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Archive for the ‘Who Me?’ Category

Photo by Tracy Le Blanc on CovidPexels.com

Have you noticed there is an in-between method of dealing with the medical world that comes short of Emergency Room visits and even eliminates in-person appointments?

It began for me with BigFoot. Remember him/her? About the time I was really getting plagued by pain and questions, that is when Covid hit.

Being in the Senior Set I was doing everything possible to isolate and that meant biting my nails over meeting MDs in their own offices, clinics or hospitals.

I began cancelling appointments.

Until one doctor suggested Tele-Visits.

We had 3 of those over a few months and in some ways our conversations were even more educating than if we had met in person.

And although I was and am still hesitant to bare my soul to a relative stranger, the comfort of distance is making it easier to loosen my tongue. Those were my first TeleVisits and I found them enjoyable, particularly if I placed the phone on my right ear (the one with more acute hearing).

I went from talking to an orthopedic doctor on the phone to working next with a would-be Health Coach. Ever hear of that?

My Sweet Health Coach needed people to practice on until she could get accredited. The work was all done by phone and computer.

I think it was a Zoom meeting.

Being part of the resistant Senior Set, I have steadfastly resisted understanding anything about Zooming.

Zooming is what my little dog, Elsa does when she is happy. She gets the Zoomies and runs through the house in wild abandon.

Anyway, I worked with my would-be Health Coach (on the phone) and it was probably similar to psychiatric sessions with Sigmund Freud. I never met Sigmund but I imagine he must have been a good listener.

So, I bared my soul and my Coach would nod verbally as if she really understood my problems. Oddly enough the calls helped. Maybe I just needed to talk.

Finally when Covid slowed down a little I made an appointment with a Dietician to see if I could get guidance on healthy eating. The last book I read on nutrition was Let’s Eat Right to Keep Fit by Adelle Davis, written in 1954. I still love that book even though whole chapters should be ignored.

But I learned a lot at my first meeting with the nutritionist and made an appointment #2 but then Covid came back and we arranged a TeleVisit.

And once again I am baring my soul over the phone lines and I am sure everything I say and my inner most secrets are even being recorded!

It seems to me the whole world has now fallen into a no-touch medical environment that promotes talking, talking and more talking and the value of touchy feely connections is getting lost (or is already gone missing) in a computer connected society.

I do highly recommend TeleVisits though. It is a place where you can at least bare your soul.

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About two weeks ago I looked in the un-masked morning mirror and discovered something alien in one of my two used-to-be-perfect nostrils. No pain there. No redness. Just something that looked like and felt like a skin tag.

“Thank goodness for masks,” I said to myself. “At least I have semi exotic hazel colored eyes, and with a mask to hide this nose imperfection I am good to go – if I ever want to go that is.”

On the other hand, maybe the alien thing was really something wildly dangerous? Maybe I should see my PCP (Primary Care Physician). And so I did and so he did refer me to an ENT (Ear, Nose, nd Throat man).

Notice I am writing in modern day initials again? Could this be a sign of regression to an earlier stage of life?

Anyway, I went to the ENT who said not to worry because it wasn’t the big C (Cancer) but that it would require cutting and stitches and he needed more time to dig around and get it all. We made an appointment for about a month later.

Now, to make a long story shorter, I had a next day pre-set appointment with a new, never seen before Dermatologist. Thanks to the Covid virus, I had not visited one of those physicians in over two years.

The new skin guy took a look at my nose (he couldn’t miss it of course) and offered to remove it on the spot (the tag – not the nose) with cauterization instead of stitches. The whole thing took about 10 minutes!

Nose Status Now

With a mask, I remain a mystery woman with hazel eyes.

Without a mask I can boast a perfect nose open to public view and occasional sneezing.

Sometimes life can be transformed in the space of 10 minutes!

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Photo by Lisa on Pexels.com

I believe in writer’s block because I have had it for about two years now. It began just before the pandemic. Oh wouldn’t it be lovely to blame it on that?

How confined one becomes when hunkering down.

Or maybe I could blame it on Big Foot and then the Creaky Hip.

Perhaps it is a matter of concentration.

Or maybe I need to take a different eye view of the world,

a walk on the wild side

or just time for contemplation.

Can you tell I have reflected on this?

And have come to a conclusion

that in the end, there is really no writer’s block.

You simply have to sit down and start writing.

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Photo by Gratisography on Pexels.com

I never expected to be skipping along or roller skating or even running from a potential bear attack after hip replacement surgery. I did hope however

  • to be more mobile
  • to be able to carry laundry from the hamper to the washing machine
  • to get down on the floor to play with Elsa-the-Dog
  • to stand long enough to peel six cucumbers for cucumber salad and not feel exhausted
  • to walk without a limp or a gimp
  • to wear pretty little shoes to accentuate my pretty little feet.
  • And more.

