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chitty chitty...
Old 10-25-2010, 08:35 PM   #1
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chitty chitty...

...with no bang bang.

There was a thread earlier this month about attending alumni gatherings. I don't go to anything related to work but I've always had a reasonably strong connection to my HS class and do attend an informal annual get-together with them. I suspect a large part of the 'glue' that holds us together is the fact we grew up in a small town and many of us were in the same class from kindergarten until graduation. To say we were reasonably well acquainted with one another might be considered an understatement.

There were 72 in my class and roughly 15 to 20 of us get together once a year when our small town has an annual fall festival, which took place this past weekend. One of our group has always had an amazing memory - almost photographic - and has, year after year, reminded us of all sorts of events from our past. While we may have a vague recollection of what transpired, he could recall all sorts of details about who, what, when and where. His remarkable memory of past events and his enjoyment in describing our misadventures was a key reason we all had such a great time whenever we got together.

At this year's mini-reunion it was obvious to us that our friend with the remarkable memory wasn't his usual self. He seemed to be a little distant and was much less involved in our tales of childhood adventures.

I didn't think much of it until I got a phone call from one of my friends a few moments ago. It seems our friend with the remarkable memory has been diagnosed with FTD at the age of 62. As I understand it, there is no treatment for this condition.

I find this especially sad since this is the guy who inspired me to retire early. He was planning to pull the plug at age 50, but delayed until age 52 and retired in January of 2000. When the market tanked in April of that year he returned to work, retiring again in 2007 - and we all know what the market did a few months later and yes, he went back to work again in early 2009. I'm not sure but I suspect his declining medical condition played a role in his(?) decision to retire for the third and no doubt final time earlier this year.

Might be wise for some of you "just one more year" types to include the very real possibility of drawing a short straw in your retirement thinking.

As for my thinking, it's just crapola...
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Old 10-25-2010, 08:47 PM   #2
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I'm sorry to read about your friend. Yes the lesson is seize the day.

But, does anyone really think we will be the one to die? I'm guessing I will live another 30 years to 85. I postpone a lot of things because I do not think I will die anytime soon.

It's been 4 years of ER for me and I'm happy I did it.

I just hope if it is in the cards for me to die in the near future; I go fast.
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Old 10-25-2010, 09:07 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by REWahoo View Post
It seems our friend with the remarkable memory has been diagnosed with FTD at the age of 62. As I understand it, there is no treatment for this condition.
I'm sorry, REW, that really sucks.

In the last year it seems as if you've been getting way too many mortality reminders in your family/friends circle.
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Old 10-25-2010, 09:50 PM   #4
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I am so sorry.

Seems that in the end, time catches up with us all in one way or another.
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Old 10-25-2010, 10:14 PM   #5
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I'm sorry to hear about your friend, butt .....

If one of my friends could remember all the crap I fell into, that would be reason enough to stay home ....

Actually, I've never been to any of my school reunions.
Who knows, now that I'm retired I might give it a try.
But they will have to promise to not mention or remember my Bull Crap past.
I perfer to forget most of those years
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Old 10-25-2010, 10:32 PM   #6
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I read the entire page at the link you posted. Wow, what a thing for him and his loved ones to have to deal with.

I also have a very keen memory, and have the ability to "replay" past events with almost perfect 3D visual recall in my mind. This has been a blessing (math and science studies) and a curse (visual images from tragic events). All I need is a real time memory trigger and a moment to concentrate and there it all is.

I am so sorry to hear about your friend. Please do what you can to help him and his family out. Even small favors mean a lot.
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Old 10-25-2010, 11:12 PM   #7
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So sorry about your friend, REW.

I had never heard of FTD before--another chilling disorder.
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Old 10-26-2010, 07:28 AM   #8
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This is a very sad story REW. I'm sorry to hear about your friend.
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Old 10-26-2010, 08:19 AM   #9
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Sorry about your friend .It's sad when people don't even get a year or two of retirement before they face an awful diagnosis .
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Old 10-26-2010, 09:29 AM   #10
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I am also so sorry for the change in your friend.

My father lived with me for several years before he died and was diagnosed with this type of dementia. He had some of the changes in behavior described, most pronounced being a tendency to relate to almost anything in a sexual manner, especially if there was a woman present.

One example: I took him to be tested and fitted for hearing aids. When the audiologist (female) was teaching us to put the hearing aids in his ear and take them out, my father started a conversation relating this to sexual intercourse. By physical appearance...he was a just healthy looking older man, so the audiologist was caught off-guard....but recovered very professionally.

I learned to try, when appropriate, to give strangers a "heads-up" that my dad had dementia and could sometimes say things out of context....and I found that this seemed to help somewhat awkward situations at times. Or maybe it just helped me feel less embarrassed for him. My father was a theologian....theology professor, well published, well respected expert in biblical hermeneutics. So.....if he had any prior sexual repressions....they were gone for good. He was, until he died, the "dirty old man" often joked about. I have always hoped that he never really understood what was happening so he wasn't ashamed.

My hope for your friend is that his friends and family don't begin to isolate him when/if his behavior becomes uncomfortable for others. Although that's very easy to do in order to "protect" him from possible judgement, I learned from my dad that it's also very lonely.

It's sad how our own minds turn against us sometimes, isn't it?
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