Photo by Edward F. Palm)

About Me

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Forest, Virginia, United States
A long time ago, my sophomore English teacher, Father William Campbell, saw something in my writing and predicted that I would someday become a newspaper columnist. He suggested the perfect title for my column--"Leaves of the Palm." Now that I have a little extra time on my hands I've decided to put Father Campbell's prediction to the test. I'm going to start using this blog site not just to reprint opinion pieces I've published elsewhere but to try to get more of my ideas and opinions out there. Feedback is welcome. To find out more about me, please check out my Web site: www.EdwardFPalm.com (Click on any of the photos below for an enlarged view.)

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

A Postscript to My Alzheimer's Column

A Christian friend reminded me of a couple points I wish I had had room to make in my column "Alzheimer's:  It's All in the Family."  (The title to this post is a link to that column.)
     There is a theory of the mind that I think is consistent with Christian theology, although it is admittedly closer to the Eastern view.  This theory holds that the brain does not create consciousness; it receives it.  It makes perfect sense to me that as the Alzheimer’s plaques form in the brain they progressively interfere with the reception of consciousness.  However, I do wonder if, like a radio receiver with a loose connection or a misfiring diode (or whatever), sometimes, for brief intervals, reception returns to normal or close to it. 
      I say that because I remember how on my Aunt Jo’s 79th birthday, when the disease was fairly far advanced, she seemed to be her old self for a few moments.  When no one else was in the room, she stood looking at the cake and actually initiated a conversation with me.  Addressing me by name, she said, “Can you believe it, I’m actually 79 today?”  Sadly, it didn’t last.  She didn’t say anything to anyone else for the rest of the evening. 
      I suppose one could also call this a moment of grace.  I know that it is a common occurrence for terminally ill people to rally shortly before the end, almost as if they are given an opportunity to say their goodbyes. 
     In any event, what I witnessed on the evening of my aunt’s 79th birthday may just have been one of those examples of how science and faith intertwine. --Ed

1 comment:

jill andrea (+Al Masarik) said...

we both enjoyed yr AD piece, Ed. Tho Al still thinks he's writing publishable shorts, so he's a bit flummoxed by yr "who knows for how long." I've noticed with several AD people it's not predictable at all--there are frequent bright spots of clarity. Unfortunately all they do is make you wish they'd last forever. Good luck with fighting it off--I think Jules tried and I know Al did--but I don't believe it's an option if you get caught. Just in case, make sure you've got extended care coverage....the alternatives can be humiliating for both you and yr family!!