Modelling frailty

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The following piece was published in Facts and Arguments, The Globe and Mail,  April 29 2015 

‘I’m a model. You know what I mean? And I do my little turn on the catwalk.”

It’s been almost 25 years since Right Said Fred made this declaration in the brash song I’m Too Sexy.

At age 57, I’m ready to make that daring declaration myself: I am a model. Not perhaps what you might expect in a model: I ply my craft far from the runways of Paris, Milan and New York. My steps are more gingerly taken; cocky is not how you’d describe my demeanour – ambivalent, apathetic, angry might all come to mind instead about the facial “mask” I wear. It is a remote possibility that I’ll ever be featured in GQ.

In my early 40s, I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, a degenerative brain disorder whose symptoms include muscular rigidity, tremors, slowing of movement, a shuffling walk and difficulty with balance. When I walk, often I’ll be lumbering along, swaying, dragging one foot and occasionally flailing my arms. Parkinson’s also brings such cognitive changes as memory loss and confusion, and often depression – all of which I can definitely say I know too well. Not exactly how one thinks of a male model.

But yes, I am a model. Not in the high-powered fashion industry but in the highly underrated, sometimes banal, not-for-profit parenthood industry.

I’m a dad to my three kids, a stay-at-home father for seven years, a parent for more than 20.

“What’s so great about that?” you may wonder. “While it’s one of the most important jobs, it’s not unique, and isn’t almost everyone doing it?”

Well, yes and yes. To a greater or lesser extent, and for better or worse, children look to their parents as models throughout their lives.

Typically, parents start on this journey with the best of intentions and later question our measures of “success.” As my Parkinson’s has progressed, I’ve placed my behaviours, thoughts and actions increasingly under the microscope. I’ve often thought about how my children see me as a “stay-at-home” father, in contrast to when I was employed as a teacher and social-service administrator. How has this shaped their model of what the “working world” looks like? Has it in some way diminished a father’s role and contributions? Would they all answer, as my eldest did, “That’s just the way it is – you’re a different kind of dad”?

When feeling tired or weakened (which, unfortunately, is often), I find it challenging to behave, speak and listen in ways one would consider an appropriate parental manner – with interest, respect, concern and compassion. It can be a real struggle. Are my children aware of this? Do they interpret my words and actions through a Parkinson’s “filter,” or simply find ways to cope?

As my ability to carry out daily activities becomes more limited, and constraints are imposed on more vigorous activities such as travelling, attending special events, visiting extended family or just doing chores, do they see me as no longer contributing to a healthy family life?

On the other hand, having a parent who is disabled presents them with a wonderful opportunity. Seeing their father try to cope with the wasting effects of a degenerative condition gives them a sense of how we all face challenges in life. It offers a connection to others in the community dealing with other difficulties or conditions.

I hope I’ve helped them develop a sense of empathy and caring, reflected through their volunteer work at a food-sharing agency, their extra-curricular volunteer work at school and their volunteering abroad, as both my daughters are doing at present. Or, more simply, in their considerate daily interactions with others.

My children are witnesses to my daily efforts to live life to the fullest. I write a blog, am engaged politically in the community and I do volunteer work myself. I walk daily, take aquafit classes with my mother and have begun a dance class for people with the disease. The dancing is particularly exciting for me. Dancing is a way of living life at its best; and my best, given the degenerative nature of my condition, is where I am now.

I hope that my children have developed an appreciation for the value of good health and the importance of support from family and friends. This is a lesson I would like to have learned long before I did, so fostering it for them is all the more important.

Disquiet, discomfort, illness, suffering, perseverance – as well as gratitude, commitment and love – are all very much part of our shared experience, this thing we call “life.” What better way to model these characteristics than to live with them each day?

I am a model. And I’ll do my little turn on the catwalk.

Robert Kendrick lives in Port Credit, Ont.

