Both of my parents' death certificates cited the cause of death as organic brain disease, which basically means dementia . They each had dementia, though each of them suffered from a significantly different type.
Dad's was dramatic. It was the result of surgery that was supposed to prevent the mental decline he would eventually suffer as a result of a World War II brain injury. Something went wrong in the surgery, and he came out of that surgery totally demented.
Mom's dementia was a more general type, which included memory loss and declining ability to make sense of things, but she did not have Alzheimer's disease or vascular dementia.
When I looked at the certificates, I was a bit surprised to find organic brain disease listed as cause of death. I was aware at the time that Alzheimer's was considered terminal, as the body slowly weakens and "forgets" how to function. But I didn't consider that my parents would die from their dementia - especially my mother.
"You have end stage COPD..." is possibly one of the most frightening - and confusing - things a person can hear.
Let's talk about the four stages of COPD and what it means for you. Here are three simple steps that anybody who has heard these dreaded words - and anybody with chronic lung disease for that matter - should follow.
1.) Get the Facts Straight.
When somebody, anybody, tells you you're at a certain stage of a disease, ask questions.
First, find out what it is that determines that stage and, next, where you fit in.
The very first question I ask when a new patient comes in to Pulmonary Rehab is: "What has the doctor told you is going on in your lungs?" The answer tells me a lot about what the patient has been told, what they understand about it and what it means to them. (It's interesting to note that one study revealed that over 26% of patients were unaware of what their COPD diagnosis meant!) Most of the time when I ask patients what t...
End-stage renal disease (ESRD) is that stage of kidney impairment which is irreversible, cannot be controlled by conservative management alone, and requires dialysis or kidney transplantation to maintain life. There are two types of kidney failure: acute and chronic . Acute kidney failure is a temporary decline in kidney function that can most often be corrected. Chronic kidney failure, on the other hand, is a permanent condition, meaning that once it occurs, the kidneys cannot be made to function again. Chronic kidney failure may be the result of heredity, as with polycystic kidney disease , or may be caused by prolonged medical conditions, such as high blood pressure or diabetes . Persons with chronic renal failure are referred to as having end-stage renal disease. The term indicates that the patient must rely on some type of medical treatment to help replace the loss of kidney function. The treatment alternatives for ESRD include hemodialysis, peritoneal dialysis, and kidney transplantatio...
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