Tuesday, July 9, 2019
Yeah, Yeah. I Know. It's Better Than The Alternative. Still Doesn't Make It Easy
Does anyone know the name of this plant? It's about four feet tall and the leaves are as soft as velvet. My sweet sister-in-law who died some years back gave it to me and it's never once bloomed in my yard until today. My plantSnap app can't seem to identify it properly.
I have such blues tonight. I started out with all good intentions and took a walk on White House Road which I have not done in some time. The postman whose path I have crossed so many times gave me a good friendly wave as he passed me on his rounds. I came home and even though it was so hot and I was already almost over my limit as to being outside, I worked in the garden a bit, weeding and mulching and I planted yet another row of arugula. Then I cleaned the hen house and gave the birds fresh straw in their nests and put the old, poopy straw in the garden. I hung clothes outside and by that time I was truly well done and had to come in to cool off, eat lunch, and then I took a nap.
When I woke up I got the clothes in just in time before a thunderstorm re-rinsed them for me.
And that's just about been my day.
I can tell that I'm having an anxiety-flare and that always seems to show up with its evil conjoined twin, depression. I'm so predictable. This does generally happen in my birthday month and this birthday coming up is sort of a milestone birthday, at least here in the good old USA whereupon at the age of 65 you are eligible for Medicare which is not free health care but it means at least cheaper healthcare and although I know that that is a reason to celebrate, it also makes for a rather startling realization which is that even the government considers me to be, well, old.
Quite frankly, I never thought that I'd live this long and I don't think I'm prepared for the fact that I have. Especially with the knowledge I now possess about how it feels to be this old which is a long and complex story starting with how I look, going on to how I feel, physically, and then leading off to the more esoteric subject of how I feel emotionally and mentally and sexually and socially and all that other junk that we bounce around in our brains constantly to try and determine where we are in space and time, not unlike how our inner ear and eyes and feet work together to determine where we are in the physical part of space and time so that we don't fall over when we walk.
That's the short version of the complex story and I wish that I had spent more time in my earlier years learning about how these things might unfold so that I would be more prepared but you know what? There aren't that many resources for this subject. The tendency today seems to be to simply avow that if we eat right, exercise, keep mentally engaged and active that we won't even notice what used to be called the ravages of time.
In fact, there will BE no ravages of time and sixty is the new forty, blah, blah, blah.
It's like menopause. No one tells you the truth about that. We just pretend it doesn't happen and if it does (and oh, honey, it does!) we're supposed to talk to our doctors and keep it all to ourselves and laugh at our hot flashes, our brain fog, our weight gain, our body's complete hormonal switcheroo on us which is every bit as profound as puberty was but not necessarily in a good way.
And if you want to know the truth (and no, you probably don't), things continue to change up on us as we age after menopause and so often in startling and scary ways.
But. Fingers in ears, I can't hear you and if I can't hear you it's not happening.
And so forth.
Well. I certainly did not intend to go here tonight and yet it would seem that I have.
You know what? I think I am going to write more about this subject because I wish to holy hell that I'd had more of a head's up on what getting older is like. More than what my grandfather told me which was, "Mary, don't get old," to the glib and duh-inspiring "Aging's not for sissies!"
I'll tell you one thing that doesn't change and that's the need to eat and the enjoyment found therein.
At least for me. At least so far.
And now I'm going to go make our supper.
Let's talk tomorrow, okay? And if you have thoughts, feel free to share. I know it's different for each and every one of us and what's true for me may not be true for you but it's all valid.
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In New Zealand this grows into a decent sized tree and it is called Lasiandra.ReplyDelete
Thank you, Sparka! And hello!Delete
I turned 68 in April. I'm surprised at some of the changes in body and mind. I'm very annoyed that I can't come up with the names of people I've known for years. The skin around my mouth has sagged and dragged down the corners. I look like I'm in the bitchiest mood possible and then that puts me in a bitchy mood if I happen to see my 'resting' face in a mirror. It's spooky to listen to music I loved in high school and realize that it was recorded over 50 years ago. In 1969, when I was a Senior, music from fifty years before that was in 1919! WWI stuff! 19NINETEEN! That's enough to kick the shit out of anybody. How can I be that OLD. Shoot.ReplyDelete
I can totally relate to the bitch face thing. Jesus.Delete
And you know what? I've never thought about our music that way. One true remove from music of the early twentieth century.
