Lifestyle and disease

  • Angry, but not angry enough for a thread in 101.


    Seven years ago my sister got breast cancer, fortunately it was caught early on and so she got it sorted pretty quickly. Last week she was called in to the hospital following a new mammogram ... naturally she was terrified, but thankfully it turned out to be a cyst and so we all breathed a huge sigh of relief.


    My sister smokes, drinks, gets into shit relationships, attracts drama, runs on adrenalin and lives a pretty sedentary lifestyle. Her self-esteem is quite low and her friends all seem on the same level to her. My mum was very similar to her, and she died from cancer in 1995 aged 50.


    While waiting for her results I realised that this actually really pissed me off. Selfishly I was thinking that I didn't have the mental energy to go through it all again, but what really annoys me is the way that people fuck their bodies up and expect everyone else to pick up the pieces. My sister could have changed her lifestyle after the last episode, but she's quite content to plod through life with the vague promise of "I'll change next week/month/whatever".


    I'm not just focusing on my sister though, I know plenty of other people who don't look after themselves, and while I try hard to get it right, I'm also not perfect ...


    We're like a nation of lemmings all following each other off the disease cliff. We have an epidemic of obesity at the moment. Diabetes (type 2) is rocketing out of control, heart disease and cancer are the biggest killers and just coping with the mental stress of life is turning us into a nation of drugged up zombies. I believe that it's virtually all preventable and almost always links into lifestyle and diet.


    In the meantime millions of pounds is poured into research by profiteering charities and companies with an appalling track record of animal cruelty etc.


    So at what point will this stop?


    Should we get tough on the people who are quite frankly destroying their own bodies, do they deserve what they get and if so, why are we treating the symptoms and not addressing the causes?


    Where does compassion end and practicality begin?

  • I don`t really feel right criticising other people as i drank far too much and smoked on and off for nearly 20 years and am fairly sure i came close to causing permanent damage. I`ve stopped now but in theory it could still come back and bite me the arse at some point. My diet was vegan for that whole time but it`s only in the last ten years or so that i`ve really got it together food wise.


    In saying that, there`ve been a few work colleagues who have really hacked me off in the past by phoning in sick all the time, as i always ended up having to cover their weekends. One girl in particular was one of the unhealthiest people i`ve ever known and as a result was really unreliable. It sort of felt like i was being penalised for being healthier so yeah it can be frustrating especially when it starts to impact on your own life..

  • There's an old saying that you can choose your friends but not your relatives, and I think that most folks have some relatives they wished would get sensible, but know it's a lost cause. We certainly do.
    One relative is a bit of a perv with a restraining order on him; another gets his collar felt now and then; another lives in a tiny house with seven dogs, and feeds the dogs and starves herself; another is on the phone for about an hour at a time and tries to borrow money; all this can get a bit much at times, especially when two or three things happen at once. If these were just people you met in passing you wouldn't bother, but when they are relatives you somehow feel a sense of obligation to help where you can. Or is this misplaced? It makes me sad and angry sometimes.


    I like to live my own scene, and it annoys me to have to be involved with all these folks who either don't have the willpower or the mentality to change themselves and the way they live. Most of them don't give a thought of how their actions have consequences that touch other people, and if they did they probably wouldn't give a damn anyway. And yes, they all live on junk food and are part of the consumer society, and rarely if ever think outside of their own existence.


    I have long given up trying to advise such folks, they just don't listen; it goes in one ear and out the other.


    On the bright side, we also have some pleasant, helpful, genuine good relatives, so it isn't all bad.

  • I think people get confused by all the mixed messages via the media on whats good and bad for us. It seems almost impossible to get it all right, and I think some people turn to vices to help them through life. To be honest you could apply some of this to people who indulge in dangerous sports and need expensive rescue, treatment, sick pay and family support for rehab. Is it a vice or is it their drug ? We all get by the best we can, some strong capable and in control, others find life more difficult.

  • Where does compassion end and practicality begin?


    At the point where YOU have a personal interest.


    Your sister - you show compassion. Others would be more practical.


    My Mother - I would show compassion. Others practicality.


    It is why as a country we have so many very small, underfunded charities. Because someone cares about a situation that the majority have no concern with.


    It is one of those Strength/Weakness things as long as it does not take over your life, embrace it.


    :beard:

  • I don`t really feel right criticising other people as i drank far too much and smoked on and off for nearly 20 years and am fairly sure i came close to causing permanent damage. I`ve stopped now but in theory it could still come back and bite me the arse at some point. My diet was vegan for that whole time but it`s only in the last ten years or so that i`ve really got it together food wise.

    I do get this, and like I said I'm far from perfect.


