With the exception of my dog anxiously watching me through my office window, I spend most days alone. I prefer it that way. Superwoman leaves for work before I get up and mornings are tough! When I contemplate the whole "Life with Dignity" issue I find that I have already lowered my dignity standards.
I guess that's how things work. As I age I learn to accept the physical limitations, the sags and wrinkles, even the lack of respect that I, at one time, owned. The difference is that my illness has brought this on in three years not thirty.
As the son of a career military father I learned to travel and adapt early. Being able to travel to unknown places became a strength. It taught me to accept other cultures and to see life through more objective eyes. Ironically, now I find that my world, once global, has shrunk to a few miles. Oh, I still watch the world news but now my view is limited to what others choose to allow me to see.
My real dignity never came from my physical being but from the wisdom I gained by opening my eyes and having a willingness to see the world through the eyes of the less fortunate. I knew early in life I was lucky. It seems that I always understood the ignorance of a person bitching about having to choose a language at his ATM while another person struggled to feed his family that day.
As my body fails me at an exponential rate, I cling to the dignity of my mind. When I find I begin to cross the threshold of mindlessness, I pray I have clarity to see it. My dignity will then give me the strength I need.