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Mon Jun 11, 2018, 11:01 PM

Cliffordu update 6/25

Last edited Mon Jun 25, 2018, 11:19 PM - Edit history (5)

6/25

Cliffordu continues to battle heroically against a most virulent form of ALS. He is still in ICU and is awaiting transfer to a facility that can accommodate close monitoring of his respirator, which now replaces his diaphragm for breathing and the stomach intake tube.

He doesn't feel any pain but he has lost almost all ability to move any muscle.

I am in contact with his ex brother in law who tells me he still has visitors, still is up beat but understands he is on "house time" as he put it. His BIL told me that he was down to moving just his wrist at the last meeting.

Anybody that is in or near the Portland area that would like to connect for a possible visit PM me and I will give you the BIL contact.

He knows that he has friends here that care for him and should any DUer be able to connect with him he would respond with overwhelming appreciation, because that's who he is.







Tuesday update: He has gone in for a Tracheal tube so that he can get a respirator and a feeding tube which are aimed at giving him stability in the upcoming months. The surgery isn't that difficult or dangerous but Clifford has lost so much muscle that he is on reserves and any little complication could be life threatening.

Two good things are he is getting great care at the VA in Portland and he is a fighter.

Don't expect any news until tomorrow morning.




Original OP


Cliffordu and I struck up one of those unlikely off line DU relationships as we seemingly had radically different sensibilities, Cliffordu had a titanic struggle with addiction and I was pretty close to a teetotaller. Cliffordu had hilarious stories about smoking weed in the army in Vietnam and I had hilarious stories living in Thailand but still haven't had my first cannabis in either smoke or brownie form.

I had lost my phone three months ago along with his phone number and got it back when Mopinko posted this thread updating on his condition:

https://www.democraticunderground.com/10181087603

We kept up a weekly phone routine and over the years I had a lot of strange phone conversations with Clliffordu when he had fallen off the wagon and was going back and forth into rehab. It was as bad as it can get without dying from it. His divorce seemed to have a long lasting destabilizing effect on him. I found it hard to relate and just would listen. He had multiple trips to the emergency room, detox and rehab and it seemed to be locked into a fatal cycle.

Over the last 3 years it changed as he found a new lease by really committing to AA with multiple groups. He got full time employment in a home that was part of the complex rehab/legal system. He was working on his poetry and his music but he more importantly he had balance, perspective and humor that we missed. In the strange ways that these relationships go through he was now helping me stay motivated through business challenges and loss of friends and relatives.

Cliffordu found his place and was making a contribution.

Tomorrow Cliffordu will be having surgery that will help with his breathing as he combats a very aggressive ALS.

I am not really sure what the surgery does because his speech has become labored and monosyllabic as he grasps for air. The advance of this ALS has been stunning. Cliffordu advises he has lost 35 lbs of muscle in the last three months and is down to 135. His voice is a whisper of the loud and gregarious spirit that I was used to and each conversation was weaker than before.

This disease gave Cliffordu one gift, it gave all of the people that he touched a chance to check in with him and informing him of how they felt. A couple of days ago he talked about all of the visitors that were trekking to see him. I told him he was a seed generator, that all of these AA meetings (many times two a day for months at a time) he was throwing out seeds and he would never know how many people he touched.

Beside his family there were dozens of people that came by to see Cliffordu and tell him what he had done for them. "it was just like those seeds. Lots of people I only met a few times came to tell me my words had changed their life and gave them tools and hope. It has blown me away."

He told me this surgery will help him with the breathing and then he will rest and move to his final hospice.

I asked him if there was anything I could do from where I was, was he missing anything.

His answer was in a surprisingly strong voice filled with gratitude for what this last inning gave him in letting him know that he had delivered hope to a bunch that really needed it. His answer captured the clever, smart and very funny Cliffordu:

"The VA has been fantastic, as soon as they confirmed the diagnosis they arranged the best care. My disability was bumped up to $ 3,000. I have doctors, nurses, physical therapists. I have a private room and its like a clown car opens up and people have been streaming in. I have everything I need, everything is great I have no complaints, you know except for the whole dying part".

Cliffordu has been, is now and will always remain one of my heroes.

He will have a chance to read your comments when he wakes up from surgery tomorrow evening.

