Category Archives: Health

Possibly the sanest non-inflammatory words to simply explain..

I copied this from a cousin’s post on Facebook and think these are words that need to be spread.


I have been wearing a mask in stores (and limiting my trips) since March when this whole thing went down.
I’m not sure how being considerate to others for the common good is now being mocked by some who are calling it “living in fear”, but it needs to stop….


When I wear a mask over my nose and mouth in public and in the stores/Supermarkets/Pharmacies/Offices – I want you to know the following:
📷 I’m educated enough to know that I could be asymptomatic and still give you the virus.
📷 No, I don’t “live in fear” of the virus; I just want to be part of the solution, not the problem.
📷 I don’t feel like the “government controls me”. I feel like I’m an adult contributing to the security in our society and I want to teach others the same.
📷 If we could all live with the consideration of others in mind, the whole world would be a much better place.
📷 Wearing a mask doesn’t make me weak, scared, stupid or even “controlled”. It makes me caring and responsible.
📷 When you think about your appearance, discomfort, or other people’s opinion of you, imagine a loved one – a child, father, mother, grandparent, aunt, uncle or even a stranger – placed on a ventilator, alone without you or any family member allowed at their bedside…..Ask yourself if you could have helped them a little by wearing a mask.

Brilliant Morning Thoughts #1 – Carpe diem Seize the day, put very little trust in tomorrow (the future)”

#1:  When you are old do not amble through life, but charge ahead with purpose and urgency.  That ambling shit is what makes us old.

Perception – and you all know what I think about perception- Nietzsche and all that.

Younger folk are driven to live.  Must get up, must go to work, must do for children, do, do, do, and glad at the end of the day when well deserved rest is achieved.  Days off and vacation are celebrated.  When I retire life will be sweet.  No rush, no need to be somewhere, doing something often equates to doddering.

This old girl wonders if there should be lessons on retiring.  Not this advertised crap about tennis, golf and travel and comfortable worry free living.  That doesn’t apply to most of us.  But lessons on living with purpose; having a sense of urgency that gets us up out of that bed.

In the obligated stress of pre-retirement life there is often a desire to believe we will become stress free.  Not gonna happen.  Remove the ‘have to’ of your existence and you are often left with the ‘whaaaa’?

I once heard a statistic from the Ministry of Health that more than 80% of seniors in Nursing Homes are depressed.  Guess what?  It’s not just in Nursing Homes.

Imagine you are running a marathon; Sweating, grunting, breathless effort that fills you with exhaustion and energy all at the same time.  Finally you reach the finish line and everyone cheers.  There are awards and gifts and then the crowd goes off to their busy lives and you are left standing holding a card that says ‘You made it!  You retired!  Your work is done!

Now you figure you can slip into a lower gear and slow down.  But what if the exertion of the race is what kept you going and succeeding, kept you young?  What if a lower gear is just the beginning of a slippery slope?

For many of us pre-retirement is energy.  And energy begets more energy.  Changing our Mondays to Fridays and making everyday a Saturday is not a good thing when it goes on day after day after day.

Passivity is the biggest danger to aging.  We passively watch others live their lives, and we suddenly find ourselves on the fringes of life – looking in.

The life giving sense of urgency can be as simple and the desire to get out of bed and make our tea.  Watching TV doesn’t even have to be passive if we get engaged in what we are seeing or hearing.  Engagement.

And we all have to find our own paths in this.  A list from me isn’t going to help anyone.  I have been retired for seven full years, just beginning my eighth and I am just figuring some of this out.  It’s been on my mind, teased me with niggling thoughts like little pieces of a puzzle and I am just getting enough of a picture ….more to come I am sure.

New and Different Stuff

December 9th holds no special meaning to me other than it is, of course, December 9th.  But yesterday was December 8th and it was a day of epiphany, of sorts.

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*this cartoon from Pinterest is just way toooooo real….

I’ve been draggy lately (in terms of months not days), and it occurred to me that my physical exercise had decreased.  Significantly.  Gym had gone by the wayside, swimming drifted away on a tide of farewell, and walking, which I did religiously every day to the tune of ten thousand steps largely took place in my brain only.  Not largely, entirely.  December 8th I thought about just tightening my abds and discovered neither my body nor brain remembered quite how it was supposed to go.  So that got me thinking about today – which of course yesterday was tomorrow.  A day I had already decided would be dedicated to a deep pre-Christmas cleaning, possibly in hopes of St. Nick visiting but more likely due to mating dust bunnies frolicking around my feet.

Well once I decided to do something so outside my nature my brain started thinking.  Why not make it a day of new or different stuff?  Push myself a bit.   I remembered that a few days previous an acquaintance mentioned that there is a program on TV called ‘Healing Yoga’ and it is on at 6 a.m. in the morning.  At the time the term Healing Yoga appealed though the early hour did not.

I have been retired for almost seven years and argue with myself all the time about wanting to sleep in.  Unfortunately most of my life interests occur in the morning so I set my alarm dutifully for 7:30 which necessitates ongoing grumbles.  I have also come to believe that sleeping in is such a waste of life since my life span has been considerably shortened by advancing age and I need to make good use of every minute left.

About 9ish last night the thought came to me that I should consider doing the Yoga show.  It resulted in a rather brisk discussion between myself and I, with accusations of having taken leave of my senses, it was Saturday and one sleeps in if at all possible barring the Rapture or a call to duty if one works.  I  had to be strong and take control of my slothful tendencies so I did the only thing I will listen to.  I called my middle sister to tell her of my plan.  I figured if I told someone it would strengthen my resolve.  She was in the midst of watching her fave hockey team bite the dust, (or rather the ice) and chuckled merrily at my plan.  ‘I will call and tell you how it went,’ says I.  By now I think she was rolling on the floor in merriment and she cautioned, ‘That’s fine. JUST DON’T CALL ME AT 6!

