The Over-the-Hill Gang: Non-specific and sometimes irreverent seniors' stuff

joanne said:
Oh! Here's a sheet of water exercises we used for arthritis therapy and for frail aged community dwellers, back in Albury. I promise you, it's harder than it looks!!

Ooooo! I can do most of these exercises while sitting in the hot tub! smile

As you'll see in the linked handout, you can use a home spa/ hot tub arrangement or pool if you can get the right depth. oh oh there are handy diagrams that explain which parts of the body get the major workout, so it makes it easier if you need to adapt; and the sheet also explains why the temperatures.

Some physios and rehab clinics have training pools that are sometimes open to the public for these kinds of self-paced sessions (still covered by insurance), and sometimes you can find a gym with a small but deep training pool they use for this kind of purpose. Almost like they're secret.

Nearly cross posted! oh oh

count me in

busy dealing with health insurance being dropped despite on-time payments

will read thread soon

I feel older than my years!!!!!!!!

I intended this thread to be for anyone who doesn't feel their best, so jump on in. smile

My new bathing suits arrived today (two patterned tankini tops and one navy blue bottom that coordinates with both). I LOVE them, which shocks the hell out of me. I used to have a terrible time buying bathing suits in a store, so to be able to buy two tops and a bottom online and have them all fit perfectly is a revelation. Almost makes up for being fat.

So I think today is the day I try out the hot tub and/or pool.

For the first time in several weeks, my back is not hurting, so I got to go out in the sparkling, wet, sunny yard and re-pot a blueberry plant in a tub and put three more irises in a pot. The deck is looking nicely designed now, with two tubs of irises on either side of the steps leading up to the hot tub, two variegated dogwoods that should really be somewhere else, and tubs of Siberian irises that I hope will bloom next year after they get settled in.

And I'm extremely pleased I was able to do all of that. Most days my back keeps me fairly immobile lately, and the rain has kept me indoors. Boo.

But today is sunny and I have bathing suits, so WATCH OUT!

Lisa, hope you get the best of your insurance company.

Don't even get me started on shopping for any kind of clothes!!!

oh oh

Hi, I'm Joanne, 60is fast approaching my event horizon (but not this year), and although I've tried to be kind to my body, I've inherited a mix of conditions that could suddenly escalate and create a health crisis. Which feels more and more scary.

While not the reason for this post, ladies who've been sympathetic on my other health threads: yes, I'm still menstruating regularly! Am soooooo grateful I'm no longer flooding, but am still like a clock. Sigh.

That, and the migraines, play havoc with my blood sugar readings which is a real problem because I suffer from Dawn Phenomenon, where the readings are much much higher early in the morning almost regardless of what you do. The rest of my readings wouldn't qualify me as a diabetic, my dietitians don't regard me as diabetic, everyone except my family doctor gets the interplay of pain, calcium, hormones etc on my bgl so I get falsely-diabetic readings... We agree to regard me as untreated but supervised.

So good quality sleep is critical. Especially as I don't get many hours at a time. So why did D drink a turbo-charged energy drink 90 mins before coming to bed last night??? Not only did I have a raging migraine all night, and grainy red eyeballs, and no sleep, I fell getting out of bed (twice) and off the toilet (once) which means my balance is shot for the day. And also that I am officially a faller (3 falls in 6 months), and must now practise what I teach.

Three falls in one DAY, Joanne! That's not good. I think you need to lock up D's energy drinks after 8 p.m. LOL

I really want a spoonful of Nutella. But no, no, no!

We 'discussed' the so-called need for such a beverage at that hour, lisat. He claims it was essential for his safe return home; also admitted it was possibly not the wisest choice for a person with apnoea problems and a bed-partner who startles awake at the slightest provocation.

Professional hat on again for a moment: the proper definition of a fall is anything that suddenly takes you from the controlled vertical stance. So: a stumble, a slip, a trip, a wobble, overbalance or a fall are all as bad as landing completely flat on your face or your back, passed out, in terms of falls risk. We don't care about your injuries so much as what you do to recover your balance, how quickly you do it, and if it's successful. And then we work to build your resilience and your awareness so you're less likely to be in the situation where you're at risk, and if you are, you can safely lower/manage the risk.

