Sunday, April 3, 2011


Nothing makes one understand the importance of health than being ill. Lately, I have been sick and confine to my bed because I have been so dizzy. I made the mistake of going somewhere and fell, but fortunately no harm was done except a bit of soreness. I inadvertently ate some gluten and it was a mystery game to find out what the offending food was but I did. It was some chips. Because I live in my room and just have a microwave, I melt some cheese over some chips for a meal when I eat at home. I went to the 99Cent Store and bought some corn tostadas which cost less than the chips and they are gluten free.

At first, it occurred to me that I may have a really serious illness. After all, I am a senior. There are some conditions in life we don't recover from. We aren't going to recover from aging but as they say the alternative is worse so I will take the wrinkles and the parts of one's body that is going further south every year. At least I can continue to accept and love myself and not worry about having a partner that looks further afield and more and more at his keys as I get older.

Melodie (not her real name) lives a life she is afraid to lose and works hard to keep the ravages of age from showing because as she tells me her standard of living and her standing in the community depends on it. I find it hard to head for the gym, but she is there religiously and in fact that is how we met. Things could be worse. Melodie tells me that she can't afford to be sick. She has a lot of things she has to do for her partner from picking up his cleaning to organizing his frequent parties for his colleagues to fixing his meals when he gets homes. She even walks his pedigree dogs for him. She is very aware that if a few extra pounds find a permanent home on her body, her husband will begin to look for her replacement.

Luckily, I am better now and the world looks better and in reality it really does. The constant rainstorms have stopped for now although the frigid coldness of California spring has returned and it was under 60 degrees F. in my room this morning. I had to turn on the small heater that I have in here. That is another thing that helps me with this world. I lived for a long time in Kansas. That is practically a heat wave when I lived there. I was thinking of going somewhere today and I might even have to wear a light jacket. This time last year in Korea, I was wearing all of the jackets that I owned.

I guess most of us live our lives relative to how things were before. I used to visit this retired teacher, Andrew, in a rest home and he was miserable because his life was so much better before, as he explained, he moved there. I felt so sorry for him as he would explain about one more inconvenience that he had to put up with. I had known him before he moved there and he had one of those really nice houses on a ridge that was built right after 1960 and they were kept in great shape. All of the houses had a great view of the valley below and behind them was a solid rock wall that protected them from the winds that occasionally blow up Central Valley. They were really cottages with small but nicely designed kitchens, and two bedrooms and neat yards meant to be taken care with minimum work. He always had a cat that would sun itself on a sun porch he had installed that were full of his plants. He did have a good life. He loved his students and they loved him, but a stroke destroyed his ability to take care of himself and there was no recovery from that. He died last year when I was in Korea, and I like to think he had a smile on his face when the Grim Reaper finally came although he probably complained about the lateness of the arrival.

As I wrote, at first, when I got dizzy I did think I may have something that I may not recover from as I am at an age that some things do come that like my friend Andrew and change you life forever. However, it turned out to be something minor and I am returning to normal. I am breathing a sigh of relief. The ex-husband that stripped my house while I was in Korea has taken a downturn in his health and even with all of my anger towards him I would not have wished that on him. He can't drive himself anymore and just stays in his apartment. So far, my illnesses are recoverable. Most of the pills that I take are vitamins. I take only one prescription.

It won't always be that way. Someday, an illness won't go away, but I am not there but here today. When I was a kid, I would listen to adults discuss how they would like to exit this world and all of them wanted to go right away. You go to the rest home and so many are just lying there waiting as Andrew did for death to come and take them. I guess I am hoping I will never go to one of those homes. I would not want my relatives to take care of me either. The point is I knew how the end came to many of those people talking then. None of them had a clue how they went and neither do I. The only option I seem to have is what I am going to do today.

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