Thanks to all who followed my blog for the month of April, Parkinson’s Awareness month. I know you must feel deluged by the daily postings that was “My Blog – Greatest Hits Vol. 1” ! I’ll be back soon (but with much less frequency) with new material and look forward to hearing from you. Thanks! rk

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Dear Abby (spotted in the advice columns)

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Originally published March 1, 2015

Dear Abby, Dear Abby…
My feet are too long
My hair’s falling out and my rights are all wrong
My friends they all tell me that I’ve no friends at all
Won’t you write me a letter, Won’t you give me a call
Signed Bewildered

Bewildered, Bewildered…
You have no complaint
You are what your are and you ain’t what you ain’t
So listen up Buster, and listen up good
Stop wishing for bad luck and knocking on wood

Dear Abby, Dear Abby
My fountain pen leaks
My wife hollers at me and my kids are all freaks
Every side I get up on is the wrong side of bed
If it weren’t so expensive I’d wish I were dead
Signed Unhappy

Unhappy, Unhappy…
You have no complaint
You are what your are and you ain’t what you ain’t
So listen up Buster, and listen up good
Stop wishing for bad luck and knocking on wood

Dear Abby, Dear Abby
My Parkinson’s stinks
Seeing doctors and nurses, counsellors, shrinks
I’m stiff and I’m sore and I can’t stand the cold
This friggin condition just makes me feel old
Signed Frustrated*
I don’t know what advise Dear Abby would have for “Frustrated”, and my concerns today would not only be too long for publication in any advice column, but they don’t make up the material for a very good song. So, dear readers, I turn to you for your advise. Here’s what’s bugging me today.

For the past two and a half years, I have been fortunate to participate in a clinical trial for a new way of delivery for my PD medication (Duodpoa). This treatment (see previous post here) uses a portable pump, and a daily drug cartridge, which through a tube, releases the medication directly into my blood stream. The fact that it is slow-released, and so direct (avoiding the problematic gut), makes this a far more efficient process. I have less fluctuations throughout the day, less dyskenisis (the wild flailing of arms and legs) and better overall functioning.

When the clinical trial came to an end, and Duopopa was approved by Health Canada, I began to receive my medication “on the market”. Instead of regular visits to the hospital to pick-up my cartridges, a specialty pharmacy was engaged to deliver them to my home once a month. Sounds good so far, right? Sure, but here’s a little more information for you. Here is what one cartridge looks like:

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Each cartridge weighs roughly 1/4 lb and is 3.5″X3.5″X1″ and is constructed of a hard plastic shell that encases a soft plastic cell which holds the liquid gel medication that is dispensed through the plastic tube. While individual amounts will vary, I currently consume about 60% of the medication in one cassette a day. Since the medication needs refrigeration, the prescription regimen requires that one cassette be used per day. The remainder is “discarded”. Here’s our first hint at my discomfort. As each cartridge is consumed,, it gets added to my collection that I have that looks like this:

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These are 2.5′ square styrofoam coolers that are used to ship 4 week’s supply of cartridges to my home. Each styrofoam container is packed with 12-16 ice gel packs (each weighing approx. 1 lb). After a few months, my styrofoam “stack” began to look like this:

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Each month, my collection grows. During the clinical trial, I returned all used cassettes to the hospital and was advised that they were being returned to the manufacturer for sterilization, proper disposal of surplus duodopa, and re-use of cartridges. However, once the product came “on market”, the pharmacy and the manufacturer, have advised me that the used cartridges (including the surplus duodopa) are to be “disposed of” in regular household trash. Same with the ice gel packs. The styrofoam coolers would not be collected for re-use either but “may be accepted by municipal recycling programs”.

While I make no claim to being a perfect environmental steward, I certainly have become much more strident in the last decade or two. Yet everyday decisions I have been making – from consuming less to buying package-free products to recycling to reducing carbon emissions to name a few – suddenly felt minuscule in the face of the new “waste” that was being generated by my use of duodopa. I have not “disposed” of any of the materials to date and have stored everything in our (crowded) garage. I have expressed my concerns to both the manufacturer and the pharmacy but, as yet have had limited success. Starting this month,, a new pharmacy has been engaged and the cartridges will be collected and the surplus duodopa sac will be extracted for hazardous material disposal (the hard plastic case cartridges will still be “disposed” and not re-used).

That’s the first albatross I carry. The waste. The second? The cost. I am extremely fortunate to have excellent private medical coverage, courtesy of my last employer and our union. At present, this covers most of my drug costs – including the full cost of duodopa- until retirement. And what exactly does a day of duodopa – one single cassette – cost you may wonder? $195 a day. Almost $6,000 a month. Over $70,000 a year. And that is just the cost that is billed to my insurance company. The ultimate costs are significantly more. We know that insurance companies don’t pay these bills for philanthropic purposes. They need to make profits for their shareholders and these costs will eventually be recouped through increased premiums for all. Furthermore, while I recognize that drug manufacturers need to recoup investments made in drug development and the manufacturing process, it seems perverse that they could charge this much for this medication. Without private insurance, who could afford to take this medication?