So: I badly crashed into walls and stuff, and couldn't control where I was walking. And yes, literally fell off the toilet sideways onto the floor. Horrible few minutes. Will tell the neuro next week. Meantime, getting an early night tonight! oh oh

joanne suggested I post these here...

How to stop time: kiss.

How to travel in time: read.

How to escape time: music.

How to feel time: write.

How to release time: breathe.

Matt Haig, Reasons to Stay Alive


A work colleague has the following stuck to the wall near his desk:

Things to do today:

1. Get up.

2. Be awesome.

3. Go back to bed.

Oops. If those are the criteria for "falls," then I am in real trouble. No one in the US has ever explained a fall to me in those terms. LOL

Marksierra, I like the list(s).

There's nothing to fear: it's merely how we start training for falls injury prevention. So, over here, and especially once women are being screened for bone density and various cancers, we routinely ask about 'trips, slips, stumbles and falls in the last 6months?'. Then we count the frequency, listen to rationale, check for changes, and see what we can do to improve hazard recognition. By far the greatest factor is lack of awareness: we're so busy thinking of everything else, we don't pay enough attention to where we are and what we're doing or how we're doing it.

That's exactly when I slip, trip or fall. I'm distracted by something, whether in a positive way or a negative way, and I move without paying attention. It's when I'm on auto pilot that I get into difficulty.

Distraction was exactly why I fell down a couple of concrete steps into a cactus two weeks ago. *sigh*

But the fear of these incidents is really getting in my way. I find lately that I am becoming more and more of a shut-in. And even at home, I'm afraid to try things like swimming in my own pool because I don't know how floating will affect my vestibular system. I worry about toppling over if I try to dig a hole for a new shrub or uproot an old, dead one. I tend to wait for Jim to be around before I tackle anything new or challenging.

It's so damn... limiting.

Oh, I got sidetracked there from the reason why I was coming on this thread...

I watched "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel" again yesterday (the first one; haven't seen the second yet), and I was struck by the incredible value of the underlying message of trying things, attempting adventure. Clearly, it's a reminder I need. And, as the movie says: "Everything will be all right in the end. And if it's not all right, it is not yet the end."

Yeah, we do. But I get why it's a low priority. We just have to "use our words." smile

Snort! (I miss Ess) stop it! I have to go to bed!!


I slept! Woke with a sore throat and have decided to miss my big meeting this morning ( won't spread the chest bug to 40 others).

Re: awareness training. I'm watching a fun short series, think I've mentioned it before. Redesign my Brain, with Todd Sampson. You can find lots about it online, various clips on YouTube. In the first episode he's advised to take up juggling for an hour a day, in the second he works on his peripheral awareness for an hour a day, and in the third he works on controlling his fears by controlling his breathing and his heartbeat (biofeedback). And he has fun doing it all.

The juggling works for falls and hazard prevention because it's not just eye/hand coordination and fine balance around the core. It's actually more about increasing our spatial awareness and micro movements around visually prompting various neurotransmitters. Google the work of Dr Nick Price (juggling neurologist in Melbourne, Australia). Juggling across your centre line also reduces anxiety and fear and induces calm and relaxation, even if all you're doing is passing a ball quickly from left to right and back again, waist height juggling style. (A UK NLP person who juggles, on youtube, can't remember his name. He's a neurosurgeon I think).

Luminosity style tests and games that involve all your senses help to increase peripheral awareness. And so simple things like using your other hand to pick things up or brush your hair, open the door etc, trying a new food, listening to new music, going somewhere new...everyday doing something new or unfamiliar. Challenge yourself.

I like a lot of this. I was such an emotional mess this morning, nervous, nervous. Called back for after a routine mammo on monday, have my 6 month cancer screening next week, and may have accidentally lost health insurance despite on-time payments.

