The textual content with the video attachment landed in the midst of an necessary work assembly on Zoom. I ought to have stayed centered on the dialogue at hand, however as an alternative I let my finger hover over the picture on the display after which let it faucet “play.”
My mom, 85 and her thoughts riddled by dementia, was dancing at a cheerful hour on the assisted-living middle close to me the place she lives. There she was: her hair completely coifed, nonetheless jet black, the slight swivel of the hips, the intentional means she tapped her Mary Jane-clad ft in time to “When the Saints Go Marching In.” My mom. The girl who had come to america from Eire as a brand new bride in 1957 — not the pale imitation of the girl I had final seen dance this manner at her grandson’s marriage ceremony in August 2019, the evening earlier than a stroke would set off the tumbling dominoes of dementia. The 15-second snippet would carry me — giddy — via the remainder of the day’s conferences. I eagerly regarded ahead to visiting her that evening to listen to her inform me concerning the afternoon that had clearly introduced her a lot pleasure.
“Mother, I’m right here. It’s Tracy,” I referred to as as I knocked on the door of her condominium within the Riderwood retirement neighborhood in Silver Spring, Md. The doorways are usually not locked, however I’m all the time conscious to knock and announce my presence earlier than getting into the condominium. At the same time as compromised as she is, she deserves some semblance of privateness and dignity.
I moved via the kitchenette and lounge towards her spacious bed room and located her sitting in mattress propped up with pillows. “Why would you even hassle to come back see me?” she virtually spat. “I’ve been sitting alone on this condominium since Friday. Nothing to do however stare on the 4 partitions. Don’t hassle to come back in any respect when you’re going to deal with me this manner.”
It wasn’t the phrases that have been mentioned however as an alternative the best way she mentioned them — in what my sister and I’ve come to discuss with as “the chilly voice.” Anybody who hears my mom communicate this manner would swear she was in full management of her colleges; she conveys a certitude that typically makes me query my very own recollection of the information.
I may have identified that this was Thursday and that I had been over Saturday, Sunday and Tuesday or that along with the great workers, she’d had each day visits from her personal caregivers. However I had realized that rebuttal is ineffective, reasoning is pointless, so I went for distraction and redirection.
Appearing as if she had mentioned nothing to me, I went over and gave her a peck on the cheek. In my most upbeat, encouraging voice — the one I had used to persuade 3-year-old twins to strive a brand new meals and which I assumed I had retired completely twenty years in the past — I mentioned, “Mother, I heard you have been chopping a rug on the glad hour at the moment. Was the band good?”
“What are you speaking about?” Nonetheless the chilly voice.
“Did you dance to ‘When the Saints Go Marching In’? I heard you stole the present on the dance ground.”
“The band was superb.” Her tone was only a contact softer. “Your father actually loved them.” (My father’s been lifeless for 9 years, however we have been making progress.)
“Effectively, I believe they’re doing glad hours each Thursday afternoon, so it’s best to completely go; they appear enjoyable.”
“They’re bringing in a special band every week; I may not like all of them.”
“Effectively, you don’t know when you don’t strive. You’ll be able to all the time resolve subsequent Thursday when you’re as much as going.”
“Sure, that’s what I’ll do. We did all have a ball at the moment. Everybody right here is so good, and it’s such a gorgeous place.” She mentioned this with a smile on her face and heat in her voice. And within the second, I used to be glad that she was glad.
I may not all the time have discovered such pleasure in a small victory. I’ve performed the function of caregiver to family members who have been severely unwell thrice in my life — and I didn’t used to imagine in settling for minor triumphs. As a 30-something mom of critically untimely twins, I satisfied myself that the sheer energy of affection may assist certainly one of my boys overcome a prognosis that had left nurses in tears and docs recoiling. Ten years later, I introduced the identical self-styled hubris to my husband’s Stage 4 most cancers prognosis. A reporter’s doggedness, I assumed, can be my secret weapon. If I discovered the best physician, the best hospital, the best remedy, I may rewrite the ending. Somebody needed to be within the 5 % that survived previous 5 years, proper?
After I moved my mom throughout the nation initially of the pandemic, I used to be greater than twenty years previous that untimely delivery and greater than a decade previous the most cancers prognosis. I used to be about to turn out to be a main caregiver once more, and but none of this felt acquainted. The illness itself was totally different — dementia can not, after all, be defeated — however so was I. As soon as I believed that if I cared sufficient, I may clear up any drawback. Now I knew this had been a fiction all alongside.
