One of my most favorite people in the family just died. My paternal uncle, who had been there for me all my life, passed away just three days ago. He had a massive heart attack. The only compensation in this ordeal is that he died amongst his loved ones and with a smile on his face. He left so many good memories behind, not only for me but everyone in the family. His grandkids, nieces, nephews, cousins, brothers, sisters and friends will remember him for his friendly and loving gestures towards them over the years. I can convince myself that he died of old age and peacefully as much as I want to. But the fact remains that he was only 73 and he had been a diabetic and a heart patient for over 40 years.
Death in the family can be hard to deal with because every time someone dies from a health a problem it serves as a reality check on our own physical condition. Sometimes I think being in the medical field is a curse as much as it is a blessing. This is because, as health care professionals, we see so many cases of hard core health issues arising with patients and whenever we get sick we attribute some of those to ourselves. The more we dig into our own sickness, even if it is a common cold, the more we find out minute details about it. Sometimes I hate doing Google searches for there is so much information so many different people put on their websites it is mind boggling. We read and we read deep into the subject and we worry about certain illnesses coming to us. That doesn't give us any peace of mind. Especially when we have some existing sickness. In my case heart disease and diabetes are prevalent in my family. Being a diabetic and heart patient myself doesn't give me a break from fearing the worst. As much as I tell myself about my own benefits of reading information that could help me out in managing my own health conditions and as well as my family, it is overwhelming to me reading so much that's out there.
Death is inevitable. Everyone will have to go through it eventually, some early in their lives and some very much later. I can't imagine someone saying, "okay, I had enough of this life so I am ready to go." But I did hear people saying, "I hope I go without pain and suffering to myself and my family." I say that a lot myself. Probably watching my mother die of an infection due to diabetes that she got from a hip fracture made me think like that. Or watching my mother-in-law suffer from infections due to radiation therapy for her uterine cancer and diabetes. Or watching my niece suffer from brain cancer at 17 and passing away only at 23. Or watching my own cousin suffer at the present time from cancer, chemotherapy, diabetes and a heart condition at the same time. Or just days after I took my cousin for her PET test and first chemotherapy, I suffered from angina and almost died from blocked vessels. Whatever the reason may be, all I know is that the past five or six years have been really hard on me. I had lost at least six people in the family who were near and dear to me, one by one each year. My experiences are bitter but they taught me one lesson of never giving up. We fight until the end no matter how sick we may be. I remember my grandparents suffering and dying. We in our generation got lucky. We have advanced medical technologies that save lives. Our life expectancy increased at least by ten years. And with a little bit of hard work exercising and watching what we eat we could go a long way.
By the time our children's time comes my hope is they will have more advanced technologies for different illnesses. They probably will find a cure for diabetes that is available for the public. Heart transplants would probably be a common thing to go through. Stem cells would probably be available to general public for cure of different diseases. Everything could be possible, I think, if we keep positive thinking. It could only get better generation after generation. Maybe they will eradicate diabetes altogether. Who knows--there are possibilities galore everywhere. For my part I think hanging in there no matter how hard it is, is the best I could do. Educating my kids about cholesterol, heart disease, diabetes, and cancers is a tough task. But instead of worrying over the material I gather about these conditions I think I use these tools to help them understand. It is not a easy task. Nobody wants to talk about sickness to the family. Everyone wants to give good time with their children. But giving good times doesn't have to mean feeding potato chips, donuts, cheese burgers, and fried chicken to the kids. I was a young mom once who did all those things. Getting into health problems opened my eyes. Now, I am trying to do as much as I could to help the kids out. Sometimes my kids hate me for talking about health but somebody's got to do the dirty job of keeping the kids in check. Whether they take the advice or not it is up to them-- giving information is my responsibility. After all, you can take a horse to the water, but cannot make it drink, right?
Dealing with death has taught me about dealing with life. Dealing with a loss of loved ones showed me ways to deal with diseases. Dealing with the everyday struggle to survive gave me an avenue to deal with dealing with research online. Dealing with medicines on a daily basis helped me hope for better life for the kids in the future. Dealing with myself gave me courage to help friends and family understand the seriousness of these illnesses and take corrective actions. Dealing with pain gave me strength to stand up and say, "Prevention is the best approach when you have your health intact" because, OUR LIFE MATTERS.