Award winning author, Lisa J. Shultz, is of the Baby Boomer generation and lost her father, age 89 in 2015. She embraces a challenging and often avoided topic of facing the end-of-life stage of a loved one. With courage, vulnerability and love, she recounts her dad's storied life, including its difficult ending. Wrought with what she felt was unnecessary suffering in for all involved at the end, she strives to help others find a more peaceful final chapter of life.
She begins her book by providing the background of her father, a World War II veteran. Their relationship was tenuous in Lisa's youth because she was disappointed and angered by his behavior, distancing herself from him and blaming him for the sudden end to their intact comfortable family life. As a young adult and after her father's sudden heart attack, Lisa was given a second chance to heal their relationship. Over the next three decades, they became closer, enjoying time together, including travel. When her dad entered his eighties, and while still raising her own children, Lisa found herself unprepared for his steady health decline. Suddenly, she was thrust into the role of overseeing his care as he began to experience increasing disability and the beginnings of dementia.
Not having prepared for or anticipated such a role, Lisa floundered as she attempted to address his ever-changing situation. The closeness and healing they had achieved was challenged as her father resisted conversations about his failing health and his care, exacerbated by a western medical system that fell short to prepare them for the end of his life.
After her father's death, Lisa began researching and compiling information aimed at educating and supporting others who may not be equipped for the challenges and decisions that arise when those we love begin to lose their health and mental clarity. The book also reminds us of our own mortality and inspires conversation and preparation to potentially ease the suffering for ourselves and those we leave behind.
A moving tribute to a remarkable man and a daughter's experience of losing her dad, A Chance to Say Goodbye gives rise to reflections about what is important in living and dying.
Understanding non-verbal communication taught by a horse. Patricia Conoway has created a breakthrough guide to help caregivers connect with their loved ones suffering from Alzheimer's disease and related dementias. She takes us on her journey with her mother Kay who's in the late stages of Alzheimer's, dependent on others for her most basic needs, and no longer able to communicate verbally, when her horse, Dream enters Patricia's life. Dream had been severely abused by a previous owner, and where others would have given up, Patricia was determined to heal her. In this book, Patricia describes her dual struggles with her mother's steady decline and persistent issues with care facilities while she's going through the slow process of learning her horse's body language. Eventually Dream teaches Patricia communication by "watching and listening" with her senses, which she translates to non-verbal "conversations" with her mother. Patricia's straightforward account of her own frailties, doubts and eventual success should be recommended reading for anyone who struggles to relate to a person who has lost verbal communication.
At this moment, one in three Americans is entering midlife, and many are wondering, "How did I get to be this old?" Plenty will turn to miracle creams, injections, fillers, and surgery to reverse the hands of time, but Kessler investigates the largely unexplored side of anti-aging: what it takes to be younger, not just look younger. Guided by an open but pleasantly skeptical mind, a thirst for adventure, and a sense of humor, she investigates America’s youth obsession and decides, on a very personal level, what to do about it. She is at once the careful reporter, the immersion journalist, the self-designated lab rat, and a midlife woman who is not interested in being as old as her driver’s license insists she is.
Counterclockwise is a lively quest to discover how to maintain stamina, vitality, fortitude, and creativity right to the very end.
"The human smile is an anti-gravity device. Kessler’s delightful, witty book actually takes 20 yearsoff your face!"
About 100 million Americans live with some form of chronic pain—more than the combined number who suffer from diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. But chronic pain has always been a mystery. It often returns at the slightest provocation, even when doctors can’t find anything wrong. Oddly enough, whether the pain is physical or emotional, traumatic or slight, our brains register all pain as the same thing, and these signals can keep firing in the nervous system for months, even years.
In Total Recovery, Dr. Gary Kaplan argues that we’ve been thinking about disease all wrong. Drawing on dramatic patient stories and cutting-edge research, the book reveals that chronic physical and emotional pain are two sides of the same coin. New discoveries show that disease is not the result of a single event but an accumulation of traumas. Every injury, every infection, every toxin, and every emotional blow generates the same reaction: inflammation, activated by tiny cells in the brain, called microglia. Turned on too often from too many assaults, it can have a devastating cumulative effect.
Conventional treatment for these conditions is focused on symptoms, not causes, and can leave patients locked into a lifetime of pain and suffering. Dr. Kaplan’s unified theory of chronic pain and depression helps us understand not only the cause of these conditions but also the issues we must address to create a pathway to healing. With this revolutionary new framework in place, we have been given the keys to recover.