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Archive for the ‘On Aging’ Category

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BigFoot was on the road again.

On the mend again.

Shrunken to a normal size.

Ahhhh!

And after nearly three years in and out of a Big Boot or hobbling around with a cane or crutches, or gliding on a knee scooter, BigFoot FINALLY started WALKING!

But wait.

There is now a BlueToe on the SkinnyFoot, thanks to a “maintenance visit” for a Podiatrist’s professional pedicure!

I always liked my podiatrist even though he frightened me occasionally with ragged pedicures.

But who am I to question the cutting techniques of an accredited podiatrist?

Note:  Old people tend to elevate doctors to godly pedestals of eternal wisdom.

On this visit the good doctor once again cut a ragged edge and managed a very jagged cut on the SkinnyFoot’s Big Toe.

And this instantly caused a blue spot at the base of the nail.

Ever so politely, I asked, “What is that?”

And the doc said, “You must have stubbed it or something fell on it.  Not to worry, it will heal in time.”

I took him at his word of course even though I knew there was no blue spot when I walked in and I had not stubbed my toe or dropped anything on it.

Old people tend to accept anything a doctor says, particularly if he is wearing a white coat!

And it was only a little blue spot after all.  It would undoubtedly heal with time.

So off I went to PT (Physical Therapy).

And the Physical Therapist immediately gasped and  asked, “Who butchered your toe?”

After hearing my story and since the entire toenail had turned a beautiful blue, she said, “Go see your family doctor ASAP!”

Metallic blue toenails are the “in” thing now.  And that’s how BigFoot’s Big Toe looked….. blue.

Hmmmm.  Do you think I should I go to a salon and get the other nine nails painted to match?

“A good thing you came in,” said my family doctor.  “Looks like a blood blister. It will probably be fine. But watch and come back if you notice red streaks going up the foot or there is swelling or fever.  Also soak the toe in salt water twice a day and apply antibacterial ointment.”

That was two weeks ago.

BigFoot’s Big Toe is still Blue.

Seems to be healing but I am afraid to wear closed toed shoes for fear of aggravating.

Will I lose the nail?  Too soon to tell.

But this much is sure:

I will lose the Podiatrist.

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Vegetables

“What is your vegetable of the day?” we asked.  And our waitress answered, “A Melody of vegetables.”  ~ Dor

Our Day 3 Rule is not working!

That is a rule in our house whereby I cook for 2 days but on Day 3 we eat out.

To reinforce this, my meal planning and end results go like this:

  1. Day 1 – A fairly delicious healthy meal with protein, vegetables (a melody), a starch, and a fresh salad.
  2. Day 2 – Still almost passable.
  3. Day 3 – A no longer attractively displayed meal with a slightly unappetizing aroma, and no taste.  I don’t do this on purpose either.  It just happens.

And Bill knows we have to eat out!  Today is Day #3 but I think he has forgotten.

Saturday I went for MRI #5.

Good thing I handle the claustrophobia and loud banging noises well.  I always ask them to play DooWop music but they don’t really know what that is so they get “Oldies” which are never quite old enough.

Ah well.  But I am anxious for the results of this one because BigFoot is no longer Big!  Can this be a happy omen?  The swelling is waaaay down to an almost SkinnyFoot!

The trip for the MRI was also kind of fun since we found our way to a Roanoke, Virginia shopping center and had lunch at the Wild Flour Café.  Isn’t it nice that this old couple can still enjoy good food (not cooked by me!) and good conversation away from home?

Other happiness:

“Sleep perchance to dream.” from William Shakespeare’ s play, Hamlet.

Two weeks ago I had a Sleep Apnea Test (which they prefer to call a “study”).  I must say it was a tortuous experience but they called today to announce that “You do not have Sleep Apnea and your oxygen levels are fine.”  Ha! I have passed the Study! Hurrah!

I do understand why the dr. ordered it though.  He kept saying my tongue was too big for my throat or the throat was too small.

So we started with a finger test at home that didn’t look good but perhaps the finger was too small or the test thing was too big because they think it accidentally slipped off during the night.  No matter.  I sleep like a log – always have – and no snoring either.

The quote above about the Melody of Vegetables is true!  And isn’t this a grand and happy Melody of Meanderings?

 

 

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KIT IS 80!

Happy Birthday to Kit the Wit

This my oldest, first, and Best Friend Forever.

Her name is Kit and we met when we were eleven years old.

She gave us nicknames then,

and mine was not too flattering but has stuck all these years.

She is Kit the Wit.

And I am Dort the Snort.

I call her Wit and she calls me Snort to this day and she will yell out to me in a store or other public place, “Hey SNORT!  Come and look at this.”

I suppose people wonder about that, but I am so used to it I don’t notice.

We played paper dolls, jacks, rode bikes, stayed up all night giggling.

