A few years ago, when my right hand started shaking, a doctor diagnosed it as ’essential tremors’. My health is good, actually, just high blood pressure that is under control. I don’t have headaches, tummy aches or any other kind of pain. Life goes on as I accept whatever it brings. I am up and about, do my laundry, cooking and whatever else is necessary. I like to bake goodies but am very careful. As I near 84, I am blessed beyond words. I walk (carefully) in my huge yard and to the mailbox 150 feet away; I need the exercise.
I have learned a few lessons, such as ‘don’t leave the kitchen when you are cooking’. Scrubbing burnt pots with the left hand is no fun!!! I read five library books each week, aside from those I buy. This means that I read several hours each day as well as reading every night before going to sleep. I am either reading or writing and I enjoy both. I am thankful that I can do things I enjoy.
I didn’t whine when I had to learn to write AND eat with my left hand. Food refuses to stay on a fork in a hand that is shaking! No complaints as I learned to apply cosmetics with my left hand. You want a chuckle? Just watch me applying mascara with that same hand. I can do it !!! In the past, I would start laughing at how awkward this right-hander looks as I apply eye shadow or lipstick. You can’t do that when you are laughing!! Of course, I don’t use that much make-up unless I am going to a special event. I wear only creamy lipstick every day; it keeps my lips from chapping. I need some color in my face so no one calls the coroner.
I can’t dance all night as in the past but that’s okay; I don’t have anyone to dance with me. I don’t walk for miles as I once could. I started playing golf because I enjoyed walking. Back then a player could use either a cart or walk; I understand that now carts must be used. Turns out that I was good; the pro who taught me in Miami said if he could work with me one year, I could be a professional golfer. That was impossible; I had a family to care for and even at that time was three months into a pregnancy. I continued to enjoy the outdoors and fresh air on the golf course once a week…besides, the exercise was a plus.
I have adjusted well to life as it is now. I voluntarily stopped driving when I was 80, trying to be sensible about it. I didn’t just drive around the small town I live near. I drove from Miami to the Florida panhandle to visit family. I drove numerous times from Alabama to Tampa, to Atlanta, often to Miami and once to Nashville. An older sister told me years ago that to give up driving was the hardest part of aging; I have to agree. Too, I am a tad independent and though I still have a car, it isn’t easy to ask someone to drive me to the library seven miles away. I might whimper a little but I do ask. With a history of several TIAs (small strokes) it is too big a risk. I would suffer terribly if I could not get to the library!
I am sharing these facts to show that I can adjust to most situations but NOW there is a new problem that really ticks me! I have trouble turning pages in a book!!! THAT is getting near a point that hurts! It is difficult to butter toast but I can mix biscuits with my left hand. I don’t sing anymore because of the quaver in my voice. I thought this was caused by age but a neurologist in Tampa told me that it is caused by the Parkinson’s Disease of a few years. It never was tremors; it was the beginning of my new experience. I’ve just slowed down a bit; I’m not stopped yet.
I recently read that some guy claimed we lose our creativity around age 65. He is WRONG! I wrote five books after I turned 65, plus numerous freelance articles accepted by national or regional magazines. Maybe I’m not creative now but no one told ME!!! My sixth book, LIVING OUR LATER YEARS, will be out in or around November. That guy doesn’t want to make a great-grandma angry! He is NOT an authority on aging; probably he isn’t an expert at anything. Maybe talking is his talent. Oh, well, that’s life!