Tea or coffee? Bread or toast? Brown bread or white? Butter or margarine? Marmalade or jam? Lesion on the optic nerve or no lesion?
The last choice, of course, was not on the tick-box form at the hospital, but how I wished I had a choice about that, too.
It seemed to me then that, with some things, we had no choice. And yet, I still had one choice. I didn’t like the thought of an MRI scan at all and I could have opted not to have one. Even having decided to go ahead, I still had the option of pressing the panic button to indicate that I wanted the scan to be paused, or ended altogether.
I made it to the end and I stayed in that tunnel for about 40 mins.That was about two decades ago – I’ve heard that MRI scans are not quite so scary these days.
My purpose here is not to focus much on my diagnosis and treatment, other than to mention that ‘the big ones’ were gradually ruled out and that, although I have some ‘off days’, I live a much fuller life now than I would have believed possible two decades ago.
My purpose here is to reflect on the question of personal choice.Of course, some choices are just a matter of taste: tea or coffee?; tennis match or Six Nations?; carrots or cauliflower, or both?; Labour, Conservative or UKIP or ‘other’? This is where we get into an area where what may seem to be a personal choice is not really a personal choice at all. Elected governments make decisions that have ramifications for all of us and we might reasonably think that the voting choices of others are as much our ‘business’ as theirs.
The more I think about it…well, the more I think about it.
And I become increasingly thankful for those those four words in the Lord’s Prayer:
‘Your will be done.’