Continuation…from Part One: Dislocated Toe and Adulthood Two
Sitting in the comfort of my living room, the steam began to build within. Then I thought to myself, “Why did I go to that Foot Doctor in the first place? Oh yes, my physician referred him to me, after I told her about my toe.”
Thus, I sent a letter off to her and explained that I was not yet dead and very perturbed that the Podiatrist did nothing more for me than I already had done and WHY wasn’t the dislocated toe addressed and WHY did she send me to a podiatrist and not an orthopedic surgeon for footcare? In addition to that, I expressed my utter dismay that just because I had gray hair and was 65, there were no healthier expectations for me!
I was so annoyed with the health system and more so, with myself, that once again I did not stand up for myself! I had to take my concerns on paper to someone and now I was waiting for the reply.
Within five minutes, I had a referral to a orthopedic surgeon. Tomorrow, I will have my appointment.
Meanwhile, my dear friend had her hip replaced a week ago. The surgery has been very successful so far. The incision was made on the anterior side, with the hope of a more successful outcome, not having to cut muscle tissue. The ball and stem replacement is made of an improved material, in which the bone actually grows to the metal implant. Whereas my 69 year old friend is not engaging in doing the splits, she was walking within three hours post surgery!
However, (you did know that was coming?!)–we did have to go to physical therapy. Again the GREY HAIRED STIGMA arose!
We entered the room, and a six foot tall, middle-aged man greeted her. He was impressed with her walking already so well . Then he said, “Well, I do not imagine you are planning on traveling, or hiking.”
To which my friend responded, “Well, I have hiked in the past.”
He brushed past that statement and went on to emphasize again, “Then you do not plan on hiking now or any time soon. And obviously, no big travel plans.”
My interior adrenalin was rising!
At this point I interjected, “Well, yes, we plan to walk Europe!” (Though I have no idea where I would get the funds to do it, I felt it appropriate!)
Having said that, my antennae were on high alert! How dare he presume anything about her goals?
The thought that occurred to me was that because she had gray hairs, he presumed he did not have much work to do with her.
Finally, my friend said, “Well, I want to be able to walk for exercise. I love walking!”
At this point, the physical therapist became more engaged in her goals and began outlining activities and exercises to do and the remainder of the visit went well.
Nevertheless, it left me with the impression that because we are 65 and older, have gray hairs, all of a sudden, the bare minimum is offered to us, the bare minimum is expected of us, and the bare necessities of life will be shared with us! If we accept this, we will evaporate with the air! I realized in this experience, and in my podiatrist experience, that we do need to advocate for ourselves and for one another. If we don’t, we will be left in the dust.
I recall what my eldest daughter said upon my retirement three years ago, “Mom, maybe we should look into an apartment for you, maybe assisted living?”
I am not unproductive or useless because I am now 65 and retired. In fact, I no longer say I am retired. I say I am a writer. Anything to avoid the WORD “retired!”
I am sure most of you are familiar with Clanmother, Rebecca Budd, the wonderful writer and photographer from Vancourver, British Colombia, Canada. (Her daily magnificent photographs and wonderful quotes are so inspiring! (http://celebrationart.blogspot.com/2015/03/60365) She suggested that I read, Composing a Further Life by Catherine Bateson. I readily admit I did borrow the term “Adulthood Two” from her book. It is an interesting read and I am a fourth of the way through it. As my Second Adulthood continues, I will share my experiences. If you read the book, let me know what your thoughts are!
And, if there are good results tomorrow with my Orthopedic Surgeon, I will let you know!
“We evaporate into air.” That is precisely what will happen unless we engage. We live at a time that offers many avenues of communication and interaction. Our generation has a choice to redefine aging simply because we are living longer. With every decision we make, we create our destiny. It is so easy to disappear and look back at what was once ours. Time moves us on; our timeline is forward. Last week, I attended two celebrations of life. It was a reminder to me that we MUST continue to live big lives, to reach out, to engage, to build memories that will sustain and encourage those who will follow. We have many more adventures waiting for our arrival. As George Bernard Shaw once wrote: “You don’t stop laughing when you grow old, you grow old when you stop laughing.” I really enjoy our dialogues. They are profoundly meaningful to me.
Rebecca, YES to LIFE! Your words are so engaging and full of HOPE and PROMISE (those two beautiful words that continue to resurface!) Yes, we have to continue the song…I love what you write: “to build memories that will sustain and encourage those who will follow”—we so need one another! I enjoy our interaction too! Thank you for continuing the conversation on this topic!