Random Acts of "Kindness"

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AGING AGAIN

AGING AGAIN

This past week flew by. TIME did NOT stand still. Instead it disappeared in a blink of an eye. More important things took the place of normal life. Days disappeared. Suddenly it was the weekend and although I might have thought about writing, that thought quickly disappeared.

I must admit that I have no idea when this was published. Sadly I haven’t put the date on anything I’ve written. . Somehow I don’t see that changing. I have added another year to my age. I wish I could announce that I have done this exercise numerous times and my flexibility has GREATLY IMPROVED. I don’t like to lie. Sadly the DVD was lost . Although I searched and searched, it stayed hidden until recently. Now with the current health challenge, I’m not sure it will fit into my current schedule. I was SURPRISED to learn how high my blood pressure had risen. I thought I was handling the STRESS, evidently I was WRONG.
AGING BACKWARDS

I was intrigued when I learned of the DVD. I was very happy when the person who told me about it, followed up with an email with the correct title and presenter. Instead of debating for weeks, I searched, found and ordered right away. In fact, it arrived before we went back out to the camper. It traveled with me. And I actually opened it and tried out the first exercise before we even left.

It was a good thing that I did. Exercise clothes that I previously been able to wear were impossible to remove. My shoulders have tightened up, as well as other body parts. Since I had advanced warning, I was able to bring clothes to exercise in.

The exercises are extremely gentle. I have trouble getting down on the floor. The first time I did the floor work, I sat on the couch. I have since been able to get down onto the floor, getting up is still a major problem. My knees don’t want to support my weight. My right leg doesn’t bend like it used to. I’m guessing that the stiffness in my body contributes to my feeling of being old. I’m hoping that as I become more flexible, that feeling will pass.

Each time I have done the exercises – one compete set is for muscles, the second for bones and uses a chair for bar work — that night various body parts protest that I moved them. I have done the complete series 6 times now. Either I’m trying harder or working more of my body parts because various muscles let me know they I worked them. I’m hoping that getting up from a chair will be easier, as well as getting out of a car. “My friends” are very happy that I’m moving. So far I do two sets, one for muscles, the next day one for bones and I’m allowed to take the next day off. We will see how long this lasts.

This is the beginners set. We will have to see if the powers that be decide I need a more advanced set. I would really like to be able to get up from the floor unaided and out of a chair. I would like to use the reclining chairs at the pool. Of course, I would like my knees to work like they used to and be able to take my clothes off, UNAIDED!

AGING BACKWARDS — I’m ready!

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CHALLENGES AHEAD

CHALLENGES AHEAD

I am very sorry to share this information — my husband has been diagnosed with small cell lung cancer. He starts Chemo on Monday. He was just released from the hospital yesterday, home for the first time in over a week. What was a normal life has disappeared. Time spent in the hospital, time spent in transit, time spent communicating information to absent, concerned members of the family. NO TIME TO WRITE A THOUGHT RAMBLE OR TWO.

At this moment and time I don’t know if I will be able to publish a thought ramble every week. Everyone has a job to do. I do the best I can but sometimes circumstances out of my control intervene. I have learned that it is important I share my life in these rambles. It would be so easy to quit.

Until I have time to write a fresh thought ramble each week, I hope to republish thought rambles from the past. Since I have been writing more than five years there must be many to choose from. I hope that they are meaningful for you. I totally understand if your life is too busy to reread some thought rambles.

“MY friends in High Places” continue to “help” and support each day. Even though my husband was released from the hospital a few days ago, because of breathing or other issues, he ended up staying overnight again. Thankfully I have a strong faith and because of my many learning experiences, recognize the “help” when it arrives.

As hard as this challenge is for my husband who is fighting for each breath — it is hard for those who love him and are powerless to help.

OLD MAN

Sadly, right before my eyes I watched my husband change from a vibrant person to an old man. I became concerned with his breathing. We were in the country, I should have said that we needed to return home. I should have insisted that he see a doctor. Instead I watched, counting the number of days when we were scheduled to come home. I’ll admit that the night he couldn’t sleep because he couldn’t get comfortable worried me. I will admit that the night I discovered he was sitting out on the porch in the wee hours of the morning concerned me. I will admit that when he got the worst charley horse ever in his leg I was alarmed.

When we arrived home, I was still counting the days until his scheduled doctor’s appointment. I don’t know what moved me on a Friday morning to call his doctors office and leave a message that he needed an appointment. The message led to an office visit, a chest x-ray and the discovery of pneumonia. The pneumonia was well hidden behind a mass in his lung.

