I’m currently reading the book, Eat Dirt, by Dr. Josh Ashe. It’s been interesting learning more about healthy gut vs. leaky gut, and how food can help. He also talks about getting more probiotics in our systems, something that can get blasted out by drugs like antibiotics. I’ve heard about the importance of a healthy gut in other places, so it’s good to learn more!
After suffering two injuries in about a two month span (foot sprain in November, knee injury in January), I’m on my third physical therapist! I’m currently working on physical therapy in a heated, salt water pool, and it’s a great workout! The session is an hour long, which is way more than I can exercise in one session on land. I find I’m pretty tired for the rest of the day after my 9AM pool PT sessions, but I hope the weariness will change in time. I’m also looking forward to warmer temperatures so I can do my PT exercises in my apartment complex pool.
One of my current health goals is to get better sleep! Lack of sleep affects so much: what I eat and drink, what I feel like doing (sometimes nothing!), how I perform at work, so much! I have a habit of waking up in the middle of the night, often to go to the bathroom, and I usually have a hard time going back to sleep. Sometimes it’s because I end up thinking about stressful things, but other times I’m just wide awake! Sometimes I get up and get something to eat and drink, and watch some TV. (I’m least proud of this, but sometimes it’s what turns my thoughts to something different.) Other times I try to go to a “Happy Place” in my mind, and that helps on occasion. Sometimes I read on my iPhone (boo, electronics in the bed, but it’s a habit I haven’t broken yet), and the reading helps sometimes.
I visited my parents on Halloween afternoon, and that night, I got the dreaded call that my father was in the emergency room because he’d had another stroke. He was talking and acting normally that afternoon, and just a few hours later, everything had changed.
After two and a half weeks in the hospital, my dad is now in a rehab facility, and my mom, who has mild (for now) dementia, has someone (one of us or a companion) looking out for her at all times. My sister and I have been working the issues and angles together, since our mom isn’t able to help. It’s a challenging situation, to say the least! Through it all, my sister and I keep whispering, “What can we do to keep from ending up like this?!” Genes and chance play a part, but so do health choices.
Meanwhile, I’m juggling my parents’ healthcare issues with my work and graduate studies. Thank goodness my sister had been in town since the night of the stroke, and we’ve been working as a team whenever possible. We’re taking one day at a time while trying to plan ahead. Mostly it’s one day at a time.
Last week, I toured two different local assisted living facilities, with an eye for whether or not my parents would agree to move there. It was all very eye-opening! The two places I looked at were nice, but it wasn’t home. I know that’s what my parents would say. Is that the point? Partly. Could it become “home?” Probably not totally, ever. It was interesting and sad and enlightening and daunting to think of my parents moving into one of those places. I worry about them being at home on their own, but at least they’re relatively happy there. Happiness is important, but so are safety and health–responsible, adult stuff. My parents are staunchly sticking by their independence, much like teens, but things aren’t going as smoothly as they used to.
Why am I writing?
I’m scared. Scared for my aging parents, who are now facing a bumpy road ahead due to health issues, both physical and mental. I live about 600 miles away from them, and my sister lives in farther away. Trying to coordinate care for my fiercely independent parents from afar is a daily challenge,
I’m also inspired. Inspired to take better care of myself, so I can try to keep from going through what they’re going through.
So this blog will be my personal story about aging, dealing with my family, as well as myself. I want to grow old with grace and with gumption.