The phrase above isn’t original with me. I read it somewhere this week, probably in Next Avenue, a publication from PBS. Or perhaps it was from A Place for Mom or the AARP Newsletter. I tend to retain ideas but can’t always remember where I read it. The article had to do with hearing loss.
Yesterday we bit the bullet, and after cancelling several times, we kept our appointments for hearing exams with our new Ear-Nose-Throat or ENT guy. My hearing is fine, but I have extremely small ear canals that easily fill with wax. David has serious hearing loss.
We had been arguing for months about who couldn’t hear what.
While at the hospital, we stopped by the lab because David needed a blood draw for his visit with his GP next week. Daughter Julie drove us in her giant gas-guzzling vehicle, so we ate lunch together in the hospital cafeteria, which I hate (I buy fruit and yogurt). I hate it because the food is awful (bland, no salt), give me the days of fried okra and cornbread.
David sat at the table with his head in his hands as Julie and I discussed the doctor appointments next week. “Am I going to spend the rest of my life doing this?” he said wearily. Julie and I both said, yes, we all are (Julie’s husband, in his early fifties, has had quadruple bypass heart surgery).
We then talked about death and plans for funeral services. David (who is in late 80s, but has mostly good health) shared he had talked with Brother Dunstan about Last Rites, and I told Julie I have made funeral arrangements for both of us. We did this when I was in my forties, so this is not because we are going to pop off anytime soon. At least we don’t plan to.
Yes, no matter what you read about happy seniors frisking around doing this that and the other. Yes, no matter what, we are all waiting for God (or Godot) and you should talk to your children frankly about this.
I’m reading and listening to audio books. Although I see another ophthalmologist specialist next month, I haven’t had an episode of double vision lately. I think it was from reading too much and failing to take breaks. Now, I remember to look up and focus in the distance periodically. I alternate with the audiobooks and it helps. I can carry my Kindle anywhere so I can keep reading if I am at a really good passage.
I have been attempting to find ear phones I can use without feeling miserable. The ENT doc told me I probably won’t be able to find ear buds that will stay in my ears, owing to the tiny ear canals, and I hate the regular earphones because my ears get very hot. I can’t stand hot ears. Today, I ordered some ear phones that clip over your ears, not your head. I hope these work.
Today, I will finish Romantic Outlaws, the Extraordinary Lives of Mary Wollstonecraft and her daughter, Mary Shelley, a double biography of the two women by English literature scholar Charlotte Gordon.
A few years ago, I read all of Virginia Woolf’s books, plus several biographies about this great writer. Woolf was a Wollstonecraft fan. In fact this Wollstonecraft, an eighteenth century writer, was the inspiration for Woolf’s essay, “A Room of One’s Own.” I highly recommend Gordon’s biography of Wollstonecraft and Shelley.
Gordon says that until the 1970s, when scholars began to closely examine the lives of women (women’s studies), most people thought women had never accomplished anything. How wrong they were. Yesterday, my new read, A Vindication of the Rights of Women, by Wollstonecraft arrived. Its going at the top of my “to read” pile. Frankenstein which Mary Shelley wrote has also been mangled over the years. Eventually, I will read the original Oxford classic.