Such is life however, that after a total right hip replacement done July 16th none of those wishes came true.

Oh, the right hip is pain-free! Let me tell you, it is a miracle of modern medicine. I consider it my “good leg” now! Kudos to my cute young surgeon who did an exemplary job.

I LOVE my right hip now. And I LOVE my cute young surgeon even though I wouldn’t recognize him on the street.

The problem though is my LEFT leg! The BigFoot leg. The one that had been causing problems since 2015.

Maybe in the process of preparing for the right hip replacement surgery, I forgot about BigFoot?

And now that the right hip is happy, my brain needed to send out reminders that all is not well on the other side.

At any rate, I am still gimpy.

The family doc said he is thrilled at my progress “considering your age and underlying factors.” Not flattering but probably true.

Why didn’t anyone warn me about the great bowl of perilous problems that arrive uninvited with the onslaught of age?

Ah well. “Such is life,” said my once aging Mom who transferred all her wisdom to me except her secrets for aging with a smile.

I will see my cute young surgeon for the last time this month. I met him once before surgery when we talked for about 20 minutes. Then I saw him through a haze as I was awakening from the operation. The extent of our conversation at that time was him saying, ‘You have a brand new hip.” He had a mask on so I am not sure it was really him.

“HOW DO YOU LIKE YOUR SURGEON?” MY FAMILY DOCTOR ONCE ASKED. “I DON’T KNOW”, I SAID. “HOW WOULD I KNOW IN JUST 20 MINUTES?”

The next and last visit (unless I get knee surgery on BigFoot) will be an opportunity for another 20 minute conversation. WilI I then recognize my cute young surgeon on the street? Doubtful.

But the goal now is to walk normally. Bill went out and bought me a full length mirror to lean on a door at the end of a long hall. I can see myself coming if not going and try to correct my gait.

“Practice makes perfect” but Bill says ,”You still walk like a duck!”

Such is life and the miracles of modern medicine.

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Change is o.k. I guess.

But at what point should one begin to think about starting over?

I am giving serious consideration to reliving my life with new loves.

No, I don’t mean acquiring new relationships.

Well, maybe so.  Maybe some relationships.  Relationships with places and things.

Long-time favorites once loved and counted on are either going, going, going, or gone.

  • The downtown gift shop I loved and even wrote advertising copy for is selling out!
  • The health food store I depended on for expensive delicacies and youth restoring vitamins  has already closed its doors.
  • Long nylon nightgowns that helped with silky, sleepy, bed-turning are now considered “Vintage” and impossible to find unless you want to sleep in something slept in by somebody else.
  • Big terry cloth pot holders with pockets are missing. They may be another vintage item. (Hurrah Ebay!)
  • My quilted barn coat is getting frayed from 12 years of use and is irreplaceable.  The store that carried it no longer carries it. Neither does anyone else.
  • Favorite tea flavor (Vanilla Caramel) is gone from our local grocery stores.  Is there such a thing as Vintage Tea?  (Yay! Amazon!).

Every day something else is NA (Not Available – To be youth oriented, I am practicing talking in initials) and the search begins for replacements.

“Such is life,” my sainted mother used to say.

She never told me I would lose so many old loves and would have to start life over.

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Image from www. vintage-ads.livejournal.com

I have suffered numerous bad habits over the years, beginning with Thumb Sucking.

My parents tried everything including rubbing something on that tasted bad.  Nothing worked.  Finally, on the first day of kindergarten the teacher announced, “Look around children.  We have a baby in the room.”  And there they were all looking at ME!  I do love commanding attention (still) but that was the last day of thumb sucking.

Then in the teen years there was the Nail Biting habit.

Would you say these habits were symptoms of an insecure personality?

In those days, long fingernails were a sign of beauty (but mostly a sign of control over one’s habitual impulses).  I proudly decided to stop nail biting and stopped.  Congrats to that determined young woman.

Smoking was another horrible habit which took hold for years until I stopped “cold turkey”.

I still feel rather smug and self-righteous about that and sincerely try not to lecture friends about the evils of smoking.

Oddly enough, Rubbing-it-In can become a habit too.

But now my latest habit involves Reading Books!

READING BOOKS?

Habitual reading maybe?

Habitual reading of special interest books?

Too much reading?

Too much of the same kind of reading?

No, No, No and No.

What happened the other night revealed  an entirely new habit to break.

The story goes like this:  I was reading a “real book.”

The definition of a real book is one you can hold in your hands and turn pages.  If you are destructive you can even write in it or turn down page corners (but this is a travesty and can be considered inhuman behavior).

Anyway, I was reading a real book for a change and suddenly found myself tapping the side of the page.

Nothing happened so I tapped again.

Then I tapped more aggressively.

Nothing happened.

Until it finally clicked in that I was not reading on my Kindle, and could not tap the margins of a real book to make it turn a page.

 I had to turn the page myself!

Talk about a strange habit in late life!

