Profiles in Dementia: George Thomas Seaver (1944 – 2020)

Baseball Hall of Famer George Thomas Seaver was born in California in 1944. Although in high school, Seaver was a lettered basketball player, the pictcher’s mound in baseball was where he found his athletic groove.

As his career expanded into Major League Baseball, Seaver became known for performing both well on the field – earning the nickname “Tom Terrific” during his 20-year professional baseball career – and off the field.

Continue reading

Is COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus) a Hoax?

covid19-3d-going-gentle-into-that-good-nightIs COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) a hoax? Well, it depends, apparently, on…wait for it…not science, not facts, not critical thinking, but instead which polarized (and patently full of untruths) end of politics you’ve put your faith and trust in.

We’ve lost our minds in this country. You can fact check everything now (including the president) using the brain God gave you and the common sense that all of us should have, but seems to be in extreme short supply anymore, to discern between what’s true and what’s false from an objective, rational, and logical point of view.

But it appears that some people have been sucked into the vortex of ignorance and extremism that seems to be its own kind of pandemic, not only in America, but throughout the world. 
Continue reading

Advance Directives and COVID-19

dementia advance directiveIn a very unsettling development in the COVID-19 pandemic, the Washington Post has an article in its March 25, 2020 edition that reports that some hospital systems in the United States are considering imposing Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) orders on all patients who are admitted with the viral infection.

The implications of this for all of us are worth noting and talking about. If we have advance directives – and we should – and we want all live-saving measures used, including resuscitation, if we are actively dying, the new policy that some hospital systems (in North Carolina, Illinois, and the District of Columbia, so far) are strongly considering will go against our legal and personal wishes. Continue reading

Saying Goodbye in the Time of COVID-19

galleries-d36161d68e9df5217a9c55eec6e7ac08-14564867839Life as we knew it has been upended by COVID-19. As I’ve thought and pondered a lot on the changes we see and the potential changes ahead, I see that there could be some very good results that come from this, as well as some very bad ones.

I scan the news headlines a couple of times a day, and then I leave it alone. A steady diet of all the confusion, the outright wrong information (often from the government), and all the unknowns (and there are a lot) about COVID-19 can result in feeling overwhelmed and paralyzed. I don’t want that for myself.
Continue reading

We Had Seasons in the Sun (Debra “Deb” Lynn Ross – February 29, 2020)

deb-7-5-11-purple2

“This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper.”
“The Hollow Men” – T. S. Eliot

My fraternal twin sister, Deb, died of complications from liver failure at 7:49 a.m. EST on February 29, 2020. I am heartbroken writing this.

T.S. Eliot is one of my favorite poets, and although I love the depth of “The Wasteland” and the profundity of “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock,” “The Hollow Men” has always been my favorite. The last two lines always run through my mind when someone I know dies, as does Ecclesiastes 9:5-6 – “For the living know that they will die; but the dead know nothing, and they have no more reward, for the memory of them is forgotten. Also their love, their hatred, and their envy have now perished; nevermore will they have a share In anything done under the sun.” Continue reading

The Layperson’s Guide to Hepatic Encephalopathy

One of the conditions that occurs with advanced liver disease caused by chronic alcohol abuse is hepatic encephalopathy. Hepatic encephalopathy is different from Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome, another condition associated with long-term alcohol abuse that is caused by a severe thiamine (B1) deficiency. However, the two conditions may coexist and lead to alcohol-related dementia. Continue reading

Seven Years Gone: Remembering Mama – August 14, 2019

The two most traumatic events I’ve experienced in a life that has seen its fair share of traumatic events are the deaths of my parents. When Daddy died on October 15, 1998, I went into protection and taking-care-of mode for Mama, suppressing the real nuts and bolts of my own grieving process over Daddy’s death so that I could give Mama my full support, help, comfort, and care.

I didn’t realize, at the time, that’s what I had done, because it seemed natural to me and I didn’t know how to do things any differently. Continue reading

Mother’s Day 2019

My dearest Mama,

It’s hard to believe you’ve been gone almost seven years. At once, it feels like yesterday and forever. I miss you as much now as I missed you the second God took your breath away as you hit the number of days He had written for you in His book before you were ever born.

The world was crazy and falling apart when you left. If you can imagine, it’s crazier and crumbling apart even more now.

We’re all worse for the wear, but that’s to be expected, and people you loved and cherished have, like you, gone to sleep to await the resurrection in the years since you’ve been gone.
Continue reading

Limbic-Predominant Age-Related TDP-43 Encelopathy (LATE) Dementia Identified

LATE Dementia IdentifiedA new type of dementia has been identified. While it may look like Alzheimer’s disease, it differs in significant ways. Researchers suspect it’s even more prevalent than Alzheimer’s disease – and may be part of a mixed-dementia diagnosis – but that remains to be seen.

The new type of dementia is called limbic-predominant age-related TDP-43 encelopathy or LATE dementia. The symptoms of LATE dementia and Alzheimer’s disease can appear to be similar, but while Alzheimer’s disease is the accumulation of plaques (beta-amyloid proteins) and tangles (tau proteins) in the brain, LATE dementia occurs because of the misfolding of accumulated TDP-43 proteins in the brain.  Continue reading