So our geriatric internist sent us blood pressure cuffs and electronic devices that will record our daily blood pressure and send results electronically to our doctor for monitoring. During set up, the machine talks to you like she thinks she is Alexa. So now, we have added b p cuffs – one for each of us, and the electronic computer that monitors and sends the info onto doc, along with the grab bar poles, and the lift assist, and the walker, and the three canes, and the dry mouth lozenges, that now decorate our living room/dining room. It’s beginning to look very geriatric every single day. It’s beginning to look very geriatric every way I turn…
Yes, we are getting geriatric altogether, me, my husband, and our house. We just installed a floor-to-ceiling pole. Not for me to dance on, although one day if I get dementia, I just may. It’s so that my husband can grab onto it in order to get in and out of bed. He is suffering, according to the doctors, from the condition called “deconditioning,” which means his muscles are weak.
When we looked at recliners, we skipped over the ones that catapult you across the room. Sure, it would be easier for my husband but the goal is to strengthen, not weaken the already weakened muscles.
We just ordered a lift assist, a device that is supposed to help me help my husband to lift himself when he gets stuck in a chair.
My husband’s occupational therapist comes up with all these gadgets and devices, devices that make me realize that he is not the only one who needs assistance, that he is not the only one aging.
My pillbox that now occupies our dining room table reminds me that he is not aging alone and all these devices that now reside in my house, are a constant reminder that we are getting old altogether.
Our freezer is stocked with frozen fruits and vegetables because those are perishable. I cooked a little and froze a dish or two. We keep the car tank full although they are now telling us to stay home. We already have cabin fever even though this was a very mild winter (but there is no global warming, right?) What will we do?
I will cook. I hate to clean and I doubt coronavirus will change that. Will I want my cleaning lady to come? Hmmm…Her son works in the City as a first responder. Too close for comfort? I will put off thinking about that one for a bit.
I have to get my roots dyed. Should I go to the salon that I know is frequented by people from Asia and the Mideast? Hmmm… My husband, the eternal optimist, has already nixed that idea so I am toying with DIY – doing my roots myself.
What will we do if decide to skip the gym for the duration of this period? Well, I could draw and paint and make a mess but who will clean it up? I could watch the news and eat myself to death. I can use the time to DIY garden. Hmmm….
IF we survive physically, will we survive as a couple if we are holed up for a long period of time? Hmmm….My husband may want sex nonstop for entertainment. He is in his late 70s…Hmmm….
SO… You spend a while regretting the fact that you did not have more children. Competition is a good think and you suspect that capitalism was born of children who were vying for their parents’ love? affection? pride? attention? When only one person holds the cards – in this case your daughter – it is a monopoly and as monopolies go, she gets to call all the shots. And she did…
SO… what do you do? You make a SANE Thanksgiving! You cook a SANE one-course meal: turkey tenderloins done to perfection, parsnips and carrots roasted with parsley, roasted asparagus, and you clinch it with your specialty – the irresistible cranberry-orange sauce your guests have loved. Dessert is easy because you do not make any. Your dietician will be very proud of you. She is younger and skinnier than your daughter and she gives you a complete hour of her undivided attention. (Of course, your insurance company pays her).
You have eaten heathy and clean-up is easy – two dinner plates, two forks, two knives. And then you go to the movies because the theaters are EMPTY! And you just wonder how your daughter will feel the Thanksgiving she does not get invited.
If you would have told me that I would write a book when I retired, I would never have believed you. If you would have told me that I would spend a lot of time preparing all kinds of vegetable dishes in my retirement, I would never have believed you. If you had told me that we would be working in our retirement and still be paying a mortgage, I would never have believed you.
Yet, here we are. My book is still selling and I still have great reviews. My compost bin is full of vegetable clippings since our dietician insists that vegetables are the way to go. I find vegetables boring so I spend more and more time trying to find exotic ways to couch the plain vegetables we are supposed to eat. Half a plate of them at each meal! Plus, we are not allowed to add salt. I am still tutoring, even more than last year. My husband is still tutoring any chance he gets. We are still paying down a first mortgage and yes, we have an equity line. I guess we are doing okay because they always ask if we have a second equity line in addition, and they are always impressed that we do not.
I find I do not have the energy I used to have. If I go food shopping, I cook the next day. If I cook one day, I do the laundry the day after. One day, one activity. And on the days that we exercise, well, that IS the activity.
If you told me that I would stop caring about my house and let things slide a little, NO one would have believed you. Yet, I look the other way a lot now.
So that is how aging happens. It creeps up on you. You focus on the past. You appreciate what you have been through. You obsess about health – yours and your loved ones. And you see the future through your grandkids. You are not that relevant and you know it. But the grandkids…they are the raison d’être, and you focus on them. When you go on vacation, you don’t bring home souvenirs because honestly, who needs them? But you send age appropriate ones to your grandkids. You want them to be comfortable in the big world and you want the big world to open up to them. And you have to stop your thoughts from going there, to the dark places, to the real concerns, the real fears and worries – the pollution, the climate, the out of control weapons grade guns that are everywhere. You have to stop your mind from thinking about the future of our democracy. You have to stop seeing the robots that are now appearing everywhere, including our very own supermarket. You have to focus on the good. So you do. And you are already counting the minutes till you see your grandkids again.
So…I am getting small royalty checks monthly. My editor tells me that is AMAZING in today’s market where no one is reading anything more than two lines long. IN ADDITION, I just received 4 stars on Goodreads and I am an “unknown” author!
So…WHAT DO I DO NOW with my new Laugh-out-Loud FUNNY piece: IS THERE SEX AFTER SLEEP APNEA?
Any thoughts, please? Suggestions? Any publishers out there who want to publish a VERY funny but poignant piece about aging??????
It led to new sales and the stats are showing me that in this month alone, over 300 NEW people read my book! Thank you http://www.kindle.com!
221 people are reading my book over the last 3 days.
Thank you KINDLE for suggesting that I offer a free promo. And just in time for Mother’s Day. http://www.kindle.com RAGING AGAINST AGING: Kicking & screaming, laughing & crying, stretching & kvetching by Jacqueline Becker. HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!
HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY. You can read my book for free on kindle.com. ENJOY!