Sunday, December 30, 2012

The circle

The milestones of life flash by like Burma Shave signs. Babies do not notice the benchmarks but the older folks begin to notice when they get a license to drive, graduate from high school, then college, a marriage, a job, sometimes children of one's own.

Somewhere along the line, life takes a 180 degree turn. Employers no longer want one, children move on to a life of their own and one loses a partner. And yes, one loses the right to drive.

To renew my license this year, I had to appear in person. I filled out the paperwork as accurately as I could. One of the questions asked if I had ever blacked out. Since I have had syncope a couple of times, I said yes.  The state sent me a new license and some forms for the doctor to fill out. The doctor wrote that I only faint after I have moved around a bunch but I probably would not sitting or driving a car. The paperwork went off and I forgot about the whole thing.

I got a letter in the mail this week saying the state plans to revoke my license as of Jan. 27. I can appeal if I file a letter within 20 days of the date of the letter. I found a form online to fill out to seek an appeal. At the end, the form asks if I have a lawyer. Uh oh.

No I do not have a lawyer. I cannot help but think that no one wins unless one has a lawyer.

I hate to give up my freedom. I do not drive often, but I do appreciate the ability to go to the store when I need to or drive through the burger joint for a burger if I want one. I do not like that I will have to depend on, and be a burden to, others to live a reasonably normal life.

So, after a certain age, people begin to regress. Losing a driver license marks another of those milestones. The losses continue until one dies.

Later, Dude.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

When you are old

To use one of the many chiches, getting old is not for sissies. Sometime during the past year, I got old. Yesterday I fell in front of a local store. Fortunately, I did not suffer any major damage, just a few bruises and scrapes. My friend and a younger woman passerby helped me up.

Seems like overnight I went from someone with a relatively active life, friends, job, etc., to someone who finds herself sleeping to fill the long empty days. I am learning firsthand what life means for the elderly.

The first few months of retirement (I will call it that, though that decision attached itself to me rather than the other way around), I made friends on the net, organized my apartment, you know, all the chores put off because of a regular person life.

My disease got the upper hand a couple of times and I found myself learning about nursing shifts and vampires who want blood in the dark of night.

My friends continue much in the same vein as always while I drop off the living truck as it hits a bump.

Food, one of my great passions, no longer excites me. I can spend two or three minutes staring into the cabinets and refrigerator without finding anything I want to eat. The freezer door barely closes and the cabinets hold numerous choices. So I bought frozen dinners. Ugh! I barely ate half of a chicken and noodle dish before deciding that move failed.

Oh yeah, and all this spare time gives me the opportunity to relive my mistakes and replace them with what-ifs. Not good. Not good at all.

I am cold most of the time. The thermometer outside reads 76 degrees. Inside I am dragging around a lap blanket.

Sometime in the past couple of years, my internal clock decided 3 a.m. was the best hour for waking. 3 a.m. and I watch TV on mute and use my hot coffee cup to warm my cold hands. I insert naps around my Tyvaso treatments.

Dude, I do miss you especially.