“Death, Living to Talk About It” by Brian M. Hayden is a frank look at death from the point of view of the dying. Hayden doesn’t pull any punches, speaking of his heart and lung problems with honesty. He admits what he did to bring on his issues, not making excuses for himself. Smoking and drinking from a young age surely were major contributors to his health problems.
Hayden’s health issues began in 1989 when he experienced his first heart attack at the ripe old age of 35. From this point onward, his health degrades until doctors finally tell him it’s time to go to hospice. Resigned to his fate, he and his family arrange for him to go, only to pull him out again two weeks later. And guess what? He’s not dead yet!
Hayden was given that death sentence back in 2007. It’s 2011 and he’s still alive to talk about it. Hayden’s book chronicles his journey through heart attacks, blood clots, pulmonary problems, spots on his lungs, pace makers, COPD, migraines and medication issues. His life has been a series of doctor’s appointments, hospital visits, operations and treatments all designed to improve his quality of life. Some have the desired effect, others—not so much.
Hayden’s courage and tenacity see him through. His loving supportive wife, Denise, whom he credits with saving his life more than once, also keeps him going. Her love and care make life tolerable for a man who’s seen death. Hayden stresses that life for the caregiver of the chronically ill isn’t easy. Denise has constantly been at his side, dealing with hospitals, doctors, medications and worries. This has been her journey as much as his. She sounds like an amazing woman.
“Death – Living to Talk About It” is a wonderfully readable book which gives hope to those with chronic health problems. It gives shows the reader that no matter how bad it gets, there is always hope.
My favorite quote says it all: “Hope and faith are very powerful, and while I cannot tell you that they are all you need, I can say with certainty that without it, there is no hope. Please read my story and think: if this poor bastard can still be skulking about after all he has been through; after all he is still going through, maybe I can too.”
I highly recommend this book to anyone, especially those dealing with chronic health issues.
Five Golden Acorns
© 2011 Dellani Oakes