Do we live healthy lives to avoid or postpone death?

in #naturalmedicine2 years ago (edited)

This is my entry to the challenge
Please go read the other entries!

My daughter just today described to me a humane method for killing a pig. If a pig is fed a last meal of its favorite food and shot in just the right spot while it is eating, it will die happy, its tail in a glorious curl. This is a good death.

I have a fantasy of the ideal human death, in which one dies in ones sleep lying peacefully next to a loved one. There will have been no pain or unhappiness in that moment. This is also a good death.

We are grateful to hear that a person who has died a tragic death, by illness, intent or accident, did not linger long in a suffering phase, that they may have been spared terrible pain, and so their death was much better than it might have been.

And many of us know someone who suffered so much that they thought it best to end their life. Is this a terrible death? Of that I am not sure. Some of us think, and I am one of those, that it might sometimes be better to end the pain.

I doubt there are very many people who think avoiding death is possible, so to that part of the question I answer "No." But I do think there are many who live what they think are healthy lives in order to live longer, or to delay their deaths.

My mother was one of these. She lived what she thought was a healthy life so that she could enjoy her grandchildren during her retirement. She reduced her excessive drinking to one martini a day and a spot of wine with her meal, a difficult task for someone who was surrounded by raging alcoholics. She would walk for an hour every day outside. She swam daily. She ate what she had been told was good food, limiting animal fats, eating according to the food pyramid, and drinking no fewer than three glasses of low fat milk a day. When the doctor prescribed something derived from horse flesh for her hot flashes, she took it. When he prescribed something to strengthen her bones, she took it. When he prescribed something to thin her blood, she took it and schlepped every single week to a lab for a blood draw to test the efficacy of that drug. When he said she needed a pacemaker, she had it inserted under her skin. She did all of this to live the long and healthy life her Swedish ancestors were famous for.

Despite all her efforts, my mom had a stroke in her early 70's, an ailment that no one in her long lived bloodline had ever had before, and she spent her final three years as an invalid, unable to communicate in any way. I would say she experienced very little joy during this time. Her slow descent into the final stopping of her congested heart taxed the rest of us horribly. It was a very bad death, the kind many of us fear, and one my mother never even considered it a possibility.

My father, by contrast, lived a long and productive life despite consuming fantastic amounts of alcohol every single day of his adult life. He was elected mayor of his and my home town at the age of 80. He served in this position for several years until he was diagnosed with stomach cancer. He then underwent debilitating and daily radiation for the last two months of his life, dying just a few days after the final dose. By then he had been reduced to a daffy and weak old man. I finally started to fear him less, truth be told. But his final six months were horrible, horrible, horrible.

My husband died of ALS, lying unmoving in a hospice bed for the last five months of his life. He had gone religiously to the dentist far more often than twice a year and allowed a great many procedures to "save" his teeth, continuing these even after his diagnosis. My dear friend Gina died on her third unconscious day in an ICU after two years of invasive and grueling medical procedures to treat her blood cancer. She had been employed in a western medical field, so she naturally pulled out all the allopathic stops to treat herself, doing what she thought was her best option.

These people lived their lives according to what they thought was best for them. They all took potent medical steps, some to improve their lives and others to delay their deaths. But for all of them, the end was heavily medicalized. This type of death is fast becoming the norm.

In order to answer the posed question I feel the need, not to challenge it, but to amend it to: Do we live healthy lives to avoid, postpone or improve in some way on our deaths?

I live as healthy a life as I can. I eat organic-ish food and pastured meats, I garden and dance for exercise, I drive maddeningly defensively, I allow myself to feel joy even during the worst of times, and I try not to sweat the small stuff. These are just a few of the characteristics that constitute, to me, a healthy life. But even more important than these to achieving a state of health is the practice of holistic natural medicine.

I live as freely as possible from the ravages of western medicine. For me the object is neither to avoid nor to delay my death, but to be certain that my life is not consumed with medical events, and that my death is far less likely to be reduced to one.

I hope for my death to be one of the good ones.

This is my entry to
Thank you so much for reading it.

The photo is of my mother, her grandmother, two aunts and one uncle. Except for my mother, they all lived well into their 90's and died of natural causes.


Cancer treatments are just the worst. My father-in-law went through 2 years of various chemo treatments, none of which did what they were supposed to do. Eventually he said, no more and left the hospital to die at home. This was the main catalyst which lead me to discovering more natural methods of treatment and prevention.

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Thank you for doing that work!
A stem cell transplant, which was absolutely horrifying, involved months of prep, a super dose of radiation to "kill" her immune system, and isolation for my friend Gina. It was followed by one year of somewhat improved health, but when the cancer "came back" (it was never gone of course) it came back with a vengeance, and her slide into her final days was stupefyingly terrible. They did try a refresher of stem cells, more prep, more radiation, more isolation and no improvement. I wonder if she would have lived longer and better had she done nothing at all.

