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  • Contemplating Suicide

    I am seriously considering suicide, not today or tomorrow, or any time soon, but at some point in the future. I am afraid of pain, of living in agony. Both of my parents suffered incredible pain in their separate nursing homes before they died. I want to avoid that. I believe death would be better than terrible suffering.

    I am afraid I will suffer extreme pain if I am put in a nursing home because of my extensive and serious food allergies. I can control my pain level by preparing all my own food and avoiding known allergens that cause pain and illness. But when I eat out or at someone’s house, I almost always get sick. I am allergic to many things, including dairy, soy, legumes, white flour, sugar, coffee, chocolate, etc. Those allergies cause me to suffer asthma, joint pain, muscular pain, and general malaise, which manifests itself as feeling as if I have the flu, got run over by a truck and can’t get any oxygen.

    I observed the food served to my parents and other nursing home residents at various nursing homes in multiple locations and know that nursing home food would be dangerous and toxic to me. (It’s pretty much dangerous and toxic to everyone, but because of my sensitivities, it would be much worse for me.) The people in charge at nursing homes dismiss patient complaints and the patients themselves. Elderly nursing home patients are severely marginalized. Everyone knows this, but nothing is done to fix it.

    Any nursing home at any time would be, for me, a sentence to cruel and unusual punishment.

    The situation would be even worse if I had dementia, and since my mother had it, and since I have a brain tumor, the likelihood of my having dementia is high. If I had dementia, I would be unable to have any say in what I ate or explain my pain levels, allergies or circumstances. It’s a recipe for suffering.

    Problems with committing suicide include: not wanting to die, not knowing a good painless way to do it, sanctions and laws against it and the concern of family and friends. And how could I determine the exact moment to kill myself when I still have the mental capacity to do manage it but have lived as long as I possibly could before doing it? What if I’m not ready or afraid to go, and then am too stupid to do it?

    I do not want to die. I'd kind of like to live "forever". But I don’t know what to do about the pain issue, especially if dementia makes it impossible, in a situation where no one cares, to truly communicate my requirements and pain levels. The conundrum is shaped like a Chinese puzzle box, and I keep pushing at the various panels, but haven’t found the way in yet.

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    Image by me. Self-portrait form computer camera, layered over one of my art pieces.
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