Monday, April 24, 2017

Lethargy is Lethal

One of my two best friends in the world died last week.

I wasn't there to ease him though his pain.  I didn't even know that he was in danger.

Worse, I was not there to talk him out of the unhealthy habits which lead to his death.\

Ed, I have known for 40 years, passed away quietly in his sleep.  He had no noticeable chronic illness, other than that (according to his/my/our children) he "just sat on the sofa and watched television".

I guess it would be reasonable to say that he died from a sedentary life style.

I wasn't aware that he was in ill-health, unto six weeks ago when his family informed me that he was deathly ill, and in the hospital.  I drove down to California to check on him, in the hospital.  He seemed ... old. He was 'Infirm" in the sense that he found it difficult to  walk.

But I accompanied him during one of the (man?) exercise regimines prescribed by his doctors.

He shuffled,and was transported by a wheel-chair .. but he was able to walk, as long as he had a set of parallel bars to hang onto; I got the impression that the served to help him maintain his balance, rather than to carry his weight.     He actually seemed stronger than his family and his doctors gave him credit for.

However, he had little energy (then this was in August/September .. it's April now),  It was difficult the to determine whether his muscles had atrophied through some sort of disability, or through willful disuse.

He was released from the hospital, and I went home.

Two days ago, I was informed that he had died in his home.


Well, I guess that's one of the best ways to die.  Peacefully.

I remember my paternal grandfather, who  died at age 95, in an "old folks home" section of a hospital,, and the last note recorded on his medical chart was that they had to take away his cane because he was beating the crap out of his room-mate.

Nobody knows why he was so aggressive, or why he so detested his 'room-mate' that he deemed it appropriate that he beat the crap out of him.

I didn't know Grampa (He was DECADES older than me!) that well, but I always kind of suspected that his room mate disagreed with Grampa on fine points of politics.  Further comments would be opinion only.

The thing is .. I kind of admired my Grampa for maintaining his curmudgeion persona to the last day of his life.  I might not agree that he was right to assault a (probably perfectly innocent) room mate

(I won't even try to guess the politics of his room-mate!)

,, but the point is, Grampa went out fighting.  I mean ... within minutes of whatever disagreement!

As For Myself:  
I spent a year fighting against people who had ... generally ... never done an unkind act toward me, or any of my friends.  I didn't like the, or dislike them; they were just target (as were we).

I did some minor harm  to a few of them; they did some minor harm to a few of my friends, too.

It never occurred to me that I would ever "go down" in any mode other than fighting..

Hell, I went there not expecting to come back ... other than in a box.
(Most of us had the sane expectation; it apparently was a significant survival factor.)

So, when U came home with no damage other than a major case of Bamboo Poisoning (which took over a year to cure), I figured that my Tour Of Duty was over.

My friend, who had never been outside of the Continental United Sates (CONUS) ...
.. died of  lethargy.

I know you're thinking that U;n dissing my friend.  Nothing can be further from the truth.

Ed was one of the kindest, gentlest men I've ever know.
 He didn't hit his dogs; that has to speak well of his restraint!

(His wife//my ex-wife ... well, there was a chili-pepper mutt that I would have strangled, given 2 minutes in a dark room/ I detest incontinent yappers!  And the dog was worse!)

But Ed put up with the worst that tiny hairless dogs and their owners can do to the carpet, and the sofa.

(I kind of think Ed might have considered a soft death to be an acceptable alternative to living with a walking/yapping bladder, but I digress.)

1 comment:

Mark said...

I pray for him.