Tuesday morning, when I woke at 5 AM, he asked me to put ointment on his leg that I used for my knees. His leg was hurting — he didn’t sleep all night. I was ANGRY — Why didn’t he wake me. He had a scheduled appointment at the VA for his feet. Thankfully, although he was feeling better to make the trip, he didn’t get his nails cut. Instead we went to the ER where after waiting over an hour, he was given a room. Within an hour and a half he received another chest x-ray, an EKG and a procedure to check his leg. The medicine that he was taking for his pneumonia, although helping, wasn’t strong enough to heal it. The doctor decided he should spend the night. I took his cane and drove more than 30 miles home.

The VA is a very busy place. While we waited for a room, three gentlemen came in who were sicker. While they waited to send my husband up to a room in the hospital, a sicker person arrived who needed the remaining room. My husband was asked what hospital he wanted to be transferred to. He gave them the name of a hospital that is less than FIVE MILES from home.

The care he received at the hospital was EXCELLENT. Once again he got to take all the tests all over again. They even did a procedure to investigate his lung. The doctor he had took the time to thoroughly discuss his condition. After a couple of days he was released and is home.

Our son had been working out of town. When I didn’t update him with his father’s condition on Tuesday, he booked a flight home. I was glad he was home.

Sunday, in the car, heading for Mass, I turned the radio on. Instead of hearing music, I heard a talk show “I’m listening to you.” or a title something similar. The people talking recounted PSD, having a leg shot at a music concert and the aftermath. Another spoke of suicide. It DID NOT MATTER what station I got on the radio. The results where the same “I’m listening to you.!”

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MISSING THE MOST

I originally thought that I would write a thought ramble about what I had accomplished this year. That thought changed to missing — but this is not going to be a ramble of the people and companions that I’m missing. Instead it is going to be about the parts of my body that have changed, because of age or negligence. This is in no particular order. One part is no more important than the other.

I’m missing my memory. It is most aggravating when I’m speaking and my voice freezes. I CAN NOT find the word that I want to say. Or I lose my train of thought. Since my father had Alzheimer’s disease, memory loss plays a part in my life. I know it is not a concern when I head off to get something, arrive at the location and have no idea what I came for. I have found that if I stay for a minute or two, remain calm, the purpose usually returns. I miss being able to remember what I planned to buy at the store. Writing a list helps. I miss being able to remember the food I have cooked, how often I’m repeating the same foods. I miss being able to remember good times that I have had. Writing thought rambles help as does writing things down in my calendar.

I miss my height. I haven’t measure it, but I think I’ve lost two to three inches. Cabinets that I could reach are no longer possible. The step I purchased to help my grandchildren reach the sink now has a new purpose — to HELP ME! I’m learning that I need to pull out the step stool more often or use a ladder. I have rearranged some of the cabinets — at home and at the camper — to make it easier. Clothes that fit fine are often too long.

I miss my sight. I used to be able to thread a needle. Now I have a number of glasses. Trying to determine which one to wear for a task is becoming a challenge. I LOVE my trifocals for driving and shopping in the store. I DO NOT like them for reading or cooking or painting. My eyes don’t seem to be able to easily adjust to the task at hand. I have a new pair of reading glasses. I always pick the lens that will allow me to read the smallest print. The glasses don’t work well for working on the computer because of the distance involved.

I miss my energy. In days gone by, evening was when I accomplished a lot. I could easily weed the garden, clean the house and other routine tasks without a problem. Now I know that whatever I want to do must be done in the morning. By early afternoon I’m lucky if I have the energy to make supper. Naps help — so does the slow cooker.

Thankfully I still have most of my hearing. Thankfully my health is good. We won’t talk about the weight issue or the trouble with my knees. I’ll soon be 75. Not too bad for an aging Dame!

LOVE THE TIMING

My father passed over more than 25 years ago. He is still very active in my life. My mother passed over when I was four, she still helps me. I wasn’t aware of her help until my father let the cat out of the bag. I think the story is in Journey With Me. Until my father was afflicted with Alzheimer’s disease, I thought I led a normal life. Since I have experienced their “help” on many occasions, I’m more aware.

Last Monday the large locust tree was removed from our back yard. The roots were strangling it and part of the tree had died. The loss of the tree meant that our west facing windows would be exposed to the sunshine ALL afternoon. In the summer those rooms would get very hot.

I like to shop at Aldi’s. I pick up the sales sheet for the next week when I’m in the store. I was very happy when I saw the announcement of energy saving curtains. Since we have an older home, our windows are LARGE. No matter the size of the curtains, I’m confident we can make them work. It will help keeping out the winter cold as well as the summer heat.

Also on the Aldi’s sale sheet was a pressure cooker. I have one at home and find it helpful. Having one at the camper would come in handy when the temperature climbs. Most of my cookbooks are at home. Thankfully I had just purchased a new one — Lose Weight — when we were home. I didn’t have time to investigate so it accompanied us to the camper. I have found a few recipes that I want to try.