    I got a kick up the arse in terms of a bad drug problem in my teens, and that was enough to prompt me into the whole self-improvement thing, as a result I haven't touched drugs or alcohol for 27 years, but when it comes to diet I've certainly fluctuated along the way. I've also had my share of stressful jobs and relationships.


    So, because I understand how society influences us, I don't usually consider it my business how other people live - but I'm now questioning if this is the wrong attitude... as in, should I be more "in your face" about this shit?


    I'm not talking about the occasional junk food, I'm talking more about self-destructive behaviour as a lifestyle.


    I mean, I have to share a planet with these people, and if they're fucking themselves up (and the people around them), not considering the consequences of their actions and addictively ploughing their way through our resources - then by keeping quiet does it also make me a part of the problem?

  • I like to live my own scene, and it annoys me to have to be involved with all these folks who either don't have the willpower or the mentality to change themselves and the way they live. Most of them don't give a thought of how their actions have consequences that touch other people, and if they did they probably wouldn't give a damn anyway. And yes, they all live on junk food and are part of the consumer society, and rarely if ever think outside of their own existence.

    I'm a misfit when it comes to mainstream society.


    I had to work away this weekend at a big car show, and in the evening we were taken out for a big slap-up meal by the promoters ... but I'm vegan, don't drink alcohol etc. and it did make me feel a little awkward being there ... especially watching fat people shredding a duck to pieces while throwing back silly amounts of beer.


    Still, it's always nice to be treated and everyone accepted my stance, but even so, I couldn't help feeling like a total alien.


    I think people get confused by all the mixed messages via the media on whats good and bad for us.

    It's not just that though ... we can buy a cheeseburger for £1.50 but a salad (out) will typically cost more than a fiver.

  • Cancers etc sadly can and do affect many with healthy lifestyles. The mental stresses and apparent ease with which GPs prescribe say sleeping tablets etc is a worry. But mostly it is I think how we live today. I often think life and world move far quicker than we humans can adapt to it.

  • My 'ex' got hep c in his teen years through junkie needle sharing but 5 year ago he underwent twice weekly hospital visits and some awful meds for a whole year and it eradicated the disease. He now drinks even more than he did before thus showing even more aggression to those nearest him instead of being grateful for being given an extended life by doctors when their time and the money could have been used by someone who might have shown a little more gratitude.


    Makes me angry.

  • Cancers etc sadly can and do affect many with healthy lifestyles.

    Actually they don't, well not significantly - but cancer was almost unheard of in ancient (and more simple) times; it is very much a modern disease.


    Most cancer is caused by lifestyle - Most are estimated to have causes such as poor diet, obesity, environment, lack of exercise, drugs, smoking or alcohol - but what's not included in the statistics are the level of stress we allow in our lives. Unfortunately we're a nation of adrenalin junkies running from drama to drama without giving it a second thought. We go from deadline to deadline, excite ourselves with news reports, suffer resentment and anger on an almost daily basis ... it's not healthy and it all adds up.


    But even with that in mind, if someone came to me and told me they had cancer, and they were doing the very best they could to live healthy, well I doubt I'd be anything other than supportive. What pisses me off is when people know the score and they carry on regardless thinking it will never happen to them.

  • [h=2]Earliest references to cancer[/h] Some of the earliest evidence of cancer is found among fossilized bone tumors in human mummies in ancient Egypt, and references to the same has been found in ancient manuscripts. Bony skull destruction as seen in cancer of the head and neck has been found, too.
    Although the word cancer was not used, the oldest description of the disease is from Egypt and dates back to about 3000 BC. It is called the Edwin Smith Papyrus and is a copy of part of an ancient Egyptian textbook on trauma surgery. It describes 8 cases of tumors or ulcers of the breast that were treated by cauterization with a tool called the fire drill. The description adds that there is not treatment for the condition.


    Source


    http://www.news-medical.net/health/Cancer-History.aspx


    So many just continue on whatever path they are on regardless - lets hope even today some can change that.

  • Oh I didn't say it didn't exist, it was just a lot rarer ... but ancient civilisations were still engaging in a lot of unhealthy behaviour and didn't have the medical knowledge we have now. I think that, when we delve into prehistoric records, the incidences are even rarer.

  • Should we get tough on the people who are quite frankly destroying their own bodies, do they deserve what they get and if so, why are we treating the symptoms and not addressing the causes?


    Where does compassion end and practicality begin?


    I wonder what can be done from a practical point of view - for example why are companies even allowed to manufacture cigs - why are they allowed to make such unhealthy food salt and chemical enhanced slop - maybe that is practical and of course allow more cheap and nutrisious foods.

    to many years and my life is still, trying to get up that great big hill of HOPE

    The post was edited 1 time, last by andyinscotland: add ().

  • then by keeping quiet does it also make me a part of the problem?


    I don`t think so at the end of the day you can`t force someone to live their life a certain way. You can help them if they want to change or you always have the option of walking away if you can`t cope with watching them destroy themselves.


