The Face in Reflection


One of the worst things I hate about where I live is the constant signs of death coming. When I lived outside of this retirement center; I lived for life, for being happy, for being able to move the knowledge of getting older aside.

 

There are over eighty apartments where I live. There is no way, unless I was blind, that I don’t see aging here. There are wheelchairs, walkers, canes, limps, falls, slow movement, sitting, gray hair, wrinkles.

 

Get the picture? You can’t escape this scenario and you can’t forget the fact, we are aging. What makes it even more concrete is when you hear the EMS and sirens. I know, someone has fallen or worse; died.

 

In the past week here; two have passed on to  heaven. Once again it is pounded in my brain; I will die too, but not today, hopefully.

 

I was sitting out back on the bench, waiting to take a photo perfect for this story, I knew I would write. The trash disposal dumpsters are out in this area. I looked at it and saw many pieces of furniture. There were miscellaneous items of household goods too.

 

Someone came out and I asked if there was another case of bed bugs and the furniture had to be thrown away. The reply was,” No, that belonged to the lady who just passed.” My heart instantly sank.

 

You see, living here, I know most of the people. We chat and eat dinners together. We share our feelings. I have helped her with medical issues in the past; so there was a connection.

 

On the other side of the coin, there are the rules of this building. If someone passes away, the family of the deceased may have rent to pay, according to how long the deceased’s belongings are in the apartment. The family has two weeks to get rid of all belongings of their loved ones and if it runs into the next month where rent would be due, the family has to pay for that.

 

On the emotional side; it killed me to see her belongings out in the trash. It killed me harder to realize my friend had only passed away twenty-four hours prior. Oh, I know the rules but Lord, to get rid of her things so quick made me feel like I am to pretend she was not here.

 

It is the way it is, I guess. It made me wonder what will happen if I don’t get the opportunity to move out of here, what will and how quickly will my belongings, the things I cherish the most, will be gone from where I lived and breathed.

 

Well, the photo I was waiting to capture for this story or post came in my view. A lady who lives here walked out the back door and down the ally. I captured her and when I looked at the finished photo; I saw my face in the reflection.

 

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You got this!!!


Are we unique in this world? Absolutely we are! God made no one exactly like another.
 
Are your problems bigger than mine? In your eyes; perhaps. Is your body sicker than mine? Maybe, maybe not.
 
We live within our circle. We see other’s issues, but we deal with ours more than anyone else. So what can we do about it?
 
Plenty!!! Be thankful you are where you are at right this moment. Why? Easy! You could be dead. You could be worse off.
 
Whether you believe in God or not; you are here for a reason and I believe when each of us wakes up each morning, the first thought should be thank-you.
 
Can’t walk anymore? Be thankful you can sit up in a wheelchair.
Having too much pain? At least you can feel it.
Are you living alone? At least you are living.
 
I’m just saying life could be so much worse. The best thing to do aside from my upper suggestions is; reach out and help someone else.
 
Send a text.
Make a call
Tell someone you are thinking of them
Tell someone you love them
Take a hot meal to your neighbor
Pick a flower for the lonely one
Take used clothing to the nursing homes
Smile to someone
Shake a hand; sincerely
Look around at your surrounds; find something to smile about
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It Should Have Never Happened This Way


She was poor. He was poor. The two together were rich in love. They scraped and saved and were able to put a down payment on a small property outside of town. It had one acre which was plenty big enough for the garden they wanted to plant. The house was needing a lot of love and they knew with time; they could fix it up real nice.

 

One by one the five children were born. Money got tighter but they made it. They grew their vegetables.  They butchered a cow once a year. They canned wild berries and peaches from the trees. They made their own applesauce. Nothing was wasted.

 

Christmas and birthdays were celebrated with a home-made cake with a vanilla frosting and there was always a stitched gift of some sort that each child needed at that particular time.

 

The kids were sent to the one-room school which had stood for over one hundred years. They attended until the parents thought they had learned enough and then kept them home to  help out on the land.

