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Archive for November, 2010

Science and Alzheimer’s

November 18, 2010 2 comments

Many of you do not know this, but I take care of my grandmother, 86, and she is rendered to the point of near complete incapacitation. A woman who was once fun and vibrant, loving and generous in all she did is now reduced to the mental ability of a delusional psych ward patient and sometimes infantile blankness. It is sad to see and wearing, very wearing on a sane person’s nerves in the constant care of her. It requires patience beyond understanding and remembrance of all the love she ever gave to keep you from losing it yourself at times. There are some I have held conversation with that think I am blessed to do this and should be happy to be in the position of care for her. Yet, at times I have loathed the care of her, and did not feel guilty. It was during those times of cleaning up dirty diapers and feces she wiped on the walls, puddles of diarreah and urine, I realized how disgusting a job it truly was and felt for nursing home caretakers. It was during the times of physically blocking her punches and spitting, her screams of protest to get her up out of a bed or change her, that I became upset that there was not more help for me in this….more help for her.
I began to question how and why on it all and wished there were new technological advancements that would allow for better handling of alzheimer’s patients, or cure them. I knew if my grandmother were in her right mind, she wouldn’t in a million years stand for herself to be this way. I also became scared that I might become like her in my old age and it made me nearly wish for a Dr. Kavorkian death, than go through the horror’s of losing my mind and my children having to do what I was doing. I do NOT wish that on them.
So, after all the daily tortures of dealing with my grandmother and her ailments, I must also deal with my mother. She has proved incapable of care for my grandmother without sneering and shows inability to be patient and kind. She acts as if my grandmother knows all the things she is doing wrong and is purposely acting this way to just cause her inconvenience. She yells at my grandmother to use her brain and quit acting like a baby. She yells and talks to her in such demeaning tones because it is an inconvenience, an illness that she does not understand. She does not want to deal with it. It is hard for her to cope with her mother being this way. There are some days my grandmother and she trade hateful comments…my grandmother not in her right mind and my mother out of hurt from my grandmother’s ill-mannered, tempramental words. Days and days go by like this and then my mother will cry about being so mean, profess her love of her mother and be extra nice, talking baby talk to my grandmother to coax her into getting up or moving, or eat, or let her change her. One week later, my mom is back to uttering disdainful, rude or mean statements at her because of the stress my grandmother’s care puts on her.
The life of caring for my grandmother is hard. It is also very sad because I have grown up being very close with my grandmother and loving the sunshine that came from within her. It is sad to see it has left her and she is now just a shell of some stranger I no longer know and who barely remembers us, let alone herself. There are so many similar stories out there. And is there any relief for the patients and their families in the future?
What has science and medicine found to combat alzheimer’s?
Here is a journal writing on new breakthroughs on treating alheimer’s patients.

Do you see any hope?

Alzheimer’s Disease
November 1, 2010

Nearly 100 New Medicines in Alzheimer’s

New treatments needed to avert “national crisis”

In 2011, the first American Baby Boomers will turn age 65. Members of the demographic bulge that transformed American politics and culture are expected to usher in yet another momentous change — a huge increase in the number of Alzheimer’s disease patients.

Although Alzheimer’s is not a natural condition of aging, the vast majority of patients diagnosed with the disease are ages 65 and over. As the senior population in the United States more than doubles between now and 2050, to about 88.5 million, the number of Alzheimer’s patients will more than double as well unless new treatments to prevent, arrest or cure the disease are found.

If no medical progress is made, Alzheimer’s disease could affect 13.5 million Americans at a cost of over $1 trillion by 2050, according to an estimate by the Alzheimer’s Association. (View the chart Avoiding Future Costs: Need for New Treatments for Alzheimer’s Disease)

Hope lies with new treatments. Today, America’s biopharmaceutical companies are researching 98 medicines for dementia, mostly Alzheimer’s, according to a report released by PhRMA. All 98 are either in clinical trials or under review by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The work indicates a major commitment to Alzheimer’s, given that each new medicine costs, on average, more than $1 billion to research and develop. Click here to read about selected medicines in development for infectious diseases.

Even modest progress can drastically change the trajectory of this disease, which some warn is like a “tsunami” headed our way. For example, a breakthrough that delays the onset of Alzheimer’s disease by just five years would mean a significant drop in the number of Alzheimer’s patients. Most importantly, such a breakthrough would reduce an untold amount of suffering for patients and their families.

Researchers say we can stop Alzheimer’s by 2020, but only if we invest public and private resources to find a cure. With continued dedication, we hope to make a difference for every person at risk of suffering from this terrible, debilitating disease.

New treatments needed to avert “national crisis”

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The Wall

November 9, 2010 5 comments

Hopelessness…..

This is a word that has been known by many through the shifting sands of time. No nation is unaccustomed to the reach of the spiny cold grip. Even the nations who have risen to great heights can fall to vast depths. These feelings of hopelessness are usually brought about by our own hands, are manifested in humankind through sickness, poverty and war. It is the true nature of mankind in his lust for power, greed, which couples with his inability to see beyond our differences and gives birth to his desperate need for control that builds the wall between our hearts and earth’s peoples.
Last year on this day we celebrated 20 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall.
The Berlin Wall stood for nearly 30 years, splitting the city of Berlin into communist East Berlin and democratic West Berlin. It was built in 1961 during the middle of the night, with street lights turned off so citizens could not see what was being done. Born of the splintering of Germany by the Allies at the end of World War II, the wall was a symbol of communist authoritarianism, the most visible element of the Iron Curtain. It separated families and cut off people from their jobs.

Today, we are still seeing the walls built by Corporate Capitalism and ignorance in our world, clearly so in the Middle East. 

Just think what the world would and could be like if the leaders of our world’s nations stood side by side with no financial or power-hungry pretenses in their hearts.

Can mankind ever rise out of the darkness of the “cave days” to look beyond the war games and see into the hearts of fellow mankind as simply that, other human beings who share in the gift of life?

Hope restored, the wall was broken and crumbled allowing families and friends to embrace after decades of separation.

Categories: History

“Don’t be so quick to judge”….

November 8, 2010 1 comment

Remember that saying?

” It’s a circle, I mean cycle. I can’t excite you anymore…
Where’s your gavel, your jury? What’s my offense this time? You’re not a judge, but if you’re gonna judge me, well sentence me to another life….” – Hayley Williams

Here is one more quote for character:

“Don’t reserve your best behavior for special occasions. You can’t have two sets of manners, two social codes — one for those you admire and want to impress, another for those whom you consider unimportant. You must be the same to all people.” — Lillian Eichler Watson

Categories: Philosophy

Happy birthday to the Soup Nazi!

November 3, 2010 3 comments

Today is the Soup Nazi’s Birthday. In a 1995 episode of “Seinfeld,” a much raved about sitcom done in theater style, the Soup Nazi was first introduced to a starving world. Based on a real-life temperamental New York chef, this show was one of Seinfeld’s greatest hits.

Just For You Serenity:

I placed the highlights of the “Muffin Tops” episode in the comments.