We went through the phases of our lives, first cars, first boyfriends, marriage, kids, aging.

And always laughter through it all.

We have stories to tell and memories to share about moon baths and sunburns and trying on her big sister’s clothes;  about first loves and grown up relationships and raising sons.

She is still always late and I am always early.  I am fussy neat and she is haphazard.  Some things never change.

But I still learn from my friend – the meaning of patience and finding humor in the bizarre.

The thing about Wit is her kindness and her eternal sense of humor.

I don’t know anyone else her age who has a big collection of singing stuffed animals and who joyfully winds them all up to sing (not in harmony either) at the same time.

How I wish I could have been with Wit this June 16th for her birthday!

How I wish we could “spend the night” again one more time –  talking and laughing, and laughing and laughing.

Once again, “HAPPY BIRTHDAY WIT!  You are still my BFF. ”

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Although I think these stories are to be considered “PRIVATE,” the fact is that  age brings a certain loss of privacy.

THE MIGHTY LEAP AND GRAB

Story #1 began with Dor’s BigFoot. 

Due to a lack of exercise maybe, or the fact that I toted  around an extra 4 or 5 pounds of knee high boot for many months, getting up and down in the bathroom became a challenge.

If you are brave, please Picture This:

We could not mount railings in our bathrooms because we have stand-alone thrones.

door-knobs

Therefore, I was forced to make a mighty leap forward to grab a door knob and then hoist to get up.  Fortunately the doorknobs held and maybe you could consider mighty leaps as good exercise, but the very idea inspired a a search for a remedy.

Our local Virginia plumber solved the whole thing!

“Everybody’s got ‘em now,” said he.  “They are the right height even for the young but very helpful for the aging too, and a whole lot of folks are replacing the old 14inchers with 16inchers.”

And so we did just that.

I almost wrote a blog post about it because it was our excitement for the year – waiting to try on “right height toilets.”

There, I have actually said the not-so-private word at last – TOILETS! 

Comfort level toilets are wondrous things and if you haven’t got one, I highly recommend going for it!

TO SLEEP OR NOT TO SLEEP

polysomnogram

Story #2 is my upcoming Sleep Test.

I am a wreck preparing for an “in-lab sleepover” at our local hospital.  That is where they test you to see if you stop breathing too much during the night.

Evidently I am under suspicion for “sleep apnea” even though I do not snore, have no problem falling asleep and no problem sleeping 7 to 8 hours a night.

It’s supposedly a private room with its own bathroom but I understand I will be observed all night via a little camera at the nurse’s station.  And if I have to “go” I must holler out and wait for an attendant to come and unhook all the electrodes and wires.

I am packing for this overnight stay as if taking a trip to Australia! Bringing my own pillow, a book, my Kindle reader, several types of sleepwear, cookies maybe, and more.

I do hope they have a Right Height Toilet though!

 

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Years ago I created a collage

of favorite photographs.

I glued them in a haphazard way on top of a big old ugly $15 dime store print that once hung over our couch.

Even now I think it was a great idea and I remember pasting away and thinking, “How artistic if I do say so myself!”

I loved it so much that I eventually had the collage framed and was assured the priceless photographs were safely under protective glass.

“This collage of family and friends will live on through generations,” I thought.

And yes, that inventive impressive self indulgent collage is over the desk in Bill’s “office.”

And every now and then I look once again at a dimming past.

Literally!

Some of the photos are not only dimming,

they are disappearing!  

Many of those faded fotos in my collage were taken with an early Polaroid camera in the 1960’s or maybe even earlier.  The miracle was that the camera itself would process a picture and spit it out for at you.  Then you waved it in the air and blew on it to “set” things – or at least I did.

I suppose being under glass and exposed to sunlight would “unset” or affect images.  Or maybe I shouldn’t have shaken the photo to hurry things along.

Is there a Polaroid camera now with a re-set button?

I want to hit RE-SET!

The fading fotos from yesteryear are following my life cycle and we will all fade away together.

Are you watching your life fade away too?

If you are wondering if they even make Polaroid cameras anymore, the answer is Yes!  Instant film is coming back into popularity!

From Polaroid’s Comeback, by Mark Rogers, Photographer: “Polaroid cameras have recently been coming out of storage. …With instant film so popular, there are now once again hundreds of these small, square-shaped photographs around — and your favorites should be preserved and displayed the right way. Just like standard photographs and prints, instant film can suffer the same damage as standard film. However, a little more care should be taken when handling the still-developing film — according to Polaroid, the more closely the photographer followed the instructions, the longer the photo will last. Tip: Shaking the photo does not help a Polaroid develop faster. In fact, it could actually damage the developing photograph!…Standard photography preservation practices apply: keep the photos away from light, heat and moisture; most organizations maintain that Polaroids will fade in as just as much time as conventional photographs…”  

 

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“Hello, Super Market Management?  I am in your store and I am in the far end.  You know, near the chips?  I am a handicapped elderly woman (in a therapy boot) gratefully using one of your electric carts but the cart battery went dead.  Can you help me?

