Posted 7/9/20, on my and OJ Simpson’s Birthday
“Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments.” –Deuteronomy 7:9
“Bring to an end the violence of the wicked
and make the righteous secure—
you, the righteous God
who probes minds and hearts.” – Psalm 7:9
Hi all! Another day in paradise. 🙂 Or, much better said, at least things could be much, much worse. Mom is level and doing as good as a hospice-signed dementia patient can do. I have a wonderful job, a wife with a wonderful job and 3 superb kids. Things are fine. Today is my birthday and OJ Simpson‘s as well.
It doesn’t matter if you thought OJ “did it” or didn’t…if you watched it unfold, you were thrown for multiple loops at some point in either his criminal case or his civil case…or his later legal troubles. You were happy or mad at some point as well. What a time that was…my wife was pregnant with my oldest. I was working at Sears watching the Bronco chase on the console TV across from the appliance section of the store. Amazing.
(Light bulb above head shows…<Muffled junk drawer sounds…>”ahhh…here it is…my shoe horn!”)
Top 10 Things You Can Learn About Dementia from the OJ Simpson Case
- Twists and turns aplenty. You expect one thing, you got another. Leaving my opinion aside, I just wanted to make a point that things are not always predictable in criminal trials and in dementia. Mom, especially in early- and mid-stage dementia, was very unpredictable. Get her in a good routine and things were ok. Get her out of routine…not so much. Read the early posts of this blog if you don’t believe me. Things are quite level now in comparison…
- Gloves– In one of the iconic scenes of the trial, OJ was asked to put on expensive gloves purchased by the wife of whom he was on trial for murder. I am not completely sure why he has the second pair of gloves on below (likely to preserve evidence), but they obviously didn’t fit well. In dementia, gloves played in a lot in mom’s early stage. More tightly said, mom’s temperature meter was all out of whack. (This is a common occurrence.) I remember going for a walk with mom 2 years ago on a hot day. I expect it was 90+. Mom insisted on wearing her thick mittens. When I was hot, she was cold…and likewise. The disease wreaks havoc on several areas of the brain, and the ones that control these senses are no different.
- Slow speed chase– One of the iconic images of the OJ trial, and one of the reasons many who thought OJ was guilty, was the slow-speed chase in the white Ford Bronco. (See video above). In dementia, hyper-slow driving may also play in. Last year I helped with this website which focuses on this and a couple other sticky wicket subjects. When your loved one is showing signs of dementia, you need to work on a new transportation routine SOON! Erratic and slow driving, getting lost, forgetting that they hit something–all possibilities of driving with dementia. You can help by driving them to and from (or arranging transportation), but know this: it s hard to take away keys from any senior. It is often emotional and a turning point in his or her life. The above website has some really helpful tips in this area.
- Dream Team– OJ’s defense team was nicknamed “The Dream Team” due to the makeup of high-profile lawyers. ( Robert Shapiro, Sara Caplan, Johnnie Cochran, Carl Douglas, Shawn Chapman, Gerald Uelmen, Robert Kardashian, Alan Dershowitz, F. Lee Bailey, Barry Scheck, Peter Neufeld, Robert Blasier and William Thompson, Kevin Ewell, James Ewell, Daniel Strohl.). This was a brilliant, diverse, and skilled set of lawyers…arguably the best ever assembled for one trial. Each had a role or multiple roles. Each brought special skills to the table to get the job done. Your first job as a dementia caregiver is to do your very best to assemble a Dream Team of your own. It is too much for one person. Here is a piece that was well-received on this team: Link.
- Apathy, Exhaustion and/or indifference builds.– Over the months and months of the OJ trial, interest waxed and waned….and people, toward the end, had their minds made up and wanted it over. They were tired of it. Dementia funding sometimes struggles because people are tired. There are very, very few success stories. There was a drug yesterday that applied for a business license that should make everyone happy…but they…I…am tired. I/we have seen similar before fizzle. There are millions struggling and the outlook is bad. People are tired and, unless they have a family member currently struggling, there is more sexy things to donate to that SEEM like better options to some. It is a drag. 🙁 Look at the numbers and PLEASE don’t grow weary. Numbers.
