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This Day in My History

George Washington's
Rules of Civility
and Decent Behaviour

25th:   Superfluous compliments and all affectation of ceremony are to be avoided, yet where due, they are not to be neglected.

Yesterday's Entries

2000: Giraffes and monkeys and bees...oh my
  Last Day in London
2002:  Wake Up Call
2003:  Gorgeous Gorge


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I've been lucky lately; there have been lots of other dogs for me to play with.

Sheila Video 1
    ("See Sheila Run")
Sheila Video 2
    ("Meet Barkley")
Sheila Video 3
    ("Play time")
Sheila Video 4
    ("The Green Monster")
Sheila Video 5
    ("Sheila's Tongue")



18 September 2004

I’ve been typing an awful lot of disturbing psychiatric reports lately.

The psychiatrist’s specialty is medication management. He does some therapy as well, but mostly he monitors how people are doing with their medications, and tweaking things here and there to help them to function as fully as possible. It takes a lot of tweaking, sometimes, when people are on multiple prescriptions for antidepressants, mood stabilizers, stimulants, sleeping pills, etc.

In addition to doing medication management, he also is on call for patients who are having problems in the nursing home setting. He visits several nursing homes to check on the medications for several patients.

Lately it’s been depressing. Today, for example, I was trnascribing a report on a patient with advanced Huntington’s who has already spent 4 years in a convalescent hospital and has recently been moved to a new place. The staff of the hospital called the psychiatrist because the patient has been calling out constantly and the staff isn’t sure what the problem is and assume it’s because of pain. So the psychiatrist is trying a new mix of medications to reduce the calling out and, hopefully, whatever is the reason for the calling out.

The depressing thing about this is that the patient is 62.

One year older than I am. Younger than Walt.

Yeah, I realize that Huntington's is not necessarily a disease of the aged, but it seems that the nursing home patients I type reports about are getting younger and younger these days, or maybe it’s only in comparison to myself, realizing that I am potentially of nursing home age. That I could develop some problem which would put me in a nursing home and nobody would say "oh--she was so young" any more.

I could drop dead and while people might think it was tragic and premature, few (except perahps my mother!) would shake their heads and say "...and she was so young."

Heck, the psychiatrist himself suffered a heart attack a couple of years ago and ended up with quadruple bypass. He collapsed while out on his daily jog, after his daily swim, proving, of course, that exercise is obviously hazardous to your health! Everyone was surprised that a man so healthy could collapse, but nobody said anything about the attack being premature (he’s in his 70s, I think).

In today's reports, he mentions that he has discontinued a certain medication for a 69 year old patient--8 years older than I--because of "the potential fall risk in elderly patients." 


Life is a funny thing. Once we hit a certain age, we never really age mentally. I read somewhere that most of us are mentally stuck at age 35. By age 35, we’re usually all grown up, independent, set on our path for the rest of our life, and the subsequent years are merely continuing the same thing.

So our hair turns gray and our breasts sag, and we begin to develop arthritis and wrinkles appear and we find age spots on our hands and we wonder how that happened because we’re really only 35 years old in our minds.

Every so often we are hit upside the head with the reality about the fact that we’re not spring chickens any more.

I think of my father, who died when he was only 10 years older than I am right now--and how "old" he was in the last years of his life.

Do my children see me as old as I saw my father in those years?

Every now and then I get a little twinge--a little glitch, thinking that there aren’t many years left in my life and have I done all I’m supposed to while here? Am I accomplishing all I want to accomplish? Will there be a sense of "finality" when it’s finally my time.

(And will someone let my notify list know that there won’t be any more journal entries? :) )

But when I worry about such things, I look at my 85 year old mother and how vibrant and active she is and I realize that I come from good stock (even if she has outlived almost all of her siblings and is now older than her mother was when she died!).

I guess all you can do is to live each day as it comes along. Live it as if it’s the last one you’ll ever have. Get as much as you can out of it. Savor the good things in life that come your way. And, as we learned so painfully with David’s and Paul’s deaths...speak your love to those you love and never miss an opportunity to let them know how special they are to you.

Old age is fifteen years older than I am
-Oliver Wendell Holmes

Live your life and forget your age
-Norman Vincent Peale

Website of the Day

Great article written by Michael Gross ("Family Ties") on the subject of marriage.

And this one from Iraq.


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Another from Claire Amy Atkins



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