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Showing posts with label aging. Show all posts
Showing posts with label aging. Show all posts

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Feeling my 'old' self...

Cabin fever attacked my sanity? Asthma deprived the brain cells of adequate oxygen, prevented me from having rational thoughts? What happened to my head?

OK, the truth: I'm old. My hair is turning gray. Might have been all gray, if it hadn't been for a little help from my BF. Thanks to her expertise, my reddish locks still looked fresh and young the last couple of years. I have spent most of the summer quarantined inside the air conditioning, and let my hair go. Roots were turning into shrubs. Hubby has been bugging me to let it go 'Au natural'. My BF said, "You're too young to look old!" I was ready. Why does a woman that spends most of her time with animals need to color her hair? The horses won't notice.

I've never really been one of those 'primpy' girls. My philosophy has always been, "It's hair. It will grow back." So, last night while Hubby was gone, I got out the clippers and scissors and went to work.

I looks like S**T! LOL Seriously, it does. There are parts that will have to grow out to look like Jamie Lee Curtis' do. I had a plan for using Hubby's clippers, but it didn't work out the way I thought it would. Luckily, I changed to Plan B quickly enough to save the remaining scalp.

Believe it or not, Hubby loves it! (His eyesight has been going downhill in recent years.)

So, it was time. Time for me to just be old. The age I am. Not ancient, but no spring chicken. I'm OK with that. I actually think it looks cute as a button! (Just one of my favorite sayings... thought it would fit well here.)

My old profile pic was just that... old. So I looked young. Now here's a new pic, so I look old. There's some kind of peaceful symmetry to that... yin and yang?

What does Hubby think of the self-portraits? He says they don't look like me! Uh... I took them today. Hello... it's me.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Moving Day

We were told they would be transferring my MIL at 11:30 this morning, so Ali and I went over after breakfast to visit. MIL loves to have Ali read to her from her Bible, so Ali brought it with her. MIL was quite confused today... Thank God for onion rings!

Yesterday evening, when FIL was going back to see her, I suggested he take her some onion rings. She is a very picky eater and wasn't liking much of the hospital food. He stopped by our local Perkins and the waiter piled a truckload into a box for him. (In our small town, Perkins' employees are like family to us.) When Ali and I arrived, MIL told us all about how FIL had met her in Vicco last night and they had onion rings. Vicco is a town in Kentucky near where she grew up. She was really mad at him for not showing up for their wedding later, but at least he took her out for onion rings!

Ali was a little anxious over MIL's weird rantings, but I explained to her about strong medicine and how it can affect the mind. MIL keeps thinking that FIL is coming home on leave from the Army (He was in the Navy.) and they are going to get married. She told me that when she went home last night, he didn't show up! She was very upset with him for leaving her. I assured her that she was still in the hospital and that he had been there every day.

The facility she is going to is one where another family member had been. She remembered it and said it was very nice. I explained to her that her back was broken but that the hospital couldn't keep her there. She seemed OK with the idea, but then in the next sentence, she would be angry with him for deserting her at the alter...

How do you give comfort to someone that can't remember from one sentence to the next? If she can't remember she's in a hospital with a broken back, how can she remember that he has been there to visit her every day?

Hubby and FIL went on to Fairborn to help her settle in... It will be a long day.

Monday, July 6, 2009

The Old Mares

Sitting here to cool down, my mind wanders... My thoughts drift back and forth from my old mare in the pasture to my MIL. I see the parallel in their lives and yet there is an amazing contrast. (You can find the story of my old mare on my blahwg! blog.)

My thoroughbred is very old in horsey years. She is still very active and a great trail horse. She is trim and fit and has energy to boot! All indications are that she will be that rare horse out on the trails in her late 30's. That is comparable to the seniors you hear about on the news: 116 years old and bowled a perfect game!

I watched my mare trot out into the front pasture, her legs moving gracefully with full motion. There was no sign of stiffness. Her stride is as elegant as it was in her youth.

My MIL however, is not in great shape for her years. She is only 78. Rheumatoid arthritis and the accompanying medications have robbed her of ability to lead a normal life. The joints in her body that have not already been replaced have deteriorated to the point where their function is greatly limited. Her legs no longer support her. Her knees buckle in toward one another. It took great effort for her to pivot from her hospital bed to her lift chair. Now she cannot even do that.

My mare is enjoying her golden years. She is able to keep up with my other horses and has already bonded with them. They move together as a herd. I worried that they may take advantage of her age. I wonder what life in a few years will be for her. Caring for an aging horse can be a job. She already has special dietary needs, especially during the winter. There will come a time when she is not expected to do anything other than graze. Trail rides will be a distant memory. Her retirement home is a lush pasture with loyal friends. That is where she will spend her remaining years, months or days...

Today might be the day that MIL moves into a nursing home. We're waiting on Medicaid approval. She is not happy about it. Her mind is not what it once was, so she feels that we don't want to be bothered with her and are glad she is going. We love her and want her to be safe and have proper care. But I worry... Will the staff treat her well? Will they make sure she gets the proper nourishment? Will she be lonely, or will she make friends that will spend time with her?

Maggie is quite content in her field of horsey dreams. Someday MIL will run through a pasture too...

Golden Years My Ass!

If you've followed this blog, you know things have been pretty tough for my mother and father-in-law. It hasn't gotten easier...