“Nevertheless it’s too quickly; what about Child B?”
That was how I responded to my OB/GYN asserting my twins have been going to be born at the present time, a cool, crisp November afternoon, despite the fact that they weren’t due till mid-January.
“Child A isn’t transferring a lot, isn’t rising; he’ll do higher out. And Child B is greater; he’ll be fantastic.”
It was my private Sophie’s Selection: carry my boys into the world too early to assist save Child A, or allow them to keep inside to let Child B’s lungs, blood vessels and different organs develop whereas Child A atrophied. Besides my physician’s tone of voice made it clear there actually was no selection. Inside three hours and through emergency C-section, Child A, who would turn out to be Andrew, and Child B, Christopher, would enter the world — whether or not they, I, their dad or the world was prepared.
Andrew, weighing simply 2 kilos 13 ounces, was born first; he regarded like each March of Dimes poster you’ve ever seen. Fragile, birdlike, translucent and with a cry like a billy goat. Christopher got here a minute later. At 4 kilos 11 ounces, he regarded like a chubby-cheeked Gerber child in comparison with his brother.
Each have been despatched instantly to the neonatal intensive care unit the place, over the following week, they’d be fed by tubes; meals consumption can be charted, diapers weighed, exams performed. An electrocardiogram adopted by an ultrasound revealed that Christopher had two holes in his coronary heart. It’s a testomony to the complexity of the prognosis to come back that this is able to be a footnote in our household story.
The complication of prematurity that reporter-me had turn out to be most obsessive about within the waning weeks of my being pregnant, when it had turn out to be all however sure that these infants would arrive early, had been intracranial hemorrhage. Seems that the atmospheric stress in utero is totally different from that out within the “actual world,” and the linings of blood vessels, notably these within the mind, don’t sometimes thicken sufficient to take care of outdoors air till about 34 weeks of gestation. My boys have been born at 32.5 weeks. What can occur is that blood leaches out of the weakened blood vessels, bathing the mind in blood. Within the days after the boys have been born, I requested each physician I encountered about intracranial hemorrhage. My hand was patted. Scans can be finished in due time, when the boys’ general well being was extra steady, however I shouldn’t fear.
Due time turned out to be the week after their delivery, and by then, to be sincere, we had settled into the rhythm and the routine of the NICU. I pumped breast milk and realized about kangaroo care, cuddling the boys subsequent to my naked pores and skin; we acquired used to the nurses who have been relentlessly upbeat and those that acted as if optimism have been to be prevented in any respect price lest it result in heartbreak.
“It’s okay so that you can be indignant with God,” one nurse, who was a nun, informed me. “I’m indignant with God at the moment.”
When Invoice and I arrived on the NICU on that Tuesday morning, Day 8 of our boys’ lives, we have been greeted by a grim-faced workforce of docs who ushered us right into a windowless convention room that simply may have been mistaken for a book-lined broom closet. “We acquired the outcomes of the mind scans. Christopher had a Grade 1 intracranial hemorrhage. We grade them from 1 to 4; Grade 1 bleeds usually resolve by themselves; the mind heals. He may have some intervention, however you most likely received’t see any long-term impacts.”
I wished to ask extra questions on Christopher: How did this have an effect on the problem together with his coronary heart? What sort of intervention? What have been the attainable long-term implications of a Grade 1 bleed? However I had didn’t learn the room. Not one of the docs wished to speak about Christopher. That was information to get out of the best way shortly; it was not information that required a workforce of docs to drag mother and father into a non-public room, a spot the place their response to the unspeakable can be shielded from different mother and father visiting their sick infants.
“Andrew has had a excessive Grade 3 bleed. Both simply earlier than or after his delivery, he had an enormous hemorrhage on the left aspect of his mind.” The remainder of the dialog I recall solely in snatches of phrases and phrases. “Profound.” “Mind injury.” “Could possibly be blind.” “Deaf.” “Might by no means stroll or speak.” “Would require intervention.” “Prognosis very unclear.” “So very sorry.”
