I never has a chance to meet my grandparents from my father’s side because they were both deceased before I was born. They both passed away from terminal illnesses which include lung and colon cancer. Although I did not have a chance to meet them they are still known through the legacy their children have passed on. My grandparents gave birth to four children including my father. My aunt, Madlen, and my two uncles, Avik and Vartan. From all of my aunt and uncles the emotional endurance and strength of my Uncle Vartan has amazed me. His wife recently passed away from a terminal illness in which she lost her ability to complete everyday functions such as speaking, eating, or moving. As her
On May 11th 2013, my grandma passed away due to pancreatic cancer. A little later that year on September 25th, my mom received a call from my aunt in Guam that my dad had passed away in his sleep. Then on May 14th 2014, my grandpa passed from complications of an allergic reaction to a medication. So within a year, I was left to deal with three immediate family deaths, one right after another. Losing such important figures in one’s life could leave someone depressed and unmotivated to move on with their own life and to rise above those challenges is difficult, yet possible. During this time of hardship, I grew discouraged and saddened, but over time I became motivated to set aside these struggles and make a change.
My dad left for work like any other morning, but he never came back that night. I don’t remember my birthday that year. I spent a lot of time in various hospitals, thinking my situation couldn’t get any worse and that no one could possible understand what I was going through. That is, until I finally looked around and saw people in positions exactly like mine or even worse. I let myself get so intertwined with my own problems, I didn’t take notice to my surroundings. It was during these times spent at the hospital that I really developed a compassion for others. Up until that point I was considerably self-absorbed, but during this period I was enlightened and was compelled with the need to care for others. This trying time for my family sparked a fire in me to not only notice the needs of others but fulfill
That situation with the younger doctor made me think of the reading Narrative Medicine which is about aiming to introduce into everyday medical practice the use of narrative (story telling) as an instrument to gather and understand information about the patient's history and illness. Having knowledge of their psychological and physical state is very helpful. When Dr. Charon spoke with the 36-year-old Dominican man, she didn’t take over the conversation. She listened and it touched him because he says, “No one has ever let me do this before.” This made me really think about my family’s interactions with doctors and nurses since my teen years to present. Her diabetes began to spiral out of control and it never really stabilized. Over the course of the years, she was hospitalized
When he passed away, the norm of seeing him so sick had been broken. His death affected my family by bringing sadness and remembrance of the great grandpa I once had. Altogether we lost a husband, father, grandpa, uncle, and sibling. My grandma lost a spouse and has a hole left in her heart. Although, since he has passed, she has been able to enjoy herself. Before, she had become so stressed and worried that it depleted her health. Now she is regaining her health and can even go out of the house to return to things she couldn't do when he was so sick. (Such as participate in church activities, go get her hair done, and spend time with friends.) Times have been hard since he passed, but some goods have turned up throughout these tough circumstances. My entire extended family has became so close with support and love. Not that this wasn’t present before, but the amount has surely increased. We got through it because we relied on our faith while strengthening it. People in the community really helped my family from sending sympathy cards to supplying us food they had prepared. We met outstanding people through Good Samaritan Hospice who was there for us every step of the way. This relates to the topics of culture in class because even during hard times, the things your culture values truly rises to the top. This projects showed how negatives can bring out the positives in cultures.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately, 610,000 people in the United States die from coronary heart disease every year. Even with this astounding statistic, CHD is still unknown to most people, especially youth and young adults. This was apparent in nearly a century ago in the heart of Kerala, India with Thomas Abraham, a man so close to my family he is considered one of us. He had a hardworking attitude all his life, even as a child. Sadly, in his youth he lived a very unhealthy lifestyle and by the time he was older he was a victim of coronary heart disease. He died before I could ever meet him; however, his life has had an impact on me in many ways. Hearing stories about him has impacted me socially, but
When I turned 11-years-old my whole childhood began to change my life went from being perfect to everything but perfect. One day I came home to hear the news my father, my best friend; my hero was diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer. Not knowing the struggle my family was about to take on I just began to cry. I had a million things running through my head what’s going to happen? Will everything be okay? Why him? What is going to happen? With all these things rushing through my head all I could do was cry not knowing this was least worse to come.
