Death

You Don’t Get To Choose How I Will Die

Limiting legal suicide to the terminally ill tells the rest of us we can’t be trusted to make our own choices.

I Don’t Have A Plan If I Die

As a mother, I do my best to avoid thinking about death.

What It’s Really Like Being With Someone Who’s Lost A Parent

I believe I was put into my boyfriend’s life to fill the void.

Why I Chose To Work With Dead People For A Living

I used to play amongst the coffins or chat to the guys as they were polishing the hearses.

What Really Matters: A Lesson From The Dying

Sometimes when people won’t die, there are reasons.

6 Weird Grief Things No One Tells You To Expect After A Parent Dies

“Grief was like a seizure that shook me like a storm” – author Patricia Cornwell.

I Tried To Get Laid Using Pokemon Go But All I Got Was A Skinned Knee

Pokémon Go: the latest and most dangerous form of online dating.

13 Things You Learn When You’re In Your 30s

We’re all going to die. Let’s at least buy decent bras.

The One Thing That Made Me Realize I Needed To Get Divorced

I remember the moment it hit me, like a punch in the gut.

Could This Be The REAL Cause Of Cancer?

They say the good die young, but maybe we’ve been looking at it wrong this whole time.

Teen Girl Dies After Illegal Genital Mutilation Surgery in Egypt

Female circumcision remains a huge problem in Africa.

Why I’m Still Angry At My Girlfriend, Years After Her Death

Being mad at someone who’s dead is the definition of impotent rage.

Are We Surprised That Soft Drinks Cause Death?

Last Monday, a study published in Circulation came through about how many deaths are caused by sugary drinks from researchers in the United States. A whopping 184,000 deaths in the world have been caused from problems that are associated with specific consumption of sugary drinks.

RELATED: How Sarah Wilson Is Making $4M Per Year By Quitting Sugar

Is this really a ground breaking statistic, though? The consumption of sugar-loaded drinks is huge, not just in the United States but all around the world. Soft drinks are popular with most meals and are consumed daily by millions of people, and for the amount of people in the world, this doesn’t seem much. However, full of multiple teaspoons of sugar, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that consistent consumption of soft drinks are causing health problems.

The study showed that 133,000 people had died from diabetes due to the consumption of “sugar sweetened beverages,” while 45,000 died from cardiovascular disease and a further 6,450 people from cancers that are related directly to soft drinks. Globally, these numbers may seem small, but this doesn’t include the people living a decreased quality of life due to their associated diseases and it also doesn’t include those with problems relating to sugar in general. This is specific to the consumption of sugary drinks, which pretty much translates to: soft drinks cause death from lifestyle diseases.

What does that mean for us? It means the same as what has been drilled into us for years – that drinking soft drinks and sugary juices isn’t good for you. The over consumption of sugar has serious health effects and is related to lifestyle disease that are preventable like heart disease, type 2 diabetes and obesity.

Surprisingly, in the study, the United States came second to Mexico with the highest rates of death per million adults directly related to the consumption of sugary drinks, with 76 per cent of the deaths occurring in low to middle income countries. This is why education and health advice on this issue is so important.

Maybe next time you have a soft drink with your meal you should think about how much sugar you’re consuming and what this means for your health. After all, you don’t want to be one of those statistics, do you?

Image via prosprhealth.com

Why We Need To Say The Words “I Love You”

Saying I love you can never be said enough to the people we cherish. People often assume others know how they feel, but it’s not always the case. People who mean so much to us like our partner, parents, kids, family or closest friends need to hear the words “I love you” just as much as we all need to say it.

RELATED: Coping With Grief

There’s plenty of ways people say it everyday, but some feel uncomfortable saying the words out aloud so it goes left unsaid. Life’s unpredictable and the one thing we know for certain is that none of us are immortal.

While we’re all busy living, the last thing many of us consider is just how quickly life can be taken from both ourselves or a loved one. For some, it’s a thought too raw to contemplate, yet each and every day we put ourselves at risk – we drive cars, go to work, cross the street and get on with living. So if tragedy strikes, as many people have experienced, the opportunity to tell others how we really feel is all but lost.

I recently went to the funeral of an incredibly close, irreplaceable friend and these three little words were the way we always ended our conversations. It may sound lame or even morbid, but it’s not something we wanted left unsaid if it was the last time we spoke. Although the pain of losing such a significant person has been intense, it’s been comforting to know that this was the very last thing we got to say.