The sheer sonic shock of the information left me unable to cry, unable to talk. All of the questions I had relating to Christopher simply crumpled inside me. The magnitude of the intestine punch was inconceivable to soak up. However as Invoice and I left the claustrophobic convention room and walked over to the incubator the place Andrew lay, tears began leaking down my cheeks. Once we acquired there, Andrew was on his stomach, lifting his head, transferring his legs and arms purposefully as if making an attempt to crawl out of the Lucite field that was his dwelling. Squealing in frustration at his lack of ability to try this.
Invoice turned and noticed the tears. “Why are you crying?” He sounded pissed off and bemused; I used to be flummoxed and aggravated. “Did you hear what they mentioned in there? He’s going to have such a tough life.”
“Take a look at him; there may be nothing incorrect with that youngster. I don’t care what they are saying.” He then slid his hand into the incubator to fist bump his firstborn. “Isn’t that proper, massive man?”
Invoice’s tackle Andrew’s scenario was distinctive. Medical professionals over the following few weeks would solely reiterate how dire the prognosis was. The day Andrew was recognized, certainly one of his nurses, a nun, got here up, hugged me and mentioned, “It’s okay so that you can be indignant with God. I’m indignant with God at the moment.”
A number of days later we bumped into a physician in my OB/GYN observe whereas ready for an elevator. She requested how the boys have been doing. “Okay,” I replied. “Christopher was born with two holes in his coronary heart.” “Oh, these will resolve by the point he’s 1,” she replied confidently. “And Andrew had a Grade 3 ICH,” I added. She took two steps again, making an attempt to get away from us as if this type of catastrophic prognosis have been contagious.
We had chosen our pediatrician as a result of he’d had untimely twins, certainly one of whom had some long-term however surmountable points. Two days after the boys have been launched from the NICU, we introduced them for his or her first appointment. The physician’s demeanor was grim. He outlined exams, interventions, issues to search for that might be regarding. I used to be making an attempt desperately to cling to some purpose for hope. “However your boy was born with some challenges and he’s doing properly now, proper?” I prompted. “Sure,” he replied, “however my boy was by no means as sick as yours is.” We acquired a brand new pediatrician.
What everybody really helpful for Andrew was “early intervention”: having a pediatric bodily therapist begin engaged on assessments and workout routines as quickly as attainable. When you could have a medically fragile youngster in a county the place the well-educated inhabitants pays excessive taxes, you be taught that there are plentiful companies. And so, when Andrew was about 10 weeks outdated, he had his first bodily remedy session with a stunning girl who acquired him to chuckle whereas she moved his legs and arms as he lay on his again on a colourful play mat in our household room. She commented on how he checked out her face, adopted her palms together with his eyes, and talked about that the best way he arched and scooted on his again was a typical observe that preemies developed that “we have to break him of.”
Because the 45-minute session ended, this chatty, competent, wiry, middle-aged PT regarded on the file she had on Andrew and sighed in deep frustration. “Is one thing incorrect?” I requested nervously.
“I simply hate it after they mess up the paperwork. How arduous is it to get a prognosis proper?”
“What does the paperwork say? What’s incorrect?”
“Effectively, it says Andrew had a Grade 3 bleed.”
“Oh, that’s not incorrect. I’ve the scans of the left aspect of his mind. I can present you them if it’s worthwhile to see them.”
“Mrs. Grant, I’ve been doing this for 25 years. I work with loads of youngsters who’ve high-level mind bleeds. Let me inform you: I’ve by no means seen an toddler with a Grade 3 bleed who seems to be like your son. Your boy is a miracle.”
There can be years of intervention, exams, visits with pediatric specialists. Andrew would stroll and speak later than his brother; he would be taught to experience a motorcycle later; inexplicably, he would by no means be taught to pump his legs to swing on a swing. However in the end what had appeared to be the worst information we may ever obtain turned out to be a narrative with the happiest of endings. And an concept took root: that fierce love and dogged dedication may overcome all. As Invoice had mentioned so resolutely on the outset, “There’s nothing incorrect with that youngster.”
Christmas Eve 2006 dawned with a thud and a cry. I used to be downstairs making espresso when one thing arduous hit the ground upstairs. “Tracy!”
I don’t recall the place Andrew and Christopher, simply turned 11, have been however most likely within the basement enjoying video video games. There are various great issues about twins, and the flexibility to entertain one another is excessive on that checklist. At this stage of our lives, it was a necessity. Since a July night when a dizzy spell began a month-long cascade of exams exhibiting that Invoice had three tumors in his mind and a big one in his lung, the boys — for the primary time of their lives — weren’t the middle of my universe.
