Do What Now?

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I took my Mom to the doctor the other day. When she checked in, they gave her a tablet and asked her to check that the info on it was correct.

1) My Mom does NOT know how to use a tablet. She doesn’t even own a cell phone. Or a computer. So how was she supposed to operate this devise without my help?

2) The writing was so small and light she wouldn’t have been able to see it even if she understood how to ‘click’ and ‘swipe.’

3) I know it’s 2016 (and, believe me, I’ve tried to get her to up her ‘tech’-nique) but Mom still uses a wall phone, asks for a written-out appointment card and even needs help filling out (paper) medical forms.

Is this what I have to look forward to now? After driving my parents to their doctors appointments, answering their medical questionnaires to ‘100% completion’ and picking up their meds will I, at some point, be asked to ‘go to the doctor for them’ as well?

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!

Short Term Paranoia

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As a small child I remember thinking the ‘old guy’ that always sat at his window, looking outside to make sure no one stepped on his perfectly manicured lawn, was a bit creepy. In his defense, neighborhood kids did make it a point to purposely throw balls onto his lawn and (before we were taught to pick up after our dogs) dogs regularly used his front lawn as their own public pooper-scooper.

Since living back with my parents I’ve noticed that they, too, spend an awful lot of time sitting in front of THEIR window. They watch for the mailman (they don’t get much more than medical bills); the meals-on-wheels delivery man (with whom they’re on a first name basis); the UPS truck (when I tell them I’m expecting a package but it probably won’t arrive for weeks); and their grandkids (as if wishing for it will actually make it happen).

I realize they have little to look forward to on a daily basis but it seems a bit paranoid of them to watch out for, say, impending snow when only an inch or two is predicted and they have nowhere to go in it anyway. But I suppose it does make the days go by faster and maybe, in their minds, it might even make them feel more a part of their surroundings now that they spend so much of their time indoors.

As I think back on that ‘old guy’ next door and remember how my Dad used to call him a busybody and a cranky old man, it feels as if time has come full circle only now it’s my Dad who has earned the title of ‘crotchety-old-dude.’

But, if truth be told and years of hard living give you some street cred, he’s truly earned it!

High Blood Pressure

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Few things in life naturally lower our blood pressure – but plenty can raise it. Between worrying about our health, our families, our pets, our friends, our careers, our finances… there’s little time left over to just ‘chill.’

There are numerous drugs on the market that will help keep BP at an even keel. Doctors tell us to give up almost all of the things that give us the most pleasure. “Everything in moderation,” they tell us. Yeah, and we’re also told to ‘just say no’ and ‘you can’t eat just one…’

But these are, literally, words to live by.

We should eat right, exercise, do yoga and/or meditate and all our troubles will magically disappear. Really? Just like that? Yet we continue to abuse our bodies – putting chemicals and additives and artificial coloring and preservatives into our system on a daily basis. We have little if no self control and, when we feel poorly, we blame everyone else but ourselves.

I, for one, do not have high blood pressure. I’m as stressed as the next person but I don’t keep things bottled up inside. I yell, I complain and… you know what? I feel better.

So, do what your doctor tells you and take meds if they’re recommended but the rest is up to you. Find something that calms you – I knit and I color. It relaxes me at the end of a long and stressful day. So does drinking a cup of hot tea and eating a whole lotta chocolate!

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!

The Write Way

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It’s hard for anyone under the age of 40 to understand how things used to be. They never had to get up off the couch to change a channel on their tv; they never had to fight over the one phone in the house that was attached to the kitchen wall; they never knew how much a stamp cost or how big a deal it was when the price increased (usually by a cent or two) and they never had to carry around gigantic copies of their MRI films. Today, everything is conveniently stored on computers. Doctors can view your entire medical history with the click of a mouse.

They don’t even hand out illegible scripts anymore.

I’ve always liked writing*. I’ve written numerous music books and a series of YA stories. Even as a young child I remember writing absolutely everything down – my favorite foods, my favorite songs, my favorite outfits, my favorite movies… As a bored middle-schooler, I often created detailed polls for my classmates to vote on – and, yet, I still managed to graduate (ONCE, at the end of my senior year, not every few years as kids these days do – starting with Kindergarten).

Much like my Mom tells me how she likes the feel of a good book in her hands (I’m a proud 3rd-generation-Kindle-r myself), there’s just something about holding a freshly sharpened pencil (with a working, not chewed up, eraser) in your hands and knowing that there’s an infinite world of possibilities lying at the tip.

So whether you’re an academic, an artist or just a doodler, a simple pencil and a blank piece of paper can add hours of entertainment and great accomplishment to your life without the need of an electrical outlet!

*Hope you’ve enjoyed my first 100 hellomuddahhellofadduh blog posts…

Beat The Bank

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I really hate the fact that the older I get, the more tired I am and the less sleep I seem to be getting. I’m now one of the millions of Americans that relies on sleeping pills for a decent night’s sleep. So, on those occasions that I find myself exercising my right to a good night’s rest, the last thing I expect is to be woken up from a deep sleep before dawn.

To be clear, there was no fire, no medical emergency and no reason whatsoever that my slumber should have been disturbed. But it was. And the reason… Dad wanted to get to the bank to deposit a check. At 5:42 AM.

Now, I don’t know where you live but I’m pretty sure your local bank does not open at 5:42 in the morning. And we’re not talking about the ATM machine either. My Dad only deals with real live tellers who sit behind their windows inside the bank.

I tried to convince him that I would not be up and showered and dressed anywhere near that early but he insisted on being ready… just in case. 

So he waited, patiently, just so he could beat the bank!