Wednesday, November 08, 2006


Areply to a caring question.

Miss, the post was for a friend, who's father is in the last stages of alzheimer's. My way of offering some advice when loosing someone so close. Your question deserves more time than a quick comment can offer, so here goes.

I've broken my back twice, the second time in two places, I have seven bad discs, two ruptured completely. I have the primary nerve for the left side parallel to the spinal cord pinched in four places. So I hurt a lot. Advanced osteoarthritis of the spine, so movement is painful. I'm lucky however. I can still walk, if with a cane, and some pain. So even after the surgeries, I'll not be 100%, this is long term, so the longer I stay mobile, the better.

That you ask for insight into your partners feelings about long term problems, tell's me many good things about you. I'm no expert, so whatever tiny help I can offer, I hope it helps.

What do I want, need to help me deal with this?

That's tough to answer. I'm a proud man, too proud, and after 31 years of doing my best to feed and care for other people, being off work for this,.. well, it shames me. I'm ashamed that I'm not as strong as I want to be, and to not candy coat it, afraid inside of being completely dependent on other people.

So if he's anything like me, babying him, just hurts his pride. Let him do what he thinks he can, unless it's going to hurt him. Go along on a doctors visit if he'll let you, make him feel that he matters enough for you to want to help in his treatment. Even if there's nothing required that you do, just going is a kind of reassurance that can go a long way. My wife, well if she has a hangnail, I go along on the visit, but seldom, does she go on my office visits. The evaluations and tests yes, but not routine visits. That usually depresses me a bit. I know she loves me.. but you feel very much alone, when sitting in a cold exam room, and unpleasant information is given to you.

Encouragement, expressions of support, small gestures like a light hug, a quick kiss. On more intimate terms,.. try not to hurt him, if he's got some form of pain. Couples can always try different things, till something that pleases both, but doesn't hurt him can be found. He'll probably not tell you if you're hurting him, so watch his eyes. I won't ruin it for my wife by saying, we have to stop.. but with my back, she often does hurt me. We're still finding our own way on this.

Our love is unusual in that being the man, I'm the expressive one, she's the one who keeps it inside too often.

Try and let him know, that his condition isn't something that'll drive you away. Try and show him as best you can, that you want him, and are willing to adjust with him together to find your way through this.

There is no roadmap, none.

Just keep in mind, for all our bravery, bravado, our shows of strength and pride, inside where you can't see is a small boy afraid of being abandoned.

Afraid that he's alone in the dark, in the rain and no one cares.

Men are far more complex than the shrinks will admit. We need more than anything else to know we have value in the eyes of those we love.

Clearly I'm not very good at this.. I wish I was better.

Valerie, all I can really say is, if you care about him, let him know as often as you can. Accept that he's going to have bad days, going to be miserable sometimes, possibly short tempered. It doesn't mean he's mad at you, or the world, but maybe at himself. He doesn't mean to hurt your or anyones feelings, it just means he hurts... he's often going to hurt. I find I apologize alot these days myself.

He's hurting, and I suspect, you are too. You seem like good people Miss, I hope you two find a way, and I hope this tiny peek into my mind, helps you into his.;


Sunday, November 05, 2006

Via Instapundit, and Austin Bay, I ran into Mr. Hitchen's article on Kerry and his flopped joke.

One thing I already knew is confirmed--there is a very great deal of class resentment in these United States. Another thing I wasn't so sure of is also confirmed--James Webb in Virginia is right to stress the huge rage felt by those of Scots-Irish provenance who feel that they have born the heat and burden of the day in America's wars, and been rewarded with disdain.

Even my most relaxed soldier-correspondent from Iraq itself (a highly educated friend of faultlessly Irish extraction) confessed to a feeling of irritation at the few chances he had to meet Ivy League types in uniform.

Yes there is class distrust, the Ivy League types, aka, liberals, do not usually join up. Disdaining the common values of patriotism and honor. The semi-rural and rural folks who do enlist see what the so called elites think of us, and are hated for it. A return of emotion that they richly deserve. Flyover Americans are just hicks right? Can't read or write and never go online to get various opinions... can't understand nuance or subtle issues..

uh huh,.....

Well yes we can, and that's why democrats who pander to the liberal elite loose all the time. They don't get that insulting the ones who do all the heavy lifting isn't just dumb, it's painful. Time that the democrats dumped the kos-sites and brought back the Lieberman's. Then, they might win once in a while, but not when the common man hating left is in charge.


Letting go.

My faith is my faith, and it doesn't mean I can't accept new theory on a given technology. I'm not a fundiementalist, and most christians aren't. Faith for us is a moral question, stem cell is a unique issue. Human experimentation isn't or shouldn't be open to debate, didn't we learn anything from the Nazi eugenics programs?

I know that it's not a popular qustion here.

You have to learn, to let go sometimes. There is still no cure for what killed my father, no explanation for why my son died at birth. But some things, much as we would love them to be different, just are.

I see the surgeon again in Dec. I've been avoiding seeing him. I know it has to be done, but I dread where this is going. My body is broken, they can repair some of it, but time isn't my ally. I will always be in pain, never free of it. They were blunt about that part. The only grace, is that my mind is unaffected, for which I'm greatful.

I would like a cure, but not at any price.

I see embryonic stem cell research as an evil thing. Harvested embryo's,.. if I had never seen his face, and seen the faces of my two other children in his.. maybe I could look at this clinically, but I can't. Religion or not, could anyone of you in my place, just right him off? consider him just tissue?

There are other ways, maybe not ones with patent medicine men pushing them for money, but this doesn't end research.

I'm working as hard as I can, to not be bitter and angry at the universe for hurting all the time. Most have no idea how difficult that is. Pain causes the natural response to lash out, to hurt someone else in anger, in rage.

I'm trying to avoid that path.

So I'm finding a kind of peace in letting go of the hurt, the anger, the rage that this was visited on me. It's no one else's fault, maybe mine, but not yours. I'm looking for peace, but the rage is still within me, buried, but not expunged.

you have to let go, the anger will eat you up from the inside out.

you have to let go.

It's not an easy thing to let a loved one slip away, never easy. I've done it too many times now, and if anything, it's as hard a thing as you will ever do. I would be lying if I said, I loved my father, for that I'm sorry too. My mother's dying screams as the cancer took her into a coma still ring in my head. Sleepless nights are a long, long thing for me.

I see a touch of my mother in my daughter's eyes, myself in my son. So in letting go you can come full circle to the beginning of new life, letting go of your ghosts. Giving them the attention you would have lost by being angry at life, at others.

you have to let go.

a long ago ancester of mine was a reverend, so maybe I can be forgiven for this long comment. I'm just concerned that in hoping to hang onto what was, we shut out what will be. We all want peace in these things, and to not hurt as we do. That never is though, so time, and reflection, but mostly time ease the pain.

My parents are long gone now, hanging on to them, dragging them with me, because in my grief,.. I can't leave them in peace.. no.

Death is almost never welcome, sometimes however, it's a release. One we have to accept, grieve and move on.

letting go finally.

Not a happy ending, but a natural one.

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