Winding Down

I am slower now
And tire more easily
And vacuums seem heavier
And jar lids are tighter
I avoid bending over
To keep my back from screaming
And having a dish-drain on the counter
Feels easier than loading the dishwasher
And squating...well...
I garden sitting on my butt
Somedays every joint hurts
Somedays--no pain at all

And I am more emotionally fragile
Easily overwhelmed
Easily overburdened
The sick kitty
The dog's bleeding bum
The dying plants
The bills, the news
Sick loved ones
My own health issues
And just unfounded anxieties
From aging/fraying nerves

Time is more precious
It's like the difference between
Having 10 or 80 dollars (years)
To spend--choices change
Housework just isn't a priority
And small talk and bad food
Wastes time

I forgot how to spell precious
When once I won spelling bees
And out of sight is out of mind
I have earned the peace of the sages
And the praise of angels
No one can take that from me
But my body will need freedom, too

I learned a lot caring for mom
A bidet will be a necessity not a luxury
Instead of a shower everyday
Once or twice a week is enough
Take care of medical
And dental health, now
And lose that weight
Limit sugar it is a poison
And try, try, try to exercise
Be ready to pull your own plug
When quality of life wans

Mom would have stopped
Going to the doctors if she could
The stress for her was unbearable
The long waits
The noise, the strangers
But with a diagoses of
Mild cognitive impairment
She wasn't allowed
To decide for herself
The onus fell on me
So we jumped through all the hoops
Dictated by the medical community
Dictated by adult protected service
And it killed her soul
And what killed her killed me
The dental appointments were worse
She had a nervous breakdown everytime

All I could think of
Was give the poor old woman a valium
But no--it is contraindicated in the elderly
Even when she walked
Out of the doctor's office
He in mid-sentence
And she in panic mode
Cussing and spitting
He looks at me as if to say
"She's your mother go get her.."
But I shrugged...shook my head no
I am too tired
Too worn out
She is your freckin patient...I think
You are hell bent on keeping her alive
And he gets up
And coaxes her back in
And tries to make nice
Tries to reason with her
And she hisses at him
"You're not a psychiatrist--
What the hell do you know?"

Our society is a difficult place
For the elderly
Too many specialties
Endocrinology, pulmonology, cardiology,
Podiatry, gynecology, GI, GU, oncology, neurology, ortho, dental, vision, hearing, internal medicine...
Mom had them all
She jumped through all the hoops
And took a gazillion meds
And no one could make her comfortable
Shouldn't there be a midnight special
Where the elderly can choose
Mild euphoria as an option?

So I started my own winding down,
My last colonoscopy
My last mammogram
Last pelvic exam
Vision, teeth, hearing good
Cognitive check--no impairment...yet
I've signed all the directives
Including one for dementia
And withholding food and water
Or even euthanasia
Should the laws become more humane.

I pray I will have the energy
To care for my loved ones
If/when they need me
And I pray I have the strength
To stop everything that adds
Quantity to my life
When quality is no longer possible.

Oct 5 2021
Me and mom

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s