    I have a lot of alcoholics in my extended family and one of them told me once that when people pointed out to her that she was drinking too much the only effect it had was to make her drink more. She said she already knew that she drank too much and hated the thought that people were talking about her. In the end the only reason she stopped was because she almost bled to death as a result of liver failure.

  • I must say it was also my own rather self-destructive behaviour in regards to lifestyle choices that made me have the health kick I needed - luckily I was young enough and smart enough to get away with it, 'touch wood'...Unfortunately everyone doesn't share that wisdom or education. That's at least what I try to remind myself when the tendency to judge creeps upon me. When I still see people like the woman on my course who had cancer and still smokes, it chills me...


    Some people just don't know how to look after themselves...and while it irritates me when I consider the repercussions on the NHS etc, I'm also pretty sure I wouldn't want to live in a country where I have the witness those individuals destroy themselves completely unaided by medical support..like most things though it's a massive problem that is touched by elements of our entire social structure..in this consumer society we live in, where everything is focused on buying and money, people just aren't getting their emotional and spiritual needs met, there's no significance placed on it; and therefore detrimental consequences leak out in stress, depression, over eating, smoking, drinking, drugs etc...sad really isn't it, since life is such a momentary and precious thing.

  • having lost two brothers due to these facors i feel that life is way too complicated to be irritated at others choices-pointless at best..we can help and make our own more informed decisions ;live and learn moderation

  • I think that perhaps why we are often irritated - or appalled - by others' lifestyles is because we may in some way care or feel responsible for them as people, especially if they are maybe relatives or friends, etc. Often also because the consequences of what they are doing can and does impinge in some way upon your own life, and the lives of those close to you. But you can't just lock them out.

  • I think you should show empathy to those suffering regardless of the cause. I also think that if you arn't personally experiancing Chronic, disabilitating pain. Get on with your life, make the most of every day your well, because ill health, pain, suffering and even death can come at any time and from any place to you and me. Don't waist your life wishing the unwell/troubled or burdened would piss off and sulk somewhere else. Just focus on how fecking lucky you are to be pain free for another day.

  • I think that perhaps why we are often irritated - or appalled - by others' lifestyles is because we may in some way care or feel responsible for them as people, especially if they are maybe relatives or friends, etc. Often also because the consequences of what they are doing can and does impinge in some way upon your own life, and the lives of those close to you. But you can't just lock them out.


    :(not much to add to that..you do your very best and accept that it actually was good enough...lifes more than longevity and people are fucking amazing and its hard to not judge them sometimes for being human and dumb


  • True, the healthy options are not offered to us easily and cheaply, many businesses play into the hands of our cravings which is not particularly ethical , and not supportive of folk who lack willpower and determination, but they are not there to support us, they are there to make a profit. Sometimes it takes a health scare to draw our attention to the need to be self supporting and aware.

  • I think that perhaps why we are often irritated - or appalled - by others' lifestyles is because we may in some way care or feel responsible for them as people, especially if they are maybe relatives or friends, etc. Often also because the consequences of what they are doing can and does impinge in some way upon your own life, and the lives of those close to you. But you can't just lock them out.



    I really like this idea, I think it makes a lot of sense and I can definitely relate to it! I've felt so much heart-ache in the past just feeling like I wish I could do more than I could for someone making the 'wrong' decisions...Kinda one of those things though isn't it, where it's always easier to give rather than recieve advice; which is probably why none of this 'nanny state' advice ever goes down too well, we like doing things our own way no matter how ill-informed and damaging they might be...pesky humans...

  • I have this problem with my dad.


    He has been a smoker for 30+ years, doesn't eat very well and drinks quite a bit (used to drink a lot more but has cut down) Two years ago he had to have a quad bypass surgery as 4 arteries were clogging leading to his heart - he had suffered 2 heart attacks prior - they asked him to stop smoking months before the op but he never, but lied and said he had. It was devestating for everyone around him to see how ill he looked after the op, because of him not stopping smoking. He vowed never to smoke again (my sister also gave up at the same time) but then 1 year later, he decides to pick up smoking again. After going through everything, I was quite outraged, but kept it to myself. I am the only one in my family who doesn't smoke (apart from my sis who quit) and I can never bring myself to lecture people about it because it's their life style choices regardless of what my opinions are. You can only change yourself - only if you want to.

  • I think there's a massive addiction problem in the world that people just don't know how to deal with - and by that I mean the whole gamut of bad habits from junk eating to smoking, addiction to drama, drinking, bad relationships, the lot.


    It seems that people are so genuinely ashamed of their bad habits that they end up lying rather than have to face giving sorry explanations why they find it so tough - and nobody can offer a solution as saying "just stop" doesn't work.


    It's quite saddening really.