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jdiakiw (@jdiakiw)

Organ recital

Aging Well | Last Active: Sep 8, 2020 | Replies (4)

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@vickimurray

Dear jdiakiw:

Your post was very well written and included some very interesting facts. I am 65 and my husband is 70, and while we both take several medications for high blood pressure, and my husband is a controlled diabetic with an A1C of 6.5, we are pretty healthy at this point. I've lost 80 pounds and my husband has lost 50 since the pandemic started; we still have more to go. The pandemic actually started us off on the right track; I was so anxiety ridden the first two months, I couldn't eat, or at least I couldn't eat very much; and because we order groceries in, we aren't tempted by the goodies in the bakery at Walmart. We gave up all pop, regular and diet, which we drank by the liter bottles every day. We gave up all sweets; not a bite of chocolate or a donut. And, we generally only eat twice a day; good, solid meals. Oatmeal, eggs or yogurt and canned fruit for breakfast and a meat, starch, vegetable meal about mid-afternoon. We use frozen vegetables, including what potatoes we eat, and we enjoy pasta now and then. We order steak burgers from Omaha Steaks because they taste so much better than over-the-counter hamburger meat. We eat the occasional all-beef hot dog or Digorno pizza. We eat pork, beef, and chicken, and are not fond of fish or seafood. If we do get hungry for a snack, we use canned fruit in light syrup or its own juice. We sometimes buy a bag of pretzels or box of Ritz, and make them last the whole week until we order again. We also use microwave popcorn. We use a dollop of juice in our water so it doesn't taste so bland. No diet sweeteners, and I use a little hazelnut creamer in my once-daily cup of coffee. What sugar we use is real sugar, not artificial. We do not eat out, even though restaurants are now open or offering take-out. The pandemic has dictated some of these changes; everything that comes into the house goes through a rigorous sterilization procedure; we use no fresh fruit or vegetables unless they can be cooked. if we get the virus, it won't be for wont of trying. We do not leave the property unless we absolutely have to for doctors' appointments or the occasional tank of gasoline for the car and the lawn mower. Hopefully, at some point, they will have a vaccine for COVID, and we will be able to return to some semblance of normality, although I think we will continue to wear a mask, face shield and gloves for quite some time. We will get the flu shot when it is available; we do every year. And we have had the shingles and pneumonia vaccines. We walk; our neighborhood is very quiet and we seldom meet anyone on the street. The point is, we do a lot of things to stay as healthy as we can in the current situation, but we believe in moderation in all things. The point of all this is to say that we will probably continue to eat and behave this way until we shuffle off this mortal coil

I understand you have a lot of health issues to consider, so did my parents. Skyrocketing high blood pressure, Parkinson's Disease, TIA's, strokes, many stents in clogged arteries, and in the end, congestive heart failure. But they lived in an independent living facility with two bedrooms, living and dining rooms, fully outfitted bathrooms, a space for washer and dryer and a beautiful kitchen, an in-house doctor, and a full-time staff should they need them; in short, a resort. They died there, both almost 90, with their own things around them and my sister and son in attendance. They ate pretty much the way we do, but they enjoyed the occasional box of Dunkin' donuts, cakes and cookies – mostly homemade – my father loved Popeyes fish fillets, and every time they went to Sam's Club, my father had to have a huge Nathan's hotdog, and when they went to the mall, he had to have one of those huge rolls with cream cheese icing from Cinnabun, and my mother canned until she couldn't stand up anymore. I know not all of us, including my husband and me, can afford to live the way they did, but we can afford to live a scaled-down version. I don't know what health issues we will face as we continue to age, but we will continue life in the same fashion we do now regardless of what consequences may come. I believe, as my parents did, and my grandparents did (they were farmers and ate a WHOLE lot of beef they raised, fried chicken, again that they raised, and put bacon grease in everything, especially cream gravy – oh God, I loved cream gravy on homemade biscuits, and they lived to be in their 90's), that giving up everything we enjoy isn't worth the days or years it costs us. We aren't smoking marijuana, snorting cocaine, or shooting heroine. None of us are (were) drinkers, although I enjoy the occasional glass of wine, and before the pandemic, I adored an ice cold Stongbow.

I believe you should enjoy some of what you love every day. Don't go crazy; avoid the things that actually increase your pain, but enjoy the years you have left. Hopefully, if we have to go to a nursing home – you, my husband and I – we won't know where we are. My father-in-law, who was almost 90, lived in a nursing home for the last three years of his life. He didn't know where he was; he lived in a world of his own; and we know that because he talked to my mother-in-law who had been dead for several years, laid brick in the air with his eyes closed, and talked to his sons who weren't even in the room telling them how many bricks to order for a job and which bricks looked like shite and had to be dug out and replaced. He was, if nothing else, a perfectionist. He was in no pain and smiled quite often in his alternate world.

I sincerely hope some of your heath issues can be addressed so to at least give you no pain. Live your life as long as you can, as we will. Don't worry about tomorrow; today is all we are promised.

I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers.

Vicki Murray (known to my Afghanistan compatriots as Queen Victoria, the Cat Lady of Kabul)

P.S. I admit I had to look up Bovril. I feel for you; it sounds absolutely awful, although it kept several armies on their feet through the years, and is a favorite of "football" fans all over the United Kingdom.

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Thanks. Quite a saga