In the past few years, I have met many people with Parkinson’s who could benefit from duodopa but, without drug coverage, cannot consider this an option. Moreover, consider the cost of this product – one person, one year, $70,000. Contrast this with the social and economic conditions in much of the developing world. Obscene. Welcome to my third albatross – guilt.

And so, Dear Reader, you see I am conflicted by the symptomatic and physical benefits of this new treatment and the weight associated with its use (to say nothing of the physical weight of the pump itself!). Any sage advice? I”m listening up Buster and listening up good!

* Lyrics by John Prine (except the final stanza, I take all the blame for that one!)
** Thanks SR for the link to the video version!

 

**** BREAKING NEWS! *** I have a short personal essay in today’s Globe and Mail (Facts & Arguments section). Here’s a link.

I will end Parkinson’s Awareness Month with a reprint of this piece. Thanks for following and look for new stuff in May!

a holiday

Originally published on February 9, 2015

I’m a going a travelling
My head is clear and empty
And as happy as this blue, blue sky
I packed no problems in my suitcase
No questions in my pockets
I threw away the reasons why
Now everybody gets tired of shaking
The same old geography
I got to get away baby
It’s time to take a holiday

Lyrics by Paul Campbell

As the cold frigid air of February began to tighten its grip on my part of Canada, I found myself suddenly ensconced in the mountains of Kingston, Jamaica. With a daughter studying abroad for the year, I had every legitimate reason to be there. A father ensuring her safety and security, delivering needed provisions, engaging in some minor problem-solving, ensuring she was well fed and her pantry was stocked at least for one week of the year!

Travelling is becoming increasingly difficult for me as my PD progresses. The disruption to routines, the extras I have to tote with me, dealing with the inevitable anxious moments, and a body that tends to wear out and tire quicker than ever before all make it more challenging. Yet, faced with the cold, the snow, the omnipresent wind chill – the prospects of a week away in the Caribbean was too inviting. I got to get away baby, it was time to take a holiday!

And, indeed, it was good to get away. Too short, of course but good. No matter how short a time, or how great a distance, I can’t get away from my PD. But I can get away, or at least be diverted from, the day-to-day pains and strains of PD. The chance to take breakfast out on the patio; to walk an unfamiliar path in an unfamiliar land; to eat some fresh exotic fruit; to chat with someone I’d never met about their homeland, their culture or their faith; to hear some music i’d never heard before; to sleep (and really sleep) in a strange bed.

Yes, at times I felt the disruption to my routines. And indeed I felt the weight of the medical supplies and sundries I had to carry. I also had my anxious moments and others where I felt tired beyond belief. But, it was good to get away. When you look back at the week away, and you recall the hardest thing you did was to open a beer bottle without a bottle opener, you know you’ve had a holiday!

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***** Breaking News! An article of mine is scheduled to appear in tomorrow’s Globe and Mail (Facts and Arguments column 29/4/15).

I’ll add a link to it once its up but, for my Canadian readers, have a look for the paper for a “hard” copy! Thanks! rk

 

Go Ask Alice

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Trippy Self Portrait by BHOTCH, DeviantArt

Originally published January 9, 2015

One pill makes you larger and one pill makes you small

For most of my adult years, I avoided pharmaceutics whenever I could. I tried herbal remedies and concoctions, ginger teas for digestion, chamomile for sleep, vitamin supplements at times when coughs or colds had taken hold. I experimented with diet, and generally tried to follow what I would suggest was a less toxic route. I did my share of a different sort of drug in my university years and thereafter but that is yesterday’s news. When I was diagnosed with PD in 2000, things changed.

A cold or sore throat – that i could deal with. A chronic neurological illness that would, according to my first Neurologist – see me in a wheelchair in 5 years, I could not. She recommended immediately starting levodopa. Yes Doctor. Sinemet. Yes Doctor. and domperidone. Yes Doctor. A zombie before Zombies became big .

Knowing little of PD at the time, I was taken aback at the speed this ‘pusher’ had me up and medicated (with a script to ramp up the amount and frequency in the weeks ahead).

