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Old 09-19-2011, 11:49 AM
 
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This also reminds me of when I heard that Jim Fixx had died at 52 of a heart attack. I was shocked like many at how a super fit person can just keel over.

I work with psychiatric patients and one day, many years ago, I was with a very disturbed woman, chronically disturbed, and she just said out of the blue, "we all have an expiration date". I never forgot it.
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Old 09-19-2011, 12:18 PM
 
Location: SW MO
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brava4 View Post
This also reminds me of when I heard that Jim Fixx had died at 52 of a heart attack. I was shocked like many at how a super fit person can just keel over.

I work with psychiatric patients and one day, many years ago, I was with a very disturbed woman, chronically disturbed, and she just said out of the blue, "we all have an expiration date". I never forgot it.
Very quotable! I'm reminded of my former wife's aunt who experienced early-onset Alzheimer's and succumbed to it all too young. Before it became too far advanced and she was still half-way lucid her comment/description of what she was experiencing was, "I'm getting lost in the corridors of my mind!" Obviously, I've never forgotten that as I found it sadly eloquent.

Interesting enough, her niece, my ex, started slipping into dementia in her mid-50s. Now 60, she's in a facility, incapable of handling her own affairs or take proper care of herself.
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Old 09-19-2011, 12:38 PM
 
Location: State of Being
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Originally Posted by Curmudgeon View Post
Very quotable! I'm reminded of my former wife's aunt who experienced early-onset Alzheimer's and succumbed to it all too young. Before it became too far advanced and she was still half-way lucid her comment/description of what she was experiencing was, "I'm getting lost in the corridors of my mind!" Obviously, I've never forgotten that as I found it sadly eloquent.

Interesting enough, her niece, my ex, started slipping into dementia in her mid-50s. Now 60, she's in a facility, incapable of handling her own affairs or take proper care of herself.
I have very few close friendships that have spanned 30 or more years. One of those friends died five years ago and now the other has been recently diagnosed with Alzheimer's at 67. Her docs are doing all they can . . . but I see my dear friend slipping away.

What is so sad to me is that her memory loss has become my own very personal loss - as friends validate each other's history . . . we reminisce with our friends . . . they have shared w/ us as we both raised our families, struggled with careers, family issues, health challenges . . . these are the people who typically hold the secrets of our hearts and have journeyed w/ us through the joys and disappointments that become a shared history. So when you lose a friend to death or to Alzheimer's, you lose more than simply that human connection. In many ways, you lose validation of what you yourself experienced. I think that is what seniors were trying to convey to me over the years when they told me the saddest part about growing older is losing friends.

Of course, I console myself that there is always room in the heart for new friends and for learning about each other's life story . . . and creating new memories together going forward. But . . . there is nothing like having that special bond formed over decades of interaction, laughter, tears and milestone events, shared by two dear friends.
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Old 09-19-2011, 01:09 PM
 
Location: SW Missouri
14,864 posts, read 27,391,542 times
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Originally Posted by brava4 View Post
This also reminds me of when I heard that Jim Fixx had died at 52 of a heart attack. I was shocked like many at how a super fit person can just keel over.

I work with psychiatric patients and one day, many years ago, I was with a very disturbed woman, chronically disturbed, and she just said out of the blue, "we all have an expiration date". I never forgot it.
I read a story once in Reader's Digest about a girl who had received a kidney from her father when she was 12. She never had any problems with the kidney for more than 40 years, however, less than 12 hours after her father died, the kidney he gave her stopped working.

Kinda makes you think. Doesn't it.

20yrsinBranson
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Old 09-19-2011, 01:09 PM
 
Location: SW MO
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Originally Posted by anifani821 View Post
I have very few close friendships that have spanned 30 or more years. One of those friends died five years ago and now the other has been recently diagnosed with Alzheimer's at 67. Her docs are doing all they can . . . but I see my dear friend slipping away.

What is so sad to me is that her memory loss has become my own very personal loss - as friends validate each other's history . . . we reminisce with our friends . . . they have shared w/ us as we both raised our families, struggled with careers, family issues, health challenges . . . these are the people who typically hold the secrets of our hearts and have journeyed w/ us through the joys and disappointments that become a shared history. So when you lose a friend to death or to Alzheimer's, you lose more than simply that human connection. In many ways, you lose validation of what you yourself experienced. I think that is what seniors were trying to convey to me over the years when they told me the saddest part about growing older is losing friends.

