RIDING IT OUT – Marilyn Armstrong

For almost two years, I’ve barely used the chair lift. I was glad it was there and it was useful for hauling groceries and suitcases upstairs and that was good for both of us. But lately, I’ve started using it. I realized there was absolutely nothing to be gained by dragging myself up two staircases, gasping, wheezing, with heart pounding.

Although I can —  and do — get up and down the stairs, it’s slow and getting slower. It’s more than a bit nerve-wracking too. It takes me a while to take that first downward step (up is easier) and I’m always sure I’m going to fall. I have fallen a lot over the years, including when I was younger. I can’t seem to find my balance going down.

One step at a time and carrying packages, stairs are impossible and dangerous. Riding up and down the stairs takes the fear and pain out of the process of getting in and out of the house. I’m okay walking on the sidewalk and the floors, but the stairs put such a strain on my lower spine and hips, I went from feeling okay to feeling ready to collapse.

It was time to actually use the chair lift.

Not only is it a way to get upstairs not on my feet, but it ‘s also possible to get someone in a wheelchair into the house and up to our living level. Before that, we’ve had to tell anyone with disabilities that our house was unready for them.

I reached the end of assuming that I’m going to get better and the stairs won’t be as difficult. Asthma is worse, probably because it’s untreated and my spine is worse, especially at the S1 juncture which was never fused — unlike the three discs above it. The pressure on the spinal cord is serious and unlikely to improve. There’s no exercise that will improve it.

It’s my final nod to the realities of my life, the “giving in” to the pain as something that won’t get better. The new drugs I’m taking help quite a bit — as long as I walk on relatively flat ground. I can climb a little bit if I am very careful. I can cook and clean in the house and if the ground is not rough, I’m mobile. To a point.

When I’m tired, I have to take it seriously. I need to stop and rest. When I do that, I don’t fall apart and I stay reasonably well. No amount of goodwill, determination, or optimism will change the condition of my spine. I think not hauling myself up and downstairs will probably marginally improve my mobility.

I cannot begin to tell you how much this isn’t what I envisioned for my life as a senior. I was planning to be a dashing senior. Like in the movies. Gray and wise, but ready to do it all.

Sometimes giving in is the right thing to do. I wanted to force myself to be that snazzy senior I imagined. Overall, I think it’s better if I stay alive and able to move!



Categories: Anecdote, Gallery, Health, Photography, Reality

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

18 replies

  1. My sister in law who is 76 was diagnosed with Lewy Body Dementia a few months ago. This dementia takes away her ability to remember how to sit, stand, hold things, walk. No cure, just a steady decline. My Brother in law said this is not how he saw them sailing off into their golden years. Accepting what is thrown at us as we age is not easy, not welcome, and not always what we planned- and terrifying. A bitter pill to swallow. I agree that taking your chair life may help a bit instead of taking those stairs- which look mighty steep from the photo.

    Like

  2. that’s the promise of any technology – whether it is a phone, a driverless car, or a chairlift – to make our lives better. And it seems that your chair lift is fulfilling that promise.

    Like

  3. There are many ways to be ‘snazzy’, Marilyn (a word I also use sometimes that my granddaughters get a kick out of:) You’re dashing and snazzy through your words and photography, and I admire you for that.

    Like

  4. Wise decision. Our balance isn’t what it used to be. I found going upstairs to be just as dangerous as coming down.

    Like

  5. all those devices are there to be used. Don’t feel bad about it, please. It’s so much better to use every help you can than suffer unnecessarily. It’s part of acquired wisdom to leave pride to the side – you are a hero to have survived up to now 🙂

    Like

  6. The chair lift – that’s what it’s there for Marilyn – you are still grey and wise.
    Leslie

    Like

  7. I so hear you about the dashing and snazzy senior. That was to be me, also! I laugh and/or grit my teeth when people ask ‘what’s your 5-year plan?’ This was not my plan.

    Like

  8. Definitely the right decision, far better you do what you can and still be able to do things, than overreach and be housebound. And take advantage of going slow to appreciate what’s around…… Those who dash often miss out!

