By Your Call Publishing | ,

Health With Omega - August/September 23

The Uncertainty Of Life Reminds Us To Live Well

Marilyn Monroe, when asked what she wore in bed, answered “Chanel No 5”.  Now that is my sort of woman and I like to feel I am like her in more ways than one, however I am still looking for the second.

In February 2020 I received a bottle of Chanel No 5 for my 65th birthday (other perfumes are available). I used it very sparingly. Two weeks later I began a new job caring for patients in the last year of life. Then the Pandemic was declared. Staff risk assessments were undertaken, and PPE began to be sourced and distributed. We had rapid training on ‘donning and doffing’ masks, gloves and pinnies safely into bags for disposal. Information on spread of the virus was scant and my age concerned everyone, it put me in a high-risk category. I loved the job and the team, but we all worried about me getting Covid 19, would I be seriously ill, or even die? Then worse, what if one of the team passed it on to me, they would feel dreadful.

I am accustomed to risk of infections at work, but this unknown virus concentrated the mind. As the risks and consequences, R numbers and incubation periods became clearer, I recognised that there was a chance that I could die before my patients. Having worked with the dying for years this was a novel concept. There was only one thing for it…if I might die soon, I was using up that bottle of Chanel No5 before it happened! Each day I wafted to work in a fragrant state. The uncertainty of life made the enjoyment of it sweeter somehow. Spring was beautiful and the quietness of Coventry’s, usually busy, roads enhanced the birdsong.

I did not get Covid throughout the 3 years of declared pandemic and I am now on my third bottle of perfume. I finally got the virus this summer and ironically, though I sprayed on a comforting, cool blast of Chanel, I could not smell it. Four vaccinations had mellowed the illness, and we are more used to living with it. I am asking myself if this is a good thing? Many great thinkers and writers throughout history from Cicero to Leonard Cohen have learnt that in planning for death there is a liberation to live well, enjoying all the more, each day. This is a policy that I agree with, and my Chanel reminds me to stay aware of every stage of live and live it to the full.

This is what The Omega Course is about. It helps people live well and be better friends, family and neighbours.

Follow the QR code or call 07743 376708 for information on the course starting on 27th October from 10am - 1pm at Kenilworth Senior Citizens Club. To hear from others what it is like, join us on 25th September at 7pm at Holy Trinity Church Hall, Leamington Spa.

Dr Chantal Meystre