I've Landed!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Fifty years ago, July,1965

Fifty years ago this month, 

President Lyndon Johnson signed three life-changing pieces of legislation 

dramatically improving the outlook for older Americans:

and the Older Americans Act.

Medicare went into effect on July 1, 1966.
I was working that day as a new RN in a Montana hospital.
Dr. Petersen's 77 year old patient, a frail, thin woman, was undiagnosed and suffering, 
Dr. Petersen sadly said to Dr. Gregory, "I wish she had the money for me to run some tests on her."
Dr. Gregory looked at him.
"Well, he said, "you can now order that."

You can now order that.

The rest is history.


As we look at the horrendous cost of "you can now order that", let us look at the major benefits to the young people of a population whose aged people have health care financed by taxes.
Look at the rapid advancement in medical technology 
when somebody will pay for "you can now order that". 
Advancements are applied to medical care for the young as well as the old.

 Medicare is the financial foundation on which many medical advancements  have sprung,
  because Medicare is guarenteed payment
unlike philanthropy.  

Hospitals within medical research universities receive extra money from Medicare.  

Did you know many older people do not "qualify" for Medicare coverage?
That is because Medicare is an insurance program, a government insurance program, and not a charity nor a "medical care benefit to all the old people".  
Got Social Security?  
You qualify for Medicare insurance.

For those of us who are privileged, may some of us never forget the disenfranchized.

Thank you for tolerating my "nursey" perspective.
Thank you for visiting my blog.
Forgive me if I offend.  (I am old, you know!)
Riverwatch, RN

Friday, July 10, 2015

Living in the Instant

I am excited about the world we live in.

Belonging to an organized group of "medical helpers",  I have to tell you I take classes on Disaster Preparedness.

It seems more and more there is a growing concern for  the individual, ie, those of us who plan to be "responders", to think in terms of our own abilities to "survive a world turned upside down".

To whit,  if the rug is pulled out from under YOUR feet, what will be your immediate internal response?
Can you learn to cope with chaos, stepping over the dead and unsalvagable and continuing to take care of yourself and those survivors around you?
Take heart and faint not!

You are special.

Only at that point in time, living in the instant, will you access internal helps that you cannot now even imagine exist within you .

Naturally we would initially feel overwhelmed.

In fact, many of us feel overwhelmed when life is good but going too fast.
Slow down , we say.
Especially we say that if we are old!

When we feel overwhelmed it may be because we have confused our potential with our capacity.
We may have great potential, but far less capacity.

I loved the class on "expanding capacity".   It was so simple.
Want to expand your capacity so you are less overwhelmed?
Here are some ways we can do that!

*  Get 8 hours of ZZZ each night.     Image result for images of sleeping

*  Do fun stuff!!                                        Image result for images of old people having fun   sodahead.com                      

*  Exercise.

*  Use mental imagery to get hugs from those important-to-you people.....or accolades from the crowd....
    ......or walks through nature.  Use your mind to transport you to a restful place for just a bit.
Don't stay there in that imaginary place longer than 20 minutes.  Twenty minutes is the limit.

*  Look for and find a kindred spirit.                                      

*  Use humor to cope, even when, especially when, there is much catastrophy to cope with.

*  Forgive your enemies and move on.

*  If the bad, sad, negative little voice shows up, don't fight him, just invite him to sit and have cookies while you go do good stuff.

Image result for images you want a cookie,nicetroll.me

 Fighting him only makes him stronger.  Invite him to stay and have a snack, but remind him you haven't time for him.

*Nightmares are often caused by dehydration.  Drink water so your sleep is less troubled.

Image result for images of a drinking water in bedhomeremediestip.com

* Be real.  Come as you are.  Hang loose.

* Be aware.  Know the difference between potential and capacity.  Not knowing the difference between these two is dangerous.

Thanks for visiting.  I appreciate you.
Hang loose.  Come as you are.


Saturday, July 4, 2015

The Box and the Botox

The comraderie of the old is a thing to behold.

We aren't suffering for nothing!!  We are building comraderie.
Even as we lose the finer point of good judgement about our grooming.

It is becoming more and more about comraderie.

I could tell Ardith thought she looked good in that pastel blue gettie-up she was wearing!  An easy gettie-up it was, not exactly casual, but a few steps down from casual to very comfy....very comfy.  It was the orange shoes that were startling.  Or were those shoes?  I don't know.  Need to clean my glasses, I guess.