    Like

    • The limitations out here in the boonies are enhanced. Without transportation and regular help with keeping things from falling apart, it gets hard to manage. But as they say in sports, “it is what it is!”

      Like

  9. I can only completely agree. I didn’t realise that age is combined such Problems. Mr. Swiss has them as well more than I do and his mobility has also suffered as well as getting confused now and again. Luckily we live in an apartment on the ground floor. i also have more problems going down as up.

    Like

    • I was trying SO hard to “get better” and one day I realized — I’m not getting better and all I’m doing is making my life MORE difficult. Sometimes, recognizing what can’t be fixed IS the answer. I just didn’t want that to be the answer.

      Down is definitely more frightening.

      Liked by 1 person

      • You are not alone Marilyn. I am with you all the way. I discovered that having something to do helps. Even if it is peeling potatoes or making the bed. You have a feeling of Triumph, success afterwards. Yes, we can do it, just don’t look down

        Like

  10. You ARE gray and wise — a measure of wisdom is the decision not to do things of which you are no longer capable! I can’t tell you how much your stair lift played into my decision not to move — one of the major motivations for a move has been the stairs, but if I stay here and can’t manage the stairs I can always put in a stair lift!

    Like

  11. Your conclusion is absolutely right. Take the facility for easing life. It is there for this very purpose.

    Like

  12. I left a Sunday entry in drafts for your consideration. There already was a long one lined up for after midnight.

    Like

  13. I’m so glad you have the chair lift to help. May you be able to maintain your mobility on flat surfaces!! ((Hugs))

    Like

Talk to me!

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

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com 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

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Our Eyes Open

Come along on an adventure with us!

Keep it alive

A look at life, achieving good physical and mental health and happiness

Covert Novelist

Just another WordPress site

The Small Dog

Life from the Tail End

Cee's Chronic Illness Sisterhood

Peer support and hope for women with Chronic Illness and their support team.

Salted Caramel

Blogging, Motivation, Lifestyle and much more.

Sue Vincent's Daily Echo

Echoes of Life, Love and Laughter

Sarah's Attic Of Treasures

Making My Home A Haven is important to me. Sharing homemaking skills. Recipes and food. Bible Studies. This is a treasure chest of goodies. So take a seat. Have a glass of tea and enjoy. You will learn all about who I am.

Green Screen

The Environmental Movie Podcast

bushboys world

Photos of my world and other stuff I hope you will enjoy too. Photos taken with Canon PowershotSX70HS Photos can be purchased.

musingsofanoldfart

Independent views from someone who offers some historical context

The HOBBLEDEHOY

I use the best, I use the rest

This, That, and The Other

Random musings on life, society, and politics.

My Blog

Just another WordPress.com site

National Day Calendar

Fun, unusual and forgotten designations on our calendar.

Cee's Photo Challenges

Teaching the art of composition for photography.

Trent's World (the Blog)

Random Ramblings and Reviews from Trent P. McDonald

Views from the Edge

To See More Clearly

serial monography: forgottenman's ruminations

wandering discourse, pedantic rant, self-indulgent drivel, languorous polemic, grammarian's bête noire, poesy encroachment approaching bombast, unintended subtext in otherwise intentional context, unorthodox unorthodoxy, self-inflected rodomontade, …

draliman on life

Because sometimes life just makes you stop and think

The English Professor at Large

Posts about old Hollywood, current concerns

sparksfromacombustiblemind

EMBERS FROM SOMEONE DOGGEDLY TRYING TO MAKE SENSE OF IT ALL...

The Day After

Musings, Photography, Writing, and More

THE SHINBONE STAR

NO LONGER ENCUMBERED BY ANY SENSE OF FAIR PLAY, EX-JOURNALISTS RETURN TO ACTIVE DUTY TO FIGHT THE TRUMPIAN MENACE!

Chronicles of an Anglo Swiss

Welcome to the Anglo Swiss World

ScienceSwitch

The Fun Side Of Science

A Day In The Life

People, Places, Nature, LIFE!

Curious Steph

explorations on the journey of living

%d bloggers like this: