Next week I am traveling to Boston to see a terminally ill friend. He has a very rare cancer he has been fighting for two years to no avail.
I made my reservations right after Christmas, and in the past few weeks, my friend's pain has escalated. He is now on morphine and in hospice care. I hope to be able to give him some comfort via cuddling but was wondering if anyone had suggestions for cuddling positions/techniques for people who are physically frail and in constant pain.
Also, in preparation for my visit, I've scheduled a cuddle in Boston with a CC buddy Saturday evening after spending the day with my friend so I, too, can have some sorely needed comfort as I am sure my heart will be completely and thoroughly broken. So glad to have that support via this community.
PHOTO: My friend and I, October 2019, Ralph Waldo Emerson House
Awwww, sweet picture @2dogmom. I had the blessed experience of snuggling someone who was 2 weeks away from dying, very weak. Not sure he had a ton of pain so this may be different, but what I did was climb into bed with him, sit behind him as he laid back on me, with my arms around him. I talked him through sinking into the pull of fatigue and gravity in a super calm voice, to allow a kind of template of surrender to death to be in him (rather than the I'm alone and this is scary, it's the mama's got me and I can relax into her). I don't know if this is at all feasible for your friend, but that's what my intuition led me to with mine, for what it's worth.
Thank you @littermate. That is a great suggestion. I think my friend's pain is more internal--tumors pressing organs and such--but uncomfortable nonetheless.
Bless your heart and his.
@2dogmom Praying for peace and strength for you and your friend.
Don't underestimate the benefit of simply holding someone's hand.
@littermate and @snuggleme123 🙏🏻❤️
@2dogmom Avoid anything that would cause you to put your weight on him. Nothing too tight in terms of hugging. The morphine will help with the pain but he is likely going to be weak and rigid. I recommend touching, lightly rubbing, holding his hand, touching his face, arm, leg, etc. I dont know whether he is bedbound, or is using medical equipment or oxygen, but you will need to factor in working around that. I know this is difficult and i am sorry for what your friend is going through. You and i have conversed privately about this in the past, and you know that i am here for you.
@pmvines not bedbound yet and no O2. He is weak. Thank you for the suggestions and being there. ❤️
Of course! No thanks needed
It is very difficult to do much of anything or even focus on having a conversation when you are in severe pain. Ask the hospice care physician if they can get him Dilaudid. I have had personal experience with it twice for kidney stone pain (I’m told the pain is worse than childbirth, though I have no basis of comparison). Morphine didn’t touch the pain but Dilaudid took it away in minutes. The hospice care nurse had it available for my father when he was dying of cancer.
I know your visit will bring joy to your dear friend.
Tests have shown that holding the hand of a significant other, increases one's pain threshold, so I'd guess that the interaction might be self-propagating ( for want of a better term ) that your friend will manage with you, activities which they could not tolerate with an inanimate object.
Just be careful. Few men will ever say to a date, "Yes it actually does hurt when you lay on me like that". A male Praying Mantis allows their head to be eaten.
Oh bless you. This is devastating. Aside from a grandparent, I've only cuddled the spouse of the dying, and that's hard enough. Thank you for being there for him.
With people who are fussy, nervous, uncomfortable, emotionally exhausted, etc, I spoon, mama bear, or lay them in my lap. It's non confrontational, and takes away any pressure to react or reciprocate, so they can just receive.
If he's immobilized, it's going to be more about presence and light touch. Lay facing him, hold his hand, look in his eyes, talk to him, stroke his cheek. Maybe break bad, and deal a few kisses on the knuckles, I mean, it's not going to escalate or anything 😥
You're doing the goddesse's work.
God bless you all.
He might like his feet and toes massaged.
Thank you for the info and kind words @MrPaul, @geoff1000 and @Groucho.
@cuddlerforu24 that’s a great idea... most people love to have their feet massaged!
@biancalovecraft thank you for all the ideas. He does live with his SO (who will have some respite time with me there) so no kisses! lol That’s not our relationship anyway. He’s been my professional “cheerleader” and mentor but yes it is devastating. 😢
The heart and soul can and will, I'm sure, be uninhibitedly cuddled by you with no worries of physical pain. That cuddle plane will have as much effect, if not more, than the physical interactions. Your friend will be blessed as all ways to have you there.
I was having a bad time of things and a friend said, "Can I help ?"