I am catching up on your blog. I did think of you while you went on your trip but I could not read until tonight.
I had a nasty fall. While getting into bed I got dizzy and missed the bed. I hit my head on my night stand. I actually hit the corner and it split my scalp and skull wide open. I have 8 staples on the outside and not sure how many stitches on the inside.
There was so much blood. I soaked a beach towel and gown (that had to be thrown away) and 2 sheets and 3 of those things that they put under you before they were done sewing me up. It was really bad.
I couldn't see because everything was blurry and I was in a lot of pain.
I don't know how to post my blog when I comment so I will put my link in here.
Stop by sometimes...
I am not sure that this is correct. The name of my blog is Beth's Patio Chit Chat
I might just be easier to search Google. I don't know because I am not that savvy anymore.
I am eating my dinner and going to post on my blog and go to bed. I am so happy you had a great time and so glad that you seen so many friends.
A better comment to you later on. Take care sweetie. Beth Reed
Beth, I am so sorry you had such a bad fall! That sounds frightening as hell! I'm really glad that you got stitched up and they stopped the bleeding. Nothing bleeds like a head wound and you surely had a bad one.Delete
Thanks for the heads-up about your blog. I'll come and visit.
Take care of yourself!
Thank you so much for your kind words. It really is a bad one and we are still waiting for the MRI order. My daughter was on the phone with the clinic most of the afternoon. They said the electronic order failed. I am supposed to call in the morning to see if they got the new referral. I don't trust some of these computers ha!Delete
It's a Tibouchina.ReplyDelete
--Awesome cat and plant mama
I do believe you are right!Delete
i appreciate your candor not having a mother-ReplyDelete
Oh, I could definitely have even more candor. It's not easy. I wonder why it's so weird to talk about aging. Probably because it's hard to even admit some things to ourselves, much less speak them out loud. But I'm going to try.Delete
I'm finding my beginning journey into menopause very bewildering and depressing. My body is doing all kinds of payback for neglecting it in favor of everyone else and now this! Even my doctor isn't forthcoming on the subject and the internet is overwhelming... So share away and I will gobble your tales..! I found the name Tibouchina Urvilleana for your gorgeous blue flower as well.ReplyDelete
you might enjoy reading a book called *The Pause* by Lonnie Barbach. It's basic, but it explains SO much. of all the books I read, this one (recommended by my NP) was most helpful to me........and helped me realize I WAS NOT going crazy! Susan MDelete
I honestly don't think that doctors know as much as they should about menopause. It's just not something that gets a lot of attention and yet it damn well should. Half of us on earth are going to go through it if we live long enough. And for some it's a smooth glide from one place to another. Hurray for those women! But for some of us (probably more than we know) it's just very, very difficult. Thanks for the plant ID.Delete
Thank you for the book recommendation. I think doctors also operate on a don't tel till there's a problem basis, which is annoying. My mom tries to tell me bit of what her passage was like and what I should be doing, but she's a different body type and she judges differing opinions pretty strongly..! I'm going to go look on amazon for the book now!Delete
Menopause and I were done by age 40. I used to think that was a good thing, but not so much any more. My "old age" has been too weak and frail, which is so contrary to my former athletic and happier life. I'm 77, and not as pleased with living as I'd like to be.ReplyDelete
"...not as pleased with living as I'd like to me."Delete
That's another thing that doesn't get discussed. We can tell ourselves all we want that we're just lucky to be alive but that does not alleviate the pain or frailness or any of the other many, many things that arise as we age. And that's just the damn truth. It's hard to live our "best lives" when we're constantly having to compensate. Thanks for your honesty, Joanne.
I'm 60 at the end of the year and yes, getting older sucks but my grandma used to say "Every day above ground is a good'un!ReplyDelete
I had a cancer removed from my breast/chest wall in my late forties followed by chemotherapy and radiotherapy. I didn't think id make 50 let alone 60.
My joints are completely shot..I just suck it up and keep going.
There's joy to be found out there but it's hard not to let illness, mental illness especially get us down.
