Saturday, July 24, 2010

The Truth, the whole truth and nothing but...

Reality can be hard to face, especially if it concerns something we'd rather avoid. As a kid, facing the harsh truth about not being able to have that cookie five minutes before dinner was catastrophic. As a newlywed, facing up to the fact that my cooking didn't taste anything close to the delicious food my husband was used to from him mom, was hard to stomach. It took time, but slowly my cooking improved and so did the reviews. As seniors, new challenges that bring about changes to how 'I always did this', can feel devastating. With time, we face up to what we must and move on.

Grampa George was pretty calm about losing his driver's license when the doctor told him she'd be sending in the paperwork to keep him from driving anymore. In the back of his mind he figured if he only drove locally, close to home, he'd be just fine. After all, he'd been driving for so long, what could possibly happen? When he had to be reminded that no driving means absolutely no driving, at all, anywhere, anytime, he was quite depressed and withdrawn. Can't blame him, really. It's a big thing to give up the privilege to drive, especially when it's not a matter of choice, but forced. He'll have to get used to it, period. There is no way to ensure he can drive safely given his medical condition and so better safe than sorry. After all, he's luckier than most, he has friends and family to get him where he needs to go. Some people have no one.

Nana can't walk around on her own anymore. Her lack of balance and previous falls mean that she could end up falling again. The risk of falling and getting hurt more seriously than before gets worse as time passes. While she thinks it's a bother to call someone to walk her to where she wants to go, I tell her that ending up in an ambulance on the way to hospital is worse. Telling her that we want her around for as long as possible helps briefly, until a new thought enters her mind and she's forgotten what we just discussed.

Facing the truth, especially about our own individual limitations is tough. As one of the faithful 'glass half-full' preachers, I remind myself, and those around me, that giving up something we've taken for granted could be a whole lot worse. I try to dwell on the good things that I still can do rather than mourn the things I'm no longer able to handle. We really are lucky, if we remind ourselves of it, from time to time.

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