Saturday, February 23, 2013

this is killing me


I think my wife is trying to kill me.  I am being pushed and coerced into doing things I don’t want to do and am barely physically capable of doing.  No matter how often or how vehemently I refuse to do her bidding, she just pushes ahead with whatever plan has occurred to her and knows that somehow she will get me to do whatever she wants me to do.

For some reason she got it in her head that our bedroom needed redecorating.  I disagreed.  I pointed out to her that it has been good enough for the past thirty years, so why change now.  For some reason that argument didn’t sway her.  Every time she would bring up the subject I would pretend not to hear her.  But she is relentless when she locks onto a plan and sooner or later she will get her way.  It’s like you’re standing in the middle of the railroad track and you can hear that big old train coming and then it rounds the bend and you can see as well as hear that massive unstoppable monster bearing down on you but you just can’t seem to get off the track and that freight train smashes into you and overwhelms your resistance and you end up redecorating the damn bedroom.  

It’s been awhile since I’ve done any real work around here other than routine maintenance so I’d forgotten just how strenuous a simple job like removing wallpaper and painting the ceiling and walls can be.  Of course the wallpaper paste that is left behind when the paper comes off has to scrubbed off.  It’s never as easy as they want you think.  Lots of elbow grease and strained neck and shoulder muscles later the paper and paste were gone.  So was my ability to move in a recognizably human way.  Every thing hurt.  

My “normal” is PD slow.  My productive time each day is limited to 2-3 hours before I have to regroup.  But when I get into a project I like to work it and get it done, so I push myself beyond my limits and suffer for it.  She knows that’s what I will do and though she tells me to take it easy, what she really means is get back to work.  As this sort of project goes, it always turns into more than originally planned. So replacing the woodwork became part of the job.  Repairing the scars on the walls that the wallpaper had hidden was added to the mix. And then painting two coats on everything that got painted topped it off.  

All the time she was supervising my work on our bedroom she was plotting how to get me to do the same in the other two bedrooms.  Even though she could see how hard it was on this old body to the work, she figures I have at least one more project in me before I kick the paint bucket.  I adamantly refuse to do this again.  So she threatens to hire somebody to do the next bedroom.  She knows I have too much ego to allow anyone else to do work that I mentally can do even though physically it’s killing me. She knows which buttons to push to get me to do anything she wants.  All I can do is stand there in the middle of that train track and wait to run over again.

Wednesday, February 06, 2013


Here are some words I, a blue collar middle class type of guy, never dreamed I would ever say:  my favorite masseuse is leaving.  Think about that.  What that says is that I actually have a masseuse whom I consider my favorite.  The implication is that I have or had at least one and maybe several, even many, other masseuses.  And now I will have to go through the process of replacing my favorite.  I know you are probably thinking “Gee, tough problem to have.”  How many of you have even had the experience of one masseuse?  Who among you has a standing appointment each week for a massage with any masseuse, let alone a favorite.  Have any of you ever faced this same dilemma?  Do you have any idea how difficult it is to find just the right massage therapist, one who knows your needs and can provide the right care?  I know all this sounds like my life is one of hedonism and rampant profligacy.  Oh, if it were so.

Rather than hedonistic, my life is one of constant coping and battling the insidious effects of PD.  Those weekly massages are just one weapon I can use to stave off for a little longer the creeping decline that my body experiences every day.  Massage helps to fight off the rigidity that my muscles want to embrace.  The expert hands of a talented masseuse are a great weapon to have on my side.  Along with daily treadmill or bicycle exercise and stretching and weight training, I feel like I am doing all I can to stay ahead of the devil that is chasing me.  

So, though I never would have considered massage as a regular or routine aspect of my life before, now I fear going on without it.  And losing the masseuse who has taken such good care of me for so long is nearly traumatic.  I don’t want to overstate the problem, but really it is difficult to find someone who understands what PD is and its effects on this old body.  So the search is on for my next favorite masseuse.  And if a little hedonism sneaks into the process I will just have to cope.

Friday, February 01, 2013


It just seems that since I reached the milestone a few days ago that makes me officially a senior citizen--my 65th birthday--I should be able to tap into the well of wisdom that accrues to the aged and pass on some valuable nuggets of said wisdom.  But it’s not that easy.  The wisdom of the aged is not so readily available as I thought.  No shocking thunderbolt suddenly turned me into the sage I dreamed I would become once I passed  into the ranks of the elderly.  It seems that I will actually have to make the effort to dig into the vast reservoir of experience that those 65 years stored along the way to share those nuggets of wisdom that you young’uns will just ignore anyway.  I didn’t expect to have to work so hard at it.  I am retired after all. 

Maybe I’m just a little bummed out at stepping over the line into my 66th year.  I guess I sort of expected there to be some kind of magical revelation and a secret handshake that would welcome me into the Senior Citizen Club. Instead, my AARP card will have to stand as the talisman for the Brotherhood of Discounts and Codger Politics.  And I fully realize that I will have to adjust my metabolism so that I can be part of the early 4:OOPM dinner seating at the all you can eat buffet and doggie bag distributer. 

So while I may not feel any wiser, and don’t particularly feel any older, having attained my seat at the grownups’  table I will do my best to live up to the esteemed title of Old Man.