Prairie Doc® Perspectives - Fearing Death Can Cause Suffering

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When in life does one come to confront the tough truth that each of us will eventually die? In my years as an internist caring for young and old alike, some people understand this early, and some people never get it. In denying death, we intensify our fear of it. Usually, however, it is sometime during their 50s that people first look into the eyes of death. Put it off as we may, the hard certainty is that we are all aging and one day an end will come. Shakespeare described advanced age in his play As You Like It, Act II, Scene VII (All the world’s a stage):  “. . . Last scene of all, That ends this strange eventful history, Is second childishness and mere oblivion, Sans (without) teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.” 

Shakespeare’s description of advanced age during the 1600s is rather bleak and scary. I think, with modern medicine and the support of a loving family, we could do better. I clearly believe that advanced age and facing our own death should not fill us with dread. The following is a more hopeful version to end Shakespeare’s excerpt: 

“. . . He did not have to end his life alone; If over time he’d shared his caring, raised the worth of others, fed the love he’d sown. His death would find him kindly prized and praised, While kin sang festive songs of joy, amazed.”

Fear comes from the oldest reptilian part of our brain. Fear helps us run from attackers but can also make us run from making important choices about our health. Fear can even bring us to push forward with treatment that may cause significant suffering, even when we are very old and even when treatment is futile and it’s time to quit.

Fear of dying can prevent us from making plans about end-of-life care and, most importantly, prevent us from talking to our families about those wishes. How do we want to be cared for if we should lose mental capacity from a stroke or dementia? Do we wish to have a feeding tube, resuscitation, antibiotics when there is no quality of life left, when one doesn’t recognize family and when the only option will be residing in a bed somewhere “sans everything.”

I would rather die and be:  “. . . kindly prized and praised, While kin sing festive songs of joy, amazed.”

DOC

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Prairie Doc® Perspectives - Bacterial Pneumonia

My good friend, a single man in his 60s, didn’t like going to the medical clinic for anything, let alone a cold. His illness started with a fever, aches all over and a sudden overabundance of mucus. After one or two days of those obvious viral symptoms, for which we have... [More]

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Prairie Doc® Perspectives - Woman's Work

Women’s health can be directly tied to the burden of household responsibilities. In a 2016 study, researchers found that women are more often the primary parent of children, the one who determines family healthcare decisions, the caregiver for the elderly parents on both... [More]

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Prairie Doc® Perspectives - The Astonishing, Life-Sustaining, Sacred Tear

Washington Irving once said, “There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are the messengers of overwhelming grief, of deep contrition, and of unspeakable love.” Normal... [More]

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Prairie Doc® Perspectives - Sometimes Less Is Best with the Elderly Heart

A beautiful 90-year-old woman came into the emergency room after another fall. The last year had been tough for her as she had developed diastolic heart failure. Her weakness and breathlessness were helped some by diuretics, but she was troubled by extreme variations in blood... [More]

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Prairie Doc® Perspectives - Those Dirty Rotten Scoundrels

The phone rang, and I answered it because the call was from a nearby community. No big surprise that the caller was obviously not from anywhere near, and the caller was asking for a donation for some organization in which I had no interest. I said, in a kindly tone, “No... [More]

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    COURT

    District Court update

    Destrie Whitaker appeared in Wallace County District Court on January 25, 2019 with attorney Christopher Rohr, Colby, in the matter of case number 2018 TR 282 - count 1 Driving While License Suspended, a level B non-person misdemeanor, date of offense, October 13, 2018. Whitaker... [More]

    District Court update

    Miles Ackerman appeared in Wallace County District Court on January 16th, 2019 with attorney Douglas Spencer, Oakley, for sentencing on the charge of Unlawful Distribution of a Controlled Substance (methamphetamine) within 1000’ of a school, a level 1 nonperson drug felony,... [More]

    District Court update

    Vakiea Murrill appeared in Wallace County District Court on December 5th, 2018 with attorney Leslie Beims, Goodland. Murrill plead guility to Count 1 Possession of Marijuana and was ordered to pay a $100 fine, $158 in court costs, $160 in fees related to the case, and $770.90... [More]

    Traffic Court reports - Jan 17, 2019

    Foy, Christopher Matthew, Colorado Springs, Colo, driving 78 mph in a 65 mph zone, fined $63 and court costs $108. Mercier, Brittany N, Danforth, Ill, driving 80 mph in a 65 mph zone, fined $75 and court costs $108. Stone, Ralph Lee, Hays, Kans, driving 80 mph in a 65 mph... [More]

    Riley Sentenced in District Court

    Jarid Riley appeared in Wallace County District Court on December 5, 2018. Riley had been charged with Possession of Marijuana, and Possession of Paraphernalia, both Class B Misdemeanors. Riley plead guilty to count 1 Possession of Marijuana in a plea agreement dismissing count... [More]

    District Court November Motion Day

    Joel Castineira appeared in Wallace County District Court on November 14th, 2018 with his attorney, Todd Stramel, Colby, for sentencing on the charge of Possession of a Controlled Substance with Intent to Distribute, a level 2, a non-person, drug felony. Castineira entered a... [More]

    Traffic Court reports - Nov 15, 2018

    House, Jimmy Don, Colorado Springs, Colo, operating a vehicle without a valid license, fines $200, court costs $108, driving 78 mph in a 65 mph zone, fines $63. Thomas, Tempestti J, Bloomfield, NMex, driving 80 mph in a 65 mph zone, fines $75, court costs $108. Margheim,... [More]

