I finally made my annual, due in May, mammogram appointment. Whether I can manage it with this torn rotator cuff, strained muscles and tendons, and fractured shoulder joint is the question. Slowly, I am gaining some motion in my poor shoulder, however reaching across from my bed to bedside table to look at my clock is almost impossible. This begs the question of whether I will be able to extend my arm in the various directions the technician requests. Ever the optimist I imagine myself cured by next Thursday.
I almost laughed at my DIL when she told me I was a “strong woman.” No kidding, that’s half my trouble, always thinking I can do more than I can. It’s called the “macho woman” syndrome. Many of my friends have had this problem. I mean for God’s sake, I was a military wife for 22 years with all that entailed. And I was married to a Marine for sixteen of those years. I told my DIL “I used to be strong.”
Being one who has always pushed through the most adverse situations, probably the hardest thing for me about aging is the realization that as I age, I am losing physical strength.
Somehow, some people think it’s all in your mind.” No, for me, its in my shoulder, my back, my hand my ankle my knee and several toes.
In the 1970s, I had a professor, who was one of the leading experts in the world on aging. He testified before Congress on the subject on many occasions, because despite the rhetoric in the news media, the federal government has been aware of aging issues for sometime.
The Professor said the aging population can be divided into three groups.
As I recall these groups were:
1/ ages 65-74 were the young old;
2/ages 75-84 were the old old;
3/ ages 85-99 were the elderly frail.
In other words, should I live longer, I will only get older, next year leaving the young old and passing into group 2.
By way of comparison, David is in group 3 and Connie’s MIL is over the hill.
For a time in the 1990s, I was one of several employees at the Census Bureau under contract with the National Administration on Aging. I was not an expert on aging, merely a minion dealing with administrative issues. However, as every staff person knows, by setting up meetings, preparing handouts and observing, one can learn a lot. And like Miss Marple, I am a noticing kind of person. Thus I observed much and learned much about aging. Today, I continue to read and learn about this very interesting topic. In the end it affects us all.