Posted 2/2/2022 aka 2/2/22. Obviously, I love the number. 🙂
He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed. Psalm 107:29
Happy Tuesday, all! Yes, I know…I don’t typically post on Tuesdays, but since I was out yesterday and gathered all sorts of cool info, I needed to share today. 🙂
As you know if you aren’t new to the Digital Cornbread table, the last 2 days I have spent my time mostly in a car with my beautiful bride, Dagwood-sandwiched around my 5-hour visit to Vanderbilt’s ADRC (Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center). We drove south out of Nashville through a sprig of Illinois, the rest of Tennessee, and a swath of Kentucky. It was quite a scenic view that ended up taking nearly 8 hours to return via its meandering course. But it was worth every minute.
One part of the trip, on which our topic today will be based, was a jaunt through Mayfield, Kentucky. If you have lost track of this town, here are some pages to jog your memory:
Some more details:
A very good overview:
Before and After:
In Mid-December, 2021, around 80 people died in a devastating multi-state tornado swarm. Nearly all of the fatalities were in Mayfield, Kentucky where at least 77 were killed. Now, a little over 2 months later, these were the pictures I took yesterday:
So much can be learned here…
How the Tornado in Mayfield, Kentucky Brings to Mind Dementia
- I hate taking tornado pictures because of fear of disrespect, but sometimes that is the only way to tell a story.– My pictures above only tell 1/1000 of the story. Two months of thousands of folks cleaning up have already happened. I feel like it is a little disrespectful to take pictures and do a lot of driving through a storm scene even if the story is important, especially without permission. Therefore I kept it at a limit. With mom, she is and was an advocate. She had a great attitude and would want to make lemonade out of the Brussels sprouts she was given, so I don’t feel bad about taking tasteful pictures. I will never take someone else there on purpose.
- It seems so random– Driving through Mayfield and the areas around the town, there were lots of places with little or no obvious damage. Maybe they were hiding the external damage, or had sanitized it? Maybe they lost a loved one in the candle factory or elsewhere and were struggling with survivor’s guilt? I will never know their stories. I do know, though, I struggle with mom’s condition early and often. I know of many, many things left unsaid and likewise opportunities to shut my big yapper that were unheeded.And mom hid things too. She, and my stepdad, hid the extent of her dementia like a homeowner hid th contents of their home once they lost a roof. Lots more than meets the eye…
- Prevention and preparation is very important– As of 2022 we cannot prevent tornados. Will that happen someday? Perhaps? I hope so, especially as someone who lives in Tornado alley. However, we can prevent most of the harm from a tornado. We can heed watches and warnings. We can find a good shelter. We can insure ourselves from financial loss with good insurance. We can have a plan for emergency. We can have an emergency kit. We can establish a way to communicate and get news as needed. (These are pillars of the Ready in 3 Disaster plan). Can we prevent the wind? Nope. But we can be safer. Similar to dementia. It is estimated that anywhere from 33-60% of cases of dementia COULD have been prevented through the many, many tools I list often here. What is good for the heart is good for the brain! Exercise, manage BP/blood sugar, manage stress, sleep enough, protect your noggin. These are just a few of the building blocks to be more brain tornado resilient. If you want more ideas, I got’em.
- Getting lost– Signs, signs, everywhere are signs. I drove around in circles with my GPS telling me where to drive and not knowing which street was which. Did I stay there indefinitely? Nope. I eventually headed west. I knew I would find my way out. There are 10 warning signs of dementia: Signs. If you find yourself struggling, do what you typically do when you struggle: find a doctor that cares and get checked out. Don’t keep driving hoping to navigate it yourself…
- What is weak is sometimes strong and likewise– I was amazed how many houses and buildings that were made of brick were tossed around by the 190 Mph Scale 4 tornado. But, there were also houses practically made with straw that held fast. (3 Little Pigs Analogies for $1,000, Alex). It always amazes me to see such a strange disparity. Dementia also brings out the weaknesses and the strengths in people sometimes too. Is it random? Sometimes… or so it seems. Some who used to be quiet are now loud. Polite, now mean. Sweet, now a potty-mouth. It is hard to rationalize…
- A lot of help is required– There were obviously thousands of man hours already completed. There were trash/rubbish hills that used to be houses and businesses everywhere in this town of nearly 10,000 folks. Thousands more hours are necessary. Very hard to imagine the number of hours, but, as my time in Joplin and a quick read of the Book of Exodus shows, you can get a lot done if you have enough people working. Dementia takes a lot of people too. Don’t try to clean up your devastated neighborhood all by yourself. It is too much. Talk to the Alzheimer’s Association and your local Area Agency on Aging. Get help from family, from church, from neighbors, and from others… Don’t feel bad or guilty needling help. It is too much for 10 people to do, needless to say 1.
- It doesn’t matter what stage it is if it hits your barn– If you look at the tornado outbreak, there were many, many that hit. Some footage shows as much too. Some were F2, some F3, and a few F4. All were terrible. However, it really didn’t make a hill of beans what the scientist measures it at if it was your barn hit. Same with dementia. We get wrapped up in stages. What stage is mom in? I love how Teepa Snow reminds us to focus on what is left, not what is gone. It stinks that we lost the barn and the house, but we have the car. We have a picture album I grabbed as I ran to the shelter. Focus on what is still there even with the hurt of what is gone.
- Memory is too fleeting even without dementia– Chances are pretty good several…maybe many of you forgot about Mayfield if you didn’t have a personal connection there. Remember Greensburg, Kansas? The whole town=gone. Every year someone’s home town is laid waste by something, tornado or otherwise…and we forget. Memory is fleeting enough. 🙁 I forget, every single day, things about mom that I will never recover. Document, friends. Take pictures and label them. Share the stories. Live life with others and leave a legacy.
- Everyone was hurt in one way or another. Mayfield had their entire business district devastated. Everyone in town knew/knows someone harmed. Same with dementia. I suspect you know more than you realize. Let that be the driving force to do something about it with me.
- There is not cure (yet), but there is always hope. There is no cure for tornados nor dementia, but there is always hope. We live in a profoundly strong society filled with brilliant folks trying to solve weather issues and brain issues. Are we getting close? The more I study the brain, the more I realize that we are. However, the more I study my Bible, the more I look forward to living in a place with neither… some sweet day. Until then, we lean on Christ, we fight for a cure wherever we can, and we rejoice in advance of the success we will have someday. Every day is closer to both, friends.
No real update on mom. I will see her tonight and will fill you in as I see her. Keep your head up. Watch the sky in preparation and in preparedness.
1 thought on “Brain Tornado”
Just thank you for reminding me to always hope for the best!
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