Friday, July 30, 2021

How long might I live and how to increase odds of life quality?

When we consulted a financial planner while still working, we asked her to assume we would live to at least 100. Does that seem optimistic to you?

My dad lived to almost 89 and my mom to 93. Both had serious health problems well before 70 (multiple serious heart problems and cancer with heavy chemo respectively) that I haven’t had. Hubby’s dad also lived to 93 despite being a heavy smoker to the end. So we think past 100 might be a possibility and have known people who lived to 107 with their mind and most of their body in good health.

How does this all relate to the idea of embracing my 70’s?

I remember clearly my Dad’s 75th surprise birthday party and how vital and active he was. Ten years later that was not the case although his mind was still good. Same for my Mom but add 5 years as she was still doing pretty well at 85. I also remember that at some point they simply stopped moving and getting much physical activity. Understandable but not good for them. 

Our modern lifestyle (internet browsing, texting) plus my inherited love of reading makes me at risk for the same fate.

They also both stopped reaching out to friends or planning activities that would take them out of their home. This was partly due to living in a rural area in a northern climate with long winters and eventually the inability to drive. However I saw the effect of social isolation on my mom once my dad died. She was lonely and craved some friendly social and physical contact but didn’t want to “bother” anyone to give her a ride so they stopped asking. She also wouldn’t move to assisted living or closer to my my brother or myself. 

My tendency to not reach out to initiate social activity puts me at the same risk especially since we were not successful at moving really close to either of our sons so far.

That leads to the first things I really need to develop strong habits for during the remainder of my 70’s.

- An exercise habit that I enjoy and that keeps up strength and flexibility 

- A social network where I can reciprocate well and stay engaged with people I truly care about

- Regular activities that get me out in the larger world and feed my interests and keep me interesting 

I’m starting this thought process at nearly 72 because - well, the pandemic. Better late than never.

Thursday, July 29, 2021

Thankful Thursday July 29th

Almost August already and the summer seems to be moving along quickly!

This past week I was thankful for:

Birdsong heard on walks and when the doors were open. However the bird that is sitting on our porch light and decorating the patio with droppings could move on! A safe from hawks resting spot so I can see the attraction for the bird though.

A plethora of hummingbirds hanging out in my neighborhood. 

I got an outing! Pizza and beer with Hubby at an outside table at the Institution Ale brewery - unique honey bacon pizza was delicious and the weather perfect.

I met my longer walk goal days earlier than expected. Almost ready to give up the single crutch and walk with a cane to use if wobbly in the boot.


Tuesday, July 27, 2021

What has worked really well for my second bunion surgery

 This time I tried to remedy everything that was tiring or made recovery longer. Obviously I couldn’t fix everything but I did make some changes that really helped.

Of course I have a live in helper/caretaker in my Hubby and would have to have done many other things if I was trying to deal with this on my own or with occasional help.

1. It is more tiring to use the knee scooter on carpet than hard floors so I set up a table in the guest room and put my clothing on it. No going to our closet in the carpeted bedroom to get clothes.

2. The first surgery I thought it was important to wear the walking boot all day. That ended up with my ankle being frozen. This time I am wearing it only when walking or as time progresses for a couple of hours a time.

3. I was too cautious about moving my ankle once the cast came off last time. This time I am rotating, flexing and pointing it several times a day. Much better range of motion at this point.

4. I didn’t prepare frozen breakfast foods the first time but did this time. Still tiring to get my own breakfast but easier on me and Hubby.

5. The retractable leash purchase has enabled me to let the dog out in the morning even from the knee scooter. Again much easier on Hubby.

6. Hubby suggested using Tupperware as bowls or plates for breakfast as less likely to spill. A good solution.

7. I bought a knee scooter with a basket and it is wonderful at reducing the number of trips for things.

8. I looked up exercises that could be done for leg strength with a cast on and have done them occasionally. Frequently would have been even better. Same with how to stretch leg muscles while lying down and upper body stretches while sitting.

9. Make sure your knee scooter is adjusted with the proper height seat and handlebars for maintaining good posture and then try to use it with good posture. It is way to easy not to. 

10. Don't slouch while sitting or lying with your leg elevated. Last time I tried to use one of those reading in bed pillows but it didn't work for me. 

11. Once you can stand with bare feet work on body alignment as the walking boot and scooter will throw it off. No need for additional aches and pains.

12. Figure out the easiest ways to get around your house, make your bathroom work for you and practice with your mobility aids before surgery! I did this the first time but again the second with the learning from before.

Things I wish I had done!

1. Rearrange some dishes and food items in pantry and frig so fewer trips were required to get them and they were within easier reach.

