“By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.” –Hebrews 11:3
Howdy folks! Where/Where/Why in Tarnation have you been, you might rightly ask?? Sorry I have been gone for a bit. I have been slowed by a migraine for a few days now and then my 31st Anniversary trip came and went…but I am back now. 🙂 My headache is about a 3 on a ten-point scale, so it is “good enough for government work”, as they say…
Before I jump into our totally tantalizing, yet tarnated topic today, I would just like to say that I enjoy this word “tarnation.” 🙂 It has attached to it fond childhood memories watching Yosemite Sam and/or Foghorn Leghorn slinging it around on Looney Tunes on Saturday mornings… Simpler times indeed. I remember the 70s like they were yesterday, with my dad and I, sitting on the floor of the living room in front of the TV, watching Looney Tunes while mom cooked breakfast while laughing at the show too…good times. 🙂 Even the Beverly Hillbillies got in the tarnated act. 🙂
One of the things I do in preparation for the life of an armchair caregiver/advocate-type that I am (since I cannot visit mom more than 2 times a week due to Covid restrictions.) is research. I watch a lot of webinars and attend a lot of training opportunities, often facilitated by the Alzheimer’s Association. I have stuck my nose under the tents of many of the Alzheimer’s Disease Research Centers throughout the states and attend many of their public and semi-public webinars. While I learn a lot of high-level things about the disease, I mainly do so for a couple of reasons: 1. To remind myself that many, many brilliant folks are working on a cure. 2. To learn the good, the bad, and the ugly. Not all of them are groundbreaking research efforts…some are just reminders of the key things we need to understand. It is with this in mind that I offer you a little acrostic reminding you that LOTS of folks are struggling with dementia. Here is Where in Tarnation the last webinar and the most recent (2021) Facts and Figures document took me:
Total: 6 MILLION AMERICANS ARE LIVING WITH ALZHEIMER’S. BY 2050, THIS NUMBER IS PROJECTED TO RISE TO NEARLY 13 MILLION! There are some groups that have it even worse than others, but no group is immune.
African Americans are about twice as likely to have Alzheimer’s or other dementias as comparably older Whites.
Reducing or eliminating disparity has been part of the national conversation as a key goal of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Healthy People initiative for more than 20 years. Yet disparity is still evident in health and health care (see page 73 of this link). This is an area in aspects of the disease: fewer people of color participate in clinical trials (which may cause a disparity in future treatments), fewer have advanced help available and seek it, and the outcomes often turn out worse.
Native, Hispanic, and African Americans are twice as likely as Whites to say they would not see a doctor if experiencing thinking or memory problems. This is a huge problem. The earlier the disease is detected, the more that can be done to help. Nearly every new drug being developed will require catching the disease early to help the most (there is VERY little being done that I see as legit on restorative medicines…nearly all are just aiming at stopping the decline.)
Age is still the biggest determiner of odds of having dementia. Dementia is NOT a normal part of aging, but the older you get, the higher your odds of getting the disease. This fact is part of why the cases are skyrocketing…our society is getting older and more folks are living long enough to get dementia.
Trillions! That is what dementia will soon cost the medical system and what the cure is already worth. From the Facts and Figures Report: “In 2021, Alzheimer’s and other dementias will cost the nation $355 billion, including $239 billion in Medicare and Medicaid payments combined. Unless a treatment to slow, stop or prevent the disease is developed, in 2050, Alzheimer’s is projected to cost more than $1.1 trillion (in 2021 dollars). This dramatic rise includes more than three-fold increases both in government spending under Medicare and Medicaid and in out-of-pocket spending.”
Immunity issues are the most frequently cited comorbidity of those who have died with Covid-19, but dementia is even more common. According to AARP, 26.1 percent of those who died of Covid-19 had an immune deficiency, while 32.1 percent had dementia. This isn’t a competition…but it is an underlying truth. (More info)
One in three seniors dies with some form of dementia. “One in three seniors dies with Alzheimer’s or another dementia. It kills more than breast cancer and prostate cancer combined.” (2021 Facts and Figures)
None. Nada. Nein. Nessuno. 없음. ڪو به . Nobenega. Nijedan. Ninguno. ниеден. Nullus…and any other language we can throw at the word None. That is how many cures we have for dementia. However, with the recent introduction and conditional approval of Aducanumab (Aduhelm), there is a whole class of drugs coming down the pipeline that is hoping to extend and improve the lives of those suffering. Every day we learn more and gather more data that could someday cure this disease once and for all. Keep on donating. Keep on serving. Keep on joining clinical trials. Keep learning. Keep praying. The day is coming. 🙂
Last note: Tarnation is an interesting word. Here is its story, according to Useless Etymology:
Widely popularized among contemporary folk by the Warner Bros. character Yosemite Sam (e.g., “What in tarnation…?!”), the word “tarnation” was originally a 1784 American English derivative of “darnation,” which was, predictably enough, a milder way of expressing the profanity “damnation.” The “t” in tarnation was influenced by “tarnal,” yet another mild 18th century profanity derived from the phrase “by the Eternal,” which was used as such: “Joe paid a tarnal high price for his dillydallying.”https://uselessetymology.com/2017/12/09/the-etymology-of-tarnation/
Update- We get very short indoor visits with mom. Other than a little bit of a chest rattle, all things seem to continue being stable. I would love to say that she was “better”, but that is such a relative term… I get to see her tomorrow, Lord willin’, and I will fill you in again.
I was blessed with another TV opportunity this morning and expect it to be on KY3.com tomorrow. 🙂 My head was aching and I fumbled around a bit, but it was still a blessing to get to share. I haven’t been able to run for a couple of weeks, but I will be back in my shoes soon…I just have to get this headache worked through first. 🙁
Update #2: Hospice said she was a bit more alert and sent me this picture. m:) It warmed my heart, this cold fall day: