The other day someone asked me what did my Dad died from.  I think the Death Certificate said heart failure but it was really caused by complications from Parkinson's.  That disease is basically one where the body stops making enough of the neural transmitters that helps our body work.  Primarily the main thing is Dopamine that lets/causes signals to cross the transmission points in our body.  We have all witnessed people with early signs of Parkinson's that have a visible shake in their hands.  That is the body trying to keep the muscles in tune by allowing an involuntary shake.  When people with Parkinson's moves their hands to grab something they can do it without the shake. Such was the life of my father.

As the disease progressed, his shakes were more pronounced and then the organ failure started to show up.  In Dad's case, it started with his bowels.  His system just wouldn't process fecal matter in a timely manner.  Our family has a history of bowel twisting or obstruction so constipation worries me on two levels.  I also watch for the slight tremors that are early signs.  So far I have not had any other problems that a laxative won't cure. 

With my Dad, he really got impacted one time and we had to take him to the VA for a good cleaning.  The last couple of months, he would spend a week in the VA and a week out.  That went on for a few months and his health got worse and worse.  On his last visit in the VA, there was a really bad case of the flue going around and he got really ill with that. He ran a really high fever and near the end he had a seizure.  They put him on a "Cool Mat" to bring his fever down and at one time he woke up and asked where the Polar Bears were.  The old joke we shared was we wanted to die like the old Eskimos and near the end just go out on the ice and let the polar bears eat us.  With that cold mat underneath him I can understand how he thought he was out on the ice. 

My father, like myself, lived what he thought was a full and rich life.  He might have wanted to have lived longer, but I am sure that he felt blessed to have what he had.  I might exercise my rights to Free Speech but all in all I am damned happy to have been as blessed as I am.  This last family reunion made me secure in the fact that there is a next generation out there that will take over when the way is clear of all the old guys like me.


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