Transcendental Medication

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 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, and some have wrongly attributed to her husband Percy Shelley, has also been mangled over the years. Eventually, I will read the original Oxford classic.


19 thoughts on “Transcendental Medication

  1. When we watch TV (Netflix mostly) we use earphones because that way we don’t inflict our choices of program/volume control on our neighbors or each other, if only one of us wants to watch a program. But usually we watch together each with our own pair of earphones. Bill’s hearing has diminished in the last year or so and he really needs to make that appointment. Maybe I do too, but neither of us is quite ready to admit it.

    We are still doing things (I wouldn’t call it ‘frisking around’ ;>0 … but we’ve done the other part of it too. Our kids were (and still are) at that middle-st(age) when they still don’t want to admit that life is bound to change. But they really know even if they don’t want to talk about it — and now they know what to do.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My friend is visiting with me and I keep going… Huh? Huh? She said am I not talking loud enough or is it your hearing. It is my hearing for sure, I had to admit. I’ve got where I just ask people to talk louder.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I was very surprised by what I discovered in Woman’s Studies. I always thought that women stayed home…tho my mother didn’t. Nope, most women worked in or out of the home.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I love audio books! A good reader can just bring the book to life. Good luck with finding comfortable ear phones; let us know how the over the ear phones work.
    Right now Joe and I are in reasonably good health. But even just the normal stuff: dental cleaning twice a year, vision once a year, yearly physical, mammogram–it all takes the stuffing out of me for a full day. I don’t think health care providers have any idea of the difficulty in getting ready for and to and from all the appointments.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I imagine health care workers are cognizant of the need for regular exams. At least I hope so. Perhaps as we age we see more and more specialists. At least that’s been true for us. David has diabetes so now he has more frequent checkups. I have had several bouts of skin cancer which has led me to multiple minor surgeries. Mostly our doctor visits involve preventive measures.
      However, I’ve had a heart attack and a stroke, and we’ve both had several joint replacements. Gosh all this put together sounds awful.

      As for audible books, yes I love them. Helps me to take some the strain from my eyes. I sure hope the new ear phones work.


  5. Waiting rooms are one of my least favourite places in the world. I try not to touch anything, such as arms of the chairs and always have a book to pass the time. I can wait endlessly if I have a book.

    Those discussions about funerals etc are important. We have one child and would like to make things easy for her when we are gone. It’s never easy though.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. HI; you did leave a comment on my blog but I am traveling for 2 weeks and can’t seem to be able to post the comments …can’t remember my blog password ! No fun getting too old to remember ! The comments will be up as soon as I get home. Thanks. I always enjoy what you have to say.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. You may recall I wrote a blog about all the Dr. appointments and how it rules our calendar. One good thing, it assures we’ll at least have some kind of social life.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I was never much for a social life. I’d rather be home with a book. Have you noticed how awful the chairs are in waiting rooms?

      Send me the link to your post. Unlike what’s-her-name, I want to give credit where it’s due.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s