I went up to the surgery this morning as my leg ulcer (despite being officially signed off) was not quite as it should be. I think my skin is so fragile now that anything will set it off. But I can cope with that. I'd quite like a skin graft, preferably of some industrially hardened plastic skin, but that's not going to happen.
Anyway, the lovely Kate (my nurse) who I've known for the best part of 20 years asked if I knew Maggie R, who of course I did know because my daughter went to school with her son and they are sort of friends. For as long as I've known her, Maggie has had MS and latterly she's been riding round in a motorised scooter thing, but I haven't seen her that recently. I've often seen her husband Brian chatting with friends in local coffee shops (of which we have more than a few).
So today Kate said that this afternoon there was a memorial service for Maggie. It would seem that the MS had deteriorated so far that she had no control over her bodily functions and that, whilst she wasn't in pain, she had got to the point where the loss of dignity was too much. So two weeks ago she did the one-way trip to Switzerland.
Her children knew (20/21 year old son and 24-ish daughter). But I can't even begin to imagine the anguish that all of them went through.
I'm glad Kate told me about it. I wouldn't want to see Brian and say something totally inappropriate. I'm really bad at funerals, I cry at the slightest emotional bit.
And it just set me thinking. My sister-in-law died (of bowel cancer) six years ago a week before Christmas. Jo Yeates http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murder_of_Joanna_Yeates her body was discovered on Christmas Day (of all days!) three years ago. And that was at spitting distance almost. And we had lots of snow which really didn't help.
This 'everybody being jolly ho ho ho' over Christmas is actually the worst time of the year for some folks.
Oh, and in case you're thinking I'm being overly schmaltzy - my washing machine has died (I do at least ten washes a week) and needs a new outlet pump and a new soap hose - total cost in the region of £180 plus VAT. And that's not to mention all the other crap things I have to pay for.