That must have been awful to witness. It's crazy, isn't it, that the treatment for cancer is something which also causes cancer? Cancer, itself, takes years to develop, so it wouldn't surprise me at all if she'd have done better just doing nothing.

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It was awful, but she thought she was doing the right thing, engaging in a still experimental treatment. She made a friend undergoing the same treatment for the same cancer for whom it lasted longer. I wonder what happened to her? Maybe I will try to contact her - she was very distraught when Gina died.
Just a note: both of them went for regular mani-pedis and dyed their hair often. I suspect these as causes f blood cancers and probably other cancers too. Both of them continued even after their transplants. Just thinking out loud here.

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Thank you! It's always a pleasure!

Wow! I came to thank you for having this post on your feed @owasco, so I could enter too. You sure have had some sad experiences with death.

I agree with you about falling asleep and never waking up to be a good way to go. I would choose that if the choice was there to be made. Dying fast while eating good food sounds fine too.

But we will never know until our time comes, and then will we know when it happens? I guess we will find out - or maybe not.

I look forward to what you have to say on this subject, I love your stuff.

So much heartbreak in the world. Sorry to hear of your losses. Who knows how we will go? We dream of good deaths but reality is often anything but. May yours be one of the good ones. Feeling nostalgic and sad.. both the power of your wonderful wordsmithing and the sadness of people's struggles and losses.

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Thank you for your warmth and your wish. But heartbreaks come with those blessings that only come with heartaches, so I'm good.
It gives me hope to be able to write the story and have an opportunity to warn others against trusting western medicine. That stuff is killing us.

Sorry my comment came out garbled. I'll write my post about going to the GP yesterday. Ugh.

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@owasco, In my opinion, we are eternal soul beings and human life is phase of experience and phase of expanding our soul and mass consciousness. Most of the times people always look for happiness, life is just not about happiness, all emotions expands our experience. No matter how tough the life is, we should not forget the self worth and our health state because if we stay healthy then our mindset and thought process stay healthy. We can transform but we cannot postpone what we can't see. Stay blessed.

Well said! blessings to you too, and peace.

Thank you so much.

Hi owasco,

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Thank you so much! I was getting a bit despondent with the response to this post that I had worked so hard on. I appreciate the appreciation!

You lost your husband! I'm so sorry. To ALS. Toothless, toward the end. Oh the indignities. Dying is not for sissies, nor is old age. To die a good death - Native Americans allegedly talked that way. A noble death. But a stroke, 3 years of lost utility, sounds depressing. Demoralizing. And a father "reduced to a daffy and weak old man" - no longer a fearsome figure--"his final six months were horrible, horrible, horrible." This is heartbreaking stuff. You are wise to "live as freely as possible from the ravages of western medicine" and I hope you are rewarded for your good habits! (Love that family photo, btw!)

Using that photo was inspired by your heartstopping freewrite yesterday. It took me a while to find it, as my photos are strewn around the house. Finally found that one in a basket with rarely used tap shoes and half a pair of drumsticks.
I know to avoid western med as much as possible because I have seen it harm so many of my loved ones. Bad stuff. Just say no. I do. My doctor says "colonoscopy", I say "no". My doctor says "mammogram", I say "no". I'm lucky that she accepts this. Recently she suggested x-rays for a problem I am having with my thumbs, probably arthritis, and, when I said "no", she told me to have apple cider vinegar in water every morning. That alone did the trick! We have to wrestle the old ways out of these medically trained people - some of it is still in there.

No mammogram? I wanna say no to that too!!! EVERY time, they have to re-take the image due to "density" and I hate the process and the radiation and the squishing....
Husband had a prolonged stomach ache and doctor had zero advice, so I suggested the apple cider vinegar, and in a day or two, CURED!! It was so simple, and the malady so mysterious. He read that taking it daily and not watering it down enough can be too acidic.
Love your freewrites and all-writes!

hm. I'd best look that up then. I just put a splash of ACV, a dollop of honey, and a gusher of water in a cup and sip it down. It doesn't taste great. I think I'm putting too much ACV. Thanks for saying that.

Most doctors prescribe antacids as the first thing for any stomach ache (I have a gazillion years experience with GI doctors, not for myself but for my kids, all three of whom have crohns), even to babies who are suspected of stomach aches. It's shocking! Do none of them take moment to think anymore? Low stomach acid is just as likely, and so easy to just check that for yourself as your husband did. Cool.

I don't undergo any medical procedure that my body recoils from, if I can help it. I think the recoiling is a clue that the procedure is harmful in some way. That squishing. There is something not right about that squishing. But I also have friends who think mammograms saved their lives. My choice, and I don't tell very many people that, so now you know one of my secrets.
Mutual mutual mutual

Mutual mutual mutual - LOL! That about sums it up.
I've read that for Krohns, intestinal parasites can work wonders. It seems hardly anyone in third world countries suffer Krohns, in part because they are allowed to "suffer" from worms and parasites that we hygienic, scrupulously sanitary people over-protect ourselves from. Babies with cats and dogs in the house (dander! germs!) have fewer allergies than the babies raised in sterile environments. go figure....

