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.
FYI: I TOOK ALL MY BLOGS AND ORGANIZED THEM INTO SUBJECT MATTER. I took all the subjects and organized them in logical order in terms of sequencing. I HAVE EXPANDED EACH SUBJECT INTO CHAPTERS and I HAVE GROWN MY BLOG INTO A 140-PAGE BOOK OF INTERCONNECTED PERSONAL ESSAYS. Random thoughts from the 60S (because that is all I have) has now become: RAGING AGAINST AGING: kicking & screaming, laughing & crying, stretching & kvetching. THANK YOU TO ALL MY BLOG READERS AND FOLLOWERS BECAUSE YOU ENCOURAGED me to do this. My father will be so proud. He revered books. He taught me that all of human knowledge is stored in books. And that to disrespect books would be tantamount to disrespecting people and life itself. I should be dedicating the book to him. But he is dead. Instead, I am dedicated this book to the the living loves of my life. My book RAGING AGAINST AGING will be available on AMAZON MID JUNE. I WILL POST THE COVER SO YOU WILL KNOW!
How can an educated and bright woman go to a rainforest and be surprised that it was raining in the rain forest? How can a bright and educated woman with experience go to a desert environment and be shocked that there are no shade trees?
And who might that bright and educated, experienced woman be?
Does the title strike you as being odd? I mean, I have been blogging about NOT being able to focus and concentrate. AND my title is RANDOM THOUGHTS FROM THE 60s because that is ALL I have now – RANDOM thoughts. And yet, my husband insists that IF I am to try to format this into a play and IF I am to try to get the play out there, we will need a “Senior focus group” to test the waters. I am asking you to sign up now either on word press or on Facebook if you think you may want to participate but are afraid you may forget what it is all about by the time I am ready to form a “Senior focus group.”
All the best to all my readers!
Yesterday evening, I warmed up the delicious flounder fillets I had prepared in the morning. I turned the oven on and when the fish was hot, I served dinner. SIX HOURS LATER, I was getting ready for bed and as I was turning out the lights in the kitchen, heat seemed to be emanating from the oven. I checked it – and it was still on the 325 degrees. I could have made a whole Thanksgiving feast in the hours I had, accidentally, left the oven on.
I fret when I do things like that because I have a reputation of being meticulous, responsible, reliable, OCD, anal, and a perfectionist.
“Am I getting senile?” I remembered to ask myself and my husband.
When I woke up this morning, I patted myself on the back for having gotten out to make it to my exercise class on time. I remembered to take my combination lock that I have not used for the past month. (Winter was fine until five weeks ago and after one storm and another and another and another, we stopped going to work out). I looked at the lock in my hand and could not remember the numbers. I tried two different combinations and got it my third try!
“So, I am not senile after all,” I laughed and turned to my husband.
“You should have written the numbers down,” he chided me. Then I remembered that I had, indeed, written down the combination in my cell phone. Only I had forgotten that I had ever done that.
Which counts more: what I remembered or what I forgot?
I very, recently, had to have an ultrasound on my wrist. The young technician looked like she belonged in high school. When she left me in the room to wait for the doctor, I questioned what I was doing. Maybe I should leave and rethink. The radiologists in the city were older. The technician seemed more experienced. I have known them for fourteen years. They are so sophisticated. I was sweating profusely when the doctor came in. He looked like he was younger than my daughter but he had some gray in his beard. He introduced two young residents who looked like they were applying to college. “I probably know your mothers,” I blurted out of nowhere. So then I had to explain that all my friends had children who were doctors at this hospital. “I live in ____,” I continued. “So do I,” said this nice, young doctor. “So I do know your mother?” I asked incredulously. “I don’t think you do,” he explained, ” I did not grow up there.” He told me where he lived and as he asked me if I was in pain. I let myself relax, as I watched the screen, as he guided a needle deep into my wrist to aspirate a cyst. “Don’t worry,” I reassured him, “you can still say hello to me in the local supermarket.” He, relaxed, in turn, and smiled. And just to be safe, I added: “I know where you live.”
How many pair of reading glasses do you own? I have six pair sprinkled all over my house. One pair is on the nightstand, of course, for reading at night. One is on the dresser for when I can’t find the pair on the nightstand. One pair is on the desk and another is on a tray on the bed in the den/second or guest bedroom/ office with the desk. One pair is by the telephone on the kitchen counter. One pair is on the table in the entry so that I can see who sent me what when I take in the mail. One pair is supposed to be wrapped around my neck as my latest and most valuable accessory. I told you in a beginning blog, you don’t need the jewelry, but you need the accessories. This one is a big brass circle strung on a heavy piece of leather and its sole purpose is to hold the pair of eye bobs I treated myself to and that you can buy on amazon. This pair should be sewn into my chest because even with all the pairs that are placed strategically throughout the house, inevitably, when I have to give my credit card info, I can never find a single one of them. I get so frustrated that I go out and buy yet one more pair of glasses that gets misplaced even though I placed it very carefully in a most obvious place! Reading glasses have replaced socks as the most MIA item in my very organized and meticulously neat house.
Do you have the same problem? How many pairs do you own? How minutes a day, week, a month, a year do you spend looking for them?
Life is ironic by design. Your body is ready to reproduce years , even decades, before you are financially and emotionally ready to be a parent. By the time you are in your sixties and have gotten over how unique you are and you have fought for you independence and hopefully gained it , that is exactly when you want, no need , closeness and nurturing.
You turn to your kids and they squirm because they are all about establishing their own independence and they do not want to be burdened by your needs.
If you are in my socio economic bracket, you probably left the suburbs after your kids were born but before they had to go to school. You could not afford to stay in the city and ensure a good education for your child. If you are like me, you learned to appreciate the relative peace and quiet, the backyard, the pool in the summer, the local beaches and parks.
But ironically just as your house is done to your liking, just as maybe your mortgage is paid off or at least you can count down to that day, you wake up and want to chuck the whole white picket fence thing and move back to an apartment in the city. You want to walk everywhere. You want your super to have to shovel the snow and get your walls painted. You are willing to give up the two cars and rent one when you need it. You want to go out for breakfast coffee, You want to sit in cafés and people watch. You want to be part of a cultural Mecca and hear lively discussions about the work other people are doing.
But you have grandchildren. And you want them to come for the holidays. And you want them to move somewhere nearby so you can be useful again to your family in a meaningful way. You want to pass culture down and your kids can’t do it because both of them are working and they don’t have that to give. You are wiling to fill that void. But your children want their independence.
Of course I am talking about my situation. But I would be happy if you shared your experiences.
When I was studying interior space planning for commercial applications, we were given a funeral parlor to redesign. It was a local business, and looked more like a pizza parlor than anything else to me. The walls had walnut formica paneling halfway up. The top part was a blue and green floral print wallpaper. Heavy drapes closed the windows off for privacy. When I went into measure the two viewing rooms, I realized I was not alone.
You have to forgive me – I was in my early twenties and I was not raised Catholic. But the bodies gave me a sense of purpose and drama. I decided to embellish on the theatrics. I drew up a stage on the diagonal. I thought about the kind of stage lights that give off a cloudy haziness. I wanted the body to be the focal point. I wanted 4 different colored upholstered light weight chairs that could be moved around to form spontaneous conversation groups. I was thinking sorbet colors – soft blueberry, raspberry, peach, and mango. I wanted soft peach or blueberry carpeting. I thought the viewing could serve as the transitionary send off. I wanted to allude to a heaven that I desperately wanted to believe in.