I replied, "You just did".
Very often it is the having of the option of something nice which matters, and the partaking of it is pleasant only because it confirms the option exists.
It's like carrying a cell phone on which you can call 911, you hope to not actually need it, but it is reassuring to know that if you do, someone will answer.
I saw this uplifting video message today and thought I’d share it with you and the community here.
I like the concept of "gallows humour" that one way to deal with being in an unbearably bad situation, is to find a joke in it.
Sometimes a situation can only be endured, by getting one's mind think about something else ; or to think about the situation in a different way.
I'm told that a good way to cure hiccups is to count the interval between them and make a graph, because each one is then wanted not unwelcome.
Prayed for your friend and that all goes very well on the 2nd Saturday of the 2020s. I believe in part he is still here is because of cuddlers and friends like you. Talk about appreciation
@2dogmom "I hope to be able to give him some comfort via cuddling but was wondering if anyone had suggestions for cuddling positions/techniques for people who are physically frail and in constant pain."
I don't think there's an answer to that question. Or, rather, your friend is the only one who knows the answer to that question and the answer might change from day to day or even from hour to hour. Pay attention. Ask. And be prepared to think outside the box. Cuddling in this case may not look like our usual concept of cuddling.
" I think my friend's pain is more internal--tumors pressing organs and such--but uncomfortable nonetheless."
Here's something to try if they will allow: assuming there's no port, broken skin, anything that would indicate not to put your hand there - put your hand flat over the area with just the weight of your hand, not pressing into the body, and put a gentle, sustained stretch on the skin. Hold it for a minute or two then gently ease off. I might give some temporary relief. (There are neurological reasons.)
Gentle stroking on arms, back, legs, head, face . . . all can be quite pleasant.
When I went to see my aunt when she was dying, I wanted so much to hold her. She was frail, mostly out of it, had an oxygen tube by her nose and bedrails, though they could be lowered. So I'd lean my head, lightly, against hers, my cheek against her cheek. I'd stroke her head. I made what contact I could without intruding on her.
Find out what they want. May need to use pillows as bolsters.
I'm glad you are able to spend this time with your friend. Those last hours with my aunt, the memory of that is precious to me.
@cuddlerforu24 "most people love to have their feet massaged!"
Some people don't, though. Ask them what they like. Whatever is done, be gentle.
@MrPaul @geoff1000 @MrCuddlenity @snuggle123 -- you guys are the BEST. So grateful for your support and kind words.
@Babichev I appreciate all the ideas -- communication and gentleness will be the words of the day!
@2dogmom You are a Angel in human form to your friend. What a beautiful thread, sad, but truly beautiful on many levels. It is one of the best, most serious, vulnerable, deepest, heartfelt threads on this forum and is needed! What love and care you have for your Mentor and our fellow friends, cuddlers on here, what great suggestions you offered to her, i think they are all very helpful and spot on.
2dogmom may your love come through your physical touch to your friend and offer some comfort and healing, even if only for that short time. As has been suggested, the power of loving touch/holding hands, is so powerful and cannot ever be underestimated. Please everyone look at the pic of 2dogman and her friend and take a moment to send loving energy their way and say a prayer if comfortable.
p.s. - It is such a wonderful picture, thank you for sharing it and making it real and genuine for us.
Gentle backscratches, scalp massages, and just let him find his comfortable position and then mold yourself to him. Just enjoy what time you have with him in whatever form that manifests into.
Big hugs to you, @2dogmom. You know you can holler any time if you need anything.
@dharma1257 far from an angel but I do strive to be kind and return love to those who love me. And, yes, the photo was to put a “face” on my friend because he deserves it.
@safensecure4u2 great suggestions... I appreciate you.
@Sideon thanks boo 😘
A famous golfer was told by a reporter after winning a tournament, that he had only won because he was lucky.
"That's true", agreed the golfer, "But it's funny, the more I practice, the luckier I get".
"Also, in preparation for my visit, I've scheduled a cuddle in Boston with a CC buddy Saturday evening after spending the day with my friend so I, too, can have some sorely needed comfort as I am sure my heart will be completely and thoroughly broken."
Yes, good for you, glad you are taking care of yourself too, you need and deserve it. I am sure you are broken, but hope you got some much needed comfort during your cuddle. Truly hope your visit went as well as could be with your friend, despite the circumstances.