May 10, 2007

One way to tell you probably aren't dying:

You likely saw the news story:

The 62-year-old said he was told by doctors at the Royal Cornwall Hospital in Treliske that he only had a short time left to live.

So he quit his job and stopped paying his mortgage, instead splashing out on a lavish lifestyle of hotels, restaurants and holidays.

Then the hospital told him that he was actually suffering from non-fatal pancreatitis.

Mr Brandrick said that in the year he thought he was dying he spent everything and now he faces losing his house.

One fairly reliable way to tell whether or not you are on death's door is that if on the way home from the doctor you develop, for the first time in your life, an overwhelming urge to, say, go helicopter skiing in Chile or hunt Great White Sharks in Australia, you probably are in pretty good shape. It's not like in the movies, where Queen Latifah looks fabulous all through her last days.

It's nice to imagine that doctors have Dr. McCoy-level Star Trek scanners that can discover the most incipient maladies in you, but mostly they don't. Generally, they don't find anything until you tell them you feel like hell.

The most famous example of someone being incorrectly told they had one year to live was Anthony Burgess, who was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer in 1960. To provide his wife with an inheritance, he sat down and wrote five novels in one year. Not surprisingly, somebody who could write five novels in one year lived for another third of a century and wrote dozens more books.

My published articles are archived at -- Steve Sailer

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This post makes me hate the Tim McGraw song, "Live Like You Were Dying", even more than I do already.