Saturday, October 22, 2011

In case you wondered ...

... Book Review: Thinking, Fast and Slow - (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Can our healthy selves predict how we will feel in unhealthy circumstances with enough certainty to choose whether we would want to live or die? 

Ten years ago I spent a week in an emergency care unit because of complications after an operation. I found it bearable by becoming interested in how utterly unprepared I had been for such an eventuality. I had never had an experience like that and no experience I had had prepared me for it. All sorts of things may happen to us for which we will be totally unprepared. Death is probably one of them, even though we know it is going to happen


  1. Our healthy selves haven't a clue. Not only does going through it yourself make you think more about your own mortality, and quality of life, but it also improves your empathy for the suffering of others, if you let it. Speaking from experience here.

  2. If you let it...there's the catch. Quite frankly, almost constant pain hasn't made me more empathetic, just grumpy. And it's hard to focus on anything but the pain.

  3. Actually, one of the things I did come away with from that experience was at least a better appreciation of what who suffere chronic pain or illness have to deal with. I am odd regarding illness. My ordinary self likes to keep away from it as much as possible. But, for some reason, when I find myself in the company of someone who is ill, some sort of autopilot takes over and I am much better at dealing with it than I would have imagined. I seem to have some natural nurse locked up inside me.