Last week I learned something very important. While visiting my mom in Corpus Christi and taking her to the doctor’s office, I have never felt so young.
Having always heard that being around youngsters keeps you young and being sure that you include people that will keep you challenged would keep you thinking young, I thought that that was the magical formula. But, after last week, I have a new theory.
You don’t have to be around people younger than you to feel young. You just have to go to a Doctor’s office that treats the elderly and you leave with a whole new sense of vitality. While sitting there waiting for them to call us back into the room, I glanced around to see that I was pretty much the only one there (out of about 20 people) who did not have a walker or wheel chair. Most of them had either a cast or limped or needed help in getting out of their chairs to go back to see the doctor. I was definitely the only one there that did not wear orthopedic shoes, so I was feeling pretty feisty. We were called back and they immediately took mother into the x-ray room to see if her wrist had healed. As I was waiting in the examination room, the nurse came in and told me she liked my hair. I told her thank you and that I had felt that I had to do something to get me out of “turning 65” depression, so I had it cut and colored the previous week. When she heard me say I was turning 65, she told me that I certainly didn’t look anywhere close to 65. Well, that was the best news that I had heard all week. As we walked out of the office, I was walking a little taller and smiling a little more, feeling that well, if I didn’t look 65, maybe this turning 65 wasn’t going to be so bad after all. But then I got to the rental car that I was using during my visit. When I wheeled my mom to the car, I realized that I had no one to help me get her out of the wheel chair and into the car. (the nursing home had brought her there but I told them I would bring her back) But, really how hard can it be getting a 130 lb dead weight 92 yr old lady out of a wheel chair into a car be? I am use to moving furniture and am still strong. Let’s just say that I am so thankful that I was not on Candid Camera. After I had mustered the strength to lift her out and get her into the car, I looked and she was only half-way sitting up and her body was slumped almost half-way to the floor board. I had to crawl into the back seat and grab her under her arms (dealing with going around the head rest) and try to pull her to a sitting position. After 3 attempts she was almost sitting all the way back in the seat. The seat belt was just going to have to keep her from falling forward, I couldn’t lift her anymore. Now it was time to fold up the wheel chair. Surely, I could do this. But after trying about 10 min and being unable to fold it up, I left mother sitting halfway up in the car, swallowed my pride and went in to the Dr office and admitted that I could not fold up the wheel chair. One of the sweet ladies behind the desk offered to come out and help me. After she worked on it another 10 minutes, we discovered that you have to take out the extra pad that covers the alarm, which goes off should my mom try to get out of it. So when we take off the pad the alarm begins to go off and you can hear this alarm all over the parking lot. It is then that I discover that the rental car doesn’t have a trunk. So I get in one side of the car and the receptionist gets in the other end. As she pushes the finally folder up wheel chair into one side of the back seat, I am on the other side of the car pulling it in.
I drove around for awhile before taking mother back to the nursing home, just trying to catch my breath and building up strength, knowing that I had to do this all over again, once we reached the nursing home. Actually, I bought us both a Whataburger feel that maybe eating something would build a new muscle before I had to lift mother out of the car.
When we got back to the home, I began building the wheel chair with it’s alarms (and yes, the alarm started going off again)and wires that have to be tied on to the back and then tied on the extra pad and was now ready to try to lift mom out of the car. This was the moment of truth, could I do it one more time? After several attempts of trying to get the wheel chair not to roll as I was trying to get her in a seating position, I looked down to see the breaks that I should have had on. Ok, now I had the breaks on and I was able to get behind her and pull her up to an almost sitting position, enough to at least roll her into the nursing home. When we got inside, we saw the driver of the van that delivers the residents to the doctors offices. When I told her that I almost dropped my mom in the parking lot because I couldn’t lift her out of the car, she told me, “I was wondering if you were going to try to do that by yourself, that surely you knew that it takes 2 people to lift her out of the chair. That is why we take her in the van that we just roll the wheel chair up the ramp and she doesn’t have to get out of the it.”
It was at this point that I discovered that no matter how cute a hair cut you might have, and no matter how young we might look, at 65, there are going to be some things that will make us feel like we are 80. This was one of those times.
Also, I cannot figure out why when you tell people you are 64, they don’t say, “oh my, you don’t look 64.”. But when people learn you are about to turn 65, you constantly hear, “my goodness, you sure don’t look that old.” This tells me that 65 is the age that people begin to look at you in a whole new light. I think that when they learn that you are 65, they expect you to be in orthopedic shoes and eat dinner at 5:00. The minute I turn 69, I’m going to say I’m 70. Would rather people think I look good for 70 instead of them thinking I look pretty bad for 69. It’s all in the out look!