nurturing thursdays: choices…changes…part 2

This is where I come in…

This year I turn 65. The year of Medicare. On the thresh hold to formally entering…old age. 

I’ve been practicing for a while, even telling folks I was already 65. My husband who turned 66 recently, pointed out my mistake. Seems I was rushing him along.

Funny thing. As the years pile up I’ve become more preoccupied with, of all things, death.

Without realizing it, death has become my point of reference these days. Not in a morbid sense, more like savoring the pluses in my life while trying to downplay or diminish the minuses.

So with my daughter as ring master, I’m jumping through the hoops and…going for the gusto!

On Facebook the other day, I saw a photo of my mother-in-law seated with her 7 daughters. They were the picture of health and happiness. She sat shrunken, a shadow of her former, robust self. A quick glimpse of her eyes spoke of a woman growing older by the second. Yes, she looked all of her 80+ years. But she seemed to me, even older on the inside.

Years before my mom died, she fell in the bathroom of a vacation home we rented near the beach on Oahu. Her legs were like toothpicks, bowed from years of suffering the effects of arthritis. She was probably mortified that it took several of us to get her to her feet. Sadness seemed to hover over her like a black cloud in spite of her efforts to smile away her tears.

Both images are permanently embedded into my brain. Old age is not a pretty sight to behold.

For more than a decade now fibromyalgia, arthritis and I have occupied the same body…mine. In recent years I’ve been forced to take a backseat, while they’ve taken to calling all the shots. By late afternoon, I’m totally fatigued. Muscling through dinner preparation and evening chores, I usually fall into bed exhausted, aching from head to toe.

Caring for our dog who has heart disease and chronic neck and back stiffness, has only added to my own aches and pains. I must cajole her into taking her meds morning and night, including forcing a capsule down her throat. I must lift her in and out of the car when taking her to the vet, as well as carry her up and down flights of stairs.

Knowing that we women are often the designated caretakers, I wonder how long I can manage to help those about whom I care, as my own health dwindles. How can I help my husband should his health fail?

It’s more than likely my chronic pain was caused by the statin CRESTOR which I started taking to lower my cholesterol. I alerted the prescribing doctor to the fact that news reports indicated Asian women were susceptible to muscle pain caused by the drug. He’d not heard about it so I remained on Crestor, especially since it did the job intended. Even a subsequent physician, who happened to be female and Asian, ballyhooed my information. Not until a third physician drew blood to measure my C-Reactive Protein number and found it to be 1000+ instead of within the normal range of mid-100, did I stop taking CRESTOR. Only after trial and error did I end up with the one I’m currently taking which doesn’t have the same effect…yet.

In the midst of trying to determine the cause of my chronic pain, the doctor sent me to a rheumatologist who diagnosed me as having fibromyalgia. Like the “kiss of death,” I’ve been living with it ever since. Thanks, CRESTOR!

Alternative medical practitioners, including chiropractors and massage therapists, have helped me live a fairly normal life. I’ve done pretty much whatever I’ve wanted to do. But with old age settling in for the duration, quality of life becomes harder and harder to sustain. 

After much reading, discussions with my naturopath, and soul searching,  I have begun the WILEY PROTOCOL natural hormone replacement therapy. 

Not having had the truly bothersome effects of menopause like hot flashes and night sweats, I never felt the need for hormone replacement treatment. But now that old age is staring me in the face and my quality of life is in jeopardy, renewing my body’s resources seems imperative. 

Without hormonal balance, our bodies are going the inevitable route of shutting down. And while that is the natural order of things, I’d like to make the journey as enjoyable as I possibly can. 

I’d like to savor the moments I can still do for others, and with others. I’d like to continue laughing, and hugging. I’d like to feel the excitement of learning new things no matter how old I get. I want to keep on writing, and blogging.

Essentially, I’d like to keep on…keeping on.

So why choose to change things up? What’s my goal? Well I’ll tell you…it’s for quality of life…no matter the quanity of years.

…here’s to living life…the best way i possibly can!!!

