Two weeks ago, on May 24th, my husband, Alan G. Moore, MD, died after a long battle with dementia. In 2009, during a complex surgical procedure, he found himself struggling to remember the steps of an operation he had performed hundreds of times. Neuro-psychometric testing revealed so-called “mild cognitive dysfunction” which was likely the beginning of the dementia that had afflicted both his parents. However, he was a brilliant man, and given his high level of functioning, it was suggested that he might be able to keep practicing if he started taking Alzheimer’s medication. He was only 60 years old with a successful practice, and our youngest child was only 13. He simplified the discussion by asking whether the neuropsychologist would allow him to operate on his wife. After a moment’s reflection, the psychologist said, “No, I wouldn’t,” to which Alan responded, “That’s all I really need to know.” The following day, he closed his practice, to the dismay of his devoted office staff and his patients. He would not risk the health of a woman or her baby in order to make a softer financial landing for himself.
Being an obstetrician gave his life purpose, and he never quite got over having to give it up. For about a year after his retirement, he went to the grocery store every day, a place he had rarely gone previously. It was months before I figured out that he had a busy consultative practice in the produce section. He even kept regular office hours at night. Even sound asleep, I could hear him lucidly explaining the risk vs. benefit of hormone replacement therapy. For nearly ten years, life with Alan was like living in the movies “Finding Nemo,” and “Fifty First Dates,” only not as funny. To the amazement of his doctors and the disappointment of his disability insurance company, the progression of his dementia was inexplicably slow, something for which I am incredibly grateful. During that critical decade, our children grew up and my step-daughter gave birth to two grandchildren he was able to enjoy. It was as if God put up His hand and held back the tide. Then five months ago, he began to decline at a meteoric pace and thankfully, God took him home.
I am incredibly appreciative of all the encouraging emails, calls and texts I have received, the support of our church, my fantastic staff at CHI St. Luke’s in The Woodlands, and the Intellicure family. I don’t think anyone ever had a better support system at work or home. I am proud of our children and the way they have risen to this challenge. In those dreadful last months, I was encouraged by a passage written by my favorite author, C.S. Lewis in The Great Divorce, the allegorical tale of a bus ride from Hell to Heaven. A resident of Heaven offers this perspective on Earth and its suffering: “Earth, if chosen instead of Heaven, will turn out to have been, all along, only a region in Hell: and earth, if put second to Heaven, to have been from the beginning a part of Heaven itself…..Heaven, once attained, will work backwards and turn even agony into glory. The good man’s past begins to change so that his forgiven sins and remembered sorrows take on the quality of Heaven: …it is best described as the opposite of a mirage. What seemed, when they entered it, to be the vale of misery turns out, when they look back, to have been a well; and where present experience saw only salt deserts, memory truthfully records that the pools were full of water.”
I am grateful for the many friends and colleagues who made pools of water for me in the desert. I am confident that for my husband, Heaven has worked backwards, and that the only thing he is now unable to recall is his past sorrow. We will have a celebration of his life on Saturday June 15th.
Dr. Fife is a world renowned wound care physician dedicated to improving patient outcomes through quality driven care. Please visit my blog at CarolineFifeMD.com and my Youtube channel at https://www.youtube.com/c/carolinefifemd/videos
May he rest in peace and hope you can find comfort in your wonderful memories! You are in our prayers! Kaye and Maury
On Fri, Jun 7, 2019 at 10:12 AM Caroline Fife, MD wrote:
> Caroline Fife, MD posted: “Two weeks ago, on May 24th, my husband, Alan G. > Moore, MD, died after a long battle with dementia. In 2009, during a > complex surgical procedure, he found himself struggling to remember the > steps of an operation he had performed hundreds of times. Neuro-ps” >
My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family, Unfortunately, I did not know that Alan passed away until I read your beautiful post. As usual, you helped all readers to identify with the reality of the moment. You are a beautiful writer, a beautiful wife and mother, a beautiful physician, and a beautiful woman. I feel honored to have worked with you in some small way and to have known Alan through you. If there is anything I can do to assist you in this very stressful time, please call on me. It is my time to offer support to you – just like you and Alan have supported so many patients!
Dear Dr Caroline Fife,I hope this does not post to your website. Please let me know if it does. I am so sorry for your loss. Time dulls the pain. Some people do not ever know someone as wonderful as your husband. We have to realize God was Blessing you with the time you had with him and you will see him again. Little did you know your old friend, has been following you on your website and learning about wound care. It hits home because I have survived it intact. You are so brilliant and I love you so much! My husband has a wound that will not heal. He has an appointment to see you in a few weeks. I will do my best to go with him, just because I want to give you a hug and see him healed. . I now live on a farm with cattle and four horses. We live on a river with real God made waterfalls! You have always been beautiful on the inside and out!I will always love you like a sister. Your faithful forever friend,Patricia Crawford
How BEAUTIFUL!!!! I’ve never met you Dr Fife, only admired you from afar for your incredible knowledge, but reading your touching tribute to your husband was moving. You made it so clear how wonderful of a man, husband, physician, father, disciple, and person he was, and how very very much you loved him. So moving to read. I can’t imagine the type of loss you and your family are living, but am very grateful that you have the power of faith in a God that heals all. May you be comforted by the thoughts of your husband, now healed and at peace, with our Heavenly Father in Paradise. And thank you for all of the years you have given of yourself, sharing your wound knowledge and expertise with others. Your professional passion has always been evident, and today I can see how passionately you love.
Kim Barcia RN,CWS
I’m very sorry to hear of your loss and will keep you and your family in my thoughts! Kind Regards.