 

The kids seemed good in the parents eyes; but their deep thoughts were on anything but this home. They wanted more. They had read plenty of high society magazines and books and they knew there was a bigger world out there.

 

As each one grew up and found their own way, they either moved out and on or got married and bought a property in town. There wasn’t much communication between the kids and parents after those days. They seemed to be more interested in obtaining what they thought they lacked as kids and the parents were dealing with more and more health issues.

 

They didn’t have health care insurance. Oh, they got sick now and then. A cold, a flu to deal with or a bad stomach ache. Neither of them had thought or been taught about what would or could happen when they got old.

 

Pa had recurring pain in his chest until one day he fell down. He never got back up and the family came and paid their last respects out back underneath the big oak tree. It was right after that; they left to go back to their lives.

 

Ma tried her best to carry on what needed to be done each day; but she was not able to keep up. She was tired. She was ailing and she was old. Her gray hair was thinned. Her fingers had bumps in them from Arthritis. Her legs ached.

 

After about six months went by, she had a stroke. No one actually knew the real facts about how long she lay in that house until help arrived. She was checked over by the county doctor and placed in her bed.

 

Once a week the doc would come check on her. He would shake his head trying to figure out what was actually keeping her alive. She knew, but she wouldn’t speak of it. Words for her were hard to get out. Looking around her room, she saw work that needed to be done; but no one helped.

 

The kids came by about once a month. Their children played outside. It was almost like this was a task more than a visit. It was so filled with webs. The kids mainly sat by her bed and said few words. When they felt like the proper time had been spent, they called for the kids letting them know it was time to depart. No child ever said, goodbye grandma.

 

She was lonely. She yearned for the love of her dead husband. She had no reason to live. She made up her mind to take this in her own hands and so that next morning she willed herself to die.

 

Once again, the kids came to pay their respects. After the funeral was over, they went through the home and took what they wanted and took the remains and tossed it in a big burn pile out back.

 

When only ashes were seen, a sudden downpour of rain hit. Lightening struck. Trees were turned over. The sky dark. Thunder was as if it was cursing the kids for what they had done to their parents.

 

The lightening hit the barn and the house, burning it to the ground in no time at all. The kids who had run for cover, found no cover remaining. They were forced to watch as the home they grew up in was demolished. They were forced to hear the demons ravish their souls.

 

It was then, and only then, that the kids seemed to understand what had happened. They came together and held hands. They looked out and over the once loving home that their parents had given them and they wept; but it was too late. They would live with their guilt for the rest of their days.

 

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Seniors, Poverty and Why?


I was watching the news this morning. This is something I don’t do much anymore for exactly the reason I am going to blog about. The bad news out weighs the good news. It seems people really want to hear the negative or else why would the news be so popular.

 

The topic this morning affected my age group.

A) Seniors filing bankruptcy at a higher rate more now than ever♦

B) Rents raise for the poor♦

 

Why would Seniors file bankruptcy? In my parents era, there was a savings of several years hard work that helped when they retired. In today’s world, so many included benefits have been jerked away in order to save the companies money. The fall-out in 2010 did a lot of damage.

 

The co-pays on insurance have risen above being able to meet, forcing out- of- pockets to empty faster. Insurance companies seem to fight more on even paying what they should. Costs of medications, doctor appointments, and the outrageous prices being charged for inpatient hospital stays are absurd.

No wonder Seniors are struggling. They are forced to work for longer years before retiring and without the extra help government and retirement benefits would be given at the age of sixty-two, life becomes financially in a ruin. Sometimes bankruptcy is the only answer in order to be able to afford what has to be paid for.

 

Why would anyone charge the poor more money on rental properties and leave the moderate and rich alone? Is the secret name of the game to actually dismiss and rid the poor, leaving the fortunate ones to thrive?

 

I don’t  understand any of this. I know in my area and I also have mentioned this before in my other posts, I live in the Orthopedic Capital of the world. Is everyone in my area working at one of these fine manufacturing companies? No, they are not. It is easy to see that the rental prices of homes and apartments are skyrocketing here; but what about those who aren’t fortunate enough to work in these places?

