Getting Old is not for Sissies


OLD AGE AND LOSING IT!
It had been a long day and for any of you who are familiar with driving in traffic on the freeways of Los Angeles you will understand what I mean.   If you are fortunate and don’t live in a city where the traffic is a nightmare it is much akin to being in a crowd of people and there is no way out except to wait your turn behind hundreds of others who are also waiting to get in or out of an event or a parking lot.   It does pose the question as to why anyone who is sane would want to live in this or any other large city?  That, however, may be the subject of another post.     
What’s  the Old Age got to do with it.  Well my husband and I are both seniors well past 70 years.      We live in a rural area outside of Los Angeles and go into the city to visit family.  In this particular case the family is our granddaughter who is in the hospital undergoing chemo treatment for Lymphoma.   So, the visit was important for us and for her.    For events that are not so important we usually choose to stay home and avoid the traffic and for us the long and tiring days.   
My husband is a stubborn person, not a believer in gyms or what he thinks of as necessary measures to stay healthy.   He grew up in the country, worked hard physically and was a tradesman all his working life prior to retirement.    So, his belief in staying healthy and old age is  to 
eat right, get enough rest, don’t drink too much and work around the house for your exercise.  
Unfortunately as we age we no longer move the body as much as we did when we were 30 years.    We do less lawn work, less work around the house and in-between those chores  we take naps.    This seems to be the pattern of aging and as nice as it sounds to be able to take lots of naps it does also mean we are not moving very much oxygen around in the brain cells and the body.    Those little grey cells in the brain are starting to diminish and need more exercise not less.  
In addition  to the aging my husband is in the habit of driving with one hand.   The reason being that his right shoulder is impaired due to a rotator cuff issue so use of that arm and shoulder causes him pain.   So, we are driving  up a narrow grade with a concrete divider between ourselves and the oncoming traffic, both tired, and my husband using only one hand. I had been napping on and off in the passenger seat so was not very alert.   Suddenly the car swerves in the direction of the concrete wall.   I yell, grab my husband’s  arm, my heart pounding , the sounds of tires screeching  and horns of honking.       He swerves the car back  away from the wall, using of course the arm and shoulder that are already damaged.    We are both shaken.  Heart pounding, blood pressure shoots up, and in a cold sweat.      A very close call, to say the least. WE assume he had fallen asleep at the wheel.   Something else perhaps, time and doctor visits will determine.       We arrive home with only emotional damage and the reality of the vicissitudes of  aging.  We are not as agile or quick thinking as we need to be in order to drive after a long day in the city and many miles on the freeway in traffic.      
Changes have to be made.  There will be many fewer trips into the city.   Public transportation is almost non existent where we live so again we must think of the time in the not so distant future when we will not be able to drive at all.  What will we do…, no clue.  As Tolstoy stated “Age is man’s greatest surprise”.

So… Not so sure we are losing it as perhaps we’ve already LOST it. Can’t say I’m surprised, just a bit depressed.      

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