Thursday, June 29, 2017

Fear of Death!

As you know, I was a Master Chief Gunner's Mate in the United States Navy.  After that I was a Navy Civil Servant, first as a Tech Rep for Navy Gun Mounts and Turrets and later in management of technical assists for Search Radars and other electrons sensors.  I did many dangerous, exciting things that most men can only dream of.  Some things I did are features in movies and video games.  So what you say?   Well, in the beginning of my career, when I was a young Gunner's Mate, gun mounts frightened me!  Here I was in a large Navy Gun that fired 40 rounds a minute of 5" ammo, each round weighting 75 pounds, propelled by a powder tank weighing 44 pounds.  Again, 40 rounds per minute!!!  When things went bad, they went bad fast!!  I saw live, explosive projectiles have their nose fuze ripped off!  Propelling charges crushed and spilled all over the gun pocket.  Guns fail to fire with the gun barrel hot though to cook off the explosive charge!!

Then, a very good friend of mine was killed, during combat operations in Vietnam, in a MK 42 Gun Mount!  I had to make a decision then to continue my Navy career, without fear, or get out!  I stayed and I was never frightened of death on a Navy ship again.   Death on a Navy ship, would come swiftly, explosively, and quickly.  I knew that and that type of death does not cause eke fear of distress.

But, what I am facing now, is something I have not come to terms with.  When Red Mills was killed, everything became clear to me.  But, now, slowly dieting everyday, nothing is clear to me!!  Instead, like I was when I was a young Gunner's Mate on my first ship, I am frightened, unsure of myself, unsure elf the unknown.  My body is slowly dying and I know that.  My brain is deteriorating, loosing control of my bodily functions and emotional responses.    And it is the slow steady, unrelenting approach of death that is more frightening than the sudden death caused by combat or training.   I have no control of anything.  What I do will not change anything.   am being overwhelmed by Lewy Body Dementia and I hate it.  I hate it because I am afraid.  The unknown is always unnerving.

I believe this is an emotion I have not expressed before on this blog.  And, maybe never out loud either.  It does not help me to express these fears.  But it may explain my recent issues.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for sharing your experiences. My Mother was just diagnosed with LBD - in fact, we are still at Mayo as I type this. Your words really help me understand what she is/will be experiencing.