Words from a Reader

The “Writing Life Stories” e-mails I receive are such treasures. As soon as I see there is one in my inbox, I read it immediately. I look forward to them and never know how they will touch me. They can be interesting, informative, humorous, and/or touching.

Monday, January 17, 2022

Life is good. It is snowing. Enjoying Elderhood.

Here I am recovering from COVID and watching the snow falling beautifully. I have survived the virus thanks to having been vaccinated and having taken a booster shot. Gay, Stu, and I tested negative tonight and I am so relieved. With Gay taking care of me and being with me so much, I have been afraid she would catch it, but she has had her shots, too. 

The power was out when I awoke today and I was invited upstairs for breakfast brought in by Stu. Furniture had been rearranged in front of the gas log fireplace, both dogs had their beds near the flames. Lexie loves heat and she was happy. Soon the snow started falling and we could not have wished for a more perfect day. 

Stu is originally from Chicago, and unlike us southerners, he is not afraid to get out and drive in the snow. He even went to the park to take his daily walk. Years ago I would have gone out in the snow and loved it, but now I have to be careful that I don't fall. It is aggravating to have to be conscious all the time of where you put your feet and how you step so you don't twist the bad knee.  

But I can't complain. I loved this day and especially loved the results of the tests we took tonight for COVID. All three of us tested negative!!
I feel so much better. I made a pot of chili. I love chili on a cold day or night. 

Although I had some difficult days early this week, I believe I was spared hospitalization because I had all my vaccination shots including a booster. I also think that having an oximeter and oxygen available here kept me out of the hospital. When I checked my oxygen level and it was 92, I immediately put on the oxygen for about twenty minutes. I had been told to go to the emergency room if my oxygen level fell below 92.

My friend, Carroll, said most people wouldn't know their oxygen level. They would not have that little oxygen meter at home. I advise everyone to purchase an oximeter at their local pharmacy. There are many times I have used mine in the past. Because I have dealt with respiratory problems for a long time, I keep certain things on hand. No one is going to take care of you and manage your health as well as you can. We must all know our bodies, what affects us, what doesn't. 

One of the reasons I have two primary care doctors, one a western medical doctor and one is a functional care doctor, is because one keeps me up to date on the issues medical doctors treat, and the other, who is also an MD, has gone further in her education and can advise me about supplements for to take for certain problems, help me take tests that I want but are not covered by Medicare. With insurance companies running the medical profession now, I think my medical primary care doctor has her hands tied as to what she can do to help me. Limited to fifteen-minute appointments, I hardly get a chance to tell her what she needs to know to help me. And she only wants to hear one issue each visit. 

I want a doctor who treats the whole body, not one symptom at a time. Most people don't know that the drugs given to people my age have never been tested on anyone my age. Drug companies test their new drugs on middle-aged healthy people, mostly men.

Doctors have to guess at the dosage for someone like me and many times we are just guinea pigs testing the outcome of a medicine that was tested on forty-year-olds. If you read the label of most over-the-counter products, you will see dosage for children at different ages, but adults of all ages are to receive the same dose. Recently I was prescribed a medicine that was supposed to help me sleep. I was to take one tablet at night. I did that. Sometime in the night, I had to get up to go to the bathroom. I climbed out of bed and headed to the bathroom adjacent to my bedroom. Suddenly I found myself halfway down the hall going toward the living room. I had never done that before. I knew it was that new medicine. In many cases, older people react far differently to drugs than younger people.

There is a terrific book out that I am reading called Elderhood, by Louise Aronson, who is a leading geriatrician, educator, and professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. She is not an old person herself, but she has studied and observed older people most of her career. 
She says that most of us will spend more years in elderhood than in childhood. 

So why is it that regular medicine makes little effort to cure the problems of older people? Elderhood is considered a dead-end for many doctors and they don't want to be geriatricians. They don't even want old people as patients. And frankly, as an older person, I don't want a young doctor who cannot relate to my problems or my attitude about my health.

Well, I will stop my lecture and you can read for yourself, this book that all should read no matter your age. If you are lucky you will one day need the information in this book and if you are young you might have parents that need you to understand what they need and how to go about caring for them.

At the present time, I am happy to be here and planning for my future. I have survived COVID and I hope I don't ever have to face it again. But if I do, I will be better prepared to do what I need to do to survive.
Stay safe, my friends. Be careful as you go about in this chaotic world and find something to smile about every day. 


Elephant's Child said...

I am glad that you have conquered Covid, without passing it on.
And love that you had a wonderful day.
That is so true that we will spend more time in elderhood than in childhood - I am liking it more too, despite increasing frailty.

DJan said...

Glad to hear you are over Covid for the moment anyway. I have managed not to get this latest variant yet. But since everyone around me has gotten it, I do worry I will. I am triple vaxxed, too. Yay for the shots! :-)

Marie Smith said...

Your post made me smile! Yay for surviving Covid and being proactive about your health!

Glenda Beall said...

EC, thank you for your comment. Frailty is a bummer and I have had to accept: That is something I used to do instead of I can do that. There are days when I can do many things I used to do, but some days I just can't. Do you have that, too? Stay well, my friend, and enjoy life, take those wonderful photos and continue to help others. That makes you happy I know.

Glenda Beall said...

Djan, so glad you have not had it. Yes, yay for the shots. Take care, my friend. Take care of you.

Glenda Beall said...

Thank you, Marie. Continue to enjoy your life and be safe

Brenda Kay Ledford said...

I'm sorry to hear about your contacting Covid although you had your vaccine and booster shot. I know you were very careful and wore your mask. Do you have any idea how you contacted it? I sure hope you are doing well now. I'm glad you are at Gay's house and she is taking good care of you. I sure hope this Covid passes soon!

Glenda Beall said...

Hi Brenda Kay,
I believe I caught COVID on Friday when Gay and I stopped at a Chili's restaurant. It was crowded and NO ONE WORE A MASK. I told Gay I was concerned about staying to eat, but she said she and Stu eat there almost every week. Our waitress did not wear a mask which is unusual because most of the places I had been, staff all wore masks.
Eating there was a big mistake and I blame myself.
I am back in Hayesville and feeling much, much better. I hope you don't get sick and I hope the surge has quieted down here in our area.