2. Have more clothing choices including PJs that would fit over my cast.

3. Figured out more easy outings as I am really sick of my home at this point.

4. Watched even more YouTube videos on how to be mobile, recovery tips, etc. There are some great PTs and other health care professionals who have created useful ones.

Medicare Factors

1. According to my podiatrist Medicare only pays for one walking boot every 3 years. That seems to also apply to the compression stocking so you may want to use an elastic bandage at night when you need wash it or buy a second one.

Hope this helps someone else. 

If you want to see the difference between one year of recovery and 4 1/2 weeks just compare my feet in the photo below.

Monday, July 26, 2021

Embracing MY 70’s

The 1970’s were long ago and carry with them the birth of my older son, the end of my first marriage, moving to new places, finishing college and grad school, meeting my current husband and of cours all the geo political cultural changes the world went through. 

I don’t know that my personal 70’s will be that filled with changes but as I approach turning 72 on September 1st I realize that it is time to contemplate what has already happened in this decade of my life and what I hope and plan to have happen the rest of the decade of my 70’s.

So I have added a tag line to this blog’s title and will be trying to add some relevant posts. 

If you have any questions you would like me to answer, post topics or would like to guest post on something related please let me know.

Saturday, July 24, 2021

Back in the saddle - sort of

 It is rather mind boggling what going from needing two crutches to just one does for opening up the number of things you can do. Mostly chores and short dog excursions at this point. However the ability to carry things is a great joy.

As is my mind kicking up a gear which means I have a bit of catching up to do on my club business. We have been limping along with me post surgery, another board member with a broken arm following a fall, yet another with a husband in the hospital and another recovering from an illness. Things are looking up for most of us though.

I am just about read out as that has been my main activity so I am trying to reduce time spent reading. Still some interesting books in the queue though.

I am really appreciating the ability to take a shower each day and multiple short walks down the street. Now to see if I can think up a a driving excursion that will work.

Thursday, July 22, 2021

Thankful Thursday July 22nd

My 4 year old granddaughter was potentially exposed to COVID as a classmate tested positive with no symptoms and now school is closed for 10 days. This also canceled their vacation in Hawaii as they found out late Wednesday night before they were to leave Thursday. I had a nice long FaceTime visit with her and her Mom Friday. My other son and DIL are at their house as they were going to pet sit so now they will have a family visit instead. I FaceTimed with them too. All the adults are vaccinated and the little one tested negative Sunday. Very thankful! And hoping a vaccine for children is available soon.

My brother received his 75th birthday card and called so we had a nice catch up.

I was able to walk down the sloping driveway and take a progressively longer but short walks on the sidewalk with crutches and walking boot. It was lovely to be outside.

I have very belatedly discovered that Hubby makes way better tuna salad sandwiches than I do and he made one for my lunch Saturday.

A friend brought over lunch and visited for a couple of hours on Monday which was lovely.

The giant but dying pine tree near our house was finally taken down on Tuesday. They also trimmed to even larger one behind our neighbors home. We’ll miss the shade but not the concern when the strong winds blow. Yeah!

Oh my goodness but my little 15 pound poodle was so cute Wednesday morning. I was doing my short walk outside on crutches when she came along with Hubby. She simply would not budge for him if they got too far ahead of me in her opinion and she kept looking back to make sure I was still moving forward. What a good little protector to her injured pack member.

The giant pine being down we now get direct morning sun on our patio and into my office and our bedroom. Hubby went to Lowe’s and got an umbrella so now the patio will be more enjoyable to use with  both shade and not so many tree droppings. Just might have to ask him to clean off a patio chair and table so I can sit out there and read. 

Thursday, July 15, 2021

Thankful Thursday July 15, 2021

 There is always something to be thankful for -

Last Thursday evening we had a voicemail from the vet saying the dog’s latest test for kidney function was very good and the best since she started having problems. She sure seems bouncy for a dog who turned 12 today.

Friday I requested an outing so we drove to Mr. Softy for swirl soft serve eaten in the parked car and then .took the long way home. There were a lot of hawks out riding the thermals looking for dinner and lots of blooming shrubs and trees. Spirit lifting.

Saturday I heard from friends who are working on a convenient time to come visit me. Yeah!

Sunday read the second book in Paula Gosling’s Blackwater Bay mystery series and enjoyed it enough to buy book 3 on Kindle.

Monday Hubby put together the shower chair I bought as I am dreaming of taking a shower soon. 

Tuesday I was relieved of the cast and stitches in my foot.  Now I have a walking boot that is removable and lighter weight and I’m to slowly start putting weight on the recovering foot while using crutches.

Wednesday I worked a lot on my foot in terms of partial weight bearing walking with crutches, icing and getting my toe and ankle to start moving better. I am very thankful it is healing so well and quickly.