Organ recital

Posted by jdiakiw @jdiakiw, Sep 4 10:03am

Organ Recital

For decades my mantra has been, “age is about attitude not chronology”. But it is hard to maintain a youthful attitude if you can’t get out of bed, or are losing your eyesight, becoming incontinent, or face an imminent heart attack.

While none of those apply to me yet, every day I face longevity decisions such as: Does forgoing a Cheese-burger with french fries, and a chocolate milkshake save me 2 1/2 more days staring out the window in an old age home?

John Mortimer argues, “There is no pleasure worth forgoing just for an extra three years in the geriatric ward”
It’s easy to believe that attitude but hard when you face daily decisions that can effect your life style next week.

After decades eating a diet of far too much beef and fast foods, and far too few fruits and vegetables, does giving up the foods I love, now at 84, worth some extra days in a home. I have already, far outlived most lives lived on my 1950s diet. At this time in my life how much will my lifestyle change by eating a truly healthy diet. As Woody Allen said, “You can live to be a hundred if you give up all the things that make you want to live to be a hundred”.

Is wolfing down a burger and fries now too late to matter? At my age, why bother? Or is it? The devil is in the details. Staying alive in my 80s has become a full time job. I am my own ‘medic’ in my own clinic. My bladder cancer lurks with a 70% chance of recurrence, requiring regular monitoring. Every day my declining kidney functioning leaves me more and more breathless and weak. I feel my life slipping away, drip by drip, day by day. My kidney functioning is now below 25%. At 15% I go on dialysis. Kidney decline does not proceed in a uniform numerical steady rate. It stalls, then plummets, stalls again, and dips. My blood pressure is central to controlling several conditions so careful home monitoring is required. My arythmia requires regular Holster monitor readings and ultrasounds. Pre-diabetes demands my monitoring my carbohydrate intake, checking labels relentlessly. I feel like I am on a greased telephone pole, desperately trying to stall the slide, clinging with my fingers, knees and feet trying to slow the decline. My diet is now dictated by a strange combination of statistics. While keeping my blood pressure down, contrary to tradional BP advice I have to take high doses of salt. I am salt deficient. I as prescribed to a cup of bovril 2x per day, 1000 mg of salt per cup! I also have elevated potassium levels, a serious risk for a heart attack or other serious conditions. I monitor my potassium intake as carefully as a ‘Weight Watcher’ counts points. I ponder the small print on my favourite lemon soda and decry the 28 mg of potassium per can. Yet how much does it matter if a baking potato can be 1000 mg of potassium? I don’t eat potatoes anymore even though I can eat a half cup of double boiled potatoes in a special process that’s not worth the effort. Tomatoes in any form, raw or sauced are toxic to me, as all beans in any form, all multigrain breads or rice normally believed the healthy choice, like brown rice or whole wheat bread or any breads with husks, rye, nuts or seeds. White bread, white rice are my healthy choices for my kidney but unhealthy for my pre-diabetes. Ann’s celiac condition demands the constant avoidance of anything with gluten even ketchup or soy sauce.
Every day is preoccupied with one central question. What are we going I have for diner ?
And yet every day the sun is shining brightly, even on days that are overcast or stormy

@jdiakiw– Ah, ha! The devil is in the details and I guess it's up to all of us whether we want a good quality life or a restrictive one. At early ages, I think that we have all been scared to death of death, no matter our religious/spiritual upbringing. I'm almost 74 and have lived 23 years beyond what my lung doctors thought I would. I have stage 4 lung cancer. I am careful with what I eat only because any added weight makes my breathing harder and if I can avoid that my life has so much more quality. So those are my details. "It's all about the breath."

Enjoy your cheeseburger and don't forget the pickles. Do you have to be careful of anything and are you?

REPLY

@merpreb Congratulations on outliving the Dr .s prediction Keep it up

REPLY

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.

REPLY
@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.

Jump to this post

Thanks. Quite a saga

REPLY
Please login or register to post a reply.