She's had a lot of bruises lately from plopping down to hard in her chair or on the bed. Her legs just don't support her anymore and she's too heavy for us to hold up. A while back, she almost fell but my FIL pushed her toward the bed and she landed on the mattress. Still, with her brittle bones, a bed could cause damage. She had been complaining about her back hurting since she twisted it in bed one night. It appeared to be muscle spasms.

Early last week, when no one was in the room, she tried to get up on her own and fell... again. We called the non-emergency number for the ambulance crew to come pick her up and get her back in bed. She insisted she was not hurt. But, after a couple of days, her back was giving her so much pain, we took her to the ER to have it checked. That was Thursday. They didn't see anything on the X-rays, but decided to keep her for observation. Over the holiday weekend, MRI's revealed she has a cracked vertebra. She is not a candidate for surgery of any kind!

My FIL was worried. He asked Hubby, "How are we going to get her back in bed? We can't handle her like this..." He began to see that the time had come... the thing he dreaded most in all the world.

Hubby's sister and brother came over tonight to discuss the situation. The hospital will release her tomorrow. She cannot stand. She cannot sit. Is she coming home? No one wanted to say the words. The brother's wife handles their medical stuff (POA) because it's her profession. She stated that she was not going to make the decision for them. She asked them what they wanted to do. She asked them over and over. FIL and his kids mumbled about how we just can't take care of her this way. They agreed it was no longer safe for her here. Everyone agreed about everything, but still... no one would say the words.

If it isn't sad enough to have a family gather together for this conversation, the remaining conversation should never have to take place...

Tomorrow, SIL will be in touch with the nursing facility and the hospital advocate trying to get MIL prequalified for Medicaid. The general feeling is that she should qualify. We won't know though until tomorrow. If she doesn't qualify, she will come home, broken vertebra and all, and we will do our best to take care of her. I pray to God that we can.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Didn't see that coming!

I was just sitting here waiting for my chicken video to process. I thought I'd browse through some old blogs I posted on MySpace, curious to see what I thought was worth posting then...

I came across this one from April of 2007 (I didn't realize I had been blogging that long) and thought I'd share it with you.

ain’t it funny how time slips away a.k.a. All My Chins

I was looking at a picture of me holding my grandbaby when I saw IT! Or THEM! The CHINS! OMG! I remember seeing a chin like that before. Actually it was the "before" on a plastic surgery show. I can't remember how much they said it costs to correct it.

I'm not really a vain person - ask anyone who knows me. You should see how I've had the nerve to appear in public. No biggie. And I'm not one of those people that looks first at how I look in the picture. Well, at least I wasn't. I wasn't really checking out my appearance this time, but THERE IT WAS! When did that happen? OK, I know it's been there a while... But really, when did it happen?

I remember looking in the mirror and seeing this young woman contorting her face to apply stain in an exact manner. It wasn't there then. It came while I wasn't looking. If I had never stopped primping and painting I would have seen it coming and maybe could have headed it off. I got busy with life... too busy to keep guard over my youth.

I remember being able to sit on the floor. I remember I loved to sit on the floor. Now I would love to be able to sit on the floor. Truthfully I still can sit on the floor but I'd love to be able to sit comfortably on the floor for as long as my grandkids would like me to sit on the floor. I'd love to be able to get up from the floor without using furniture.

I remember what it felt like to run without pain. I didn't need arch supports. If I was having so much fun I didn't want it to end, it didn't. I more than once stayed up for three days because an old friend came into town and we wanted to make the most of it. I remember not worrying about getting something done on time. If I had until tomorrow, what was the rush? I remember when my baby was born. She was sooo tiny. She depended on me for everything.

I just figured it out! It's her fault. When she stopped needing me to sit on the floor, to run with her, to stay up for days taking her temperature, to spend time playing when there was work to do... that's when it happened! At least that's when it started. I gotta go warn her.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Happy Birthday dear Gracie!

G#3 is five today!

The older I get, the faster time zooms by! Remember when a month felt like an eternity? Now, if something only takes a year, I worry about it coming too soon and not being ready! I guess it's because we measure our time by our experiences. Time is relative.

Comparing Gracie's five years to my fifty-plus, it is but a drop in the bucket. I know it won't be long until I am watching her exchange her wedding vows or graduated from college! Is that why we put so much more importance on pictures and videos as we get older? Does the moment pass without enough savoring time?

Gracie, today I will ponder over the special moments of the last five years and celebrate the glorious wonder you put into my life...

Love, Nana

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

My Patina

I was reading through my morning e-mails and came to the one from the Presidential Prayer Team. It's a good way to start the day! Today's daily compared the rich patina of a well cared for antique table to the rich 'patina' a follower of God will achieve through years of a well cared for relationship with God.

Through daily prayer, scripture study and constantly walking in the path, we will achieve that patina that so pleases God. It is not only visible to God, but to all that cross our paths. A deep relationship with God improves all our other relationships; even those we pass as strangers.

When I further pondered that train of thought, I contemplated what else might contribute to my personal patina... The years of abusive relationships surely left me with those nicks and gouges that only add to the beauty of a treasured heirloom. The wisdom I continue to gain gives me that soft sheen that cannot be achieved with a quick polish.

Even the arthritis has its place. Have you ever noticed on a very old piece of furniture, the places that were constantly touched or rubbed? The finish is worn thin, paint rubbed away, exposing the bare wood. Yet, we would not think of touching it up! No, those spots are evidence of its history... Grampa rested his hand there; Mom opened that drawer the most.

Yes, some days I wish for that shiny new polyurethane exterior. It sure was easier to get chores done. But then I realize the value I place on those 'chores' now and I treasure my patina.