I cannot walk all the way back for another cart.  I need a new cart with active batteries and someone to help transfer all the groceries.  Yes, I am by the chips.  Thank you so much.  I love it that you offer this service.  It’s a very kind public gesture, but for some reason the cart batteries always go dead.

The electric carts at my grocery/big box store constantly run out of battery power.

And this usually occurs on the far side!

Getting stuck in the middle (or far end) of a gigantic store leaves a person (this person with the BigFoot) in a precariously helpless, embarrassing position, stranded in limbo with peripheral problems like being emotionally distraught.

I am STUCK! HELP!

  • The basket on this electric cart is full.
  • It will lurch forward while emitting a weak sickly beep.
  • It will never make it back to square one for a new cart.
  • That means I must WALK (Limp) back across the store (for what seems like a mile) to get another cart.
  • You may witness my staggering arrival at the cart area where there may or may not be a new cart available.
  • If I am lucky and find a cart it may have a dying battery, and there is no way to tell if it will make it back to Cart #1.
  • Hurrah!  It arrives at Cart #1 for a transfer of goods to Cart #2.
  • Finally… leave Cart #1 stranded and,
  • With aching foot and increased blood pressure, move on to finish shopping.

Results?

  • Embarrassment
  • Pain
  • Anger 
  • Frustration
  • Fear of getting stuck again.

The latter fear has taken such a hold that I can only shop on one side of the store at a time, i.e., bar soap is on the wrong side (the other side) of the store.

Soap therefore, must go on a different day’s shopping list entitled “Right Side” or “Left Side”.

I also finally devised a Diabolical Plan (feel free to try this yourself if you are either elderly, infirm, or both):

  1. Program the name of the store and it’s local phone number into your cell phone.
  2. Choose an electric cart without too much concern for dying batteries.
  3. Begin shopping and don’t worry about filling your basket. Fill it to the brim or higher! Remember, the point of this plan is to send a message to store management.
  4. Be alert and wait to get stuck ANYWHERE in the #$%2x##* blankety blank place (preferably far far from the stable of carts).
  5. Are you stuck yet? Well, if you are, then sweetly call the store from your cell phone.  Please, reserve the urge to rant!  
  6. Helplessly plead you are handicapped and need to be saved by a store employee who will have to fetch another cart.

Will pity prompt positive action?

I haven’t tried the Diabolical Plan yet.

Stay tuned.

 

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The “kids” were here last week and they washed my car!  It’s a pleasure now to see more than the wiper outline of the back window.  They Armor-alled the inside too.  Wow!

Bill and I went to a memorial event for a good friend who died Christmas morning.  This was no ordinary wake because it was a poker party for the men and a talk fest for the ladies.  Bud (our deceased friend) started the poker group 25 years ago and he absolutely loved the game. What better way to honor him?  And while the guys were playing poker downstairs, the ladies were having lunch upstairs.  We were all served lobster rolls in typical Maine tradition (also a favorite thing of Bud’s and served many times over the years).  And finally, it was Bud’s birthday!

If you love the color pink and if you loved Elvis, you will love the Pink Cadillac restaurant on the outskirts of Lexington, Virginia. That’s where we had dinner with friends on Sunday.   The food there is good hearty stuff, the staff are fun and friendly, and the place is “clean as a whistle.”

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Bill at the Pink Cadillac

I ignored BigFoot today  and made an exciting solo trip to Walmart.  To some this may seem boring but…..

  • Even though I parked in a handicapped spot and staggered in, there were no electric carts on that side of the store.
  • I met a fella with a Walmart nametag and he fetched me a cart from the far side. My hero!
  • The little cart’s battery lasted through all my wanderings. Yahoo!
  • My friend Nikky, works there now and called out over the crowd, “HI DOROTHY!” and left me with warm feelings and great love for friends.
  • Checking out the checker actually came around and helped to unload the groceries onto the conveyor belt. Imagine?  It has nothing to do with the fact that I may look ancient and helpless of course.
  • On the way out I got a haircut in order to look young and independent again and Nikki hollered, “BYE DOROTHY!”
  • After unloading the last of the groceries into the car I was wondering if the electric cart battery would last long enough to get the apparatus back into the store and plugged in.  I turned to get back on it but the cart was gone!  I am still puzzling over that one.

Now how exciting can you get?

More excitement.  I have fallen for a television ad and ordered a foot machine that promises to heal everything within seconds.

I am also ordering a constant stream of vitamins and supplements that guarantee eternal youth and flexibility in all joints.

Are you selling any snake oil?  Lemme know.

 

 

 

 

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