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    Tough Care ISBN 978-1466391376, an end of life story

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    bfmooney

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    Join date : 2012-02-27

    Tough Care ISBN 978-1466391376, an end of life story

    Post  bfmooney on Mon Feb 27, 2012 12:37 pm

    ‘Tough Care’ is a tender and candid account of the time one veteran spent caring for his dying spouse (also a veteran), in which he offers advice and support to those in, or about to face, similar situations. The number of fellow baby boomers about to face these situations is huge and their time is fast approaching. Tough care is derived from the concept of tough love.

    My wife, Celia, proudly served in the US Women’s Army Corps (WAC) during the Vietnam Era. Years later, however, she was stricken by serious illnesses that caused her to deteriorate from a young and vivacious woman, soldier, wife, and mother, to a severely incapacitated homecare patient. In ‘Tough Care’, I explain how her downfall stemmed from Type 2 Diabetes, which ultimately led to physical paralysis, dementia, and stroke before she died (far too early) at age sixty-four. I was born in 1951, so I believe that there are many of my fellow baby boomers that will benefit from the open sharing of my experiences as the lone caregiver for all but a few weeks of Celia’s last years on this earth. I was assisted by home nursing and home hospice professionals during her last few weeks. The whole process proved to be a long, painful, and arduous ordeal for a couple who had been life partners for thirty-nine years. Unfortunately, there are many who will inevitably face very similar circumstances. Both academic and industry studies have determined that homecare has been more prevalent than one might imagine in the US, and that future caregivers will not only be older, but will also have to simultaneously cope with ailments of their own. This compassionate and touching memoir reveals the many lessons a dedicated and devoted spouse learned in a marriage that was filled with love, respect, sadness, and joy. Readers are sure to find comfort in the advice that is offered, and will find references and online links to valuable resources such as the AARP, American Legion, VFW, Military Women’s Organizations, Diabetes Foundation, Hospice Care Foundation, and Home Care Foundation particularly helpful.

    Type 2 Diabetes was the root of the problems that terminated Celia’s energetic and productive life so early. Causing the neuropathy that paralyzed her, it slowly and insidiously damaged the small blood vessels in her brain, which eventually led to a series of transient ischemic attacks (TIA) and strokes. The damaged blood vessels in her brain also generated the dementia that was probably the hardest thing for both of us to handle.

    In my frank and deeply moving memoir, I describe in detail the physical, mental, and emotional challenges I encountered while caring for my dying mate. I also summarize the lessons I had to learn the hard way, which I hope will benefit many baby boomers now, or in the future. I share these lessons because I believe it is certain that life is too short to learn through your own experiences alone.

    I was compelled by a sense of duty and responsibility to “soldier on” through what seemed like an endless succession of difficulties, ordeals, and personal trials. I felt I had the physical power and emotional strength to care for my wife alone. Looking back, however, I see that I should have sought better and more professional help sooner. I now realize the importance of communicating with doctors and questioning anything not fully understood. I have learned that nurses are the very backbone of medical care. Gentle, kind, and compassionate, they [nurses] could see Celia’s silent pain much better than I could. I also now know that hospice care, whether in an institution or at home, is the most humane way to help a loved one pass, and I am sure that those who are at the end of their lives choose their own time to leave this world.
    I know from personal experience that survivors feel guilt whether or not they deserve to be guilty. The trick is to not let this guilt turn into blame, and to accept that death occurs due to circumstances beyond anyone’s control.
    I also know that recalling memories helps with the healing process. My wife has gone to a better place. I am certain that she is glad to be there. I am also glad that her suffering has ended and she is now in a place of rest and peace. I made sure she received every form of dignity and respect I could imagine, including her final interment with full military honors in Arlington National Cemetery. I sincerely hope this book will provide a lot of the support, advice, and information that your membership, unfortunately, will likely need.
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    Carol
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    Re: Tough Care ISBN 978-1466391376, an end of life story

    Post  Carol on Mon Feb 27, 2012 2:29 pm

    Welcome to the Mists bfmooney and thank you so much for sharing your compassionate story. My husband is both a home health and hospice nurse. Having provided hospice care for my own mother last year I can relate to what a difficult job it is to provide care at home and wade through what is needed from the medical community. Our hospice nurse for my mum was wonderful and it was somewhat ironic that my husband got to experience some of this from the family end, instead of being the medical provider. While on vacation, he also sat outside my mother's door at night making sure she got her pain meds every 2 hours. Keeping her at home as long as possible was the best option and then when I couldn't do it by myself any longer - her going to the hospital for the last 3 weeks with me there with her was the right thing to do. I was so grateful for the night nurses - the angels of the night who took over so I could get some sleep.

    Your story will be replayed over and over by baby boomers all over the world as many head into this next phase of life.



    _________________
    What is life?
    It is the flash of a firefly in the night, the breath of a buffalo in the wintertime. It is the little shadow which runs across the grass and loses itself in the sunset.

    With deepest respect ~ Aloha & Mahalo, Carol

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