One last conversation

Our class reunion committee had always been an active, organized group, who somehow managed to make their every-five-years’ workloads look effortless. This year, our 50th, was no exception; this year we gained a website! The Internet seemed to blow up with composed bios and updates, shared memories, uploaded photos comparing then and now. As seniors, […]

Read full story Comments { 0 }

Pain shaming

There seems to be a movement underway among many healthcare specialists––an insistence on your going under the knife, needle, scalpel or internal prod, yet evidencing no apprehension whatsoever, much less any of what they term “discomfort” before, during or after. Sorry, but I’m not at my best while having an injection into an already inflamed […]

Read full story Comments { 0 }

Walk right in

Once you’ve been a caregiver yourself, you’ll likely give some serious thought to how much you’ll someday want to be on the receiving end. Chances are good that you’ll prefer to skip the entire enterprise. Well, great news: There’s a way to do that. And no, it doesn’t have anything to do with dying young. […]

Read full story Comments { 0 }

Boss lady

At some point during Mom’s last year of life, we kids realized that the only TV station she was watching was Animal Planet. It ran in her living room pretty much around the clock. So we approached her about calling the cable company to cancel as many tiers as possible. She would save, we said, […]

Read full story Comments { 0 }

Just checking

Paula had descended into the caregiving pool gently at first, toes only, when she began stopping by her mom’s house every morning before work. Just to check. Making sure she was awake, dressed, and sipping freshly brewed coffee. Then one day Mom reported being down to dregs––so the next morning, Paula stopped at the drive-thru […]

Read full story Comments { 0 }

The cringe factor

In 1962 my parents decided they could trust us four kids to remain at home alone while they joined friends for dinner. A huge mistake. I was 16, Tim 14, Kevin 11, and Gael 9. Within ten minutes after Mom and Dad drove away, Tim would begin pummeling Kevin, just like that older brother Wayne […]

Read full story Comments { 0 }

OCD for old people

Obsessive-compulsive (OCD) behavior seems to run in our family. Several of us have it in regard to order and neatness, a few with rituals, a few with germs. As a child I used to giggle whenever I watched my grandfather wipe down his plate and his silverware with a paper napkin before eating. Decades later […]

Read full story Comments { 0 }

To your (very) good health

As someone eternally fascinated by all things medical, I can’t help feeling irritated by the numerous, complicated steps to the supposed improvement in a caregiver’s well-being. That’s why I’m smitten by cut-to-the-chase philosophies and methodologies, and all of my reading boils down to this: Do whatever is easy, and it eventually becomes automatic. Example: If […]

Read full story Comments { 0 }

A look at getting some real help

Which of your caregiving tasks do you absolutely dread? Which do you postpone and put off endlessly until guilt and/or humiliation prod you into action, albeit amidst plenty of muttering and teeth-gnashing? You won’t have much trouble coming up with an answer, only an obvious solution, which is…have you considered paid labor? Let’s say you […]

Read full story Comments { 0 }

The nephew from Peoria

Picture this: A loved one lies semi-conscious during his/her final stage of life. All present family members have agreed that nature should be allowed to take its course, with no heroic measures extending the inevitable shutdown. But then, suddenly, a long-estranged son, daughter, cousin, or grandchild sweeps in, insisting that “everything” should be done to […]

Read full story Comments { 0 }