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Friday February  20, 2009 - Issue #420


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From The Editor

Gary Barg - Editor-in-chief 
Phoenix Rising

Last week I received an email from a long time reader and Fearless Caregiver living in Texas. She wanted me to know that her beloved husband for whom she had cared, had passed away:

I thought I would let you know that my husband, passed away on January 26.  He fought a long hard battle.  I was with him every step of the way and became his voice.  He asked me, after putting him in a nursing home a few years ago, if I wanted a divorce.  My answer was, "I don't remember that part of our wedding where the minister said that when you become sick I could walk away."  His Parkinson's was the disease that took the man away from me but taught me many, many things along the way.  A long trip - 23 years of struggle for he and I.

He was my hero.  A U.S. Army Drill Sergeant, a man who lived the way he wanted to live and passed away the way he wanted to go.  The funeral was - his idea - no fluffy stuff.  I gave him my word and the service was not fluffy.  It was for a man who lived, raised 6 children, celebrated our 41 years of marriage together, and in the end - the greatest man I've ever known.

I will miss him.  My thoughts today are - he's in a much better place and he's giving orders all over the place - Drill Sergeant's never change.

I received another related email last week from another reader:

I know that your website/newsletter is about caregiving, but I would like information about the emptiness of the caregiving ending.  I was caregiver to my elderly uncle (92) for 5 years.  He passed away Friday.  In the 5 years, he was like a cat with 9 lives, dodging disease bullets like in a war zone.  He lived through many things that a younger/healthier person may not have.  So I was not really prepared that he would actually die when he did.  My husband checked on him for me in the middle of the night and reported that he was” gone.” My reaction was, WHAT?  I couldn’t believe it!  I was relieved because he was suffering, yet I was prepared for him to linger.  I now have this huge hole in my life of things that I used to do that I no longer need to.  I hear him in his room.  I start there frequently to check on him.  I think that one of the things to do is to get his rooms back to our normal household, but I was wondering if there are other things to help get one’s life back into some semblance of a routine.

These caregivers both talk about one of the most important aspects of caregiving and that is what happens afterwards.  Once caregiving ends either due to the health episode resolving itself or the passing of your loved one, many of us are left to create a new world which my mother calls Phoenix Rising. This is a time where the person you need to care for the most turns out to be yourself.

 


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Take care

Gary Barg
Editor-in-Chief
gary@caregiver.com


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Caregiver Bookclub
Take a look at the new books in our bookclub.  Listen to the interview with two of the authors.

Feature Article

Multiple Sclerosis: Understanding and Living
with the Disease

By  Sandra Ray, Staff Writer


Mulltiple sclerosis (MS) is one of the most baffling and debilitating neurological diseases. About 500,000 people in the United States are afflicted with it. Worldwide there are more than 2.5 million persons who live with MS each day....Continued
 


 
Additional Article
Mobility and Exercise: No Excuses

By  Jennifer Wilson, Staff Writer

Whether you’re the caregiver for a loved one who has a mobility issue due to a stroke, or because of SCI (spinal chord injury), arthritis, Multiple Sclerosis, or something else, or if you yourself have a mobility issue, the fact is, you still need to keep your weight at a healthy standard. ....Continued
 


Guest Column
A Silent Crisis: Working Caregivers
Are Begging For Help
By  Gema G. Hernandez, D.P.A.  

At time when private enterprises are trying to increase productivity, reduce costs and enhance the quality of their products or services there is a growing crisis in corporations today that is preventing them from achieving their corporate goals.  ...Continued


(Do you have a story? Tell us.)


 
 
 

Caretips

Helpful Tips for the Vision Impaired
By Deborah Kogler

1. Lighting

Increase the amount of lighting directly over the task that you are doing. Focus the light directly onto what you are doing. LED lights, natural light and natural daylight bulbs are recommended.  Do not use fluorescent lights as fluorescent light causes glare. ...Continued


 
 
Carenotes

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Inside This Issue:

Phoenix Rising
Multiple Sclerosis
Guest Column
A Silent Crisis
CareTips

 


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