October 2, 2007

Old People on the Move...

Anyone who thinks that old people don't do anything but sit at home feeding the birds and hoping a telemarketer will call so they'll have someone some one to talk to should follow us around for while.

Yesterday was one of Don's blood lab and physical therapy days. After 7 1/2 years in a wheelchair, we were lucky to get his doctor to write a prescription to try aquatic therapy. The goal is not so much to get him walking again but to get him stronger so that he doesn't lose his ability to transfer on his own which has been on a downhill slide lately. If he loses that then life as we know it would change drastically. Don's only been to three therapy sessions but already I can see a difference. Yesterday, though, was rather comical due to Don's hearing issues caused by going to the riffle range over the weekend. I had to keep my lips within inches of his ear to repeat the instructions given by the PT. Thankfully we were able to get an appointment at the hearing center for tomorrow. I'm losing my voice from shouting.

After dropping Don back home this afternoon, I barely made it to the YMCA before the working people filled up the place. After a little treadmill and biking around and wishing I could be buff like some of the young ones in the place I was back home to get dinner.

This morning, before Don got up, I was back to the Y for an arthritis class in the pool. After a bone density test this summer, I was told I have the backbone of a twenty year old and the hips of an eighty year old. Yikes! So I've joined all the other out-of-shape seniors in the neighborhood who are trying to hold off the marching of time with a few do-se-do's in the pool. Gosh, that class was fun starting with the first bars of "The Bugle Boy from Company B" to the last notes of Jimmy Durante singing, "It's important to make someone happy, make one person happy, and you will be happy, too."

After my class I was back home to help Don in the shower so we could go off to one of his twice weekly speech classes. He's been going since his stroke (private pay) to a speech/language pathology clinic at a near-by college.

On the way home we stopped for what was suppose to be a quiet little meal at a Mexican place. A tipped-over full glass of water, a salsa decorated shoe, an orange stained pant leg, a bloody arm and a thousand napkins later---oops!---I was ready to come home and chili out with a few Planters peanut butter cookies and a cup of Constant Comment. Some moments just call for some comfort food. And Don? He's asleep in his Lazy Boy. Our old-people-on-the-move routine worn him right out today.

Jean Riva ©

Detailed descriptions of Don's physical therapies can be found at 'My Yahoo 360 Page' linked in the column to the right. Once there, click the tag cloud 'aquatic therapy.' Documentation of several years of past speech classes can be found at the 'Aphasia Decoder's Diary' also linked in the column to the right.

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