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bakerwise (@bakerwise)

Aging and Changing

Just Want to Talk | Last Active: Dec 28, 2018 | Replies (57)

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@colleenyoung

@bakerwise, what great topic to explore: Aging and Changing. As we age or experience a health event like stroke or car accident we are sometimes forced to adapt to unexpected changes that can exclude us from activities we love and took for granted. Hand tremors, incontinence, memory loss, speech changes, mobility changes are just a few. There are many more.

How does one adapt? How does one negotiate between acceptance and pushing through? These are questions we constantly ask and re-evaluate. I'd like to bring @hopeful33250 @debbraw @parus @thankful and @harriethodgson1 into this discussion, and hope others will join in as well to share their experiences.

What life change(s) are you facing? What impact has it had on your daily life? What solutions or adaptations have you made? Where are you with acceptance?

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Replies to "@bakerwise, what great topic to explore: Aging and Changing. As we age or experience a health..."

Hello @colleenyoung and @bakerwise, I agree that this is a great discussion topic. Adapting to and accepting changes related to aging and chronic health problems can be very difficult but also necessary.

I struggle with heart problems, neurological problems, voice problems and find I'm always dealing with limitations regarding one or the other and sometimes all of them. It can get mind-boggling at times.

I do my best to keep myself in a positive mode of thinking. I work on all of these matters with my doctors. I'm involved in regular exercise and physical therapy to help with movement problems and to keep as strong as I can. I also use speech therapy on a regular basis to help with voice strength and control. In addition, I was fortunate to find a part-time job after my retirement, where I could work from my home. Therefore, having a continued sense of purpose and a little extra income.

I have not always been so upbeat, though. When the realization of all the disorders first came my way, it did seem overwhelming. It just didn't seem fair that my busy and rewarding life could change so dramatically and I was disappointed and discouraged for several years.

Joining support groups has been a big help to me. In person support groups as well as Mayo Connect have helped me to look at my life from the perspective that what is happening to me is not new, but a typical thing at this stage of life. The example of others who take on the struggle of chronic health problems is also an inspiration to me.

So I continue on and find ways to have purpose and meaning in my life.

I am also looking forward to hearing from others that Colleen has tagged in her post and also @lioness, @grandmar and many others from our Connect community.

@bakerwise
This is a FANTASTIC topic of discussion! I am 63 yo and I went out on SSI 5 years ago. We moved to Central Florida to escape the cold winter months and the deterioration of my health.
Although I try to keep positive, I can't always. Sadly, my list of ailments are getting longer. I do thank God, however, that non are deadly.
You certainly sound as if you have a handle on dealing. Good for you! My hubby says I am always looking at the glass half empty.
Glad you found this site.
Ronnie (GRANDMAr)

@bakerwise– Great topic! As for me, I suffered a major HA back in 2014 and although I was eating the right foods & exercising 3x a week the only thing we could come up with is that genetics played a roll in all of this. I learned that my grandfather on my mothers side had had a HA back in the early 60's at the age of 66 and back then they just treated him mostly with diuretic's and he lived into his late seventies.
I think the biggest thing for me was the mental aspects of all this! I went through cardiac rehab soon after my HA and that went well and moved right back into exercising again as before, but I struggled with what I called "damaged goods" syndrome. After my HA my EF (ejection fraction) was about 35% (normal would be somewhere between 65-75%). I was told that often within the 1st year HA patients will grow additional blood vessels into the damaged area of the heart and the EF usually improves. Well after exercising and continued good eating habits, I was pumped for my 1 year appt. and the results of the upcoming Echo. Well, bottom line was no difference! I had set myself up for some real positive news only to hear in my opinion the opposite! I hit bottom for days and decided I was not going to let this control me and so I continued my exercising, etc. I felt great physically, but in the back of my mind was this haunting!

Last year on our regular trip down to Tucson in April I decided earlier in the year to make an appt. at the Scottsdale Mayo on the tail end of our vacation. I was scheduled for about 5 tests throughout the day with a Stress Echo as the last test of the day. I was seeing a wonderful cardiologist there named Dr. Lynch. He was a hands on doc who was a great listener and was in on just about every phase of even the simple tests that day. When it came to the Stess Echo, he stayed in the darkened room throughout the entire test and while I was up on the treadmill he was right behind me like a coach encouraging me all the way. I had not be able to get my heart rate much past 138 in my cardio sessions at the gym even though I pushed myself, but this day as Dr. Lynch was monitoring me he said "can you go more"?
I felt great and answered yes. He pushed 2 levels past and we ended with a speed of 8 and an elevation of 16. My heart rate got to 155 and I felt like I was running up a mountain! As they had me pop down on the bed for the "stress side of the echo" between Dr. Lynch and the tech they were really excited and kept saying wow, great pictures, good work! Well, as we met in his office soon after this test, he told me that he estimates that my EF was now more like 50+%! I was so… exzillerated by this news and asked how could this change come 3 yrs. later? Dr. Lynch said "well, either the earlier echo's were wrong or more likely you just took longer to grow those new blood vessels".
That was the best experience I ever went through! That experience made me want to continue to work harder and my outlook has totally changed! We must stay optimistic! I knew more than ever that God was not done with me and each day I'm Thankful!
Jim @thankful