Before retiring I dug my ancient Yoga Mat out of a cupboard and tried to unroll it. I finally placed bar stools at each end so it would be flat when I stumbled from bed in the morning.

I set my alarm, did not sleep well wondering what 5:50 a.m. was going to feel like, and awoke at the appointed time.  I took care of immediate morning needs, decided to exercise in my pjs and turned on the TV.

Deborah Devine according to Zoomer media ‘leads and easy to follow gentle yoga class’.  It struck me as a little ironic as she said the exercises we were about to follow were for relaxing to ensure a good night’s sleep.  Having awakened early I tried blocking the idea of a good night’s sleep from my mind.  At least the idea put a smile on face for the duration.

How was it?  Not bad considering….I was pretty busy watching and listening to concentrate on doing it well but..not bad at all.  It also gave me a bird’s eye view of some not recently dusted spots and corners so it provided motivation for the rest of my day.

Zoomer TV and magazine is designed for Canada’s Zoomers, those 45+, so really a bunch of kids to me, but I think I just might give this a bit of a go.  After all I am retired and if I need to nap in the middle of the day I can certainly do so.

I can hardly wait to see what else this wonderful day holds for me…..

 

Finally a Sunday that is a Day of Rest

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Damn. Sore throat, tinnitus, cold. Should have been more sympathetic when BJRS got their colds last week. Got Fisherman’s Friend (NO not a friendly fisherman), lots of fluids of the nonalcoholic kind. Took last of my Cold FX. Low activity day, probably reading and thinking great thoughts. To my afflicted family above, ‘I feel your pain’

I will be back at it tomorrow!  T’is the season.  Wash your hands, lots of fluid and rest.

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Observations from Both Sides

I refuse to join any club that would have me as a member. – Groucho Marx

Types of clubs vary in design, purpose, function, and level of formality.  The earliest ones are informal and naturally occur when two or more children engage in routine play.  I suppose some psych type person out there will say the earliest club is the one formed between a mother and or father and a newborn.

Some clubs of youth include Boy Scouts, Girl Guides and various other themes and are ‘joined’ by the participating person.  In school there are clubs to join or not depending on your wish or desire.

There are other clubs no one wants to join but we find membership when circumstances outside our control force us into them.  Stepping into membership is a foreign experience and it takes a bit of time and consideration to figure it out.  It isn’t just an alien environment.  In many ways it is like an alternate universe (not the least like that proposed in theory by science, but similar enough to warrant the title, Alternate.

A normal life as you have come to know it exists as it always has, but now you are included in another normal, another life, and the awareness of its existence moves you to the core until you are able to define the duality of your personal existence.

I remember a line from a very old western I watched as a child.  I hated most westerns in those days except for Annie Oakley but when you have two brothers and one television either westerns or hockey night in Canada won out.  As I remember it a family is travelling across some dusty plain in a covered wagon when another wagon approaches.  Two hardened frontier women are introduced to a newcomer who is quite lovely and one woman bitterly remarks to the other something about, ‘Her skin may be all soft now but just give her a little time in the elements and she won’t be so lovely.’

The line took me by surprise first because of the sincerity of the bitterness and secondly the understanding that yes the elements and hardships would naturally have turned women into something other than they started out when settling in the new world.

Now you may exactly how do clubs and western settlers come together?

On one of my first of many visits to my neighborhood cancer center I was fresh faced, well as fresh as you can be at sixty-seven, feeling pretty good and healthy in spite of diagnosis, surgery and dealing with some unpleasant physical changes.  See that is the thing; many of us when we are first faced with The News still feel pretty good.  So when we begin our long line of appointments with surgeons, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists and all that accompany them we still have a spring in our step, an optimism I guess you would say.

My first appointment in Clinic G, as I was given instruction and information I found myself replying, ‘Thanks so much.’ In a pretty cheerful voice, and the first time it happened a number of heads rose up and seemed startled at what I had just said, and the feeling of surprise at the reaction immediately brought to mind that very line from the movie.

‘Her skin may be all soft now but just give her a little time in the elements and she won’t be so lovely.’

The point I am trying to make has nothing to do with skin really but more about being on the inside and knowing what is about to happen.

I was sitting in that very same waiting room a few weeks later head down like everyone else, not quite so peppy when I heard a young woman, probably thirty, speak out in a clear cheerful voice, ‘Great, thanks so much.’  And our heads flew up in surprise and in a flash of time our heads went back down and I thought. ‘a little time in the elements.’

Stepping through the doors to ‘my hospital’ on a daily basis for radiation I see how quiet the environment is.  Not depressed or even sad but quiet and I think filled with expectation and hope.  I say expectation because that is what the whole club runs on.  Not necessarily good or bad expectation but an understanding that there will be change.

It’s not a club I want to belong to.  In the beginning I thought I could ride it out because I felt good in spite of all.  Now weeks into radiation that has left my breast with burns on top of scars, and nearly constant discomfort I still wouldn’t give up my membership because in a way, despite a ten inch square radiation burn, fatigue at times, all of which I am pretty sure will pass, I have met the bravest of the brave, patient and family, enduring, surviving one way or another for as long as possible and still able when we meet daily in our allotted alcove to laugh about some silly thing we came across.  We see the wife, exhausted by her husband’s care, the husband or friend boosting and lifting his dear one.  We hear the good news and cheer; we hear the bad news and comfort.  There is an underlying support of love in our club.

Our membership is worldwide and every individual is different.  Even the same cancers are different in each individual.

I hate my club.  I love my club.  I give thanks that this is my club for what I am learning, have learned far outweighs the nicety of being that young girl with the fresh skin, so cute and so untested by the elements.