Daily Camera (Boulder)

This end-of-life stuff can be a real killer


Thoughts from a friend: “When I was a kid, I wanted to be older. …. This is not what I expected.”

It all started in my 50s when I started losing my hearing. At first, I struggled with the reality of it. Then, my five-year-old granddaugh­ter, Siobhan, told me that I needed hearing aids. That sunk in and I got my first set, which really helped me. Since then, I have had about four sets of aids that have allowed me to carry on in life, effectivel­y. Now that I am 86, I look back and feel grateful to Siobhan for showing me the way to adapt to changes I had no ability to control.

In my 60s, I just knew that I should retire from full-time work. The stress was changing my behavior in a negative way. At 68, I had, what I thought was my first heart attack. I had a stent surgically inserted and found out that I had evidently had a silent attack sometime earlier. That must have been around the time I stopped working. Since then, I had a third heart attack after a cruise through the Panama Canal that put me in the hospital for four days. In between heart attacks, I had two prostate surgeries and in the last year and a half I’ve had one congestive heart failure and a fourth heart attack that led to another stent. After those experience­s, I stopped driving and sold my car. Then I had two bad falls and now have a caregiver. I attribute these events to the death of my wife, Deanna in January 2019. I’m not much without her. She came to me in a dream recently and told me that she wanted to go first so that I could complete all that had to be done. Then she laughed — typical!

“This end-of-life stuff can be a killer,” That’s what I think, and I’m sticking to my story.

— Joseph La Camera, Boulder

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