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Arrow 45 replies Author Time Post
Reply Cliffordu update 6/25 (Original post)
grantcart Jun 2018 OP
elleng Jun 2018 #1
democrank Jun 2018 #2
Solly Mack Jun 2018 #3
Hekate Jun 2018 #4
CaliforniaPeggy Jun 2018 #5
uppityperson Jun 2018 #6
hlthe2b Jun 2018 #7
greatauntoftriplets Jun 2018 #8
lapfog_1 Jun 2018 #9
babylonsister Jun 2018 #10
Laura PourMeADrink Jun 2018 #11
leftofcool Jun 2018 #12
murielm99 Jun 2018 #13
pnwmom Jun 2018 #14
renate Jun 2018 #15
calimary Jun 2018 #16
demgrrrll Jun 2018 #17
progressoid Jun 2018 #18
Coventina Jun 2018 #19
KY_EnviroGuy Jun 2018 #20
Cha Jun 2018 #21
Fla Dem Jun 2018 #22
mopinko Jun 2018 #23
grantcart Jun 2018 #24
Kali Jun 2018 #25
samnsara Jun 2018 #26
Anon-C Jun 2018 #27
catrose Jun 2018 #28
Lifelong Protester Jun 2018 #29
Nac Mac Feegle Jun 2018 #30
panader0 Jun 2018 #31
Donkees Jun 2018 #32
Uncle Joe Jun 2018 #33
grantcart Jun 2018 #34
hunter Jun 2018 #35
grantcart Jun 2018 #36
lunatica Jun 2018 #37
denbot Jun 2018 #38
In_The_Wind Jun 2018 #39
grantcart Jun 2018 #40
grantcart Jun 2018 #41
oasis Jun 2018 #42
Solly Mack Jun 2018 #43
Donkees Jun 2018 #44
LineNew Reply .
Iggo Jun 2018 #45

Response to grantcart (Original post)

Mon Jun 11, 2018, 11:04 PM

1. Thanks for the info grantcart,

and for hanging with Cliffordu.

Send him my/our best wishes.

E

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Response to grantcart (Original post)

Mon Jun 11, 2018, 11:08 PM

2. Cliffordu....

Keep on keepin' on.

~PEACE~

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Response to grantcart (Original post)

Mon Jun 11, 2018, 11:10 PM

3. Thank you, grantcart

Hello Cliffordu,

Glad you're getting such great care.

It may not seem it at times, but we touch the lives of more people than we realize.

Be good at being you - always.

Solly

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Response to grantcart (Original post)

Mon Jun 11, 2018, 11:14 PM

4. I remember Cliffordu from the Olden Days, part of DU's landscape as it were, & have missed it...

Let him know he will be missed here. Peaceful passage, Clifford.

Grantcart and Mopinko: Thank you for the updates, sad as they are.

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Response to grantcart (Original post)

Mon Jun 11, 2018, 11:17 PM

5. Hey Cliffordu!

Hang in there, sweetie! We are so glad to be here with you. Hope your surgery brings you the help you need.

And thank you, dear grantcart for this great message.

for both of you!

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Response to grantcart (Original post)

Mon Jun 11, 2018, 11:22 PM

6. Best wishes to you, Cliffordu

May you heal and breath easier.

Say not in grief that he is no more, but live in thankfulness that he was.

Peace be with you.

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Response to grantcart (Original post)

Mon Jun 11, 2018, 11:27 PM

7. I am saddened to hear that he has suffered but heartened to hear that you and all his friends have

been there for him. I am especially relieved to hear he is getting good VA care. His courage through all his challenges are life affirming and I wish him only the best his days can offer.

Your account of his struggles with alcohol and ALS leave me amazed and in awe. What a fighter.

Please extend to cliffordu all my very best wishes.

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Response to grantcart (Original post)

Mon Jun 11, 2018, 11:33 PM

8. Thanks for the update on Cliffordu.

I've missed seeing him around. Clifford, I'm sending DU's famous good vibes to you for a successful surgery.



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Response to grantcart (Original post)

Mon Jun 11, 2018, 11:37 PM

9. I am so sad to hear about Cliffordu but heartened about his

care and his friends... and grantcart - you have always been one of my favorite DUers.

Best of luck to Cliffordu... but I guess we all must face the ultimate passage at some point so I hope you can face yours having lived a life.

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Response to grantcart (Original post)

Mon Jun 11, 2018, 11:49 PM

10. Hello, Cliffordu, and thanks, grantcart.

Please know I am rooting for you and am glad you are finally getting the care you deserved.

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Response to grantcart (Original post)

Tue Jun 12, 2018, 12:45 AM

11. Hang in there Cliff! Need your humor here for sure! You may

Feel crappy today but each day forward u will feel better. Good vibes your way darlin.

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Response to grantcart (Original post)

Tue Jun 12, 2018, 12:45 AM

12. Hey CliffordDU!

Hope to see you again on DU and really soon. And buddy, if you get to that great mystery beyond before I do, save me a good spot, will ya? We love ya.

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Response to grantcart (Original post)

Tue Jun 12, 2018, 12:57 AM

13. Hello, Cliffordu.

I remember you. I am glad you are getting good care and seeing friends.

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Response to grantcart (Original post)

Tue Jun 12, 2018, 01:02 AM

14. Cliffordu, I wish you all the love and support you need

as you go through this final challenge.

You have given so much to others. Now may it all come flowing back to you.



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Response to grantcart (Original post)

Tue Jun 12, 2018, 01:16 AM

15. we're all thinking of you, Cliffordu!!!!

You've touched a lot of lives, here and in the real world ! I'm glad so many of the people who know and love you have come by to tell you how much you mean to them--DU included!

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Response to grantcart (Original post)

Tue Jun 12, 2018, 01:54 AM

16. Thanks so much for this, grantcart!

And you get better, Cliffordu, you hear? We need all wits and all hands present and accounted for, as the battle builds in the months ahead. And that definitely means YOU!

Sending many hugs and healing vibes.