I raced up the steps and located Invoice crumpled on the ground subsequent to our mattress. “I can’t transfer my proper arm and leg,” he mentioned. I positioned my shoulder beneath his proper aspect and helped him get to a sitting place on the aspect of the mattress. And in a break up second, I felt singular abject rage. Unexpressed however surging via my being was one thought: “Christmas Eve. Are you f—ing kidding me, God? You couldn’t allow us to have one final Christmas. You’re taking my husband. You’re taking my sons’ father … however that’s not sufficient? It’s good to take Christmas too?”
As a substitute, I phoned the on-call oncologist at MedStar Georgetown College Hospital, the place Invoice had been handled surgically with chemotherapy and state-of-the-art CyberKnife radiation over the earlier 4 months. Stage 4 melanoma had been the prognosis. About as grim as diagnoses come. He was 53 years outdated. We had been married 19 years.
The result of our earlier disaster sat subsequent to me on the kitchen desk every morning: two stunning, wholesome boys. We had crushed the chances as soon as, I informed myself; we’d do it once more.
“He wants to come back to the ER straight away,” I used to be informed. “However, physician,” I mentioned, “it’s Christmas Eve.” It was a plea and a prayer, born out of understanding how hospitals work. They’d need to run scans and exams, however they’d not do these on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. And in the event that they did, the outcomes wouldn’t be shortly or definitively learn.
Up till this dialog, I had not allowed the understanding of the prognosis to take maintain. Actually, I had seen it as an infinite impediment to beat, a merciless coincidence however not a loss of life sentence. I made calls to the main melanoma researchers on the Nationwide Institutes of Well being, Johns Hopkins College, MD Anderson Most cancers Heart and the College of Pennsylvania. My job was to maintain Invoice alive lengthy sufficient for a remedy to be developed. I requested about experimental therapies, was informed they may not be coated by insurance coverage and made clear that I might promote my soul for a remedy which may work. For the briefest of moments, I allowed myself to really feel sorry for our household. We had gone via hell with the boys’ untimely births; why have been we being visited by medical demons once more? And but, the result of that earlier disaster sat subsequent to me on the kitchen desk every morning: two stunning, wholesome boys. We had crushed the chances as soon as, I informed myself; we’d do it once more.
However by the point I discovered myself on the telephone with Georgetown Hospital on Christmas Eve, I knew he was dying; I knew we have been counting months, not years. I had not, nevertheless, given voice to the timeline. Now, talking to the physician, I drew my voice all the way down to a whisper. “We now have 11-year-old sons,” I reminded him. “What if that is his final … ?”
The physician sighed closely, minimize me off and mentioned, “Name if he will get worse, and you then’ll have to come back in.”
We’d, one way or the other, make it via Christmas morning with the boys squealing in glee round their dad, who held his espresso unsteadily in his left hand. Christmas dinner concerned having Invoice’s sisters and a few of their youngsters over. I managed to decorate Invoice, put dinner on the desk and marvel that he ate as if he have been ravenous. He had, over the course of 36 hours, discovered find out how to use his good arm and leg to maneuver round the home so properly that he stood on the entrance door to wave goodbye as they left.
“I believe that went very well,” he mentioned, and regarded down at me and gave me a kiss. The oncologist would, after the top, inform me that he thought we have been completely loopy to not come into the hospital on Christmas Eve. He was little doubt proper, medically. But when Invoice had been within the hospital for his final Christmas, it could not have modified the result; it could merely have disadvantaged him of Christmas morning together with his boys, Christmas dinner together with his sisters, and some extra days of believing that perhaps, simply perhaps, we may beat this factor.
The reason for the paralysis was finally seen on a devastating scan. Tumors up and down his backbone. Actually dozens of tumors that had not been in his physique six weeks earlier than when the final set of scans had proven “steady illness.”
“You need to think about hospice at this level,” the oncologist intoned grimly.
“I’m 53 years outdated; I’ve a spouse and two boys; I’m not giving up,” Invoice replied evenly.
“Folks typically reside longer, do higher on hospice care, have higher high quality of life,” the physician pushed again.