Your blog brings much pleasure, Mrs moon. Thank you. X
Well first of all- how excellent that your cancer treatment worked! I know it must have been very difficult. Even twenty years ago they didn't have as many ways to cope with chemo and radiation as they do now. And it's still not easy. In the least. And yes, I'm sure it took a lot from you even as it allowed you to live.Delete
Yes. There IS joy to be found for sure but aging is no idyllic walk in the park, is it?
Thanks for you kind words.
Hello, I am back. I gave up on trying to sleep. Sigh, I really need sleep but if I lay on my left side my left leg hurts and my head, shoulder and hip hurts to much to turn over let alone lay on my right side.ReplyDelete
Menopause. Ugh what a horrible time for some women. My mother had a very hard time. Especially with hot flashes.
I am experiencing them more often this past year. I will be 60 in October and I had what my doctor called Micro hemorrhaging. It was awful. I would suddenly just gush and I never knew when it would happen. Once I was on the bus in Las Vegas and another time at the gas station.
I started wearing depends. A pad wouldn't have helped.
I guess this happened 5 or 6 times and it stopped as suddenly as it started. I was going to have a hysterectomy but for some reason I had to cancel. It never happened again and I don't know if I am still going thru it or not. I have horrible hot flashes.
I have always had depression but the anxiety started about 5 years ago. I am on Cymbalta for Fibromyalgia and it is really helping me with the depression. My doctor added Lyrica to it and I was amazed at how the combination has helped me. It has been over a year and I have not had a fibromyalgia flare up. I have had little ones but they have never turned into the big flare ups.
Of course I have been depressed over other things happening in my life that has caused several episodes of anxiety.
The one drug that helped me tremendously was Clonazepam. Thru pain management here in Texas I had to choose my pain medication or my anxiety/depression medication. It is a narcotic and I can't have both because it can possibly interfere with my other medications .
I cried for a week and not because of withdrawals but just the fact that I didn't have my safety net.
If I felt I was having a attack I had my go to medication and I was so afraid. Unreasonably afraid I think.
I got thru it but I am changing my primary doctor and going back to my old doctor. We had moved so I had to change doctors but we moved again and are actually closer to my old doctor now.
I am not pleased with the one I have now. She tends to blow me off.
I just wanted to stop in again. I thought that if I got on the computer it might slow down my racing mind and I can relax enough to sleep.
It is 3:35 in the morning. I do hope that you are resting. Good night or Good Morning! Beth
I think a lot of women experience anxiety for the first time when they go through menopause. And I'm sure that your bleeding must have scared you to death. See? We should KNOW that such things are possible. Doctors should take these things seriously.Delete
Yes they should and really we need discussion groups and I sometimes believe that our doctors should offer help discussions for menopause to help women and even young girls starting their periods.Delete
It's hard to understand why we talk Sex at doctors we do not discuss how menopause affects our life. We all need the information that we can get.
I've had one episode of suddenly gushing while on the way to the store... what a shocker. I had on a pad and it was so inadequate.Delete
Tibouchina is also called Princess Flower.ReplyDelete
That's what I'm discovering. "Princess Flower" could be a good name for a Disney Princess.Delete
It's funny because I just finished googling, age related fatigue. I'm so damned tired all the time. One of the young nurses asked me yesterday what I was going to do in the evening. All I ever do is make supper, clean up, walk the dog and go to bed. Not sure if I told her that or not, can't remember:) Can't remember shit.ReplyDelete
My feet hurt all the time, my back hurts, I can't find words and I just don't have the energy I used to have. I'm only 56 and wonder what the next twenty years have to offer me. I know a lot of the fatigue comes from work, I absorb a lot of grief at work, I try not to but it still happens. I care a great deal about my patients and it takes it's toll.
I think aging is a wonderful topic that people don't talk about enough. Look up nonenal. I found this word while on holidays. It's interesting.
See- I, too, wonder what it's going to be like for me as the years pass. If I'm already in this much pain and am already forgetting as much as I do, it's not going to be a pretty sight.Delete
It's going to be hard.
And yeah, the fatigue. If I have a day where I feel really good and get a lot done, I am bound to have a few days following where I just need to rest. It sucks. But it's the truth.
I did look up nonenal. I wish I hadn't.