 

Go back to school, further your education; is this your thought? It used to be mine too, but today, the cost of technical colleges and the bigger colleges is almost beyond our reach. The almost guaranteed job offer is not so much in our sight and of course that leaves us with paying those high college loans off. Some people are bettering themselves some, but the paying off those loans is for many years to come.

 

Landlords don’t keep the properties up to date because they would 1. like to keep the profit and 2. some can not afford the prices to do the updates.

 

It is a sad situation. I know for myself, I would love to have a little more freedom and less rules. I would love to have the inner fears removed that if I don’t do this or follow that rule; I am out of here.

 

Oh, don’t get me wrong, I know there are rules, but rules are changed without voting. Rules can be changed and worded differently day to day. What about having the choice to sit in your yard and have a cookout? This is not allowed here.

 

What about planting flowers? We have employees that do that here. We can watch the flowers grow, but what about helping make that happen? What about having the joy of sitting out under the picnic tables, under the shade trees? Taking our tea or coffee and chatting with others?

 

We have benches here and the benches sit under the sun. We have one patio table with four chairs, that I am not sure would hold me and this patio table is to be adequate for eighty-two apartments.

I don’t mean to sound like I am bitching. I truly am not. My thoughts on this are; hey, we made it to our Senior years. We worked hard. We helped our spouses. We fought in the war. We raised our children. We deserve to not live in fear wondering where our next home will be and where funding will come from and; can we afford it.

 

We don’t want to have to file bankruptcy. We worked hard our entire lives and never saw those big, heavy courtroom doors. Why now? Why would anyone want us to have to wait for our retirement? Why would they raise only the elderly and poor’s rents?

 

Perhaps it is true. People don’t want us around or people believe we are children in grown bodies and are pretty much worthless and just taking up space until death takes us.

Well, this is why I don’t watch too much news. It makes me sad. It makes me angry. What is going to happen to our grown children? Their time is coming. What can we do to help them when we can’t even help ourselves.

 

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Just a thought


Not going to lie
Been a bad day
Shed a few tears
Friends have prayed.
 
Frustrating as hell
When the doctor says no
But I can’t give up
I will continue to go.
 
Just throw me a hug
When I’m feeling down
I’ll do the same thing for you
I’m not clowning around.
 
We need each other
When others don’t understand
We’ll fight our unique battles
Until God takes our hand.
 
Written by my feelings,
Terry Shepherd
08/01/2018
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Thank-You For Today


Wow! It felt great! I woke up this morning feeling like I actually slept. I got out of bed and didn’t hurt. I didn’t weeble-wobble. It’s amazing. I had to take a moment and thank the one above for allowing me this time, no matter how short or long it last.

 

It makes such a difference on the attitude, you know what I mean? I instantly thought about what I wanted to do for the day. It reminded me of yesterdays when the day was mine to plan.

 

The sun is shining. The weather is going to be perfect today. Thank-you Jesus for today.

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No Jumping on the bed please


It was and wasn’t funny. It seems this weekend weeble wobble is the name of the game for Ataxia. Everything I have done so far has been almost falls.
The biggie though was making my bed. I had the clean sheets on and the top sheet and blanket. I then was getting ready to put the bedspread on.
I lifted it up and gave it a flip like I always do and when I flipped it, I went with it. My arms in the air and landed straight on the bed.
I bet my face was the look of horror. Thankfully, I am alright. I had to laugh about it though or else I would have cried.
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Doctor’s Visit


Today I had a doctor’s appointment. It was a check-up from the labs I had drawn yesterday. We go over the report and he makes suggestions as to what I can do to help myself.

All the numbers on those LD’s etc were in normal ranges. I was happy. My sugars had come down a little with having added five units of insulin these past few months but he wants them to where they were several years ago, I think, so he added five more units of insulin.

It was my turn to make suggestions this visit. I had a full memory list of what I wanted to ask but got shot down on all of my questions. He explained why this and that and I understood what he was saying, until we got to my last question.