“Did you hear what he mentioned?” I snapped, a very protecting lioness. “We’ll want to debate what the remedy choices are.”
I not believed it might be crushed; however I couldn’t let Invoice assume I had stopped believing. “I’m not doing hospice; I’m not leaving you a widow at 43,” he mentioned to me after the physician walked out of the hospital room. He lived one other 2½ months and died 9 days earlier than my forty third birthday.
When my mother suffered a stroke on Aug. 11, 2019, I knew sufficient to be grateful. I thanked God that she was stricken within the hours after Christopher’s marriage ceremony reception had concluded. She had posed for photos, glowed on the reward heaped on each of her grandsons and danced the evening away. Maybe the God who had determined to go to tragedy on us within the hours earlier than Christmas a dozen years earlier had fine-tuned his sense of timing.
The morning after the marriage, my sister, who was staying at Mother’s home along with her husband, reported that Mother wasn’t feeling properly. I used to be largely unconcerned; numerous exercise, I assumed, had taken it out of her. After I stopped to say goodbye earlier than heading to the airport, I used to be shocked. Shocked at how profound her confusion was and shocked that she wasn’t already within the emergency room.
After a number of days within the hospital and one other week in rehab, Mother appeared to be recovering properly, and the concept of her persevering with to reside an energetic life on her personal — driving, assembly with associates, going to the theater — appeared attainable. Nevertheless, over the following six months, she would expertise a precipitous, inexorable decline of cognition. Our nightly calls would more and more require repeated explanations of find out how to hold up the telephone. On good nights, it took three or 4 makes an attempt. On dangerous nights, I might textual content the neighbor to go over and assist her. As soon as, about 40 minutes right into a dialog about how her TV was damaged and she or he couldn’t change the channel, it occurred to me that she was making an attempt to alter the channel with the telephone.
We began with in-home assist and occupational remedy. Great individuals who have been caring and attentive. However we knew Mother wanted to be nearer to household. Retirement communities have been researched, and plans have been made for Mother to maneuver from Chicago to the D.C. space, the place I reside. After which the pandemic hit.
The e-mail landed in my inbox as I sat amongst two dozen socially distanced colleagues at scrubbed however circa 2002 desks in a dingy workplace park in Laurel, Md. That we have been all there was nothing wanting a miracle. Eight days earlier, the overwhelming majority of the newsroom of The Washington Publish had been rapidly despatched dwelling to attend out a world pandemic that might change nearly all the things for almost everybody.
I had been tasked with establishing an emergency, redundant newsroom. Computer systems had been ordered and put in. Excessive-speed Web had been routed. These desks had been scrubbed and separated. Chairs had been transported from a smooth workplace blocks from the White Home. Air purifiers had nearly eradicated the scent of stale ink from printing presses that had not whirred to life producing neighborhood newspapers for a decade. Right this moment, we have been doing a dry run. Seeing if we may truly produce the web site and newspaper.
“Does this variation your plans on your mother?” learn the e-mail from my son’s mother-in-law, a relationship nonetheless sufficiently new that at any time when I notice Christopher has a mother-in-law, I’ve to cease and let the thought pinball round my consciousness for a couple of moments.
The e-mail included a hyperlink to a Chicago Tribune story. Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker was “locking down” the state. Because the pandemic took maintain of the nation, I had made the choice to carry my frail, 84-year-old mom to reside quickly with me. The plan had been for that to occur the next weekend, after the emergency newsroom had been examined, after I’d had a while to speak to my mother concerning the plan and put together her to go away the town she had lived in since coming to America from Eire.
It was simply after 2 p.m. on a Friday; the final flight to Chicago out of BWI was at 3:55. I needed to make that flight. I needed to get to Chicago. I had no concept how I might get again to Maryland. In these early days of the pandemic and “keep at dwelling” orders, there was extra confusion than readability. I thought — incorrectly it could end up — that the airports can be shut down. However I took solace in a line within the Trib story: “Interstate highways will stay open.” At the least I may make the 14-hour drive with mother, I assumed. Adopted instantly by “Candy Jesus.”
I booked the Southwest Airways flight as I bolted from the newsroom. And booked two seats on a return flight the following day simply in case. Prepared or not, my mother was coming to my dwelling.
Mother would reside in my home for 5 months. Each facet of life would change. I might inform govt editor Marty Baron, one of the crucial highly effective folks in American journalism, that I couldn’t meet after 5:30 p.m. as a result of Mother anticipated dinner on the desk at 6:15 and no later.