THE PAGE TAPPING HABIT!

THE KINDLE READING HABIT.

THE HABIT OF READING BACKLIT PAGES WITH NO PAPER CORNERS.

THE HABIT OF TAP TOUCHING THE MARGIN TO GET TO THE NEXT PAGE.

This habit of page tapping has become so ingrained I may need lessons on how to read a real book – the kind you can find in the library – or at least some libraries.

I hear some university libraries are doing away with real books and going fully digital.

Yikes!

Any suggestions for a cure though?

I am a Habitual Page Tapper and need help to break the habit.

 

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cartoon-clock-clip-art-clipart-free-clipart-OFP7yV-clipartI am Afraid of Clocks.

Maybe it is because I missed the second grade class when Mrs. Weinberg taught us how to tell time.

I was an asthmatic kid who could be “absent” for days and happened to be home listening to Stella Dallas on the radio (anyone remember that soap?).

Who knew those few stolen days would be the cause of a lifelong handicap?

Anyway, when I did return to school, Mrs. M gave a private lesson which went like this, “It’s easy.  Just count 5, 10, 15, 20 minutes around the clock.”

And no, I had not yet heard the lyrics to Rock Around the Clock yet.  Elvis may not have even been born!

And from then on, when the big hand made it to the left side, I could not tell you what time it was.

Still can’t.

I tend to simply hold up my wristwatch to strangers who ask, “Pardon me, do you have the time?”

A Clock Allergy?

I think there is something wrong with my blood flow or energy fields.  Inevitably the watch on my wrist winds up (pun intended) to be about 10 minutes fast.  That’s as the big hand goes “5, 10, 15, 20.”

Rushing through life is what I call it.  Think of all the time lost with just those regular ten minute skipped intervals.

And of course, Setting Clocks is a Challenge.

We just had a very brief power outage – enough to make all the timepieces in the house flash in outrage.

The kitchen stove clock is important for making dinners so I inhaled deeply and poked and pushed buttons until there was a positive response.

Hopefully I did not set off the “self clean” option instead.  It’s  always guess work with no guarantees.

The bedroom clock on the dresser isn’t too hard but continues it’s yearly flashing warning “low battery.”  I never listen since that clock is permanently plugged into the wall and the dresser is too heavy to pull it out far enough from the plug.

The bedroom clock on the dresser has been low batteried since 1998.

There is another bedroom clock that flashes on the ceiling and tells how cold it is outside too.  It is the only clock in the house that resets itself except for the battery operated one in the living room that is eternally dependable.

Maybe getting rid of all but the latter two would be the sane thing to do.

Unless you know of a second grade class teacher who would allow a senior citizen to audit the segment on telling time?

Time Changes are Annoying.

The car clock is the MOST intimidating and takes immense courage for me to go at it.  Somehow it gets done (husbands help) but for now I would rather count out loud.

Let’s see….. it’s 10:15 AM on the dashboard, which means it’s really 11:15 AM now because it was 10:15 AM before the time change.

Who needs to change settings anyway?

Good thing the car clock is digital or I would have to be counting,“Five, Ten, Fifteen, Twenty” and if the big hand is in the wrong place you would never get the right time.

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ghostly-dor

 

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I had an easy day yesterday.  No hard labor, sweating or dropping food on my shirt.  Everything I wore was still clean and crisp by bedtime.  So in an odd change of habit, I hung everything up to air overnight (except the used underwear of course) and decided to wear the same things today (with fresh under garments of course).

After dressing and when I was all set to go, I met up with Bill and said, “Good morning Bill!”

“You look nice,” he replied.

“It’s exactly the same thing I wore yesterday,” said I.

“Oh.”

There was not much to say after that, but there is nothing like Morning After Laughter in yesterday’s clothes.

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I have just returned from a trip down “memory lane” with my friend, Kate of CoffeeKatBlog who wrote Things About My Youth.

We sort of grew up during the same era and many of Kate’s memories are mine.

Her funny, delightful post reminded me of a poem I wrote a long time ago about a girl in a photograph.

Who is that girl in the photograph,

the one with the spark of youth

dressed for a prom in a silken gown

with a faraway look of hope?

Who is that girl in the photograph,

the one with the faraway dream,

dressed in her best to celebrate?

I think she may have been me.

I remember that dress in the photograph

and the boy who was just as scared,

that soft starry night of the senior prom,

I remember the night clear and fair.

But who is that girl in the photograph?

She seems someone else I once knew,

the child I was, growing up and out

in a world that was changing too.

And onward time marched in quick-step

When a different boy called her wife

while the glowing girl in the photograph

stayed young and full of life.

The seasons passed and the years ticked on

while the picture stayed the same,

through challenges of work and home

and a son making Mom her name.

Running and running the years went by.

Now a grandma looks to the past

at an image of hope for an unknown life –

the young girl in the photograph.

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