Opinion | Coach Coughlin and the Caregiver’s Love and Heartbreak

2 mins read

Thanks, Coach, for casting mild on the truth of what love can do within the presence of struggling. Depend on my prayers as you proceed this journey along with your beloved Judy.

(Sister) Arlene Flaherty
Blauvelt, N.Y.

To the Editor:

Slipping away can typically be a blessing. Recognized with Alzheimer’s, my Rosemarie has been slipping away for over 12 lovely years, lovely for her in addition to for me.

Simply as a baby delights in every new second, Rosemarie savors every second as if it had been new. Simply as our 2-year-old granddaughter comes working to us exclaiming, “I noticed a butterfly!” so, too, Rosemarie broadcasts every day her thrilling discovery of a robin, or a squirrel or a serpentine vine (although she now not remembers what they’re known as).

Simply as a baby slowly learns gratitude for assist and for all times, Rosemarie thanks me once more as we uncover a brand new means I’m able to assist her.

We had been unwittingly made prepared for this graced time collectively in our wedding ceremony some 50 years in the past. As we gave thanks for our many presents, we mentioned: “For our ignorance, which lets us surprise, we give thanks. For our forgetfulness, which lets us start anew, we give thanks. For our weak spot, which lets us rely upon others, we give thanks.”

Richard Stith
Valparaiso, Ind.

To the Editor:

Tom Coughlin’s account of being the caregiver for his spouse, who suffers from progressive supranuclear palsy (P.S.P.), is a sadly acquainted one. Caregiving is bodily, emotionally and financially draining with any illness. P.S.P. serves up further challenges: Sufferers are sometimes within the prime of center age, with careers, household obligations and energetic private lives. Their lack of gainful employment, and sometimes the lack of revenue from a main caregiver, compounds the monetary devastation wrought by the illness.

The affected person’s signs quickly progress and are marked by catastrophic accidents from falls, impulsive habits, emotional withdrawal from their family members, cognitive decline, and, quickly sufficient, incapability to carry out fundamental bodily capabilities. P.S.P. is at present incurable and largely untreatable.

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