Most of us have had moments of fear when we walk into a doctor’s office. It usually has little to do with the idea of getting a shot or going through the usual routine of a checkup. What really makes us nervous is a fundamental fear of the unknown. It’s not at all uncommon for someone to expect a diagnosis of a bad flu and instead discover that they have cancer. Or to complain about lethargy and discover that they’re suffering from heart failure.
These examples can go on and on. But the essential point is that we have a well justified fear of bad news when we go to the doctor. Nobody wants to suddenly discover that they have a terminal illness. And it’s not just concern over our own mortality which prompts these concerns. We’re also scared of severe illness due to concerns over our overall quality of life. It’s a justified concern too.
It’s just a fact of life that we’ll see an end to our journey one day. Finding out that we might not have as much time as we thought is certainly difficult. But it’s something most of us have prepared ourselves for as we’ve seen loved ones grow closer to their own end. What’s usually more difficult to face up to is an idea that we’ll stick around without any real ability to enjoy life. The idea of being alive but not really living our lives is undeniably scary.
However, it’s not something that we necessarily have to just accept. Fiction tends to portray these types of situations in the most dramatic way possible. We watch countless stories where severe illness essentially sends one into a hospice bed within days of diagnosis. But in reality even extremely tenacious ailments like cancer won’t necessarily work …