One thing I can be sure of is that my kids picked up plenty of those healthy germs! No over protection here!
Their father had crohns, and his father and brother. Clearly there is a genetic component, but I am certain the vaccines triggered the gene's expression so early in their lives.

Vaccines can trigger the epigenetic switch to turn on Crohns?
Oh dear.
I'm a fan of dirt and germs, within reason (no thanks to e-coli)! - but I also tend to trust vaccines. I grew up in awe of modern medical science and aspired to be a doctor. Turns out, being a wtich doctor might have been more up my alley. (Any career in medicine was beyond my math skills.) Herbalists, holistic healers - they're sounding better every year. (Except, they always suggest cutting out sugar. As in totally. No!!!!)

Honey, honey!!! Honey is the end all be all sweetener. Sugar has nothing on honey, except for meringue. And you can eat all you want! It's actually good for you! I love honey. Honey in the morning, honey at noon, honey at night. There is never enough honey, honey.

Once upon a time I was a pastry chef. I lived for pastry, especially chocolate pastry. Now I almost never eat sugar. I still eat chocolate though. Now and then.

Crohn's is a disorder of the immune system. A vaccine's purpose is to confuse the immune system. autoimmune diseases are on a terrible rise, and the rise corresponds to that of vaccination. autoimmunity is now the only accepted reason to get a medical exemption. so, yeah, definitely related, even the government thinks so.

hi @owasco
it is a very complex speech. No one knows how we will die, but in the case of more or less painful illnesses, no one knows how anyone's body can react. this is why some therapies work on one person and not another. If the therapies worked we would not be here to argue. In my case, I suffer from chronic headache and I assure you that even if it is not mortal it is a nightmare, I have tried everything, Western medicine and not, and nothing has worked. Then I fill myself with pills that at least mitigate the pain. Everyone tells me that they are not good, that my stomach will get sick. But then, in order not to get the liver sick in the future, should I go crazy with my head today? Everyone tries to do what makes them feel better.
Congratulations and thank you for sharing with us

I understand the need for western med in some situations, and to relieve extreme pain is a big one of them. I hope you continue to find relief.

Thank you for stopping by!

Wooaw...... Such an amazing reads you have in there. And yes every human need to live a healthy life to longate his life span here on earth and healthy living makes one stronger and healthy.

I really enjoyed reading your blog blog over and over again and the more i read the more interesting it gets. Great piece and keep the healthy lifestyle up always

Oh my thank you for finding my blog interesting!

You are humbly welcome

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There's so much that went through mind and as I come to comment I don't know which thing to say first.

I'll start with loving hugs. You've lost a lot of loved ones over the years and I can't imagine any of that to be easy. You have remained beautiful and centered within - which speaks volumes of how far you've come.

I agree with you in that we live healthy to enjoy this life. Death comes in many ways, none of which we can anticipate. And I do stay away from Western medicine too. Except for injuries, everything else can be taken care of through food, herbs, exercise and a generous helping of joy + gratitude :)

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Thank you for your comment. Everyone loses loved ones though. I think losing people you love helps you be centered. It's very nice to know you!

Hi @owasco, that is an interesting post and the topic is really hot, because as you mentioned rightly nobody can escape the death but the way how we die, we may sometimes influence, like try to avoid overweight, that will helps us to stay fit longer and to keep our blood sugar, blood pressure under control and of course the joints from heavy weight. I believe to spend time moving, less stress and fresh air also contributes to long life. But of course death through accidents that is something that difficult to prevent. While talking about how to die peacefully, I believe Euthanasia is something that I believe could be considered in cases when the person suffering from some condition and express his wishes, although it is something that is causes a lot of turmoil. That was an interesting article to think about :)

Why thank you! Yes, euthanasia is something I wholly support. Some will want to live as long as they can, others will want to stop their pain once and for all. Medical freedom!

That contest produced many excellent essays. If you liked mine, you might want to check out the others. There were many interesting ideas from many countries. Thank you for stopping by!

Very thought provoking post and observations.. It is scary how the way we are told is healthy to live can prove fatal sometimes. I don't know if it was bad advice that killed your mother or if you can even pinpoint one cause for anything, but it definitely made me remember how important it is that we learn to follow our own instincts and tuck in to the intelligence of nature for health...

I am so sorry for your losses. This story was so moving and powerful, thank you so much for sharing. It is so difficult to watch our loved ones suffer.

I also live in a way that will hopefully prevent or limit medical events. I haven't been to a doctor in many years. Should I break my arm, I'll head to emergency, but otherwise, I take care of my own health.

I am beside myself with sadness and frustration today because I just learned the sleeping pill my dad has been taking for three years could cause memory impairment and dementia. He's been exhibiting significant signs of impairment for the past year. I am furious that no one warned him of the risks AND that he didn't even bother to read the leaflet that came with the medication before taking it. It just breaks my heart that this might have been prevented.

I don't know what to say. I understand though. Many of us understand. Too many of us.
peace and joy.

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