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Response to grantcart (Original post)

Tue Jun 12, 2018, 02:37 AM

17. Sending you healing energy.

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Response to grantcart (Original post)

Tue Jun 12, 2018, 03:04 AM

18. Here's something for your listening pleasure Cliffordu...










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Response to grantcart (Original post)

Tue Jun 12, 2018, 03:47 AM

19. My very best to you, Cliffordu.

You are remembered very fondly, and we are all pulling for you!

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Response to grantcart (Original post)

Tue Jun 12, 2018, 05:49 AM

20. ODAT, Cliffordu, ODAT our friend. We're with you in spirit.

Keep working with those new-comers and passing it on. Hope you have an easy recovery from your surgery, and please stay in touch with DU.

.... .......

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Response to grantcart (Original post)

Tue Jun 12, 2018, 08:07 AM

21. What a moving tribute to Cliffordu.. Mahalo, grant..

I remember him as funny.. and he stuck up for President Obama with me and many others against the emoprogs(they're gone now).. That was very heartwarming for me.

And, I wondered why we didn't see around anymore. I'm so sorry you have to go through this, Cliffordu, but love it that you're in good spirits

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Response to grantcart (Original post)

Tue Jun 12, 2018, 09:27 AM

22. We all take different paths in life. Cliffordu's was a challenging one. It sounds like he has

Last edited Tue Jun 12, 2018, 12:18 PM - Edit history (1)

finally reach the place he was searching for all those years.

Cliffordu, may peace and love continue to be with you as you travel to your final destination.

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Response to grantcart (Original post)

Tue Jun 12, 2018, 10:09 AM

23. thanks grantcart.

i'm hoping to go visit next month after things settle down here on my little farm.
i have gotten quite attached to him.

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Response to grantcart (Original post)

Tue Jun 12, 2018, 11:43 AM

24. Changed the title, today is the day

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Response to grantcart (Original post)

Tue Jun 12, 2018, 11:49 AM

25. so worth a scorpion sting on the ass to come to the Lounge this morning and read this. THANK YOU.

cliffordu, I hope that you are more comfortable as you read and receive those famous DU Lounge vibes. you have done good human works and that is what truly matters in life. THANK YOU.

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Response to grantcart (Original post)

Tue Jun 12, 2018, 12:04 PM

26. Great story.. i hope he does well tomorrow!

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Response to grantcart (Original post)

Tue Jun 12, 2018, 12:07 PM

27. Wish Cliffordu love and light, and that he meets the natural pain of this time...

...with some joy and peace of mind.

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Response to grantcart (Original post)

Tue Jun 12, 2018, 12:19 PM

28. Best wishes, cliffordu

Thinking of you with prayers

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Response to grantcart (Original post)

Tue Jun 12, 2018, 12:50 PM

29. Hope it all went well.

By now (Tuesday), it is probably all over! Hope your stay is good as well.

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Response to grantcart (Original post)

Tue Jun 12, 2018, 01:03 PM

30. I wish you the best of outcomes

I understand.

Best of luck, hope everything works out.

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Response to grantcart (Original post)

Tue Jun 12, 2018, 02:02 PM

31. Best wishes cliffordu---hang in there.

And thanks for the fine tribute Grant.

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Response to grantcart (Original post)

Tue Jun 12, 2018, 02:27 PM

32. Sending Hugs :)

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Response to grantcart (Original post)

Tue Jun 12, 2018, 03:37 PM

33. Peace, strength and healing to you Cliffordu and your family.




Thanks for the thread grantcart.

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Response to grantcart (Original post)

Tue Jun 12, 2018, 04:28 PM

34. Added an update

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Response to grantcart (Original post)

Tue Jun 12, 2018, 04:35 PM

35. Well, damn!

There's a few seeds planted here.

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Response to grantcart (Original post)

Tue Jun 12, 2018, 08:37 PM

36. Good news, Cliffordu has texted that surgery is finished and that he appears to have survived it.

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Response to grantcart (Original post)

Tue Jun 12, 2018, 08:48 PM

37. As a fellow DUer you're my brother

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Response to grantcart (Original post)

Tue Jun 12, 2018, 09:24 PM

38. Cool news..

Best DU vibes for Cliffordu!

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Response to grantcart (Original post)

Wed Jun 13, 2018, 08:31 AM

39. Best wishes Cliff! I've thought of you often, wondering how are.

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Response to grantcart (Original post)

Fri Jun 15, 2018, 01:14 PM

40. kick for update

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Response to grantcart (Reply #40)

Mon Jun 25, 2018, 11:20 PM

41. kick

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Response to grantcart (Original post)

Mon Jun 25, 2018, 11:57 PM

42. Stay strong, Cliffordu. We're all in your corner.

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Response to grantcart (Original post)

Tue Jun 26, 2018, 12:28 AM

43. Thank you, grantcart

Thinking of you, Cliffordu.

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Response to grantcart (Original post)

Tue Jun 26, 2018, 06:48 PM

44. Sending another hug ...

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Response to grantcart (Original post)

Wed Jun 27, 2018, 12:49 AM

45. .

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