It’s three am and I’m wide awake. I’ve been napping on and off since first awakening at midnight.  I just watched the end of a movie about a comedy writer who has Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease and is slowly losing his memory.  Billie Crystal’s performance is outstanding.  It’s sad when you live a full and happy life, only to lose your memory of that lifetime at the end.

I am dying a little at a time.  Currently, there is more of me that is gone than there is of me that still exists.  There is very little I can do about it.  Most days consist of napping in my lift chair until it’s time to eat, then repeat.   I can’t remember the last time I made Renee laugh or saw her smile. Her day is spent picking up after me since I drop things and can’t bend over to pick them up.

I work at maintaining a good attitude but fail often. I’ve got a long list of “used to” and it gets longer every day.  I’m fighting to lose some weight yet eating is now one of the few pleasures my body allows me to partake of.  There’s even a drawback to eating.  I bite my lip on at regular intervals.

I’ve become that “train wreck” of a patient that I hated to see because I couldn’t fix him/her.  I see a specialist for every part of my body knowing that there is not much they can do.  I remember the patient who was awake all night and slept all day and the advice I gave him about nocturnal binge eating.  Well now, that’s me.

I remember the counseling I gave the patient about depression and chronic illness.  Now that’s me.  I remember the patient who was bored because he spent almost the entire day in a chair.  Now, that’s me.  I remember all the patients I worked with over the years and all the good advice I handed out, and what bullshit that advice turned out to be.

I’m not giving up but it’s getting harder to be positive. I’m going on a cruise ship for a five-day trip to the Bahamas.  Rather than walk the deck at sun-up and sun-down, I’ll ride a scooter.  Rather than run down the beach and dive into the water, I’ll sit on the beach and look at the water.   The one thing I will do well is eat, being careful not to regain the weight I’ve lost.  Did I tell you I’m massive?  It seems the only thing I excel at is gaining weight.

This blog is coming to an end.  As I no longer practice medicine, there’s not much to write about.  I certainly do not want to publish dark and depressing articles like this one.  There are over 1500 articles on this site, many worth reading over and over again. 

I plan to shut this site down in December so feel free to print copies of any of the articles you’ve found helpful if you want them.  It has been my privilege to have shared my knowledge and thoughts with you through this site.  I wish you all health and wellth.

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9 Replies to “THE END”

  1. This makes me sad. I’ve enjoyed reading your blog and am so sorry you have decided to discontinue. Please know you are in my thoughts.

  2. I do not really know what to say. On some level I understand what you are saying and how you feel because I went through something similar with my husband. My heart hurts for you and Rene. I think of you often and have wondered why you have not been writing your blog. Now I know. I guess deep down I knew. I am so truly sorry for what you and your family are going through. I love you. Do whatever you need to do to keep yourself sane.

  3. Wishing you peace my friend. We’ve had a long history as colleagues and friends. You have your family for comfort and support. God bless you Stu.

  4. Oh Dr. Segal what a gift you have been to me & my family thru the years!
    I will NEVER EVER Forget the kindness, compassion, encouragement you invested in my daughter when I brought her to you when she was in incredible depression. She was an adult, a single mom. You gave her a piece of paper, and you told her that this was your personal number, and that if she needed to call you she could. I am crying even now thinking about the beautiful hope and sense of worth you gave her that day. To my knowledge she never called you, but just that kind gesture made her feel like she was important and she could if she needed to.

    I struggle with long hauler Covid. My life has been turned upside down for the last two years. Nothing like yours dear one, but my cognitive impairment and extreme exhaustion are the two symptoms I have battled with consistently. I often remember how you persevered, and sometimes that gives me strength to hang in there.
    As well as hope.

    If I have to think of just one word that represents you, it would be that, hope.

    Perhaps you do think this last article is dark & doom….. I see it as transparent, authentic, and still encouraging.
    You. Are. Going. On. A. Cruise. You may not be able to do all the things you dreamed of doing, but you’re still going. You’re showing up, and you’re showing us how to enjoy what you can still enjoy.

    So thank you so much, Dr. Segal. For all of it.

  5. To the best Doctor who treated us like a person
    As well as a patient. Thank you for all you have done. You always gave your all. So sorry to hear your health is changing how you live very drastically. I only hope if and when I come to that point in my life I can gather as much strength and courage as you have. We loved your blog. Please post a hello occasionally as you can. We love you. And prayers are with you and your family. Love Tin and Geri Gaj

  6. I consider myself truly blessed because I have had many loving and outstanding people in my life, and you were one of them.

  7. Stewart, your life is treasure of helping others live longer and happier lives. I consider having known you for nearly 40 years one of the greatest benefits of my life. I suffer with the thoughts that your life is ending with such a debilitating disease but while it ravaged your body your mind fights on. Just remember that pain is inevitable but suffering is optional.
    If it means anything to you about all the times you begged me to lose weight, I have now lost 70 pounds and weigh what I did in 1969. I thought about you as I lost every pound. And more to come. Joy and I pray for you every day and think of your professionalism, empathy and love for your patients. Every doctor in the world should model your practice.

  8. Dr. Segal, you have given so much good counsel over the years and it’s been a blessing to so many. So, I wish for you the blessing of a new day each day. Each day you can choose to look on the bright side and be grateful for the blessings you have given to others over the many years. I still call your office here in Lake Zurich “Dr. Segal’s Office” because that is what it will always be to me. With warm regards…

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