Something Special on End of Life Care
GRAY MATTERS: Estate Planning

Not the Kid I Used to Be

category_bug_journal2.gif One of the things I've noticed about getting older is that when illness strikes, it takes so damned long to get well. Colds are particularly irritating. When I was a kid, my mother handed me a couple of packs of tissues, sent me on my way and aside from a runny nose, I hardly noticed it.

For the past decade, probably longer, colds lay me as low as a flu. In fact, I can hardly tell the difference between them. Fortunately, I rarely get a cold.

And so it is with this denture adventure.

There is almost no pain; Tylenol easily handles it. My dentist, in a followup visit yesterday, 24 hours after the extractions, said I'm healing well and gave me a prescription mouth rinse to prevent infection and further speed recovery.

All good news, except that the 20 minute drive to his office, the 15-minute examination and 20 minute drive home with a quick stop at the market exhausted me. I spent most of yesterday napping again.

Now, as I sit here at the keyboard in the in the wee hours before dawn on the third day after the surgery, I'm thinking I need to lie down already. It's even an effort to the feed the cat who, given his yowling, has no sympathy for my condition.

I've had teeth pulled before. It's not pleasant; I recall a couple of days of pain, but not this overwhelming fatigue. It's a good lesson in old age planning: our decades of experience, in this instance, lead to expectations that don't apply anymore. We are not the kids we used to be.

So it was overly ambitious (hubris?) to think I would make the eight or 10 phone calls on my list today to begin lining up the ducks for my move to Oregon. Next time I'll prepare better by lowering my expectations.

I'm going back to bed now.


At The Elder Storytelling Place today, Olga Hebert: Cooking with Gas

Comments

Not only the teeth extraction! I'm sure the sale plus the move are in there too. Nothing like expected exertion, be it ever so desired, for exhausting one.

I agree. You have much more going on beyond the extraction. And yes, it does take longer to recover & it is difficult to make several trips in one day without having to take a day or so to recover. I hate the "slowing down" part, but realize I have no choice, but to contend with it. Enjoy the down time. Dee


Ronni,

Don't forget to take into consideration the fact that the One Hour Daylight Saving Time change has the same effect on a person as Europe to USA jet lag.
It's true. So between the denture pain pills and the time change you have every right to feel tired.

Every day will be a better day...

And you said yourself a few days ago that your body doesn't know the difference between elective dentistry and assault - right? It needs time out to recover from the trauma. If you weren't taking the Tylenol, you'd be feeling worse and then you wouldn't be so surprised at needing to go back to bed. Rest and recover, Ronni. For as long as it takes.

Rest, rest, rest is what you need. And yes, the mixture of teeth pulling and getting ready to move is a lot to take on at any age much more so at ours! Take care.

A good book and naps between chapters is very healing. I have to take a nap after teeth-cleaning, so I can only imagine how you must feel. Pamper yourself and soon your energy will return.

Ronni: Rest well, sounds like your energy bank hasn't been getting any deposits. All the work getting your place ready to sell, planning a move and packing, dental surgery, parting with items your fond of...be careful with yourself, rest, drive carefully, take a little break between tasks. I sound like someone's Mom, well, I am. Sending you all my best vibes.

Ronni
Celia (above) said it all so well I will just refer back to her comment.

I think I will save Celia's comment for myself for later when my "energy bank" is showing signs of depletion.

Everything slows down as we get older, everything (except the speed at which we age). I go on an 850 mile driving trip as a sales rep and come home pooped. I also have the residuals of a cold to deal with. It lingers for weeks. I now know why people retire--at least one reason--and that is that we just get tired. I'd hate to consider how hard it would be moving and getting dentures at same time! Growing old is such a great adventure but about 100 million people have gone before us so it seems doable.

did I say 100 million? I meant BILLION.
They are on the other side rooting for us and saying "you can do it".

Everything slows down as you age and healing is no exception. I still have some bruising below my eye from the shiner that I had. It has been two months since I had the surgery and my doctor told me the discoloration would be gone in two weeks. Yeah, right!

You body will tell you what you need to do and you are wisely following it's signal that you need lots of rest. Having dental work done is a trauma to your body, pain or no pain.

Great that your condo sold so fast! It must be a hot real estate market.
Yes, rest.

R&R after any invasive procedure is the key. Do what you can when you can and don't guilt yourself!

Our teeth are a big part of our health system; so it is not surprising that having them pulled would take a lot of energy out of us. Take care of yourself and let your body tell you what is good to do.

Tell me about it. I broke my wrist last November, which led to the discovery of some very unpleasant realities. I figured that I'd be in a splint for six weeks and be fine, just like when son broke his wrist at age 2. Au contraire, says the doc: This is an 8.5 month healing process that will require rehab with a hand therapist.

My fingers remain stiff and the wrist still gets sore at the end of the day. I can't lift weights until this summer. Whose idea was all of this, anyway? Sheesh

Keep going, you'll get there. You've got all of us pulling for you.

One of the things I notice in old novels is how people coped with being sick. They expected to go to bed and stay there til they got better.

But, yes, it's different now than it used to be. I wonder sometimes how we're all supposed to work later and later in life--literally, how are we going to do that?

And, PS to Citizen Kane: I broke my wrist a couple of Decembers ago. After the PT, which I did faithfully, the ortho doc was amazed at the range of motion I managed to retain. So stick with it, boring as it sometimes get.

Just take it easy, Ronni. You're fortunate to have had an iron constitution when you were younger. Indeed you seem pretty tough today. Not everybody could have dental surgery, encounter the stresses of selling their home and planning a cross-country move and be back up and at 'em the next day. You're a dynamo. So go slow, Dynamo. get well soon.

Yes, as we age we need to take better care of ourselves. I've noticed I've needed to slow down my entire life and stop trying to keep up with the 30 and 40 year olds. It just isn't possible (or necessary). I've come to like the slower paced life and I'm much gentler on myself when I have to take a nap every day to "recharge". I actually enjoy it! So, Ronni, be gentle with yourself and be kind to yourself. Like so many others here have said, healing takes more time as we get older.

I do agree that better care is necessary..but always remember if your mind is younger,you will never get old and that's what I want to hear from you. And good luck.

My thought is that this tiredness level is extreme. You might talk with your regular doc about it. Just ask. Hugs......

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