I told him about my Dystonia causing my arch to hurt most days from my toes curling. I explained that my weeble-wobble was becoming more of a daily issue now. He said, there wasn’t anything to FIX ME.

I guess I knew it inside from belonging to so many support groups on FB. What his suggestion was as he was opening the door to leave was; “Probably time to consider using a walker full-time and get a wheelchair.”

I said nothing. He said nothing. He gave me a pat on the shoulder and smiled then left to see the next patient. I stood and stared at him as he walked away. It has been four hours since that talk and I still don’t want to believe it.

I told one of my friends about it and expressed I was not ready to sit in a wheelchair, even part-time. They asked me, “Falls and hospitals or safe and at home?”

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Let’s not give up! Let’s pray for each other.


This morning I woke up raring to go. First I had to go to the doctor to get my labs done. After that, I stopped and grabbed a quick breakfast and finally was able to have that hot cup of coffee.coffee2

I came back home and made a fresh pot of coffee too so I would have it when I was ready.

When the farm truck came Tuesday, I bought some zucchini. I grabbed it today and peeled it and grated it. I followed my directions and then poured it in a baking, loaf pan and the extra batter, I placed in individual miniature loaf pans.bread

I cleaned up my mess and then I was totally exhausted. I mean I was ready to collapse and take a deep nap. I refused to give in.  I swept the floors and then I just couldn’t make it anymore.

I sat for a while and played my memory games online. When the bread was done; I  had to rest. I laid down about twenty minutes. My arch just burned to no end. This crazy Dystonia is ruining my arch. I think I am going to bring it up tomorrow to the doctor when I return for my lab results. Maybe there is a shoe insert or something to help.

My friends; I have always looked at me as having great inner strength. I know I am being tested by God to make sure I turn to him in need. I do pray for him to help me. I pray for so many cures for my friends; but I, like everyone else is has a chronic issue, gets tired of the pain and fighting.

I must not give up though. I refuse to give in to these daily aches and falls. People need me. God needs me to do something else, or I would have gone home with my parents or brother.

We must stay strong my friends. So many others are much worse off. I may end up in a wheelchair, but not today. My arch hurts; but at least I can feel my foot. I may weeble-wobble and fall; but I can still walk.

Let’s keep the fight going for so many cures my friends! Let’s all pray for each other!

Photo taken by me.

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Rockin to Ataxia


Today I was invited by a friend here where I live to a luncheon at a place in Mentone, Indiana called, Teals. Mentone is a small country town about fifteen minutes from my home.

I looked forward to going as I had been there before and they serve a nice buffet for lunch including my favorite two meats; chicken and fish.  It was good as usual. I was so proud of myself as I didn’t touch one sweet dessert and believe me, I looked them over.

I had my regular plate and a small plate in both my hands and began my journey back to my seat when all of a sudden I started to weeble wobble. I had my balance thrown off because I had something in both hands.

Thankfully, my friend is a retired nurse and am familiar with my actions. She immediately took my plates and I began to follow her but I was frozen in spot. I instantly became humiliated and embarrassed as people who were strangers were looking at me and began asking, what’s wrong?

She saw I wasn’t moving so had me place my hand on her arm and she guided me back to my seat. I thank you Vonnie for rescuing me at that moment. When I sat down my internal tremors began and my body was in overload as if I had just ran a marathon.

I told myself, no more, I am not going out in public anymore, but I knew I couldn’t hold myself to that as I like socializing too much. My heart is low tonight as I have seen this weeble wobble way too much lately. It seems to be a daily thing anymore.

My balance is definitely not improving. My Ataxia has caused me issues with my toes curling and I am beginning to have arch problems from the non-wanted stretching my toes are doing and I even see some light bruising on the side of my arch.

I really don’t want to give up going out in public but I don’t know how to fix things that happen to my body and I certainly don’t know how to respond to the odd looks and questions when I am not myself.

I have to get back on that saddle and not give up but how?

 

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