I went for my regular check up this week and met my wonderful but rather ashen-faced doctor who told me he almost didn’t make it in today because a close friend of his had died the day before. I asked him what had happened and he told me that his friend (who was also a patient of his) had visited him two days ago for a check-up and everything was fine: heart, liver etc… all seemed OK. The next day he had a massive stroke and was barely 60 years old- nowhere near retirement age. How did this happen? My doctor said that his friend had had diabetes for some some 15 years but this had been un-diagnosed for a decade. However in the last 5 years or so his friend had managed to deal with this: good exercise regime and diet, but the damage had already been done. That is why, my doctor suggested, this tragedy happened.
But my doctor’s concluding words were: we are all, life is- so fragile. All of us can never be certain when… that is why I tell all my patients, especially my young patients to rejoice with every new Monday, rejoice that they are still here and be deeply glad for the gift of life that we have now and at every moment. He said “there are so many people over there (pointing towards the local hospital) who are in the ICU (Intensive Care Unit) who would give everything to be out here on this sunny day. Life is a gift and we need to be constantly reminded of this.