In my recent, mostly belated Christmas letter I included an article about getting a second opinion of medical diagnosis.
In the last year, though, people I know personally and peripherally have had serious health concerns which were only properly diagnosed after consulting a second physician.
One of the people I was referring to was Craig McLachlan.
I was surprised one day to find out from a member of my former writers' group Craig was in the hospital.
I went down to visit and the person at the information desk told me Craig was in the palliative care ward.
As far as I knew, which is not very far indeed, palliative care was the last step before a patient succumbed to illness.
I made my way up to Craig's room and tentatively poked my head in the door.
And Craig looked fine!
It turns out palliative care is only about pain management, not necessarily about death, and Craig wasn't dying at all.
Craig related the story of his original misdiagnosis which inspired me, and his current treatment plan which gave me comfort, and the need for pain management.
Everything was going to be fine.
I was pleased and relieved to know Craig was going to be okay and told him I would come back to visit him.
I never did.
Craig died Feburary 15.
Life is short. Too short to not get a second opinion, too short to not visit friends in the hospital and too short to not live it fully.