………hugmamma.IMG_3370

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10 thoughts on “nurturing thursdays: choices…changes…part 2

  1. Remaining young on the inside is a key to living with gusto, I believe. It helps us to help ourselves and others. I’m happy you’re young and determined! Btw, I also stopped taking Crestor recently, on my own I might add, and feel so much better! My doctor will learn about it in 4 weeks…but one thing is sure, I’m not going back on it. Quality of life is more important.

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    • Were you having muscle pains? Just curious as to why you stopped. I’m on fluvostatin, one of the first to come out. It’s helped with my cholesterol, and the pain is not what it had been when I was on Crestor. However, I’d like to stop taking drugs altogether in favor of natural supplements. Once my hormone replacement therapy becomes routine, I’ll probably work with my naturopath to transition to red rice yeast. A neighbor of ours does it and says it’s helped lower his cholesterol. In fact, the family physician who finally got me off Crestor mentioned red rice yeast as an alternative. At the time I wasn’t seeing a naturopath. I wouldn’t delve too far into taking supplements, especially unfamiliar ones, without the advice of a professional in the field. Hugs for the information. Helps to know you’ve been there, done that.

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      • I had very minor muscle pains in my arms, but much more troubling was the horrible bloating, felt like a balloon after any kind of a meal. I also noticed some weird small changes in my memory. None of those things have occurred after I stopped. Will need to see how my values are and what – if anything – I’ll need to take in the future….Hugs

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        • Thanks for sharing. It’s all good information. The side effects of drugs are worrisome to me ever since my ordeal with Crestor. Thankfully I am only on the fluvostatin, which as I said I’m determined to stop taking as well. I’m trying to help my husband depart from the asthma medication he’s been taking for decades, as well as the Lipitor he’s been taking for forever. He’s also seen the naturopath who has begun treating him with allergy drops. We’re awaiting the results of an extensive food allergy testing done with his blood samples. I’d had it done with another naturopath and learned I was sensitive to wheat, yeast, cauliflower, green beans, pineapple, peanuts, walnuts, almonds, etc. What a difference it’s made to my digestive system since I’ve learned to refrain from most of these foods. Every once in a while, I’ll give into bread. But at least I know what I’m setting myself up for a couple of days down the line.

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  2. Hugmamma, A friend of mine has suffered from fibromyalgia for years and she takes a type of water therapy. In the pool the weight of her body is lessoned and she can do excercises with less pain. You might want to ask a physical therapist about it. It was suggested for my arthritis and sciatica but to get to a pool I’d have to walk down 42 steps in our apartment building (no elevator) and ride in a rickshaw, bouncing over rough streets. Coming home I’d have to climb back up those 42 steps. It isn’t worth it to me and might do more harm than good. I hope for the best for you. :) —Susan

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    • We’re having our main bath remodeled next week. I plan to soak in epsom salts in our new tub…at least a couple of times a week. In our old 14 in tall tub, the water is barely deep enough to cover my body. And I hear you re having to get to where you can get relief. I’m still trying to find somewhere to go for yoga. Unfortunately, beginner’s classes are an hour’s drive away during rush hour traffic. So I do what I can. Hugs for the suggestion…I’m open to anything. Well, almost anything… ha, ha.

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  3. Millie, try the melt method for your pain. It has really helped me with my arthritis. It is so simple, but seems to work. I looked up classes in your area and it seems to be more popular out there than it is here….maybe you already tried it?
    When I read about it, it specifically mentioned fibromyalgia pain.

    http://www.meltmethod.com

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    • Thanks for the info. Will definitely look into it. I’m game for anything, and I’ve tried several things already. All have helped and I know continuity is key. I’ve chosen to bring my foundation into balance as a means to optimizing everything else, such as what you suggest. hugs for the input…greatly appreciated… :)

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    • Living is not for sissies. And being a woman is definitely not for sissies! Since our options are limited…life or death…I choose to live with the gusto of youth. I’d like to remain young on the “inside.” I’m certain that will resonate on the outside as well. Like drinking 8 glasses of water a day… :)

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hugs for sharing some brief thoughts...and keeping them positive

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