Wednesday, August 28, 2013


Getting sick requires a university degree in reading labels and deciphering prescriptions. For those of us not genetically blessed to reach our 90's running marathons, swimming 5 miles a day, or biking across the country, the increasing decrease of our bodies plus a variety of germs and viruses equals pills. Pills, pills, and more pills.

I'm not a great fan of running to the doctor so over the past decade I've added a variety of supplements to my morning regimen. Vitamin C. Fish Oil. MSM. Calcium for my aging bones. A few more recommended by medical professionals and friends have joined those. I confess that I consume a small fistful every morning.

Note that I said "every morning." Once a day in the A of M. Easy to figure out, right? Pharmaceutical companies don't recognize the structure that brings to pill consumption. They've created once a day pills. Three times a day pills. Four times a day pills. Pills to be consumed before meals, with meals, or at least an hour before OR after meals. Pills where you must not consume alcohol, or dairy products. Pills with a full page of warnings and restrictions. And pills that come with their own complicated schedule that changes daily: Day One take 2 before breakfast, one at lunch, one at dinner, 2 at bedtime - Day Two take one before breakfast, one at lunch, one at dinner, 2 at bedtime - Day Three take one before break fast (but don't do what you did the day before!), etc.

Due to some health issues a recent trip to my physician resulted in me listening to him describe what pills I was to be prescribed and when and how to take them. When my eyes started rolling around in my head and I gasped out a request for clarification ("I take these two days, then stop them and take those others for a week, then start back on the first ones but only…") my doctor reconsidered and simplified the orders. Even simplified I'm not sure my college education prepared me for getting through the next week without error.

The medication dilemma is bad enough for the mature, presumably mentally alert adult. It is frightening to consider what some aging patients face. More physical problems. More than one doctor. Likely less communication between those medical professionals. Possibly less ability to understand the varied consumption of, and interactions between, the medications they take. If old age doesn't get them the complications of trying to cope with it may.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

NO is the hardest word…

The most difficult word in the English language is NO. It is a word I choke on. It screams out and echoes loudly in my head but when it approaches my lips I gasp, my teeth clench, and I face an abyss.

If I say no:
I'm being selfish.
I won't be liked.
Asking for anything myself will not be okay.
I am a bad person.

It has taken me 66 years to let that word out and every time is a struggle. When it is said it is even harder not to accompany it with curlicues of explanation, justification, and apology.

In my sixth decade I can say NO. But only seldom. Afterwards I cower and wait for annihilation. 

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

There goes the Sun...

I may have mentioned before… okay, I'm getting to the age where I've mentioned EVERYTHING before… that I am Solar-Powered. I wake when the sun comes up and am ready for bed as the sun dips below the western horizon. As you'd expect, this makes my days longer in summer and shorter in winter. When Himself and I left the mid-point of coastal California the solar effect became more pronounced. Summer days are longer farther north and winter days are shorter. There are now times in December and January where I'm a bit like a hibernating bear. I crawl blearily from my bed well past 8 AM and am ready to return by 5PM as darkness descends.

Already this year the sleeping spell is trying to take hold. The daylight hours are shrinking.

If only I was more like Himself who is totally powered by Peanut Butter.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

It Never Rains...

But It Pours.
That is the rule for the weather and for the events in my life.

When Himself and I retired I chose to become a hermit-in-training. We have a wonderful rural home, slightly run-down just as I am, and I burrowed down intending to disappear and never poke my head beyond the gate.

But the world comes a'knockin'.

 I gave up the hair shirt and quit navel-gazing to begin staring at the world through the modern equivalent of a crystal ball - my computer - and discovered that it stared back.

Is there a moral here? Maybe it is the ever useful adage: Watch what you ask for.

(And No, I'm not supplying details on this one. Just a small squeak of warning.)