I think preparing for aging is a little like preparing for parenthood: hard to anticipate the ways it will surprise you. Will hit 69 this year and have discovered the joys of never finding a pair of shoes that don't hurt--and never fully figuring that out until after I've worn them outside. In the last couple of years I've had ankle surgery on one foot and a broken a bone in the other, so I've worn a Cam boot more often than a sneaker. Discovered I have osteoporosis. But, on the other hand, I also retired last year from a demanding job with an equally fun (horrific) 100 mile commute. My blood pressure has dropped significantly and I am happier than I have been in a long time--probably because I am an introvert who doesn't necessarily miss being around a lot of people. I have a lovely family with grandchildren spanning more than 20 years in age, so I get enough interaction with others--not necessarily every day which is fine by me. My DH is younger and still working. Do I worry about the future? Sure. Especially worry about my mobility as a car is a necessity where I live--and my house has steps (found out just how tricky that can be post-surgery). I don't want to become a cranky old woman. Or a burden. So right now I focus on staying upright, keeping my head on straight and making short term plans for things I enjoy. Look forward to reading what you have to say on the subject.ReplyDelete
Wow! Retiring must have been such a relief. I am so glad that you're finding a new life outside of work that allows you to be more yourself and is so much less stressful.Delete
I think that we all dread becoming a burden to our loved ones. That's just human. And our culture really doesn't reward caretakers the way it could and should. Let's face it- when parents get to a certain age and a certain level of needing help, it's not a happy thing for anyone.
But yeah. We just plug along and do what we can to put that day off. I surely would like to just drop dead one day doing something I love.
I hit menopause at 45 last year....despite being a nurse, I really had no understanding of the full scope of what was happening to me, and it brought me utterly to my knees. Just one small example: I didn't sleep more than 2 hours a night for 3 years, which brought on a level of insanity that is hard to explain. It was the 40+ insane hot flashes a day that brought me to a doctor and had me weeping for relief...she reluctantly gave me hormone replacement therapy after telling me it's going to kill me via breast cancer, and she "won't let me take it more than a year." Since taking HRT, a HUGE myriad of symptom immediately resolved (including an anxiety disorder). You know what? Let me die of cancer, cuz I can't go back to that hell. Why aren't women taught about this kind of thing? It's a travesty.ReplyDelete
Oh hell yes. I completely understand. I take a form of HRT which is supposed to be more "natural" according to my old NP but which my now-Primary Care doc says is really not and I'm not willing to stop taking it. Besides the hot flashes (and mine were unbearable too), there was the constant almost-incontinence, and so much more. It's a quality of life thing. For sure.Delete
I, too, went to nursing school and I don't remember learning anything about menopause there. If we were taught anything on the subject, it surely wasn't enough. And every woman's symptoms can be different.
I am so glad you're getting some relief. Especially for the sleep thing. That's just brutal.
I turned 69 this year. had my last period at 44 or 45. my mother, maternal aunt, and older sister all had hysterectomies so I had no idea what to expect or when. I had hot flashes for years but I don't remember any other stuff. a bit of insomnia which still comes and goes. but I tell you what, I was glad not to be at the mercy of estrogen. I became a lot less emotional. so here at 69 I have an aged face and the skin is getting crepey which I detest but whachagonnado? I do yoga for strength and flexibility and balance, I garden, I walk the dog, I still engage in my artwork, I drive, life goes on pretty much as it always has. my memory isn't great but then it never has been. I don't think I'm getting old so much as just aging. when I'm feeble, then I'll be old. I do wonder what the next 20 years will be like, how my end will come. I hope I won't be an invalid. keeling over in the garden would be acceptable.ReplyDelete
oh and re menopause...my internal temperature flipped. I used to be cold natured, restaurants froze me out, swimming in pools in the summer would make my lips and nail beds blue after about 30 minutes. I never used to sweat, just perspire a bit. now I wear sleeveless everything, moderate activity has sweat rolling off me. when I work out in the yard I have a bandana around my forehead and another one stuffed in my pocket.Delete
Oh god, Ellen- me too and the sweating. It's just horrible.Delete
I think you deal with aging very, very well. You're doing what you're suppoed to do and you are proactive in the way you take yoga and keep on working at what you love. I, too, want to keep doing what I love. I just hate that it's getting harder all the time. I DON'T KNOW HOW TO BE SEDENTARY! It's not in my DNA.
