In this chapter, Gawande explains some of the physical effects of aging on our bodies from a medical perspective. It was both difficult and eye-opening to read; difficult to realize that many of these changes will soon become manifest in my own life, and eye-opening to understand what causes these changes.
In chapter 1, Gawande compares the aging experiences of two individuals. His grandmother-in-law grew old independently in America, living alone and providing for herself into her 80’s. Meanwhile Gawande’s grandfather lives co-dependently to the age of 110 in a pre-modern Indian province. I call his grandfather’s living situation co-dependent because while he lived with one of his sons and his...
I finished reading Being Mortal by Atul Gawande last year. Having set it aside for a few weeks, my next task is to read it again and record my initial, somewhat random, thoughts and questions from each chapter. These will provide a starting point to organize and expand on my ideas and reflections about the book. Below are my takeaways from the Introduction.
I began clicking on articles about end-of-life questions and elder care several years ago. Sometimes I read them right away, and sometimes they sit in my browser tabs for a few weeks before I have the capacity to read and reflect on them.
Most of us will grow old, and we all will die. These are just facts. Yet these bare facts lead to a seemingly infinite cascade of complicated questions.