In the last two years, I almost lost my dad and almost flunked out of college. Having been taking care of him and watching him slowly decline to heart disease and other obesity related diseases, I finally checked him into the hospital. Going in for open heart surgery at age 72 and 428 pounds with type two diabetes, his chances of survival were slim. I will never forget his words to me before he went in for the surgery. "Don't worry about me, you haven't graduated from college, so I can't die yet". Even though he barely survived his surgery, the post complications are even more troublesome than before. With my dad receiving professional help, I am free to pursue my long desired education. I got myself out of academic dismissal and finally
Throughout college, the most valuable lesson that I have learned has been to live in a “culture of compassion,” a world that is respectful of people in from backgrounds and current circumstances. I first heard this phrase, “culture of compassion” during my freshman year in an Honors College seminar, called Art to Life. During this course, students participate in art therapy with participants who have Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia. My participant’s name was Billie Jean, BJ for short. BJ is a woman that reminds me much of my grandmother, a woman who is romantic, dreamy, and traditional. Every Friday when BJ and I met for art therapy, we would talk about her memories and experiences, in addition to learning about her present self. Our
As part of a large extended family, I watched my parents and their siblings deal with their parents’ elder years and the health and financial issues they faced. Then came my turn as my father endured dementia for several years before his death. I was a long distance caregiver and he was in a rural area with few resources. Also, I’m a nine year survivor of Stage 3B cancer. I had to face the possibility of my own mortality and think about how I wanted to deal with that and how to make that easier for my loved ones.
Seeing him in pain, hurt me. During those times, all I did was try to encourage him and help him through conquering his own demons; I almost lost my own sense of self in the process. I tried to make his life as comfortable as possible. To do this I would try to start up positive conversations when he was down or find ways he could improve his eating patterns to help his blood sugar levels. On the other hand, while I was so preoccupied with his well being, I was neglecting my own. For instance, I would stay up on my laptop in my lap during the night with my ears open, listening to his movements until morning, because I would be worried if he would have another diabetic hypoglycemia seizure while he was sleeping. On average, I would sleep a minimum of four hours for the next year. Seeing him struggle through having mental illness and diabetes, I decided I wanted to make my life’s work helping those who were experiencing the same kind of issues. I want to help relieve some pain like I did for my dad, and try to make their lives a tad bit easier to bear in the process.
Seeing him in pain hurt me. During those times, all I did was try to encourage him and help him through conquering his own demons; I almost lost my own sense of self in the process. I tried to make his life as comfortable as possible. To do this I would try to start up positive conversations when he was down or find ways he could improve his eating patterns to help his blood sugar levels. On the other hand, while I was so preoccupied with his well being, I was neglecting my own. For instance, I would stay up on my laptop in my lap during the night with my ears open, listening to his movements until morning, because I would be worried if he would have another diabetic hypoglycemia seizure while he was sleeping. On average, I would sleep a minimum of four hours for the next year. Seeing him struggle through having mental illness and diabetes, I decided I wanted to make my life’s work helping those who were experiencing the same kind of issues. I want to help relieve some pain like I did for my dad, and try to make their lives a tad bit easier to bear in the process.
At the age of 14, I felt sad but not scared when my father was diagnosed with diabetes. After learning about diabetes and it’s complications in detail, I started to fear for my father – as Aristotle said “fear is pain arising from the anticipation of evil”. However the impact of this chronic disease and its complications on individuals and families is thought provoking. I feel words are not enough to thank my father’s physician for keeping his diabetes under control, saving him and my family from the burden of its complications which, allowed my father to do his highly stressful job that he loves.