Tag Archives: aging with wisdom

Senior Class: Shape Shifting

Where does the time go? It’s really throwing me. My oldest grandson will be 22 next month! It seems impossible that he has been around that long! I still think of him as that towheaded toddler that I could carry in my arms. Now I need a grocery carrier cart to bring in a bag of groceries. Also, I can’t believe the last time I wrote in my blog was October 19! Not only are the years rolling along at warp speed, so are the weeks. Thanksgiving is around the corner so I better write a little bit right now.

First, I want to check in with my hair buddies, especially those who had alopecia effluvium like I did last fall. My hair came back strong with the use of products like Rogaine and the Nutrafol supplements. But I recently have seen some thinning again. It may be just a shedding time of year, but my hair follicles aren’t that plentiful so it shows!

I’m trying hard to be copacetic with all the bodily changes overtaking me but the shape shifting is becoming more pernicious. One good thing–I have a waist again. I was without one for about 20 years. I noticed this the other day when I got out of the shower. “Wow,” I said aloud to myself. “That’s cool.” Then I saw the reason why. My hips have gotten very hippy. As in “you can grab a handful” on either side. So it’s all perspective. Which I don’t have that much of.

When I commiserated with a friend she said, “But that’s not so bad. At yoga this morning when I was doing downward dog, I saw that my arms had been replaced with my mother’s arms. How did they get so crepey?”

“It is creepy when that happens,” I said. “But if you think about it, you’ve been lucky to have collagen in your arms for so long. You haven’t seen my arms for fifteen years.”

“Come to think of it, you’re right about that,” she said.

“I think we need to learn to accept ourselves at this age,” I said. “Otherwise, we’re going to be constantly in mourning.”

“You’re right again,” she said.

“I want to be happy with myself at this age,” I continued. I was on a self righteous roll. “But I’ve decided not to have my cataract fixed. I really don’t need to see everything that clearly. And I don’t drive at night anyway.”

The Wreck of the Hesperus

I’m going to start a new series on my blog entitled SENIOR CLASS. You have to be a senior, no pre-Medicares, thank you. SENIOR CLASS will be blogs that have the positives about being a senior. SENIOR CLASS will be blogs that have the negatives about being a senior.

The Wreck of the Hesperus

This first one is negative….

I’m beginning to feel like the Golden Gate Bridge. The workers just finish one end and they need to start over at the beginning. With me, I just get one body part functioning when another goes on the fritz.

Last fall, I had hair fall-out. Not pretty, but at least the only pain was emotional. With the help of Nutrafol and the dermatologist’s Rogaine Plus treatment, my hair had a come back.

So I was doing pretty well…except for the 8 pounds I gained, calming myself with comfort food and drink.

When I realized the truth—that all my clothes had not shrunk in the dryer—I started working to get back in shape. I signed up for Weightwatchers on-line, keeping track of what I ate. That was good, but nerve wracking. There’s never enough points for my double martini.

What got me in trouble was the exercise component. I read an article that said interval training was the only way to go—that I should add running into my walk. Like the Girl Scout I’ve always been, I added the run, along with hills. I increased my steps to 13,000. And I started working out with a trainer.

All went well for about two weeks. My shoulders hurt from doing the plank, but it was bearable. Then I got plantar fasciitis. (Now, we’re talking painful!) I could barely walk to the bathroom. The podiatrist made me a brace, gave me a cortisone shot, prescribed Aleve and a physical therapist.

I got better. Feeling invincible, I went back to my routine. A week later, my left knee and hamstring started to hurt. I ignored the pain even though it woke me up at night. Watching me limp up the stairs, my husband started yelling at me that I needed an MRI and surgery.

I wanted to try alternative methods: rest, ice, physical therapy, chiropractor, acupuncture, meditation. When I went to the physical therapist, she kindly explained interval training for a senior. “Cindy,” she said, “your joints are in their seventies. Leave them alone. At your age, just getting mad at your husband can raise your heart rate enough.”

Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation

For four weeks, I didn’t do any exercise, not even gentle yoga. Meanwhile, I tried making a deal with my Higher Power. “Okay,” I said. “I know I’ve over done it. I get it now. Please, if I can just get better, I won’t do it again.” I became the sedentary couch potato I was afraid of, but slowly the pain lessened.

I even took a short walk. When I came home, I washed my face and realized my right eye was painful. “Oh come on,” I said to the Universe, “what next?” The answer was a stye. Who knew a stye was so painful? And disgusting? Again I was prescribed Aleve along with an antibiotic eye drop.

Ten days later, my eye looks almost normal. My knee is better, too. I’m walking again and doing yoga. All the Aleve is giving me terrible indigestion, but that’s par for the course.

I don’t know why I find myself singing, “Heads, Shoulders, Knees and Toes,” in my head.

Resolving for 2015

 

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Since my birthday is December 28, I approach the new year with a double barrel wish to understand who I am in the present incarnation and what my goals are for the future. This year: Who am I at 69 years of age? And who do I want to be at 70?

But the end of December is a time of chaos for me—no time to contemplate, that’s for sure. Now we’re already a week into the new year, and I wondered if it was stupid to write down resolutions. Would I keep them anyway? Then I began to think about three small things I could do that would make my life better. I wouldn’t write them in a notebook, which I would close and they’d be hidden from view. I would write them on the computer, print them out and scotch tape them to my computer. That way I would see the list every day. Small things—doable things—things that would make me healthier in body, mind and soul—things I could work towards also.

So that’s what I did. Well, sort of. First I wrote them on paper. My mind works better through the pencil on these things. My list grew to 5 very rapidly. Here they are:

1. Be happy with myself at my age.

2. Stretch after my walk.

3. Eat healthy.

4. Think the thought that makes me feel good not the negative or fearful one.

5. Don’t be the Grandiose Co-Dependent.

So I admit some of these aren’t so small. But they are what ended up on the paper. Now I’ve in-putted the list, printed it and taped it up. I ‘ll let you know how it goes.