Another friend, Joleena, is not quite as old as I, but hey, this woman has lost the finer point of good judgement also.  At lunch last week I was shocked to see she has had BOTOX.  Her entire face looked like.....well, wrinkles, even one wrinkle, would have been a GREAT improvement.
But both of us are into building comraderie these days, being as how we are both old (even though I am older).  We know comraderie is better than truth so we both told each other how great we looked and rapidly turned our attention to the dip and chips.  I noticed the teenage designs on her multicolored fingernails, but before I could process what drove her to do that,  I choked on a HOT little pepperocini in my salad  and then had an allergic reaction to it.....I thought I was going to die.
Joleena is a nurse, but her hands have tremors anymore so she couldn't help me,
but being a nurse and all, she was understanding and calm as I made a spectacle of myself.
Finally I was able to swallow some benadryl.

The spectacle of the choking event and the spectacle of the teenie-bopper fingernails were not mentioned.  We were comrades.

Back to Ardith.
Ardith was recalling her recent adventure with a cardboard box.  It was a really big box but she knew if she took it to Walmart's dumpster she could rid herself of it.
Once at the Walmart dumpster she found she could not get the big box into the dumpster.
Puzzling about what to do, she stood mute while an old man hollered at her, "Honey, you are going to have to stomp that box up before trying to fit it in!" (Ardith still has a small waistline so men still call her honey.)  Ardith told me she was so happy for the advice that pulled her out of mental stall, and she started stomping the box only to find it did NOT cave.  An old woman passing by hollered, "Hey, girl!  There is styrofoam in that box!  You have to remove the styrofoam first!"  So Ardith obeyed.   She stomped up the box and shoved it into the dumpster.
"There I stood", she said, "beside a slab of thick stryofoam as big as the cardboard box."
Another old woman got out of her car near-by and said, "I make styrofoam crafts and I am on the way to the landfill to dump off my left-overs.  I can take that styrofoam also if you want."
Ardith thanked her.

"My god," Ardith said dejectedly to me.  "It took a whole team to assist me getting rid of one cardboard box!"

"Team work", I said.  "We have arrived at a time in life when it takes a whole team to make a sentence."
Experiencing old age is  like working the night shift at the hospital, where comraderie reigns supreme because it does take a whole team working together to figure out what to do next!
How to do it!
Even what TIME it is!

We love ALL our team mates who work nights with us!  Every single fragment of functioning brain power is needed and appreciated. Human fraility is understood and accepted.
We are sleep-deprived comrades.

Oops.  Occasionally we drift off.    

But we are all in it together so our comrades stick by us.

The goal is to let no patient die on our shift and to keep the boat floating until the day shift arrives.  Simple goals, amazing outcomes, because the sun does come up.

We seniors aren't suffering for nothing!!  We are building comraderie on this twilight landscape where we have landed, not having died young.

Think of it as working the night shift, where only the things that really matter matter.  And even those things that really matter are in jeopardy of losing their foothold.

Keep in mind that the sun does rise in the morning......

and moonlight has its gifts.
                                            Image result for moving images of clouds across the moon

Thank you, comrade,
I appreciate your visit.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Magical Thinking


Ok.  I am a magical thinker.  I can't help it!  I have always desired to be able to go from Point A to Point C without dealing with Point B!  I am a short-cut girl.
That is one reason I have an aura about me that makes some people surprised that I am as old as I am.

Many people think I am lying about my age.
Well, they used to.
I have to tell you it is getting harder and harder to find anybody who thinks I am younger than I am.

I am eroding away at an accelerating rate!  Still and all, I do take the trouble to dye my hair.

Our number one identifying feature is our hair.
If you want to look like your granny, go ahead.

I took two extra years of study on aging after becoming an RN and if I learned nothing else, I learned that the number one thing I can do to remain "relevant" in a culture that dismisses the aged, is to dye my hair.

Especially if I am a woman since most men are "visual" and men run the world and have a lot of dominance in our personal lives if we are women.
It is wise to try to fool them a bit.



    before               after

Staying "young" is a willingness to be brave, even stupid.
Hence, not everyone even wants to stay "young".

My best friend, (you know, the honest kind), told me once that she had always thought I had both brains and courage, but after having known me for years, she finally concluded that "this is a woman with more courage than brains".
Yes, our friendship survived that one, but only because I didn't have enough brains to figure out if she had complimented me or insulted me!

Thank you for your visit today.
I hope I haven't bored you.