Comparison to family is tricky!
After a writing dry spell after Christmas, I have come to realize there have been major changes for me as I’ve passed the “70” mark. And I’ve begun the process of comparison with medical issues Mom had. I’ve talked about taking care of my aging parents in previous posts. Now there are things happening in my life that are finally sinking in to me. I’m getting closer and closer to being the one needing care.
I saw my mother fight a heart enlarging because of an illness during her teens that almost killed her. The long-term after effect was damage to her heart muscle in several ways including atrial fibrillation and arrhythmia, pleurisy and the enlarging I spoke of. I, too, had a childhood illness that almost caused my death. So here’s another comparison. She was 4’10” when she passed at 78 having shrunk from 5’3″. In the last five years, I’ve shrunk from 5’4″ to 5’0″.
The comparison is now I’m showing some of the same medical issues. In my case, it’s a-fib. No, it’s nowhere near the issue my mother had, and there are so many more procedures and medications to help. She might not have suffered an aneurysm if those had been available in the middle ’90’s. The comparison here is that I’m now over 70. I fight the fear of not being able to see any potential great grand children.
Comparison Stops Here
For many reasons, I now firmly believe that comparison is part and parcel of my fears. And…, I’ve managed to overcome some of it. After trial and error, the doctor and I have come to an agreement over the medication I take for my a-fib. No, you can’t stop it with medication, but reducing the possible ramifications of that a-fib should it start up again is very possible.
I don’t know if its actually possible to stop making comparisons, so I’m directing those comparisons in other directions – more productive directions, I hope.
Okay, I’ll get to the point eventually! The one I’m working on now is three-fold. First of all, it’s about deciding if I want to retire again. I just turned 71. I enjoy my job for the most part. I’m also learning new skills that could be put to work on a part-time, home-based basis. So which is better for me in the long run is a big question. The second comparison is where do I want to live. I’d love to be somewhere warm, but is there somewhere warm, not too hot, with decent internet providers, no unreasonable traffic, and no snow? That’s not likely. The third comparison is one every couple goes through – do we stay in this house or get one better fitting our aging process?
Further discussion on this is redundant right now, for reasons not worth going into right now (goes back to fears – got to stop that! 🙂 ). Let’s just say that new medication to limit the possibility of stroke or heart attack, working more diligently toward weight control (really tough at 71 with little to no metabolism left 🙂 ), and the fact that I do have a job I love has reduced the fear level immensely.
The point is: (Finally!!) Go ahead and make those comparisons. And use the results to help you find the positive side of aging. Hey, we’re all going through it – we are baby boomers after all!