Finding Joy in the Journey

Growing Old is NOT for Sissies!

My husband bought me a power lift recliner yesterday. It’s humbling. Here I am, caregiver to my 91-year-old mama and I’m the one needing a lift chair? uggghhhhh

I can’t help but think about the day that changed my life. I can’t remember the exact date. I know it was in 1990. It was in winter. I know because that darn snow caused the event  (not my stupidity, clumsiness or accident proneness). That was the beginning of the pain that has become my constant nagging companion.

Before you turn 30, unless you’ve suffered from some malady before that tender age, you believe you’re invincible. You have successfully grown out of adolescence; hopefully you know what you’ll do “when you grow up” because you are “grown up”; you may have even settled down with the love of your life. This was me. In 1990. I married my Prince Charming in June of 1989. He was an officer in the USAF; I was working at a large credit union. We were happy and content in our little house on base. Until it snowed.

I don’t know what possessed me to make that snowball. Was it a moment of meanness or just my playful streak that got hold of me? My hubby tells me I hit him first and he just defended himself. In my zeal to retaliate, I made the perfect snowball for maximum vengeance…not too hard, not too big. Just right. But I missed. And the second one missed again. So I chased him. He wouldn’t stand still! And man, is he fast! If I had a time machine, I would go back to that fatal moment and slap that silly snowball out of my hand. As I ran after my “Prince”, my right foot landed on the icy driveway. It happened so fast! Down I went, landing on my right hip. Being young and stupid and thinking I was unbreakable I got up, dusted the snow off, and stumbled into the house. I remember thinking, “Ooh. That’s gonna leave a bruise.” It did. But what I didn’t know was I had fractured my pelvis. It took three weeks before my body really protested to the point I thought something was seriously wrong. I couldn’t stand up straight. So I went to the doctor. I should have gone immediately to the emergency room for an x-ray after I fell, but you know what they say about hindsight…it’s 20/20.

Flash forward to today. My right knee is shot. That fateful fall caused back problems and a tilting pelvis. The tilting pelvis causes my knee to turn outward and puts stress on my knee. It wore out the cartilage; my MRI showed it is bone on bone. My knee is very angry with me! A second moment of clumsiness caused me to fall five years ago. SOMEBODY at Tallahassee Mall thought laying a “slippery when wet” sign on a marble floor was a good idea. Uh, no, dummy it’s not. You stand caution signs up so they can be seen; it’s not a good idea to lay a plastic caution sign on a slippery marble floor! Some people are not graceful. Some people are unlucky. Some people don’t look DOWN all the time while they’re walking. Some people look UP and talk to other people. Down she goes! Right on my knee. (It must have been an impressive split, though.)

I’m too young for knee replacement surgery! My grandma never needed it. She lived by herself until she was 96, when she had a stroke. That tough little ol’ lady lived to 109! My mom is 91 now (I was a surprise my mom and dad. Wink.) She doesn’t need knee replacement either. Miss “Grace” here sure does!

I have struggled with my weight most of my life. During college, I decided to shed the fat suit that was holding me back and lost down to my ideal weight. I kept it off for ten years. I even lost most of the baby weight I gained after our son was born. But when the twins died the sadness and guilt made dieting impossible. Even today, 24 years later, the enemy lies to me and tells me their death was my fault and not God’s will. I know it’s a lie, but it’s easy to fall back in his trap. It was my excuse for failing at so many diets. But no more.

I found the answer to weight loss. ATTITUDE. There are many good diets out there; any one of them will help you lose weight If you have the right mindset. I chose a high protein, low carb diet. I would say it’s South Beach, but it’s actually a combination of their food and a Christian program called Shibboleth. The South Beach meals are delicious! All I have to do is go to the freezer and pick out a vegetable and meal. I choose my own food and they ship it to me automatically each month. It helps to have people who love and support you who agree to eat frozen dinners with you. I am so blessed!

It also helps to stay in God’s Word. I have found that starting my day with God in the morning in prayer and Bible study makes for a much more successful day.

I conquered my fear of being seen in public in a bathing suit too. I started water aerobics last week. My orthopedic surgeon told me I can’t walk fast enough to burn calories for weight loss; water exercise is my only option. Thankfully, I found a group of ladies who encourage me (it helps that I’m the “baby” in the group too!) God is so good! He moved us here two years ago and gave my hubby a job where I can volunteer. Access to the health center on campus is free because I volunteer there every week. What a blessing! I’ve lost 10 pounds so far.

I wish I could tell you I’m not apprehensive about the surgery, but I am. On the other hand, I am looking forward to getting it over with and being able to walk without a cane. I can’t look back and wish away that fateful snowball. I must look ahead to my future.

Do you need a friend to encourage you? Need a weight loss buddy? Or just need someone to talk to? I’m here.

Until next time.


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