In fairness to all, I didn’t put up much of a fight. Chronic Disease? Specialists? Movement Disorder specialists? How could THEY all be wrong and me right. Not likely. I would go with the flow and follow their advise. And for the most part, this has been good advice by considerate and compassionate health care workers.

And the ones that mother gives you, don’t do anything at all

But something is troubling me. I don’t want to over-simplify this but in this, my 15th year of PD, I have went from a few pills to control tremors and dystonia to a lot of pills for the same. This brought with it some adverse effects which we of course added other pills to counteract these effects. When some of these didn’t work as well, we tried different ones which worked better but came with another side effect that, fortunately, could be aided by another pill that had few side effects in 92% of the population. I was in the 8%. It was on to something else.

At the same time I developed some gastro-intestinal problems and this introduced 3 new pills. Moved to an enteral pump for delivery of my PD meds – resulting in one less pill (yeah!) but then went through a rough period of depression – more pills. Low blood count – more pills. See a worrisome trend developing here?

Go ask Alice, I think she’ll know

Some days I can’t help but feel I want to stop this train and get off. I’m not naive enough to think that’s going to work. Yet, I worry about the longer term effects of all this medication. For the moment, I’m planning a review of all the meds I am taking with my physicians with an eye to reducing or eliminating some. I’m also reticent about introducing others where and whenever I can in the days ahead. To those readers who are in the early stages of Parkinson’s, or any chronic illness for that matter, you’ll have to make your own call. My tale may be a cautionary one. Remember what the dormouse said – feed your head, feed you head!

got my tight pants on – part deux

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Originally published December 3, 2014

After exhaustive research and stylist consultations, I have decided to suspend my qualitative research and opt for a more “participatory-based” approach. Why, dear reader, I’m asking you to make the call! Simply print and cut out the images below, place them wherever you like and see what style works! Why it’s even fun for the whole family!

got my tight pants on

Originally published December 3, 2014

Today was a dull and dreary early winter day. No sign of the sun. A chill in the air. Nothing in my calendar to coax me out of the house. Were it not for a scheduled afternoon visit of a few friends, it was one of those days I might have well lounged in my pj’s or perhaps my long underwear all day. Heck, if really pressed, I might even have donned some sweatpants.

But, alas, company was coming so I felt the least I could do was dress-up.

I put on a pair of jeans. Blue jeans. A nondescript shirt (unless you consider “olive- coloured” to be a descriptor) and my everyday “brown vest”. This “brown vest” is what holds the enteral pump that dispenses my Parkinson’s medication by slow-release 16 hours a day. For almost three years, I’ve sported the “brown vest” to the grocery store, to my kid’s school, to weddings and funerals. To walk the dog, go out for dinner, rake the leaves, visit the doctor, have coffee with a friend or lunch with my folks. To the pool, on vacation, to church or the bakery – the “brown vest” is my constant companion. Lest you think I might tire of it, or that it might emit a certain tangy odour, rest assured that the drug company has generously provided me with a number of such vestibules – a few in each of the 3 sizes it comes in to correspond with my corresponding weight gain and loss – but all of them cut from the same stylish brown. Or Mahogony Brown as GQ might call it. Or Townsend Harbour Brown of Benjamin Moore fame. It’s brown though – that’s the only option. Brown. Get it? I think you get it 🙂

At any rate, my friends came. I made some cappuccinos (nicely, browned crema). We talked. We laughed. We got caught up. And then, there was a sudden turn in the conversation.

“Wasn’t it a gloomy day. Wasn’t the yard looking gloomy without the colourful leaves of fall. Wasn’t everything in the news gloomy. And speaking of gloomy, what’s with your clothes? We know you have a bitch of a disease RK, but don’t you think you could brighten up a bit?”

Despite my best intentions earlier in the day, here I was being berated for my dreary wardrobe! Now, those of you who know me, know that I have never been a fashionista. Yet it got me to thinking that indeed, what I wear these days is more often then ever before affected by my health. When I am in so much physical discomfort from my PD, I’m looking for at least a shred of comfort in my clothing. Perhaps, there might be an inverse relationship here worth exploring – were I to “brighten up” my wardrobe, would it “brighten up” my health? Not exactly fodder for a PHD dissertation but certainly blog-worthy material. In Part 2 of this blog, look for the fieldnotes from my qualitative research on this compelling question.

