What’s the best piece of advice you’ve given someone which you failed to take yourself?
This is an area in my life, where my biggest fear in my life shows. Health, yes, my health is the fear of all fears in my life.
I am the first one to advise someone to go to the doctor, to get it checked out, do not wait. With being in the medical field for so many years, I sometimes get questions about others health.
Of course, I am not a doctor, so I can not diagnose, but simple things, like remedies, or signs that I know should take your rear end to the doctor, I am willing to mention. With my own health, the caring of other patients for so long, as made me the total opposite.
You see, I have been on both sides of the wooden fence, and sometimes even straddle with one leg dangling on each side. I have seen the patient that has not felt well for sometime, finally they decide to go to the doctor, and find out they have a cancer.
This information blows the patients life totally apart. The thinking changes, the outlook on life goes from happy-go-lucky to sad and a time bomb waiting to go off. I have also seen the side of the patient who is dying.
I have had patients dying in my arms, and patients, that beg me to help them end their pain. I have cried with patients, laid in their bed beside them and comforted them while they are trying so hard to stay awake, afraid that if they sleep they will never wake.
I have seen what chemo treatments can do to a happy soul, desperately trying to live longer, healthier, whither a way right in front of my eyes. They lose their hair, they vomit constantly, causing the sick body to become weak very fast.
The worry and stress to family and friends, can never be totally healed, knowing now that their loved ones will leave sooner than later. Final arrangements are made for funerals, trying to squeeze everything in to their short-lived lives that they always wanted to do.
Visitors coming in to the home or hospital with sad faces. Spouses, going through their own hell as they come to realize that they are going to lose their life long partner. People whispering in the background, about what is going to happen to the homes, the personal items within the house, wills, money. It can go on and on up until the actual leaving of this earth.
I have seen too much, dealt with far too much a patient’s emotional roller coaster ride, to not want this for myself. I know that I am going to die. This is one area, that no matter who is President of the country, or no matter how rich or poor you are, we all are going to die.
When I took care of my father the year he was dying, I saw him go from a lively man with hope, to a weak vegetable, that cared about nothing. I can not do this. I can not put family or friends through this. I go to the doctor every three months to check my diabetes, and I will go to the doctor for infections, but I will not go for other reasons. Why? because I do not want to know.
There are probably many of you who will disagree with me on this, and it is alright. This is what is wonderful about living in a land of being able to make your own choices. What I do, is live life. I want to live until my death comes, enjoying my writing and my friends and family.
I don’t want anyone to come around out of pity or placing someone in a position of not knowing what to say. I often kid with people and tell them, you will know when I am sick, when I finally reach my perfect weight goal. Seriously, I just want to live my life as normal as I can, until it is over.
God knows my ending date. I can go to clinics and shove vitamins down my throat, and buy all of the latest exercise equipment, but in the end, when I ask myself, do I want to live to be 100? My answer is always the same, no.
I don’t want to live when I have to lean on someone. When I can no longer feed myself, or walk, or can not breathe without help of a machine, or be on the strongest dose of lasix, I want to go home to heaven.
Of course I can not control so many things about my own body, but I can try my hardest to live happy. I guess I can not say anymore on this topic that can close this topic out, we shall just have to wait my time out and see what God has in store for me, and then I can write my last words, and close this chapter of myself.
- Jeremy Hunt is playing politics with end-of-life care | Martin Brunet (guardian.co.uk)
- Choosing to Die: Making Difficult End-of-Life Decisions (kcet.org)
- Early End-of-Life Talks Tied to Less Aggressive Care (nlm.nih.gov)
- Better Home Control Chronic Diseases Using New Behavioral Strategies (medicalnewstoday.com)
- Care at the End of Life (nytimes.com)
- How Might We… (healthasahumanright.wordpress.com)