Where there is life, there is hope

Where there is life, there is hope

Friend Pooky in the UK has emailed about a 32 year old woman with anorexia who wants to be left to die but a judge has ruled must forcibly kept alive.  ‘I’d be interested to know your thoughts on this,‘ Pooky said.
My response:

Here is another woman, in her 30s, with anorexia. Compare her story to that of Andrea in Sydney (stories on my blog in past 2 weeks). One wants to live, and had dreadful trouble persuading authorities to give her a hospital bed – eventually given one – for the purpose of being made ‘medically stable’ but not for treatment of her ED, oh no, that has not been achieved. The other wants to die, and a judge says ‘no, we won’t let you, not yet, we want to give you one more chance, this time with the best treatment possible’.
The plight of the young woman in the UK is a difficult one but, for me, the bottom line is: Where there is life, there is hope.
There were many times when I wanted to die. I am glad I didn’t, for today I know happiness that I could never have dreamed of. So, although I believe we should be able to choose, where possible, our time to die, I agree with the judge that this woman needs one more chance at life. What a difficult decision for the judge.

Pooky (like me, a survivor of anorexia) responded:

There were times when I would have welcomed, or at least not fought, death.  Now I’m delighted to be alive.  I hope that this woman will look back on her struggles one day and feel glad she had one more chance.  Interestingly, in discussing this article with people, those who are recovered have unanimously agreed with us that they feel the judge is right whereas those in the grips of the disorder still all disagree with the decision.
I think that goes to demonstrate just how strong the ED voice is – that you would willingly die, and have others die for it. 
Andrea’s story is a heart breaking one. I do hope she will receive the treatments that she needs.  It sounds like your voice has contributed to the first step in the process – well done!
It must be difficult when people contact you with their stories who are in such desperate need of help and support, they are lucky to have you to turn to though, as you listen where many others fail to.
Yes, it is difficult, listening to stories from parents, partners, and sufferers, all with heart-rending experiences to share, usually of the right treatment not found soon enough. It is an honour to try to help, however one can, and light relief helps to balance the sea-saw of life:
The best tonic: love
This afternoon I did a little work on my lap top and at 3pm was on my way to where my daughter lives, a 15-minute drive away – and for the next two hours was on swimming pool duty.
We are quite a little procession heading into the large public pool complex – five-year-old Lachlan, Olivia (age two) and Amelia (three months) and their mummy, my daughter.
My daughter looks after the baby and my job is to keep an eye on the other two.
We get there half an hour before Lachlan’s swim lesson starts. This is so we have half an hour to play.
‘C’mon Grandma,’ he says. So into the water we go. Olivia has her bright pink plastic teapot and proceeds to fill it and pour lots of cups of chlorinated tea over my head.
Lachlan decides he wants to ride a horse – yep, I am the horse. He is the jockey (he is a Black Cavier fan), and he rides as though I am Black Caviar – well, in 3 foot of water – do my best. He laughs and laughs. He nearly knocks one of my front teeth out while dismounting and laughs some more.
(Lachlan has a scrap book full of pictures of Black Caviar and has seen most of her races in Australia – his daddy won’t take him to the next race, at Royal Ascot though!)
When we returned home from the pool, I did some puzzles with Lachlan and Olivia while their mummy fed baby and got their dinner ready – Lachlan solves the puzzles before I even get started. I finally find a clue and he says ‘well done, Grandma, you have found ONE clue’. Very encouraging.
I came home about 7pm and thought ‘life is good’. For me, the grandchildren are the best tonic ever.
How glad I am that doctors believed in my recovery. There is hope at every age.

Leave a Reply