GMO OMG

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Originally published November 22, 2014

I’m no Siskel or Ebert but I recently saw a film that I’d have to give “two-thumbs up” to. GMO OMG by Jeremy Seifert was released in July 2014 and features one man’s search for answers about genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and how they affect our children, the health of our planet, and our freedom of choice as consumers.

It struck me that, while perhaps not directly related to Parkinson’s, there may be some common chords between the issues of PD and GMO. For people with Parkinson’s, a chronic neurological disease of mostly unclear origin, an increasing number of studies and papers have been reflecting on toxic chemicals used in our environment as possibly giving rise to PD and other neurological conditions.

There is speculation that everything from exposure to chemicals such as Roundup, and the use of “super corn” seeds that completely wipe out all their enemies, will have serious implications for the environment. Further, there are no long term research results to ensure the safety of the people and the earth concerning such products.

Now, I don’t pretend to be a scientist (does a social scientist still count?!?) so, in Canada, I turned to David Suzucki Foundation* to help further my understanding. GMO’s — or genetically modified organisms — refer to the plants or animals created through merging DNA from different species. The first GMO crop (the Flavr Savr tomato) was approved by the FDA in 1994 and, since then, a variety of corn, soya, sugar beets and canola have become common local crops in Canada. Others, such as cottonseed oil, papaya, squash and milk products are imported from the USA into Canada. In a mere 20 years, GMO ingredients have made their way into most of the processed foods available on Canadian grocery shelves. Apples, potatoes and wheat are all in the lineup for approval.

GMO crops, when first introduced, were touted as the answer to world hunger. The argument was that by developing pesticide and herbicide resistant crops, farmer’s would be able to increase their yields and decrease their costs. This has not proven to be the case. Instead, bugs and weeds have become increasingly resistant to the widespread applications of these chemicals, leading to increased use of both. More spraying means more costs for the farmers, more damage to the environment and more health concerns.

It also means more product purchased from the seed producer. The companies that develop and patent GMO seeds are the same companies that develop and patent the pesticides and herbicides to which the unique seeds are resistant. Monsanto is the largest seed company in the world and owns about 86% of GMO seeds sown globally. It is also the parent of Roundup.

The safety of GMO foods is unproven and a growing body of research connects these foods with health concerns and environmental damage. The American Academy of Environmental Medicine suggests there is more than a casual association between GM foods and adverse health effects and that GM foods pose a serious health risk in the areas of toxicology, allergy and immune function, reproductive health, and metabolic, physiologic and genetic health.**

In light of these growing concerns, most developed nations have at the very least, adopted policies requiring mandatory labelling of GMO foods and some have issued bans on GMO food production and imports. In Canada we have neither. As consumers, we are largely unaware that the foods we choose contains GMO ingredients. It is this basic right to choice that is behind the growing movement to have GMO foods labeled. While environmental and food advocates lobby for labeling, other groups, like The Non-GMO Project, have created voluntary non-GMO certification to facilitate consumer information.

GMO OMG is an informative and alarming call to action for those concerned with our health and environment. It is produced in a very accessible format and the story unfolds in an engaging manner. Good soundtrack too! It’s not likely to show up in your local cinema complex but try your local library or order on-line.

* (Understanding GMOs) http://www.david suzucki.org.

** Truth11.com

I’m not angry anymore

Originally published November 4, 2014

I’m not angry anymore. And therein lies my problem.

You see, for years I’ve been espousing the importance of being positive, confronting Parkinson’s and the challenges it has brought my way. Putting my best foot forward, remaining optimistic, retaining a sense of humour. Most health care providers, literature, on- line resources and fellow Parkies will tell you the same thing.If you’ve been a regular or even occasional reader of this blog before you will likely recall a post or two that did this very same thing. I may not be a pollyanna but I have come to appreciate the benefits of a sightly more positive approach.Why even last month, with the help of a few fellow Parkies, I detailed the “good things” PD has brought into our lives!

So, have I suddenly turned bitter and disenchanted? Abandoned this emphasis on positivity? Not at all. I’ve just been thinking of late that I need to get a little more anger in my life…to stoke up the proverbial “fires of discontent”…motivate me to be more active and engaged.


