He suffers from Multiple System Atrophy, a progressive neurodegenerative disorder characterized by symptoms of autonomic nervous system failure, such as fainting spells and bladder control problems, combined with motor control symptoms such as tremor, rigidity, and loss of muscle coordination, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.
Simply put, automatic functions like breathing, continence, and heartbeat stop. The disease advances rapidly over a nine- to year course, with progressive loss of motor skills, eventual confinement to bed — and death. Brooks Bloomfield, a Truckee veterinarian, lives while dying one day at a time. Brooks and his wife, Jennifer Bloomfield, seated themselves one early afternoon as spring sun poured forth and lively chatter and cappuccino aroma filled the air.
A dog pulled its person on the leash, intent on greeting Brooks with a wag and a wiggle. Brooks lies on the couch immobile most mornings, unable to move, eyes open and his brain aware. Their love is palpable: Jennifer, an elfin figure of reddish hair, petite tipped nose and dimples, who sported fish-head tennie runners and Brooks, who looks at Jen with a wide smile and twinkle in his eyes. Brooks is a well-educated man. Imagine not being able to ski, mow the lawn or having to concentrate to speak, gargle or spit.
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He will be cognizant, aware of the feeding tube, the inevitable colostomy bag as he dies. Brooks seemed a bit grumpy and irritable eight years ago. His wife was alarmed when he almost drowned, upside down and breathing water in a pool. At the Mayo Clinic, Brooks spent 10 days being examined from one end to the other.
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His daughter, 16, returned from a Rotary Youth Exchange program in Spain last school year to be with her father, who may hold on a few more years — Brooks hopes for at least four more — or die in his sleep tonight. Brooks, who hails from a line of doctors, his grandfather the head of neurology at University of Pennsylvania, said to trust yourself during diagnosis, and advocate on your own behalf. He finds the process intellectually fascinating, however devastating.
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His final and correct diagnosis came from University of California, Davis. About his staff and the doctors there, about the animals who need care. In June , the couple designed the office at Industrial Way to be handicap-accessible.
Living with Loss: One Day at a Time by Rachel Blythe Kodanaz
The office houses the latest in digital technology, full-spectrum lighting, a painting by an elephant and a curtain designed by staff to cover the hordes of cords that juice the veterinarian software Brooks installed. The Bloomfields deal with the progressing disease with humor, grace and faith. Brooks, a spiritual man and previously master at the Masonic Lodge in Truckee, often prefers animals to people.
They have no politics or religion. He feels neither his clients nor the animals he treats should be subject to his beliefs. He aims for whatever brings betterment and health to his patients and the community. He likens his practice to a country doctor, keeping costs down while providing excellent care.
Book Catalog Please click on a product image to review more detailed information for that product. Each day focuses on life rather than death, embracing and remembering the happy and healthy days of loved ones Wolfelt, Ph. OV - Finding Your Own Way to Grieve by Karla Helbert This book explains death in concrete terms that the child with autism will understand, explores feelings that the child may encounter as a part of bereavement, and offers creative and expressive activities that facilitate healing. OV - Reflections from Beyond by CJ Golden In Golden's inspirational biography, Reflections From Beyond, author and subject share powerful messages for anyone who is facing death, whether it is through the horrors of tragedy or coming to terms with the inevitablity of their own passing.
A guide to mourning, remembering and healing. Compassionate support and practical suggestions to help you understand pet loss. Soft cover, 79 pages.
Dan Newman, Ph. Linda Goldman addresses the many frightening events that impact our children by providing the reader with a seamless mixture of theory and practice from her extensive experience. Terence P.
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A journal for teenagers designed to help them sort through difficult thoughts and emotions. Soft cover, pages. Revised to now include holiday articles. Richard B. Gilbert, Ph. Combining a warm, empathetic approach with an expertise in grief, this book will be deeply appreciated by those who have lost a parent and by those ministering to them. Soft cover. This compassionate, friendly workbook affirms the importance of the personalized funeral ritual and helps families create a ceremony that will be both healing and meaningful for years to come.
For families, clergy, celebrants, funeral directors
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