What I Learnt From Watching House


It’s never Lupus, steroids are usually involved in every treatment plan, and, failing that, they’ll do surgery on lots of different organs until a cure materialises. Usually because House looked at a tree or some other random object and it reminded him of some bacteria.

I quite enjoyed watching House. Partially because whenever they talked about my medical conditions, it was actually really accurate! Maybe I should encourage my GP to watch it, since she still doesn’t really understand them.

*I’d possibly stop reading now if you don’t like death conversations*

Anyway. I can’t think of another way to say this besides bluntly, so I’ll just come out with it. What I did think about is whether it’s a good thing or not to know when you’re going to die. Spoiler alert: House’s best friend, Wilson, gets cancer and is told he has 5 months to live. So he starts to do everything in his life he wishes he’d done or things he feels he ought to experience.

Is it a good thing to know when your expiration date is? Would you realistically want to know? We don’t talk about dying at all really as a society, but it’s pretty much the only thing that is definitely going to happen in life. One day, everyone dies.

We all seem to carry on with life as though it’s indefinite and we’re immortal. The goal is obviously to end up dying from old age rather than an illness or accident. Having a life threatening illness means I’ve had a few near death experiences and I’ve kind of had to come to terms with the fact that really simple things can kill me very quickly and easily. But that’s not the same as being told ‘you have 5 months to live’. Would I really want to know that my illness will kill me on X date?

So what I learnt from House is, no, I don’t think I’d like to know my death day. Being ignorant about it and living in the present suits me fine. I feel for people who are given a prognosis and a time limit because it must be scary having a countdown. It might feel like I live with a ticking time bomb most of my life, but, to be blunt again, if I suddenly die from Adrenal Insufficiency, I’m not going to be around to have to deal with it! Having a countdown must feel like a lot of pressure to make the most of what time you have left, to do something fulfilling or meaningful with your life, and it’s a lot of panicking and pondering about what happens in X amount of months when you die. If you’re blissfully unaware that the number 10 bus is going to run you over the day after next, you’ll be dead and that sucks, but at least you didn’t spend the next 2 days in fear waiting for it to happen and saying things like ‘this is the last time I’ll do this’, as well as being dead.

Medical science is great and the fact that we can diagnose illnesses and work out how they manifest and control the body is incredible. But sometimes things shouldn’t be messed with because it upsets the balance of ‘natural order’ (whatever that is). Statistics and science can also be wrong- some people get told 5 months to live and survive 5 years, or others 5 weeks. If you don’t know when it’s going to happen, it’s one less thing to worry about. And as no one has worked out the meaning of life yet, I don’t think it makes any difference if we continue bumbling along like we have for centuries already!


One thought on “What I Learnt From Watching House

  1. Janet SinclaIr says:

    Have not seen House, but am of the same opinion regarding prognosis, false hope is one thing, but a prognosis that is wildly wrong is hard to deal with and can be quite cruel. Carpe diem and live each moment with as much joy as is possible, peace of mind is a pearl of great price, and can be ours if we seek it. Fear is the most destructive emotion, hard to challenge, but possible to overcome, loving family and friends are the support that is available when fear affects us.

    Liked by 1 person

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