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When Caring For A Sick Spouse Shakes a Marriage To The Core

November 17, 2019

From the Kaiser Health News website

For a dozen years, Larry Bocchiere, 68, didn’t find it especially difficult to care for his wife, Deborah, who struggled with breathing problems. But as her illness took a downward turn, he became overwhelmed by stress.

For a dozen years, Larry Bocchiere, 68, didn’t find it especially difficult to care for his wife, Deborah, who struggled with breathing problems. But as her illness took a downward turn, he became overwhelmed by stress.

“I was constantly on guard for any change in her breathing. If she moved during the night, I’d jump up and see if something was wrong,” he said recently in a phone conversation.  “It’s the kind of alertness to threat that a combat soldier feels. I don’t think I got a good night’s sleep for five years. I gained 150 pounds.”

As her chronic obstructive pulmonary disease worsened and heart failure set in, Deborah was taking 24 medications each day and rushing to the hospital every few weeks for emergency treatments.

“Toward the end, I couldn’t stay in the same room with her for too long because I couldn’t stand to watch her being so sick,” Bocchiere said. His wife died in 2013.

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