Switzerland

June 4th 2016

Today I watched ‘Me Before You’ at the cinema. The premise of the film is that a quadriplegic wants to be euthanised because he can’t have the life he once lived, his parents enlist a careworker to cheer him up/and or fall in love. And, inevitably, she cheers him up and/or they fall in love, before, inevitably, he dies anyway. It’s a tearjerker, for sure. 

He’s upset because he used to run and ski and live, but after a motorcycle accident his spinal cord was ruined and he couldn’t use anything from the neck down apart from very limited motion in his fingers. Being so active and adventurous pre-accident, when post-accident he is confined to the four walls of his parents house and the four wheels of his wheelchair, he hates it and wants to kill himself in Switzerland because it’s legal there. 

I found myself empathising with him a little bit. And after the film I told my girlfriend that if I were in that situation I’d probably consider the same solution as he sought. 

I couldn’t imagine not being in control. To have to require constant care… It’s horrible to think of. Fun blog post, this. But I think I’d probably go to Switzerland too. 

His problem was that he used to be properly active, he’d go out running, ski, dive off cliff-faces. And then he was forced to sit motionless in a room all day. 

And as I was considering this I realised that sitting motionless in a room was basically what I’d done all day anyway. And although I have all of the physical capabilities to go out and do whatever I want – because I can – I choose not to, for some reason. This morning I was supposed to run 5 miles as part of my marathon training, but I couldn’t be bothered so I decided to just lay in bed instead. And then Muhammad Ali died, and I watched a film about a quadriplegic and I thought to myself ‘what is my excuse?’ 

Im blessed with working limbs and a healthy mind and I don’t make the most of it. 

Until tomorrow, I should probably change that. 

Jacn

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