Wednesday 12 October 2011

Hazy Days

We went to visit Louise’s mom yesterday. She lives in a care facility in Oshawa called Thortonview. We had a nice visit, but because of the traffic congestion we didn’t arrive until her suppertime. She gets herself to the dinning room about half an hour early and that is when we came in. It was nice sitting at the table chatting and showing her photos of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She didn’t really know who we were all of the time, but I get hazy about people too. Some I just don’t want to remember. Louise was patient and told some of the stories and information several time. God, it really does sound like me!

While we sat and talked to Mom, I had the opportunity to look around at the other residents and make some observations. I guess the first and foremost is that I have no desire to reach extreme old age. My parents passed in their seventies, and left this dimension of pain and joy with their health until shortly before the end and the dignity and respect that they had accrued over the years. Sure, they had slowed down somewhat over the years, but that is to be expected. Both of them were fairly robust and still had the ability to piss me off right up until the end. Dad died moving piles of snow from one place to another and mom suffered from Crohns-colitis which was responsible for a massive stroke. None of us want to go, or should I say none of us want to know how and when we go, but quick and painless is what we all hope for. Mom and dad were lucky I think.

The residents in Thortonview are really just marking time. They are far past their prime and have been for many years. Some of them are lucid and just as sharp as they have always been, which in my mind would be a torture. The lucky ones stare about themselves and you can see that they can almost place things, but not quite. There are those that have gone full circle, and are once again being fed by hand and I would suppose are doing the reverse potty training. The family visits can be infrequent, but it isn’t easy to see you loved one deteriorate I suppose. The staff are just fantastic, caring people that make the lives of the residents as good as can be expected.

The father of one of my friend’s was in a residence, and complained about being treated like a child at 92. I wonder what the age is when younger people stop treating you as an equal and begin talking and treating you as a child? My mom would go to the doctor with what I considered a fairly serious problem (she couldn’t swallow) and the doctor just patted her of the arm and said, "that is just age creeping up on you." I felt like creeping up on him with a baseball bat! I guess we just figure that with age, aches and pains are something we stuck with.

You would think that since we are all headed in the same direction it would be the smart thing to do to spend a lot of money and do some serious research on the difficulties of aging. Perhaps we baby boomers will provide the impetus to get things rolling.
I don’t know about you, but I seem to have genes that will let me live a good long life and then die rather painlessly and quickly.

HOORAY FOR ME?????????

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