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Grand-père Lion oublie tout ("Grandfather Lion Forgets Everything") by Julia Jarman
This is a children's book, about how little Leonard, whose grandfather is The King of Beasts, and now going senile. I think it's meant to encourage understanding of the phenomenon and to care for your frail grandparents, but I found it very depressing. I kept thinking about my father, and his dwindling to nothing. Then I kept wondering about how long I have. I know I talk about "not retiring until I put the kids through medical school," but really not that many people can keep up the pace, or even be functional that long. I do have one colleague who is still going strong in his late 80's - well, at least going reasonably - but the "super seniors" are still the exceptions to the rule. Some time ago, [personal profile] ravensron  did point out to me that we really don't know what the "normal" is for people in their late 80's and older, because this is the first generation where we are having large numbers of people live that long. I do see many patients that old, but truly being hale and hearty at that age is the exception.

Warrior Rising by Chris Linford.
Initially came across this book referenced in another excellent book, Marc Dauphin's Combat Doctor. Dauphin was a Canadian Forces Medical Officer, and had been the company commander ("officer commanding" as opposed to "commanding officer" in Canadian parlance) of the last Canadian roto for the Role 3 NATO hospital in Kandahar Afghanistan. That book was impressive enough, and the volume of casualties they saw in one roto - heck, in 1 month - is more than I saw in my entire career. To be honest, most careers are nothing like war movies, probably even if you're special operations, you don't see as much "action" in your whole career as is packed into a 2-hour war movie. Most people don't see even that much, most of the military life is routine, and many people, even in wartime, don't see a shot fired in anger. Even understanding that intellectually, it does make me feel a little insignificant to read about how much Marc Dauphin had seen and done. And that, wasn't a patch off what Chris Linford had seen and done. He was a Canadian Forces Medical Office at the Role 3 in Kandahar, which was his last assignment. He'd also been in Rwanda, Bosnia, and several other places. He was eventually put out of the Canadian Forces on a medical discharge for severe PTSD. Considering what he'd seen over his career, he was entitled to enough PTSD for 5 people. Much like combat, very little PTSD is anything like you see in the movies, but he had a textbook case of the most severe form. Very humbling to consider what he'd done and what he experienced.

Date: 2019-01-14 06:13 pm (UTC)
katharhino: (Default)
From: [personal profile] katharhino
Wow. Those are some serious thoughts.

The point about aging is interesting. We happen to be around a lot of older people because our church is mostly older and we have some older (but still quite active) neighbors. I don't know how old our next-door neighbor is. He looks like he could be getting close to 80, but he still mows and snowblows his fairly large property himself. And we have a woman in her 80s who still actively manages our church's free lunch program. It's just hard to tell from anecdotes how common that really is. Which I guess was your exact point.

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