Get Better… Now!

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Why is it that everyone is always in such a rush? 

There is an entire new market of drugs out there to make you thinner FASTER; smarter FASTER; and feel better FASTER. On paper that sounds pretty good but, seriously, if it used to take longer for meds to work effectively, why should we believe that shortening their use would result in some miracle cure?

And yet things like antibiotics come with warnings to make sure you ‘finish all the meds’ – even if you start to feel a lot better. Sure, some pills are ‘slow release’ for a reason. And most pills indicate on the label not to take but so many in a day. But, still, we’re in such a rush that we don’t always abide by the warnings written clearly on the bottle.

So, by all means, strive for medical perfection but don’t be surprised if the effects are short-lived!

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The New Normal

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There’s nothing wrong with getting older. It’s almost as if the ‘over 65’ crowd is ‘the new normal.’ Aches and pains aside, more people than ever before are living into their eighties, their nineties and even living long enough to hear Willard Scott read their names (not as part of a memoriam but) on a Smuckers jar.

One noble aspect about aging is that it doesn’t discriminate – all races and genders, if they’re lucky, can be members of this inclusive club. The only rule is that you do it right… the living, that is, not the dying.

Old people are constantly portrayed as those suffering from incontinence, heart disease, arthritis and memory loss. They’re seen as cranky, unattractive, frail and forgetful. The fact of the matter is, today’s elders are actually computer literate, taking classes, starting new jobs and finding ways to improve their lives.

It’s no longer enough to just sit back and enjoy your retirement. You must keep an open mind and not be afraid to fail. You have to be open to discovery and appreciate life – especially knowing that your time may be limited.

Always remember this… You don’t get to choose how you’ll die but you sure can choose how you’ll live!

ABC’s Of Aging

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(author unknown)

A is for arthritis
B is for bad back
C is for the chest pains – corned beef?cardiac?
D is for dental decay and decline
E is for eyesight – can’t read that top line
F is for fissures and fluid retention
G is for gas  (which I’d rather not mention – and not to forget other gastrointestinal glitches)
H is high blood pressure
I is for itches and lots of incisions
J is for joints, that now fail to flex
L is libido – what happened to sex?
Wait! I forgot about K!
K is for my knees – that crack all the time
(But forgive me, I get a few lapses in my
Memory from time to time)
N is for nerve (pinched) and neck (stiff)
and neurosis
O is for osteo – for all the bones that crack
P is for prescriptions, that cost a small fortune
Q is for queasiness. Fatal or just the flu?
Give me another pill and I’ll be good as new!
R is for reflux – one meal turns into two
S is for sleepless nights (counting fears on how to pay my medical bills)
T is for tinnitus – I hear bells in my ears
And the word ‘terminal’ also rings too near
U is for urinary and the difficulties that flow (or not)
V is for vertigo, as life spins by
W is worry, for pains yet unfound
X is for x-ray and what one might find
Y is for year (another one, I’m still alive)
Z is for zest

For surviving the symptoms my body’s deployed
And keeping 26 doctors gainfully employed

Fine, How’re you?

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(Author Unknown)

There’s nothing the matter with me,
I’m just as healthy as can be,
I have arthritis in both knees,
And when I talk, I talk with wheeze.
My pulse is weak, my blood is thin,
But I’m awfully well for the shape I’m in.

All my teeth have had to come out,
And my diet I hate to think about.
I’m overweight and I can’t get thin,
But I’m awfully well for the shape I’m in.

Arch supports I need for my feet.
Or I wouldn’t be able to go in the street.
Sleep is denied me night after night,
But every morning I find I’m all right.
Memory is failing, my head’s in a spin.
But I’m awfully well for the shape I’m in.

The moral of this as the tale unfolds,
Is – for you and me, who’re growing old.
It’s better to say, “I’m fine” with a grin,
Than to let people know the shape we’re in.

I’m fine, how are you?*

*All of the products shown above really work. I know. I use them all the time 😦

Raising Healthy Parents

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Never in a million years did I think I’d be back, living at home, taking care of my family. Only this time, I’m not referring to my awesome, talented and successful sons. I’m talking about my parents.

But can you really raise parents?

They’re certainly not children although, listening to their colorful banter, you might think their behavior merits an old fashioned ‘time out.’ The parents, in this case, are my very own much-loved, well-respected octogenarian ‘muddah’ and ‘fadduh.’ They brought me into this world, gave me unconditional love and support and (all too often) unsolicited advice.

That said, I literally owe them my life. 

In the last few years, it has become more and more evident that my parents, while still independent (but with curmudgeonly tendencies), have begun slowing down and are showing signs of needing a bit of help now and again. To that end, I agreed to live with them, part time, while also continuing my musical career and still maintaining a personal life – that of a woman in her 50’s.

Here are a few things I’ve already noticed:

1) Kids are not the only ones who say the darnedest things
2) I’m now the most savvy and technologically skilled person in the room.
3) Child-proofing has an entirely different meaning.

About that… I’m sure I’m not alone in wondering about the point of childproofing bottles of pills. Sure, when your children are younger, you want them to be safe. But, seriously, any child worth his weight can open one of those bottles in under 5 seconds. Not so for many older adults – due to crippling arthritis and bad eyesight.

One of the most popular elder-friendly items in the drugstore these days (after Depends) is a pill box divided into days of the week. You simply put all their colorful, shapely little pills into the appropriately labelled compartments at the beginning of each week and allow them the dignity of taking their own meds. After all, they’re only ‘sightly’ challenged. And I can’t even imagine how frustrating that must be.

So, on those too long days when I feel like my temper and patience fall just a hair too short, I try and think back to my own childhood – when my parents had to put up with my brother and me and the 16th year of my life that Mom still lovingly refers to as anything but sweet – and remember that, at the end of the day, this too shall pass.

Most importantly, I now realize that one day my future happiness may rest in the hands of my own children and they damn well better remember… I called them awesome!