Serious health problems rising

As if our doctors don’t have enough to worry about already, consider for the moment what Alzheimer’s and blastomycosis are doing to their daily schedules.
Although Alzheimer’s may have been always with us, there is fresh emphasis on this disease of the mind because of concentrations of seniors such as at Rainycrest. Plans are advancing there for a partition in the building to divide its population and attempt to focus medical resources on what can be a vicious ailment.
As for blastomycosis, first receiving local attention only in the past couple of years, physicians have fresh evidence for alarm with the appearance of new human patients here.
The lung disease hitherto was largely regarded as restricted to canines. Dog deaths resulting from “blasto” have become common.
Accompanied by his oxygen tank on wheels, Albert Carrier is not the only sufferer as Fort Frances becomes singled out as one of very few spots in all North America where this ailment is located. The bushy features of our landscape, and possibly its muskegs full of spores, are generally blamed for harbouring the “blasto” (it also is known to exist in the Iowa region).
Albert takes a positive attitude towards his affliction and gets around well as research continues.
Meanwhile at Rainycrest, the Alzheimer cases apparently fit into the normal pattern, being confined to our older citizens, unlike the story in the latest Maclean’s magazine. It discusses a New Brunswick village, Harvey near Fredericton, where they worry with good reason about early onset of Alzheimer’s.
They also blame heredity and how the disease strikes in the prime of life. It can take only four or five years to cause irreversible deterioration.
Harvey residents are volunteering for studies that are contributed towards better treatments. It’s said that Alzheimer’s does not kill but can weaken patients fatally.
While at Rainycrest the other day, we had opportunity to attend the residents’ annual meeting, hear about complaints which seemed quite minor, and witness the election of a new president, Hazel Truax.
As president in an earlier period, Hazel was a popular choice. George Sturdy continues as the effective vice-president. Amy Wood expressed appreciation for residents’ co-operation during her leadership with the words, “thanks for all you put up with from me,” and received a hearty round of applause.
Elsie Lloyd, recently back from B.C., declined to stand for office and Gwen Westover, that extremely active volunteer everywhere, conducted elections.
It was announced that the Rainycrest dance planned for tonight had been set back to next Wednesday, Feb. 28.
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Author James Andrews reports his “Mountain Pilots” book has been selling well and is being distributed among pilots’ organizations.
He also noted a typo here last week concerning a famous uranium strike where one pilot hit a $300 million deposit and not $300,000.
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You could say the Legion gathering here Sunday was an appropriate setting to watch that “race track death in the afternoon,” to quote Hemingway. The Legion traditionally knowing all about sudden death but onlookers there also were shaken.
It’s one thing to watch a sports event, something else to have it turn out so tragically.
On the cheerful side, the month-end Legion supper comes up again this Friday.
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Among complaints being received regularly, there is dissatisfaction over seating at two of our newer gathering places–the Townshend Theatre and the new rink. They are constantly said to be both cramped and difficult to walk down into.
So what’s the remedy? Some form of railings or hand grips would help, it appears.
• • •
I declined Joe Puzynski’s latest joke but I liked the one about the two dog walkers who decided to stop for coffee. Only how do you take a dog into a restaurant?
One fellow solved the problem by lying to the waitress that his was a seeing eye dog and therefore allowable. After he has entered with his Labrador, his companion tried the same line but the waitress wondered why his dog was a cockapoo.
Then this liar exclaimed, “You mean to say they sold me a cockapoo?”

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