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Living While Dying: An ALS Story
7 minutes | Jul 26, 2016
Songwriter finds inspiration in MPR series on Bruce Kramer
Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter Anna Schulze was so touched by the "Living While Dying" series that she wrote "Don't You Fade Away," featured on her new album "Pickford Market."
14 minutes | Apr 7, 2016
31. Saying goodbye
As Bruce Kramer's life nears its end, friends and family gather at his bedside to say goodbye. Cathy Wurzer shares her thoughts on the experience.
16 minutes | Mar 10, 2016
30. Tipping point
As ALS continues to diminish his physical capacity, Bruce Kramer considers when his condition will reach a tipping point. Bruce and his wife Ev rethink Bruce's end of life directives.
14 minutes | Jan 21, 2016
29. A love story
Bruce Kramer and his wife Ev Emerson discuss how they fell in love and how their relationship evolved through marriage and ALS.
10 minutes | Jan 7, 2016
The choir that he once directed visits Bruce Kramer's home at Christmas. He appreciates the frank and honest conversations he can have with friends and family as the end of his life approaches.
24 minutes | Dec 23, 2015
Bruce Kramer says ALS helped him focus on what is important in life: love and relationships. He also talks about a device he's been using that helps him breathe and the decision to enter hospice.
8 minutes | Dec 10, 2015
Bruce Kramer taught leadership ethics at the University of St. Thomas. He talked to students about how his training as a leader helped him adjust to life with ALS.
19 minutes | Dec 3, 2015
25. Being tested
Bruce Kramer is tired of having the progression of his ALS measured with a number. He has embraced living in the moment.
10 minutes | Nov 24, 2015
24. Prepared for ALS
Bruce Kramer tells us that during his childhood, his mother was frequently ill and in the hospital. He says that experience helped prepare him to deal with ALS.
12 minutes | Nov 19, 2015
23. The stress of caregiving
Bruce Kramer and his wife Ev Emerson discuss how their relationship has evolved as she has taken on the role of caregiver.
10 minutes | Nov 5, 2015
22. Teaching doctors
Bruce Kramer felt that the doctor who first told him that he had ALS did not deliver the devastating news with the proper compassion. Bruce decided to go back and give the doctor a critique on his bedside manner in the hope that future patients would have a better experience.
15 minutes | Oct 29, 2015
21. Wrestling with angels
Bruce Kramer talks about his thoughts on mortality and spirituality. He also has an encounter with the Dalai Lama which makes him think about what it means to be blessed.
13 minutes | Oct 22, 2015
20. Life becomes quieter
As ALS takes its toll on his body, Bruce Kramer decides that the time and energy required to go out and see friends is too great. Now, if people want to see him, they need to come to Bruce. And life at home becomes quieter.
20 minutes | Oct 15, 2015
19. Embracing loss
Bruce Kramer and Matthew of Mind/Body Solutions speak at an event at the University of St. Thomas. They talk about how all of our bodies are breaking down. They say it's important to embrace that reality rather than fight it.
19 minutes | Oct 8, 2015
18. The peanut gallery
Bruce Kramer responds to a series of articles in the New York Times which argue that suicide is a logical choice at the end of life. He also talks about the decision to surgically-install a device which helps him breathe and whether that decision was a way of denying his inevitable death.
14 minutes | Oct 1, 2015
17. Paper cuts
In the fall of 2013, the losses of ALS - or paper cuts, as Bruce called them - kept coming.
11 minutes | Sep 24, 2015
16. Two pictures
Two recent photographs of Bruce Kramer illustrate his frame of mind. In one, he didn't recognize himself at first and then saw what he calls the "ALS look." In another you see his pure joy at becoming a grandfather for the first time.
14 minutes | Sep 17, 2015
15. bucket list?
Bruce Kramer faced some important decisions as his ALS progressed. He contemplated whether he should get a diaphragmatic pacing system which would help him breathe. And he wondered about the value of checking things off a "bucket list."
15 minutes | Sep 10, 2015
14. drug trial ethics
Bruce Kramer believed that researchers need to rethink the way they test new drugs on ALS patients like him. He argued that the double-blind testing model doesn't work for a devastating fatal illness like ALS. In this episode of Living While Dying, we also hear from a bio-ethicist about the decision to deny some patients access to an experimental drug.
12 minutes | Sep 3, 2015
13. teaching doctors
Bruce Kramer helps medical students understand the patient's point of view. He has advice about how doctors should deliver bad news.
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