    Kreger and Boutte Sentenced on Drug Charges

    Joseph Lee Kreger appeared in Wallace County District Court on October 10th with his lawyer, Steve Cott, Garden City, for sentencing on the charge of Unlawful Distribution of Controlled Substance -methamphetamine. Kreger entered ‘a nolo contendere plea’ on July 26th... [More]

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    NEWS

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    Local Leaders Share Ideas and News at Community Round Table

    The Rotary Club of Sharon Springs hosted another community round table at the Public Library recently.  More than twenty local organizations and the County were represented.  At a dollar a minute, volunteers told about their projects at lightning speed!  Natalie... [More]

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    Moser named Dean of KU School of Medicine - Salina

    The University of Kansas Medical Center has named Robert P. Moser, M.D., dean of the University of Kansas School of Medicine-Salina, effective May 1. Moser will replace William Cathcart-Rake, M.D., who will retire from his role as dean in June. The KU School of Medicine has... [More]

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    The Rec Roundup - Mar 14

    Hello from the Wallace County Rec Department!  We are busy finishing up basketball and gearing up for spring youth sports.  New this year, will be a very short season of track for grades K-5.  Scheduling is still being finalized, but it will include two Saturday... [More]

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    Church Basement Ladies “Rise Up, O Men” coming to Oakley, March 18

    Let’s hear it for the boys! Fans of the musical comedy series Church Basement Ladies will finally get to know more about the men of East Cornucopia Lutheran Church, in the new production "Rise Up O Men" coming to the Oakley High School Auditorium, Monday, March... [More]

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    Hansen Scholarship Winners Announced

    The Dane G. Hansen Foundation of Logan, Kansas has named high school seniors from 59 Northwest Kansas schools as winners in its 43rd annual scholarship competition. In addition, scholarships have been awarded to Kansas Community or Technical College Transfer students who are... [More]

    Sheriff's Log for February 2019

    02-01- report of erratic driver  02-02- Sharon Springs ambulance paged out  02-03- Sharon Springs ambulance paged out  02-04- one vehicle accident with injury Sharon Springs ambulance and fire paged out  02-05- 911 call transferred to another county ... [More]

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    Kansas Pitch Team Defeats Oklahoma Team 231-200

    The Kanas pitch teams loaded up and traveled to Mountain View, Oklahoma, for the annual Pitch Championship. Teams arrived Friday afternoon and spent time catching up with their friends from Oklahoma. The Oklahoma teams and their families treated everyone to a dinner of hand-breaded... [More]

    Passport Processing Available!

    Beginning Monday, March 11th, the Wallace County Clerk’s office will now be accepting passport applications for processing. Passport acceptance hours will be the same as regular business hours; M-F, 8-12 & 1-5. Appointments are not needed as walk-ins are welcome,... [More]

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    BUGLE NOTES

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    Bugle Notes - Mar 14, 2019

    There is still time to make plans to join us this weekend for the many activities surrounding our “Trails to Rails” Symposium and Captain Keogh’s Emerald Banquet! We will be enjoying a time of fellowship and fun, as well as furthering the mission of the Fort... [More]

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    Bugle Notes - Mar 7, 2019

    Plans for the big weekend of March 16th-17th are “gathering steam,” as we prepare to recognize the 150th Anniversary of the arrival of the Kansas Pacific Railway in 1869! The Museum is so pleased to add another event to the day’s schedule. At 9 AM, to open... [More]

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    Bugle Notes - Feb 28, 2019

    The next big event is coming up on Saturday, March 16th at the Fort Wallace Museum! This jam-packed weekend will include a major symposium and a fundraiser banquet benefitting the Guardians of the Fort Wallace Museum.  We are very excited about this “Trails to Rails”... [More]

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    Bugle Notes - Feb 14, 2019

    The second half of the seminar “The History of Fort Wallace” will be held this Sunday, Feb. 17th from 2-5 pm MST at the Fort Wallace Museum. This informative and very interesting session is being taught by Garvey Historian Deb Goodrich and will cover the actual building... [More]

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    Bugle Notes - 1st history class & Weskan visit

    On Sunday afternoon, 40 inquiring minds gathered to hear our Garvey Historian Deb Goodrich delve deeper into the story of Fort Wallace, especially the forces of history that shaped the American West and early Kansas. Again and again, Deb stressed that Fort Wallace was not created... [More]

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    Bugle Notes - Newsletters and "The History of Fort Wallace"

    The January newsletters for the Guardians of the Fort Wallace Museum are in the process of being mailed. Please let us know if you are interested in receiving one, and read more about the organization and its benefits. We described in last week’s column the Guardians’... [More]

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    Bugle Notes - Thof's Dragon and Guardians of Ft. Wallace

    As the Fort Wallace Museum has grown over the past few years, we are thrilled to be reaching more people, through print, film, and social media, as well as at our actual Museum. We have been blessed with marvelous financial gifts, such as the Milford Becker estate gift, which... [More]

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    Bugle Notes - 2-Class Seminar upcoming

    2019 is well underway and we here at the Museum are excited by what this New Year can bring!  The Wallace County screening of “Thof’s Dragon” will be held Sun. Jan. 20, 2019, 2 pm MST at the Strand Theater in Sharon Springs. “Thof’s Dragon”... [More]

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