Fandango’s Provocative Question #27

The question this week is exactly the kind of question I do not ever want to answer. It might be a question nobody wants to answer unless they are a medical researcher with skin in the game, so to speak.

“If you could choose one — and only one — particular malady, condition, or disease for which a safe and effective treatment was available, what one condition would you choose to treat and why is that your choice?”

As someone with more maladies than I care to list, some likely to kill me, others just likely to be a serious pain in my back, exactly how would I pick?

I have absolutely no idea what I should pick. Cancer? It has managed to kill about three-quarters of my closest family. Heart disease took the rest — and I’ve already had both, big time. Or maybe I should vote for arthritis? Unlikely to kill me, but very likely to make living increasingly unpleasant.

I’m pretty sure they are doing significant research on all of these diseases. Cure them? Who knows? But they have come a very long way in treating both cancer and heart disease. Arthritis lags behind, likely for a couple of obvious reasons the first being that almost everyone gets it.

It probably is not preventable unless old age is preventable. Also, it isn’t lethal, which means it doesn’t generate the money for “cures” that more fatal diseases garner.

I’ve got it! Let’s cure aging!

I don’t mind going gray or wrinkly. But let’s dump arthritis, exhaustion, bad hips, worn-out knees, loss of memory, and insomnia. While we are at it, cure dementia and Alzheimer’s. Add a little zip to our steps so we can be old, wise, and energetic. So we can still be who we have always been — right up until that last breath.

Photo: Garry Armstrong

And please, while you are at this curing business, make sure everyone has full access to medical care, no matter what is wrong with them.


    1. That was my thought. Let’s get rid of the “old” part of the package. We can get old. But I’d like to have my body back, please. And I’d like to know that one way or the other, we have health care!


    1. You know the weird thing about Alzheimer’s is that it is often more distressing to the family than to the sufferer. If they are well cared for, healthy and clean and not living in one of those horrible “shelters”, they are surprisingly content. And oddly, ART is the last thing to disappear. Musicians can still play, even though they can’t remember anything else. Writers can write until the very end, even though normal reality is missing. Painters can paint and sculptors do their thing. I think that is important information, Creativity hangs on when everything else flees. ART survives. Why is that? It makes me wonder about the role creativity has in our world.


      1. None of these things flourish in the top-notch (supposedly) institution my sister is in. People stare vacantly with no interaction and no activity. So sad. I have visited at least six facilities, and it is true of all of them. Those friends who have chosen to have their loved ones remain at home surrender their own freedom and need to maintain constant vigilance. It is a horrible disease.


        1. My Aunt Pearl (my mother’s youngest sister) was in a really nice place in Virginia. Everyone who could be was pretty active. They couldn’t remember for more than a few minutes, but they kept busy and seemed both active and pretty happy.


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