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Old 12-13-2017, 11:32 PM   #221
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Thanks, everyone.
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Old 12-14-2017, 05:07 AM   #222
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Nords, I felt that your Dad was very courageous in how he tried to manage his disease, all alone, for years before it got so bad he had to accept help. He obviously raised a couple of brave boys too.
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Old 12-16-2017, 12:40 PM   #223
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Nords, I felt that your Dad was very courageous in how he tried to manage his disease, all alone, for years before it got so bad he had to accept help.
Thank you.

Admittedly I have a conflicted perspective about that courage.

He was already living a reclusive life (one step away from hermit) and absolutely afflicted (for his entire life) with Tough Guy syndrome. Asking for help would have been his last resort even at the peak of his cognition. When cognitive decline sets in and it's tough to think through an issue, the default answer is "No".

That's why he wouldn't accept help, and that's why we were advised to wait him out, and that's why he lived independently for over two years after he noticed his declining cognition. It took a lot of courage to persevere through that, yet he lacked the cognition to figure out a better way to live... even though it was as simple as paying for services to help with cleaning, laundry, and cooking. He had more than enough assets to handle the expense, but cognitive decline kept him from analyzing that too.

The event which put him in the hospital was being unable to remember that he'd had his afternoon drink. Alcohol has a much stronger effect on elderly drinkers (because the liver's a lot slower to metabolize it) and dementia prevents forming memories of how much they've had to drink. Prolonged malnutrition led to a perforated ulcer, and the trauma surgeon told us that Dad's peritoneal cavity was awash in alcohol. While Dad was in the ICU we also noticed a number of other minor (healing) bruises, scabs, & scars on his body. It could've been from fighting off bears while he was hiking the Rockies, but I suspect it was from injuring himself around his apartment. There's no telling (and no record of) how many close calls he had before he ended up in the ER.
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Old 12-16-2017, 01:29 PM   #224
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Wow that is very troubling! In support of the general decline, we found MIL with many unexplained bruises while in a full care facility, so I think that is not unique to living alone. We alway questioned the staff and no one could recall how they happened. We are pretty sure she was punished by the staff for being incapable and also mouthy.
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Old 12-16-2017, 01:40 PM   #225
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The event which put him in the hospital was being unable to remember that he'd had his afternoon drink. Alcohol has a much stronger effect on elderly drinkers (because the liver's a lot slower to metabolize it) and dementia prevents forming memories of how much they've had to drink. Prolonged malnutrition led to a perforated ulcer, and the trauma surgeon told us that Dad's peritoneal cavity was awash in alcohol. While Dad was in the ICU we also noticed a number of other minor (healing) bruises, scabs, & scars on his body. It could've been from fighting off bears while he was hiking the Rockies, but I suspect it was from injuring himself around his apartment. There's no telling (and no record of) how many close calls he had before he ended up in the ER.
I am so sorry that your father had such a bad reaction to alcohol in his later years. I am going to use this as a springboard for an anti-drinking post, which many readers may wish to ignore.

Although it has been an accepted part of our culture for as long as I can remember, drinking does seem to become more and more unwise for us as we grow older and older.

I know that most have a different viewpoint on this from me, especially those in "The Greatest Generation" (IMO), but I regard this habit of drinking alcohol as something that is due to cultural reasons.

As for me, I just will not drink any more even if people think I'm a little weird and wonder why I don't. My avoidance of alcohol is not due to religious conviction (I am agnostic and was brought up Presbyterian, and believe me Presbyterians drink). It is also not due to personal alcohol addiction. I never drank a whole lot, although I have a family member who is alcoholic and therefore does not drink any more. Everyone else in my family drinks.
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Old 12-16-2017, 11:08 PM   #226
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Wow that is very troubling! In support of the general decline, we found MIL with many unexplained bruises while in a full care facility, so I think that is not unique to living alone. We alway questioned the staff and no one could recall how they happened. We are pretty sure she was punished by the staff for being incapable and also mouthy.
I've heard a lot on both sides of that debate. Thankfully the issue never came up with my father's care facilities.

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As for me, I just will not drink any more even if people think I'm a little weird and wonder why I don't. My avoidance of alcohol is not due to religious conviction (I am agnostic and was brought up Presbyterian, and believe me Presbyterians drink). It is also not due to personal alcohol addiction. I never drank a whole lot, although I have a family member who is alcoholic and therefore does not drink any more. Everyone else in my family drinks.
I tell people that my drinking days are behind me, and that I consumed my lifetime quota in the submarine force.

It's a little surprising how quickly people accept that justification without any questions.

To those few who scoff, I respond that I'm saving the calories for chocolate.
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Old 12-17-2017, 07:41 AM   #227
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I just will not drink any more
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my drinking days are behind me
Everyone needs to do what is right for them, but I still enjoy my very moderate beer intake, and probably always will. I average two high quality beers a day, and that average has been stable for several decades.

My father became an alcoholic after he retired, reaching a point of going through nearly a bottle of whiskey a day. Then one day he woke up and realized what had happened, and never touched another drop the rest of his life. That iron will power was just part of his personality -- he had quit smoking the same way long before.
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Old 12-17-2017, 07:54 AM   #228
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I average two high quality beers a day, and that average has been stable for several decades...
Nice to see you are living up to your screen name!
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