She would calmly announce at breakfast one morning that she wished the home windows within the bed room closed and locked. “Nevertheless it’s good and funky, and I do know you just like the breeze coming into the home,” I replied.
“The lads come within the home windows at evening, and that scares me,” she replied.
“However, Mother, you’re on the second ground; nobody can get into your bed room.”
“That’s fantastic so that you can say. They don’t come into your bed room and trouble you.”
So the home windows remained closed and locked. I confirmed that for her each evening. Like a mom checking for monsters beneath the mattress and within the closets.
More often than not she didn’t know the day of the week and even the 12 months. However there have been moments when the complexity of the mind was on full show. Requested who the president was, she would purse her lips and spit out a single phrase: TRUMP. Requested at a physician’s workplace for her Social Safety quantity, she may recite it with no pause.
Nevertheless, she couldn’t make new recollections, the docs defined, and her govt functioning — remembering if she had taken medicine, capacity to take a look at a calendar and perceive it — have been all however gone. And she or he knew it: Requested by a neurologist what she was experiencing, her eloquence left me speechless. “It looks like my thoughts is shrinking, physician.”
I’m unsure what I knew about dementia earlier than my mom’s stroke, nevertheless it had not registered to me that the cruelty of the illness was that persons are conscious they’re dropping their very own minds. Some, like my mom, attempt to battle it, working arduous to cling to what’s left of their sense of self. My mother knew what she ought to be capable of do, and she or he knew she couldn’t do it; that dissonance led to delusions, anger, frustration, allegations, recrimination. Lather. Rinse. Repeat.
This time, not like with Andrew or Invoice, I wasn’t certain what to wish for. For Andrew, it was a “regular” life. (Sure, I do know, however that’s what the prayer was. It’s what each mother or father’s prayer can be.) For Invoice, it was for “another.” Yet another evening of TV and pizza within the household room. Yet another recreation of playing cards with the boys. Yet another probability to make him chuckle.
However two years after her stroke, I barely acknowledge my mother. She wears diapers. I bathe her on the three or 4 days every week once I go to her. I remind her that she doesn’t must put sneakers on when she’s going to take a bathe.
The decline has been in some methods so fast and in others so excruciatingly sluggish. She nonetheless fights “to get higher” whilst she talks about talking along with her lifeless siblings and the individuals who come into her condominium to steal her sweets and potato chips.
However every Sunday, we have now dinner collectively. She normally picks from three decisions: rooster quesadilla, pizza, Potbelly sandwiches. When the climate is sweet, we dine alfresco within the courtyard at Riderwood. Typically we get fancy and have “fizzy water” with our meal. We all the time carry crackers to feed the geese regardless of the strict warnings prohibiting such misbehavior.
And I carry my iPhone and name up a playlist of requirements. “It Was a Very Good Yr.” “Georgia on My Thoughts.” “Danny Boy.” “America the Lovely.” On good nights her head bobs to the music, and she or he sings alongside to the refrains. Not all nights are good, however we all the time finish along with her favourite track, “Let It Be.”
She is aware of all of the phrases, and past understanding the phrases she appears to grasp them as properly. Or perhaps that’s simply me, looking for one thing there that isn’t.
I do know there’ll come the night once I queue up the track and she or he won’t comprehend it. And it will likely be then, maybe, that the phrases will matter most. Not for her, however for me, as we enter the ultimate stage of caregiving. With Andrew and Invoice, I allowed myself the delusion that there have been elements of their care that I may management. I’ve no such delusions now.
However the fact is that I’m no much less and no extra highly effective in caring for my mom than I used to be for my son and my husband. No kind of in management than I ever was. Simply extra conscious of the restrictions of being a caregiver — which is to say, the restrictions of being human.
Let it’s. Let it’s. Let it’s. Let it’s. There shall be a solution. Let it’s.
Tracy Grant is managing editor of The Publish.
Artwork course and design by Audrey Valbuena. Photograph enhancing by Dudley Brooks.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/journal/2021/10/26/painful-truth-about-caregiving-your-determination-isnt-enough-save-loved-one/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=wp_lifestyle | The painful fact about caregiving: Your dedication isn’t sufficient to avoid wasting a beloved one