Our oldest grandson, with his wife stopped by at the camper on their way to Colorado. They were able to spend a few relaxing days with us until they continued their trip. My radar must have been working. I spotted them fishing at the lake when I returned from town. His wife had caught 4 fish, he had caught 14. Thankfully they had returned the fish to the water so I didn’t have to clean them. Neither of them had the experience cleaning fish.

There is a new buffet out in the country — Pizza Ranch. I LOVE pizza, my husband DOES NOT! Plans were made with our youngest daughter’s family to try the ranch. I severely limited sodium that day to partake in PIZZA. Stopping in the bathroom, I was able to lend an arm to an elderly woman who was having trouble walking. I took her purse and lent her an arm until we reached her male companion.

I have said “Thank You” many times during the past few days.

TAKING STOCK

I really like the fall season. I like the cooler temperatures and the changing of the leaves. I don’t know what the reason is but the fall season also brings on a depression. I don’t know if it is because winter is coming or the seasonal changes.

Fall came early this year. The drop in the temperature at night reminded me that summer was almost over. I knew that there would be many warm days ahead. Suddenly I started thinking of what I have accomplished and what I have failed to do. When I realized that my thinking was more negative than positive, I looked for positive.

Now I will admit that I had HELP! First I did a belly flop on the deck at the camper. Luckily I didn’t break anything. Various body parts PROTESTED. Our granddaughter was on hand to witness my fall and did a great replay for her parents.

Back home, I took Robin for her morning walk and ended up cutting my head on the latch to the gate. Head wounds bleed profusely and I left a trail of blood down the sidewalk, up the stairs and into the house. I had lovely red hair for a few hours. I didn’t want to wash my hair until the wound had a chance to firm up.

My daughter asked what “my friends” were trying to tell me. I really didn’t know. BUT I started to take stock. I didn’t have a thought ramble ready to publish so I sat down and wrote two. My weight has been creeping up again. I’m still trying to find the right food plan for me. I decided that I would cut back on the wine. I would limit it to two glasses. My next decision was to exercise on a regular basis hoping that would help my flexibility. I started, then life interfered again.

On a beautiful summer day, my husband and I visited the zoo. I asked him to call our oldest daughter. When he tried, he learned that his phone had lost ALL contact information. When we went to the phone store, we learned that they could NOT restore his phone book. I had been considering giving up my flip phone for a smart phone. My family was having trouble understanding me when I talked. It was an EXPENSIVE afternoon. We left the store with TWO new phones. They COULD NOT transfer my phone book to the new phone. Days later, I still DON’T have all the numbers entered.

Something is still going on. Last night I noticed that the watch band on my Fit Bit watch was only holding on by a thread. When I contacted the company, they asked me to send a picture of the watch. I used my NEW phone to do that. BLOCKS are on, I was successful in taking the picture, but NOT in sending the photo to them.

In the past few weeks I have been reminded about a couple of things. Deepak Chopra shared that the greatest gift he could give to the world was to show up as himself. I realized that is what I have been trying to do. Whatever the situation, I help when I can and try to be open to learning. I also recently learned that as important as it is to forgive others, it is even MORE IMPORTANT TO FORGIVE YOURSELF.

MISSING YOU

My husband is Robin’s main person. Although my son and I are important in her life, my husband is alpha. He seldom leaves for a long time without her. Except last week HE DID!

My husband spent five days with our grandson at his house so he could attend a daytime camp. His sister was at a week camp close to our campground. Because of her migraines, her mother felt she should
be close by in case she was needed. Although my husband felt I should go with him so I could cook, I declined. I stayed at the campground instead and kept our daughter company.

After my husband left, Robin took up a post by the camper door, watching for him. If she went out on the deck, she took up her post by the gate. Watching, waiting. EVERY DAY.

Robin is very particular about her food. Since my husband wasn’t home, I decided to try to make spareribs and sauerkraut in the slow cooker. The aroma must have been delicious. Robin decided she wasn’t going to eat her food until she received some of the stuff I had been cooking. When I finished eating, I pulled off some of the meat, sprinkled it on her food and shared. I had enough for two days of meals. Then I froze enough for two more meals.

I was under orders. My husband DID NOT WANT me to go out into the garden unsupervised. He was concerned that I would have trouble. For a change, I listened. I found a mystery book — one of my favorite authors and spent the time reading. I also made it a point to take Robin for a car ride every night.

Slowly, day by day the five days passed. My husband decided he would drive back on Friday night. Our grandson decided he would ride back with him.

Words can NOT describe the happiness that Robin experienced when she saw my husband’s car. Faster than the speed of light she ran. Around and around, back and forth, she sped. Then they went for a car ride together.

After my husband returned, our daughter shared a program she heard about dogs on the news. It concerned separation anxiety — many of the dogs experienced a time when their favorite person DID NOT RETURN. Robin is a rescue, she might have had a favorite person NOT return.

NOTE: I reheated one of the sparerib dinners from the freezer. Robin DID NOT eat her own food until I shared!

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