Thoughts by the Lake
by Tammera J. Karr, PhD, BCIH, BCHN, Certified Gluten Practitioner
I am very fortunate to live within walking distance of a small lake, especially when it is overly warm – ok down right hot. Almost daily I take girl dog Sadie down to dibble her toes in the water. As an Aussie the idea of a swim means she got wet up to her belly. Her youthful joy at simply running and splashing gives me pause.
Today as I sat and watched her pounce on critters in the grass and run on the water’s edge, I thought about how things have changed within my life. At one time, I too would have been in the water splashing and playing no matter how cold the water was. As kids, we made rafts out of old truck tubes and tarps, fashioned paddles out of boards, climbed trees to swing off ropes, road bikes on gravel roads with log trucks to swimming holes, jumped and screamed off the rocks into the water…always on the move. I wondered how anyone could be content to just set and stair off at the view.
In my twenties and thirties, I was still on the move camping with our horses and packing into wilderness areas. But no longer was I as eager to jump in the water, swing from a rope or dodge log trucks on a bike. Things have continued to change, after all it is one of the things we can be sure of “change will always happen”.
Now I ponder all the things from my younger days taken for granted, health, happiness, independence, fearlessness, the magic of new and adventures, the future. I find for a time I too can set and watch the wind on the water and listen to the birds, before the urge to move takes me over. I am changing just like those in my life who are older than me.
My thoughts travel the direction, what will I look back on in another twenty years – will I too be facing not only the change in my health, the ache in my back or hips, or God forbid the loss of memory due to dementia? Regardless of these things, I like many of you will face the frustration of loss of independence, respect, value and abilities. I will also have to work through the anger of my body failing me, before I’m ready. I ask myself – What am I willing to do today in order to stay as active both mentally and physically as possible? Am I willing to let someone else dictate my healthcare? Will I follow the path of least resistance? Or will I fight the urge to give in and get up and move? Will I still be able to embrace change or take on the challenge of working for change?
We are facing the fast approaching Obama care event…some view it as the second coming others as the end. To be honest we will not know which for many years to come. But in the meantime it makes sense to prepare. Get copies of all your medical records, read them, ask questions of your doctor or care provider, ask what medications you can wean off of to save on your insurance or that may be dropped by your insurance, shop around – are you getting the best deal on your medications? I have one client who change pharmacies, had their provider alter their prescription, and went from a $700.00 prescription to $30.00 for the same medication.
Take advantage of workshops and presentations on healthcare options; please be as diligent about selecting your healthcare plan and providers as you are about the TV or car you buy. Know you will lose care, options and costs will go up. Gone are the days of being subservient to your doctors. While they hold the key to your prescriptions, they are also working for you and with you. If you cannot have an open candid conversation with your doctor, then have a relative become your medical advocate you can trust. Write down your wishes about end of life care; give a copy to your doctor as well as your medical representative. Be open and frank with your family, so there are no surprises.
While getting older is frustrating and scary, it is very much a fact of life. We plan for our lives when younger, we also need to plan for our lives as we age. Taking control and making your wishes known ads to the quality of life, reducing stress and hard feelings. Understand that no matter how active you are, you are still affecting those who share your life. I routinely ask clients “How do you want to be remembered and what do you want your memories to be?” Will it be, “good riddance they were mean and nasty” or will it be – you are talked about as a dear friend, respected and missed. Each day we make choices, we can choose Joy knowing that happiness may not be the flavor of the day. Or we can choose to make others miserable, in hopes it keeps their minds agile as they plot our demise.
Will our wishes be respected because we communicated them, or will our family be torn asunder due to our lack of planning. Remember we know not the hour or the day.
To Your Good Health and Longevity with Care and Planning.