Shrinking world, shrinking control.

By December 7, 2014Caregiver, ePatient, Family man
Shrinking world, shrinking control. As my mom progresses through this ending period of her health journey, she needs more and more help with the basics. She demonstrates her customary approach to life by extending her arms out wide. Now she shows her life by hugging herself. It’s all about me now. She wants to finish her goodbyes and be pain-free. She hasn’t let go of concern about her safety.  With 24/7 care, one caregiver is her friend. They trust each other implicitly. The others – agency caregivers – can be familiar, trusted regulars or people present one time for one shift.  My mom checks her meds carefully. Even wanted a watch with bigger numbers on the face so she could check the time for meds. She checks every pill. She calls me or my sister if she’s not sure. Pain medicine is a challenge.  The agency caregivers can’t really give medications, they can only show her the meds in the pill-box or pill bottles and then put them in her hand to take herself. She has to ask for breakthrough pain meds and feels unsure of her allowed schedule. The tension between pain relief and lucidity. This tension increases as she anticipates my son’s and my visit next week. Wanting to be pain free and lucid for us. Actually, she’s a tough old broad, vital signs stable, laughing sometimes, watching Blue Bloods with my sister. Seems like my mom’s defining features come out in high relief during this period. Courage, resourcefulness, not wanting to be left out or surrender control, humor, adaptability, perseverating, love for family and friends. Tart and sweet. Wise and child-like.  Shrinking world, shrinking control. Oh, ma.


  • Judith Shester says:

    Thank you, Danny, for your heartfelt message about our dear Ruth. My thoughts are with her and all of you during these challenging days…
    Love, Judith S.

  • jcudhea says:

    Danny, ditto to all of the above, especially to anonymous. Thank you so very much, Joan C

  • Anonymous says:

    Danny, We only met once briefly at a luncheon but my heart goes out to you and your family during this transition in your lives. I wish you joy, humor and moments of peace in all you interactions with your Mom. She and you are both role models for the rest of us. With love, Gail

  • Anonymous says:

    Shrinking world, concentrated love.

  • krpooler says:

    Danny, my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family as you find your way through this bittersweet farewell. Somehow I feel your mom will give you all strength as she orchestrates her final wishes with style and grace. Safe travels and blessings and hugs to all~ Kathy

  • Anonymous says:

    Sweet words, tender emotions. Ruth you are loved deeply. Mary Ann

  • Benita Berkson says:

    Danny, words fail me. I love your mother too.

  • Anonymous says:

    Good morning Danny,
    I tearfully read your most recent blog entry. Ruth and I said our goodbye on November 17th. Your words remind me of the many gifts that so uniquely are Ruth. She knew then how important it was to be alert to family in the mid-December upcoming visits. Her clarity of purpose and resoluteness is a strength of her that I will hold near to my heart for the rest of my days .

    I so appreciate your generosity and gift of writing your thoughts and feeling in such moving and simple moments.

    I wish you and your family a precious time together in the coming weeks.

    With gratitude,

    Doug Braun-Harvey

  • Anonymous says:

    Thank you for sharing your mother’s journey with us. It means more than you know.

  • Kato says:

    Dear Danny, Thanks for your communication. I knew Ruth was a tough old broad, she has to be even tougher now. Our thoughts are with you and your family, Love Aunt Kato

  • Anonymous says:

    As I get ready for Sunday time at UU, I miss my friend. Thank you Danny for sharing.
    Ruth is fully Ruth, to her core.
    Love to you all

  • sharon goodlove says:

    Thank You, Danny, for writing with your feeling heart. It is a virtual trip along with Ruth and her challenges to read your writing. It is painful and a pleasure, sort of like what you say about “ma”–tart and sweet. My wishes for peace for Ruth and all the family. Sharon in San Diego

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