Monday is my birthday. I'll be forty fucking six. I'd like to go on record as saying, I don't like it, not one little bit. But yeah yeah, it's better than the alternative, blah blah blah. I'm trying to get to the "it's only a number" mindset because really, I don't feel 46. I barely feel 26. But I'm creeping close to that number that starts with 5 and it gives me agita thinking about it.
But then again, if I look at things today... right now, where I'm at and what I'm doing. I feel pretty good. I love my little business. I love my friends and going out more and feel like I might be breaking out of a many years long funk of sameness. I feel like possibilities are looming. And it feels really good. Dare I say I feel optimistic? It's a new year and it's time to make things happen. I got a candy order (referral) today which is the only way for my business to grow really, referrals. I'm back on the diet train and fine let's just say it... 2012 is the year of Lalia!
Which brings me the Debbie Downer portion of our show. What gives me pause more than my own aging, is the aging of my parents. It's hard to watch, and I have a front row seat. My parents depend on me for a lot of things and that is difficult. My mom turned 80 this past October. My dad will be 80 this coming September. So often I feel such a role reversal and like they are the child and I am the parent. Since my father's health declined, he has not wanted to do much of anything other than sit in is chair and watch TV. He has created a life of being an invalid when he really doesn't have to be. But it's what he has chosen for himself. No amount of talking to him has changed it in the least. Which in turn makes life difficult for my mom because even at 80 she is pretty vibrant. But she is too timid to do things on her own and he can't be alone for too long.
About a month ago we had a scare with her. I took her to get a cataract out. After the procedure she was fine. We even went shopping afterwards. But by the next day, when I returned to do more shopping (it was before Christmas), it was very clear that something was very wrong. My dad told me immediately that she was off and I could see it too. She denied any problem and would only say she was kind of tired. She had gone to the doctor that morning before I arrived, for the follow up on her eye and they were concerned about the pressure in her eye being very high. But otherwise she was OK. We did go shopping but she was definitely off. She could barely keep her eyes open and her words were slurred. I took her home, trying very hard not to jump to conclusions and felt that maybe she was reacting the anesthesia. It had been over 30 years since she's had any kind of anesthesia, so maybe that was it. After consulting with my brothers and my sister we all decided that it was in fact the anesthesia. But it nagged at me that it was something more.
I went back again, the next day because she had to go back to the doctor for another follow up and see if the eye pressure was down. Again, they thought she was fine. And the pressure had gone down. But she was not fine, not at all. She could hardly function she was so tired. She slept all the time unless she was up making something for my dad to eat. The next day was Saturday and I called my brother and told him we have to do something if she isn't better today. He agreed. I wanted to take her to the ER, but she absolutely refused. She would not go. And interestingly enough, by Sunday she was a lot better. Like 75% better. It was really bizarre. And when she asked me why everyone was so worried it was like explaining why you don't put your hand on a hot stove to a child. I told her she was unfunctioning, that her speech was slurred, and it was very worrisome, and I really thought she had had a stroke. She was a little stunned by that and I said, "Mom, you're 80! I hate that I have to keep telling you that, but you are and you can't just blow things off anymore." Honestly, I don't really think she knew where I was coming from.
All this trauma made me feel the aging process very strongly, just not my own. My mind went to a place where I have tried to avoid it going. If something does happen to my mom, what will happen to my dad? Will he expect to come live with me, because my parents lived with me for about 8 months or so when he was recuperating and it was difficult to say the least. It's something that I guess really needs to be worked out but when I think about how I don't want him to come live with me, I feel like the worst, most selfish person in the world. When do you feel as though you have done enough? When is it someone else's turn to take the reins?