Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Bernard Mooney - Tough Care - Guest Post

My thanks to Bernard Mooney for stopping by Tribute Books Reviews & Giveaways for a guest post about his book, Tough Care.

Guest Post

I recently self-published a book called Tough Care. It's the story of how my wife Celia and I struggled through a very tough four-year period during which she was stricken by serious illnesses. Celia was a young-at-heart and vivacious woman, former soldier, wife and mother. We were married 39 years. Celia now rests proudly and peacefully in Arlington National Cemetery where our sons and I have interred her with full military honors.

Unfortunately, there are a huge and growing number of fellow baby boomers who will inevitably face very similar circumstances. Both academic and industry studies have determined that homecare has been more prevalent than one might imagine in the US, and that future caregivers will not only be older, but will also have to simultaneously cope with ailments of their own.

During your seemingly endless time as a caregiver, you will experience many occasions when you will want to halt and reverse the movement of time. As you watch a bright, strong, energetic person make the slow, steady slide of physical, mental and emotional deterioration you will curse the hands of time. Hour by hour, day by day and year by year you will have to minimize your loved one’s discomfort and pain. But you cannot change time. You cannot stop it. You cannot reverse it. You must survive it.

You must also take all estimates about the time that is left in a person’s life with a grain of salt. People who are at the end of their lives choose their own time. At some point they realize that it is the end game. I saw Celia resolve within herself that it was time to go. I am convinced that she took control and left before the people she held most dear could see her in her deteriorated state.

Perseverance is key. You will have any number of occasions when you will want to just quit and run away from the situation. Picture yourself supporting the weight of an adult with one arm while changing their soiled diaper with the other. All this while they scream and holler at you and try and bite chunks out of your chest. Quitting and running away just is not in the cards, however. They need you, whether or not they realize it. You do realize it. You must do what is right for them just as a parent does for a small child. The ends of our lives have many similarities to the beginning.

You will be compelled by your own sense of duty and responsibility to ‘soldier on’ through what will seem to be an endless series of difficulties. One of the most difficult things to learn is that arguing with someone suffering the effects of dementia (of any form) is absolutely futile. Confrontation does not work. You will be arguing with someone whose mind is no longer capable of rational thought. You will need to endure and continue to care for them, no matter how ‘tough’ it gets.

About the Book
Tough Care

Book Details:
Genre: Memoir

Publisher: self-published
Publication Date: January 1, 2012
Pages: 130
Format: paperback & ebook
Price: $15.95 paperback, $8.99 ebook
Buy Link:
Amazon, Kindle

Tough Care is a tender and candid account of the time one veteran spent caring for his dying spouse (also a veteran), in which he offers advice and support to those in, or about to face, similar situations. The number of fellow baby boomers about to face these situations is huge and their time is fast approaching. Tough care is derived from the concept of tough love. My wife, Celia, proudly served in the US Women’s Army Corps (WAC) during the Vietnam Era. Years later, however, she was stricken by serious illnesses that caused her to deteriorate from a young and vivacious woman, soldier, wife, and mother, to a severely incapacitated homecare patient. In ‘Tough Care’, I explain how her downfall stemmed from Type 2 Diabetes, which ultimately led to physical paralysis, dementia, and stroke before she died (far too early) at age sixty-four. I was born in 1951, so I believe that there are many of my fellow baby boomers that will benefit from the open sharing of my experiences as the lone caregiver for all but a few weeks of Celia’s last years on this earth. I was assisted by home nursing and home hospice professionals during her last few weeks. The whole process proved to be a long, painful, and arduous ordeal for a couple who had been life partners for thirty-nine years. Unfortunately, there are many who will inevitably face very similar circumstances. Both academic and industry studies have determined that homecare has been more prevalent than one might imagine in the US, and that future caregivers will not only be older, but will also have to simultaneously cope with ailments of their own. This compassionate and touching memoir reveals the many lessons a dedicated and devoted spouse learned in a marriage that was filled with love, respect, sadness, and joy. Readers are sure to find comfort in the advice that is offered, and will find references and online links to valuable resources such as the AARP, American Legion, VFW, Military Women’s Organizations, Diabetes Foundation, Hospice Care Foundation, and Home Care Foundation particularly helpful.

About the Author
Bernard Mooney

I am a retired Army Officer. During my military career, I attained a BS in business administration at Athens State College, Alabama, and an MBA at New Mexico State University. I also served as the principal training developer and senior instructor on automated and manual administrative systems for the US Army Reserve and National Guard. I culminated my Army career as the director of operations for a large mainframe computer facility in the Pentagon. After my retirement form the Army, I co-founded and served for sixteen years as president, CEO, and as a senior automated systems architect of DINA, Inc., a twenty-five-person computer system integration firm. I simultaneously served as technical project manager for several large Department of Defense-distributed processing projects. I am now retired for a second time, and currently live either in Las Vegas, Nevada, or at my secondary home in Arlington, Virginia.

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