Well, perhaps not that angry but you get the idea I hope.

Not to do so will result in an increasingly insular life and this, for me, is not a good thing!

I must confess that, as much as I still trumpet a positive approach to living with PD, I have many moments when I am extremely challenged to be positive. When I’m tired or overly stressed.When I struggle to do things that used to be routine. When I react inappropriately to something my kids have done or said. When I’m having a particularly bad day physically. On such occasions, I need to endeavour to do better.

And, on such occasions I will try.

But, for the rest of the time, I’m going to be mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore!

Oozing caramel, melting chocolate

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Originally published October 1, 2014

Shed Pounds or Your Money Back!!

How many times have you looked in the mirror and thought “I wish I could just lose a few pounds around my waist…a few inches off my thighs…that double chin I seem to be developing”. Do you wish that there was an easy way you could just make it all disappear? Well, I am here to tell you today that there most certainly is an easy way! Thousands of people just like you have already had their wish come true and you can too! For a limited time only, you can get the results you want without all the muss and fuss of dieting or calorie counting like so many other programs require. Just one, simple step and you’re on your way to that waist you so desire…those slender thighs…that chiseled chin! Interested? Ready to sign-up?? It’s really very simple – get PD! Yes, whether it’s through exposure to toxic chemicals in the environment, or some bad chromosome passed down through your family genes, getting PD will set you free from all these weight-loss woes! But wait! That’s not all! If you act now, you will also receive at no additional cost to you, stiffness, rigidity, tremors, cramping, sleep and cognition problems – to name but a few.

But then (and by then I mean at present, this year, NOW) my medications have been working. I rarely have long periods of dyskInetic behaviour. And I have more than a few extra pounds with me. I’ve had to be more conscious of what I am eating and try to be more physically active which, in the long run, are probably good practices. Practises that I need to practise a bit more!For now, I feel bloated, heavy and out of shape. This, when my PD drugs are working. Enough to make one long for the good old days when my PD drugs weren’t working!

As you can probably tell, I’m writing this somewhat tongue-in cheek and I’m not totally sold on the idea that Parkinson’s Disease is a good weight loss program. Though I have, at times, been the unexpected beneficiary of such providence. When I was at my physical worst – when dyskinesia ruled my body for most of the day with my flaying arms and legs in constant motion – I burned off so many calories! I could eat whatever and whenever I wanted! Chocolate bars, chips, ice cream. Midnight snacks. More chocolate bars. Just a few minutes of “shakin-all-over” and it was gone!

Oozing caramel, melting chocolate.

What nice memories…

a good time to die

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Dead Tired – Gopixpic

Originally published January 2, 2015

When first diagnosed with PD some 14 years ago, I remember being plagued for weeks by thoughts of my last days. I couldn’t deal with all of the horrors associated with end stage Parkinson’s. I still can’t. Yet, if there is any lesson I have learned, it’s to not precipitate about a future you cannot control. Further, as Michael J Fox has pointed out, there is little use in worrying about that now – to do so would mean you actually live through such horrors twice – once in the present and again when you actually arrive at that point.

Of late, though, as PD has taken more of a toll, and as I have seen friends and family dealing with issues of mortality, I find it hard not to drift back to thoughts of death and dying. Not in an obsessive way nor centered on my state of health in those “dying days”. More focused on consideration of how I am to live the rest of my years. What is it that makes my life valuable? What is it that I can offer that makes my life meaningful? How long will I want to live in advanced years with a declining body and mind?

Recently, I heard an interesting interview on CBC radio’s The Sunday edition with Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, an oncologist at the University of Pennsylvania, who says that he wants to die at age 75. He is currently 57 years old, apparently quite active, has no terminal illness and no plans to commit suicide. Yet he says that he would be doing society and loved ones a favour by dying at 75. “A good life is not just about stacking up the years and living as long as possible. People need to focus on quality of life,” he says. “Setting an actual date for a good time to die helps you focus on what is important in your life.”

He says when he reaches 75 he will refuse all tests and treatments, including the blood pressure medication he takes now. He’s not suggesting people kill themselves at 75 but, rather, let nature take its course. As the CBC interview points out, it’s a controversial stance, but one that resonates in an age when medical science can prolong life, but often at the cost of quality of life.

If you want to hear the full interview, you can listen here.

So, what’s a good time to die?