I hear you on the aging. What a shock the reality of it is. My hip and knee joints, as you know, are shot, but I am resolved to just keep on keeping on. The sagging skin is the almost the worst, I had no idea I was so vain, and it's hampering my further weight loss efforts because losing weight will only make everything looser and more saggy now. I saw a meme the other day. It said: "Being overweight is hard. Losing weight is hard. Pick your hard." It put a whole lot of things beyond weight in perspective for me. I love your honesty, always. As you can see from all the comments here, you've struck a deep true chord.ReplyDelete
"Pick your hard."Delete
Yep. That about sums it up. I honestly do think that staying at a healthy weight is important but being too thin is not good for a woman because there go our bones. But...yeah.
I didn't have any idea how vain I was either. What a shocking discovery! I guess it's like the joints though- we just keep on keeping on but it's definitely not easy. Sometimes I think I am the worst ageist I know especially when it comes to myself.
How in the hell has all of this happened?
Acceptance and adaptability saves us- living long has set us up for dramatic challenges, we adjust our dresses and carry on. Don't look back! take advantage of senior discounts as much as is possible! travel out of your comfort zone frequently, I have found that to be most helpful to snap me out of woe.ReplyDelete
Good advice, Linda Sue. Very good advice.Delete
I love Lucinda Williams. Thank you for that link.
Princess Flower. So pretty. Not at all like getting old. I feel your pain. Looking in the mirror is getting more and more depressing. XXOOReplyDelete
Woman! You will be a great beauty until the day you die.Delete
That's my opinion.
But it's your own feelings that count. I know.
Do you have any over-80 friends to hang out with? Because I just turned 65 as well but I've had the privilege to know some people older than me and that's helped me think about and face aging better than anything. The ones who are still here and the ones who have died all have given me lessons to learn and practical info to think and plan with and know what to expect.ReplyDelete
No, I don't, although I have known some much older folks in my life and some of them have been good teachers and inspirations. You're wise to learn from your elders. That would be a good lesson for all of us.Delete
thankfully, aging is a topic I find being discussed much more recently.....and it should be! We are *taught* how to grow up.....but we are not taught how to age well, and it's hard. I'm 66 and I can't imagine what I would feel like if I lived another 20 years...that scares the dickens out of me. Menopause.......don't get me started. Perimenopause was my most difficult time..........no one talks much about that. 5 or 6 years of horrible mood swings, anxiety.....and irregular periods. I was informed (probably better than many women) by my NP that it was a *process* similar to puberty (takes time) but backwards LOL! She was a proponent of trying to whether those years without hormones......if at all possible....... and I did get through it............ still have hot flashes now, but not frequently.....my body thermometer is always on HOT now....... and I haven't slept well in years.......but...... here I am. And we keep muddling throughReplyDelete
Yes. We muddle and we muddle.ReplyDelete
But I understand completely how you feel about living another twenty years. Do I even want to if it keeps getting worse and worse?
I guess so...
And yes, your NP was correct about it being a process but Lord, it's a fucked-up process. "Intelligent design" my ass!
I'm proud of you for doing it all without hormones. I am not that strong.
And even with them, there are still a myriad of problems that are, to put it mildly, quite uncomfortable. And yeah, I'm always hot too.
I see that someone already answered the flower question. My stepmother has a tibouchina and it's a good-sized tree. So just be aware, wherever you've planted it, that it will eventually get big!ReplyDelete
I think when we're young, especially if we're eating well and taking care of ourselves and getting exercise, we somehow have the idea that we're going to fend off aging. I'm at the point where I'm becoming aware that it's happening anyway!
Yes, anxiety and depression are indeed evil conjoined twins when they come for a visit. I mostly don't mind aging, but there are the scary parts to consider. The Man can no longer live independently and requires my full time Caregiving already and I do worry about, what if I too become a vulnerable Adult... one doesn't want to burden the Adult Children and Adult Grandchildren with the prospect of what that entails! I do Hope you are in an Emotionally elevated place soon to thoroughly enjoy your lovely Family without the baggage of either anxiety or depression.ReplyDelete