Of course, I console myself that there is always room in the heart for new friends and for learning about each other's life story . . . and creating new memories together going forward. But . . . there is nothing like having that special bond formed over decades of interaction, laughter, tears and milestone events, shared by two dear friends.
As Shakespeare wrote in Hamlet's soliloquy, "Must give us pause. There's the respect That makes calamity of so long life."

Another aspect is the loss of parents and older relatives - grandparents, aunts and uncles, etc. My parents died within a year of one another over two decades ago and I was not just almost immediately thrust into the role of patriarch - my only uncle having died shortly after my father, his brother - but it occurred to me that when childhood memories or family questions arose that I couldn't quite grasp or explain there was nobody left whom I could ask. And thus it has remained.
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Old 09-19-2011, 02:58 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brava4 View Post
This also reminds me of when I heard that Jim Fixx had died at 52 of a heart attack. I was shocked like many at how a super fit person can just keel over.

I work with psychiatric patients and one day, many years ago, I was with a very disturbed woman, chronically disturbed, and she just said out of the blue, "we all have an expiration date". I never forgot it.
As to Jim Fixx, I recall that some people, erroneously I think, drew the conclusion that exercise and good living won't really help that much. When we look at some of the details, a different picture emerges. First, his father had died of a heart attack very young, in his 30's, if memory serves. So by exercising, Jim Fixx was able to increase his longevity over that of his father by 15 or 20 years. (The number of years depends on my memory being correct, but I'm certain I have the correct order of magnitude). Second, as a younger man Jim Fixx had been a heavy smoker, so that part of his background worked against him. My own conclusion was that his exercise habits did in fact help him, even if his genetic inheritance proved stronger in the end. In other words, I am speculating that had he not exercised as he did, he would have died even sooner. Naturally, I cannot prove that.
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Old 09-19-2011, 04:21 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Mightyqueen801 View Post
I am sorry, brava4. Losing a sibling brings its own special feeling of grief differnt from losing a parent or a friend. I lost a brother to liver disease five years ago. He was also 51.
I am sorry for your loss as well. I have thought a lot about this after my sister died in 2000 at the age of 45. Whenever anyone dies it is a loss but I don't feel as bad/sad when someone is in their 80's or maybe even in their 70's dies. I figure they have lived a long time, made it that far.

People dying young gave me a different perspective on those who die at ripe old ages.
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Old 09-19-2011, 04:26 PM
 
3,852 posts, read 3,873,635 times
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Originally Posted by Curmudgeon View Post
Very quotable! I'm reminded of my former wife's aunt who experienced early-onset Alzheimer's and succumbed to it all too young. Before it became too far advanced and she was still half-way lucid her comment/description of what she was experiencing was, "I'm getting lost in the corridors of my mind!" Obviously, I've never forgotten that as I found it sadly eloquent.

Interesting enough, her niece, my ex, started slipping into dementia in her mid-50s. Now 60, she's in a facility, incapable of handling her own affairs or take proper care of herself.

Wow, that is something to remember. I hope you don't mind but I would like to pass it on to my co-workers. Yes, it is very, very sad.
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Old 09-19-2011, 05:11 PM
 
Location: University City, Philadelphia
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I believe, generally speaking, we are living longer than ever before. Medical science, pharmacology, and healthcare have made huge strides in the past 40 or 50 years.

If you ever stroll around in an old or historic cemetery, you will see that most people in the 19th or early 20th centuries did not make it past their mid-60's, often dying in their 40's and 50's ... and there were so many children's and infant's graves. Typically wealthy people had access to better doctors and medicines and treatments than poorer or common people.

Although the opinions that suggest our modern lifestyles such as eating unhealthy things, exposure to chemicals and toxins, and psychological stress all have merit and must not be discounted; I believe it is regular check-ups and medical evaluations that prolong our longevity. As I posted before, millions of Americans are oblivious to medical conditions they have such as undiagnosed Type-2 diabetes, high blood pressure, obstructive sleep apnea, and many types of cancer ... until it is too late. Eek! Yikes!

Presidents, Senators, Supreme Court Justices, etc. all seem to live much longer than the rest of us because of their access to better healthcare.
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Old 09-19-2011, 05:25 PM
 
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Genetics pay a huge role in your longevity. Many people simply drop dead from a heart attack because their genes dictated that's how it would be.

I'm an RN in an ED and I see lots of people on a daily basis. I see the marathoner who drops dead at 50 and the long time smoker who didn't look after themselves live to be 70.
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