Musing on aging…

Over the last few days, I’ve had several strands of thought running through my mind. While they deal with different aspects of life, they seem to all be interconnected in that they deal with various aspects of getting older…

It started (I think) last weekend with moving my 90-year-old mother from rehab (for her broken hip) back to her independent living unit in the nursing home. This is a good move…but it also brings some concerns, since she has significant short-term memory problems–and since she’s spent almost two months with someone telling her where she needs to be when, and making sure she gets to her meals. She was pretty confused when she moved back; we’re hoping that being in her more familiar environment will help. If it doesn’t, we’ll be looking at yet another move–to a floor with more structure for her. I really don’t want to have to go there–not yet. I’d like her to be able to stay where she is until the end.

Then I began to wonder if I was going to have to deal with some MS situations. I’ve been very fortunate in that my MS seems to have mostly been in remission for the last 20 years or so. It’s there–and I am aware of it–but it hasn’t created significant problems. I use my electric cart to save my energy when I’m in situations that would require a lot of walking…are super stressful…are hot…but most of the time I’m mobile, although I do have to make sure I get my nap every day and I need to watch stress and heat. However, last week my legs began to tell me that they were pretty tired and heavy–to the point where I didn’t stand for the opening hymn at church…I just couldn’t. It seems to have cleared up, at least for the moment. But it was just another reminder that things change as one ages–and this may be something I’ll have to deal with again.

And yesterday I had a cyst removed from my back. No major medical problem–just more of a constant annoyance. The outpatient surgery went well, but my back is kind of itchy–and sore! I find myself wanting to gently pat the spot in order to stop the itching, but when I do, I find myself wincing a bit at the pain. When I got ready to go home, the nurse asked if I was married–and since I am, she gave instructions for how my husband is to clean it and change the bandages twice a day for the next ten days. I got to wondering on the way home…what if I were widowed? How would I have dealt with it then? That’s not something I’m anticipating in the near future–but I’m aware that it is a possibility, much more so than a decade or two ago.

None of this is particularly unusual…or threatening. I’m just becoming more aware of the passing of time–and realizing that things that seemed to be so far in the future at one point are coming closer to living with…and remind me of just how much I have been blessed.

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