an informal dyad but in order to achieve that independence you must modify your world view and intimate behaviors.
    Roommates are temporary. Distance is the key to creating cooperation.
    Dedicated relationships and marriages with the idealized goal of permanence demand a much deeper commitment to sharing world views and giving up the habits of a life lived alone.

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