At the funeral, I noticed others weren’t so lucky. Saying “I love you” was the one thing people wished they’d said more. Amid their tears was the question: “Did they know how I felt… Did they know I loved them?” No one can really know or answer that question with certainty for them – their loved one is gone and they’ll never really be sure.

So why leave that to chance? It’s three little words and to those closest to us, it should be a pleasure to say. No one should ever feel embarrassed about the feelings they have for others and should always be able to proclaim it.

There are people who like to shelter their feelings from the world, and while some might tell their partner, others will avoid it altogether. Saying “I love you” to their closest friends is a different story, also. Some need to learn and understand that it’s not pathetic or unmasculine to say “I love you” or a similar variation to each other. Is “love ya mate” so difficult to say? For some, yes it is, but we all need to get past it.

So, for this reason, we need to say “I love you” to those we care about. Not to everyone, but to those people who make our lives what it is. With every call, every goodbye and every conversation, make it a habit to end the conversation with how you feel. That way, if something were to happen, there won’t be those unanswered questions – you’ll have said what you intended to say if it was the very last time you spoke. Grief is hard and knowing you said “I love you” makes it easier.

The Flipside Of Organ Donation

Being an organ transplant recipient is not for the faint-hearted. It takes commitment, psychological strength, support from family, friends and potential recipients are carefully selected to ensure the best chance of survival for every donation.

Tragically, some potential recipients wait patiently for years for a phone call that never comes. For others who are blessed to receive that call, they can be turned away because they aren’t the right match for the available organ. The organ donation and potential recipient must be completely compatible  for a donation to proceed. Plus, recipients need to keep themselves healthy enough to have surgery at a moments notice. Even the strongest of people can become isolated, frustrated, depressed and feel like giving up.

While on waiting lists, quality of life begins to decline as many are hooked up to machines and/or taking copious amounts of medication just to stay alive. It’s an enormously difficult way to live and in reality it can happen to anyone.

After an extensive operation to undergo the transplant there is so much which can go wrong. When a foreign object of any description enters your body it naturally attempts to repeal it any way it can. Think of how hard the body works to rid itself of a simple splinter? Now image a double lung transplant, a heart or set of kidneys! It’s a scary and exciting time for the individual and their loved ones.

To reduce the bodies natural tendencies to rid itself of the donated organ(s), the recovery period is a time when recipients must strictly obey all guidelines by medical specialists. This includes physiotherapists, dieticians, transplant surgeons and nurses. They also have access to support workers. Everything from the food they eat, their medication regime, their activities and behaviors, who they can have contact with and where they can go is all carefully monitored.

Then there’s the emotional side of a transplant. Children are exceptionally resilient, but once the limitation they had  experienced are removed, it can be difficult for parents to hold them back while they recover. Plus, recipients grow accustomed to lugging around life saving apparatus or being hooked up to machines, like oxygen tanks or dialysis machines.

After the transplant, these are all removed and are no longer a significant part of their life. They can often feel exceptionally vulnerable without their life support which has literally kept them alive. It’s understandable that the first few months can be very strange and some people experience a significant amount of anxiety.

Also, people with deteriorating health often start to plan for the decline of their health and lifespan. Hope can be difficult to sustain for prolonged periods of time. Plus some take on the fact that someone needed to die, so they could have their organs to survive. Psychologically, recipients have enormous adjustments to make throughout the entire experience.

A transplant significantly changes the lives of the recipient and alters the life of those around them. For adults with partners, they can look forward to a new, exciting, fun filled life together. All their plans can turn into realities and the dynamics of the relationship can shift. After the recovery period, recipients no longer require assistance and the partner is  no longer required to be a carer. This is yet another adjustment they need to make together to move forward.

Then there’s the family. Relatives of recipients often take on a caring role and need to cease employment until after the recovery period. The recovery period is around 12 months, with the first 3 months being the most nerve wrecking and significant. Sometimes they might feel like their lives are on hold while everyone waits.

Receiving an organ donation is therefore the ultimate gift a person can give. It stretches much further than the individual recipient and has the capacity to change a great many lives. Australian authorities have provided funds, training, staff, facilities, strict selection criteria to ensure each precious donation has the best chance to save the life of another and make the greatest impact possible.

Finally, if you register as a donor, you need to discuss it with your family. They will have the final say, regardless of your registration status and must consent to the donation. Make the next family gathering your opportunity to discuss this life saving opportunity, so your wishes can be realized if you become a potential donor.

If you want more information on organ donation, head to http://www.donatelife.gov.au/

Image via lifepassiton.org

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