- Backgrounds and/or money don’t always matter– OJ was super rich. He had a Hall of Fame football career. He had a successful acting career. He made appearances, sold collectibles… Summary: the dude was loaded. His ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend Ron Goldman were also doing quite nicely. Then the murder. Regardless of guilt, they died like any murder victim and OJ’s money nor his Dream Team prevented him from suffering. Money doesn’t always fix everything. Same in dementia. Folks with money may get better comfort care. They may have a wider Dream Team care team…but the results, as of now, are still the exact same. Very tragic disease for every demographic.
- Race matters– Race played into the OJ trial in countless ways. Racist opinions abounded. Part of the key defense was Mark Furman’s alleged/demonstrated racism. I think if all sides were honest, the trial and subsequent trials and the previous problems (Rodney King) in the area set back race relations in LA for years. In dementia, race plays in too. While the greatest determining factor for who will get dementia is age, these numbers cannot be ignored: Older African-Americans are about twice as likely to have Alzheimer’s or other dementias as older whites. Hispanics are about one and one-half times as likely to have Alzheimer’s or other dementias as older whites.
- Dumb people shouldn’t talk– Over the nearly 25 years that have passed since the first trial’s verdict, many, many people have said stupid things. So called experts have offered their “brilliance” a million times…and they mostly ignorant of the facts. Dementia has its share of “brilliant” folks too. I have a spreadsheet of “cures” people have offered me for mom’s mixed dementia. Some are being sweet and helpful. Others are selling Snake Oil. Here is one piece I completed about such: Snake Oil.
- 32– OJ wore the number 32 during his amazing time with the Bills and the 49ers. According to the Alzheimer’s Association 2018 Facts and Figures document, “A systematic review (a comprehensive evaluation of published literature on a topic) of 32 studies found that an average of 32 percent of individuals with MCI developed Alzheimer’s dementia within 5 years’ follow-up.” I suspect that the “mild form of dementia that they diagnosed mom with at age 65 was better defined as MCI…and she did indeed develop the disease within 6-7 years maximum.
- These are real people– In the end, regardless of opinions and verdicts, these people were real folks. The trial folks, the talking heads on TV…all real folks in a surreal situation. OJ, Nicole, and Ron…all someone’s kids. We lose track of that sometimes in the heat of the moment. The millions of nameless, faceless sufferers of dementia, including my mom and her posse the Sweet 17 are just folks too. They struggle. They had full lives. Some happier than others, but they experienced the good and bad. Please never forget the humanity of dementia! Please. There are some notable folks that everyone knows and some homeless folks that nobody knows anymore in the ranks…and every possibility in between. Until we lick this thing, remember that they are all precious in our little site here and in the sight of the Lord. And, when the folks on TV say “COVID-19 only kills old people”…as if old people deserve an ONLY…correct them lovingly and remind them that we are all important and the world is less than when we lose even one. Stinkin’ disease! 🙁
(Putting shoe horn back in junk drawer).
Thank you soooo much for checking out this odd little piece and for sharing my birthday with me in this way. If you want to reeeeeaaaaalllllly make my birthday, donate some coin to:
My Alzheimer’s Association Walk Team…heck, join our walk team while you are at it. 🙂
(PLEASE know that this blog is just a side thing I do to help and I am not paid from donations. I just ask for them because these two groups mean the world to me.)
Thank you all! I will likely not have a post tomorrow as we sequester ourselves for a long birthday weekend 🙂 You are all the best!
Update: All is about the same. Praying often for mom, the Sweet 17, and the other millions? Thank you. 🙂
Dad Joke of the Day:
My wife is really mad at the fact that I have no sense of direction. So I packed up my stuff and right.
and a bonus one:
Which football player wears the biggest helmet?
The one with the biggest head.
Last note: This is a racism-free site. I don’t like racism and you shouldn’t either.