I had the day off work today, but it wasn’t for anything fun, unfortunately. My mom has cataracts, and today was the consultation to set up her surgery.
Luckily, I have a sister who splits up appointments with me, since Mom can’t take herself anymore. Today was quite the marathon. We spent about three hours in the office, so I had plenty of time to ponder life, the universe, and everything (bonus points if you got that reference).
Our family has a lovely history of complicated medical issues, combined with a total disregard for getting any of them addressed. When my mom was diagnosed with diabetes several years back, my late mother-in-law sat her down for a stern talking to.
Mother in law had been on dialysis for years, due to a severe viral infection that wrecked her kidneys, and she flatly told mom that, if she didn’t get her shit together, they’d end up side by side.
Thankfully, my mother in law could be absolutely terrifying when necessary, so mom has done a much better job taking care of herself. However, diabetes, even well controlled, makes everything more difficult.
Hence the hours long consult today.
I’m sure things will work out fine, I’ll be there and my sister will keep on her too.
Worst case scenario, we’ll have Girl Child guilt trip her.
And I’ve learned plenty about the importance of breaking the cycle and making sure I go to the doctor. Even when I don’t feel like it.
Getting Older is So Much Fun, and we’re going to talk about that for a little while. Barb will start our ranting off today.
The other day, I took my father in law to the store so he could pick up some prescriptions. While we were waiting, I noticed there was a really good sale on the bottled iced tea we all like. I picked some out and mentioned it to Dad, who informed me his doctor said he’s not allowed to drink them anymore. Or anything else, for that matter, except plain water.
This is far from the first time this particular doctor had made such an extreme declaration. Not long ago, Dad was also told he could no longer eat any meat, bread, pasta, or anything else other than a few types of vegetables.
Now, generally speaking I have tremendous respect for doctors, and I believe wholeheartedly in following what they say. However, Dad is about to turn 83 years old. I love him with all my heart, and would be thrilled if he lived forever, but this prescribed diet isn’t living. I told Dissy he was essentially told to live like a hamster and she pointed out that hamsters have it better.
So, I may have “oops, forgotten” to put back those teas he likes the other day. And when I make a big weekend or holiday dinner, silly me might make him a plate because I didn’t remember he’s not supposed to have any. Not because I don’t love him, but because I do.
The way I see it, there has to be a balance between living a certain length of time, and actually living. I don’t want to be 100 years old some day, with nothing left to enjoy.
I remember the first time I (Dissy) heard that blasted phrase from one of my doctors: “Well, you know, at your age…” Like, what the fuck am I? 843 years old? How come that phrase makes people feel that way? Never mind that my chin hairs are now coming in grey. We don’t need to think about that.
At my age, apparently, it’s normal to wake up thinking “everything hurts and I’m dying,” Nah, we don’t need to look into this any farther. “You feel like your whole arm is going to fall off? Just don’t use it.”
Translation: Have someone else wipe your ass for you.
At my age, apparently, it’s prefectly acceptable for my hormonal shifts to cause me to either want to stab the first motherfucker to cross my path who blinks funny or to want to jump off a bridge because my bagel is just a smidge too brown. Nah, nothing we need to do about that.
Why couldn’t I grow up in the time when women were given good drugs for this shit?
I have to confess, though, I signed up for each and every dietary restriction I am currently under, though. I didn’t relish being on blood pressure medication, dying of a heart attack, becoming diabetic, sleeping with a c-pap machine (“Babe, you sound like Darth Vader”), or any of the other myriad things that obesity was putting on my horizon.
Now that they don’t have my weight to blame anymore, now, all of a sudden it’s my age. I fully expect, at some point, to show up at my primary care doctor’s office for follow up on a gun shot wound to my pancreas and hear, “you know, at your age…”
Sure… shit wears out. Nothing lasts forever, but does everything have to be about that? Everything? My ingrown toenail? Seriously?
I don’t know. Maybe I just have Peter Pan syndrome and don’t want to accept my age. I mean, I don’t act like I’m a month and 6 days shy of the half century mark. Then again, I don’t really do a lot of hair coloring or things like that. But… I digress. Getting older sucks donkey balls.
I guess I can comfort myself with a bottle of Tylenol and the knowledge that I won’t be relegated to the land of flower-print polyester blouses or striped mumu dresses. I’ll bet Barb and I will be fun old ladies, though.