But I like the idea of brushing my hair with my non-dominant hand. I feel I can handle this.

oh oh

Simple things! Get dressed in a different order - that really messes with your mind! Putting your socks or jeans on the other leg first, or dressing from bottom to top if you're usually top to bottom... Then the next day or next week, do it the other way. Tap on your phone or tablet with your other hand, not your usual writing hand. Use your fork or spoon with the other hand.

If nothing else, it makes me laugh at how seriously I take teeny everyday tasks that don't matter. Lightens the stress.

Seeing the new dermatologist in just over an hour. Way too cold to stand in front of a new person, wearing my birthday suit. Especially when it's in need of some repair work!! Sigh.

I had knee surgery for a torn meniscus in Feb 2014 - if I knew then what I know now, I would first have tried PT to strengthen the knee. But I needed a "quick fix" since a grandchild was arriving in June and I needed to be in top shape to tend to her brothers. Still tended the boys in less than stellar shape. Stairs hurt - up and down. Walking any distance hurts - forget running after the little buggers. And the weight has piled on. This is not how I envisioned the "golden years".

LisaT, sending all possibly positive vibes for your check-ups. How can you lose insurance if you've made payments on time??? That sucks.

soorlady, isn't it awful how it's just not enough that you have other issues, but you also have to gain weight?? I found that in recent years I have packed on the pounds through being forced into a more sedentary life and then becoming afraid of a lot of movement, followed by depression when I lost Mom last October. I'm trying to dig out from under now, but it's really, really challenging.

"Golden years." Whose idea of a stellar euphemism was that???

But, going back to my favorite movie "Best Exotic Marigold Hotel," we still have lots of opportunities to get out there and take charge. I hope I have the guts to do just that. Because things are not all right yet, but I sure hope it's not the end. ;-)

I like the idea of using different hands to do everyday tasks. Simple juggling used to be part of my vestibular rehab therapy (just tossing back and forth across the center line) so I still do that from time to time. But I can expand that to include other exercises I remember and some of what you suggest, Joanne. Good thoughts.

I was just thinking today of trying to use my "other" hand more, esp. for chopping and other kitchen stuff. One of the fingers on the dominant hand locks if I grip with it, and without it there's not much strength in the grip. I'm picturing myself with a vast pile of chopped onions, as in Julie and Julia.

Interesting thought about juggling across the midline to relieve anxiety, thanks joanne! I remember being told in yoga that twisting or sideways motions would also do that, and I really really need some relief in that area right now.

joanne, "in your spare time," it would be lovely to have some of the fall-prevention and in-home-exercise links you've kindly provided to MOL collected or linked in this thread.

all best, everyone, esp. soorlady! I hope your knee improves with time. It's so hard to get motivated when walking hurts or is unreliable.

I love that scene in Julie and Julia, especially when Paul Child comes home to the onion vapors and nearly passes out. smile

That's a great idea, if Joanne has the time or energy to collect those links for this thread. No pressure, Joanne! ;-)

Soorlady, are there gentle exercises you could do, like one of those pedaling things you can use while seated in a chair, or swimming? I'm trying to think of things that will improve mobility and strength without putting weight on the joints for now.

PeggyC, husband purchased a stand for my bike - we had it in the living room for a while - but then the holidays came and it took too much space - didn't really help that much anyway. Doing the 9-5 gets in the way of other exercising - while I'd like to try water aerobics the closest Y with an indoor pool is Summit I'd get there between 5:45-6. Timing just doesn't work. Maybe next Dec. when I retire.

With your permission, soorlady, I'll ask the Feldenkrais leader tomorrow am if there's anything she can suggest that might help

I went to PT today, did my exercises, had my treatment from the therapist, then saw the doctor. Doc listened to my litany of complaints, and gave me cortisone shots in the sciatic nerve on my left side, and in my left knee. I'm actually beginning to feel better already, and hoping that tonight I will be able to sleep without being awakened by pain every hour.

thanks joanne - permission granted. lizziecat - glad the cortisone is helping you... hope you had a good night's sleep.

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