In the light of more news coming out about the Cholesterol and Statin conundrum, let me tell you a story.
Seven years ago, I found out that I have what the NHS considers to be high Cholesterol. 11.5 I was put on statins, and very quickly began to have such bad side effects that I had to leave them off.
Then, the GP sent me to the Lipid Clinic. I felt humiliated and angry to start with when a young student interviewed me to find out my background. She said that I was over the safe limit on the BMI table, (27) and that I had better do something about it. She was supposed to be asking me about my lifestyle, but never asked whether I had been “Doing Something About It!”
I had been doing something about it all of my life, and was feeling great that I was still only 27 on the BMI table! So you can imagine my anger. But that is another story.
However, the Lipid Consultant gave me some other drugs than statins, which I took. When I went back four weeks later, my Cholesterol had gone down. So she then gave me an added drug. To this day I cannot understand why she did that if the other one was working anyway. In my ignorance, I began to take them.
By now I was beginning to do a lot of research of my own. And discovered that this drug had NOT BEEN ENTIRELY PROVED TO BE SAFE!
The rest of the story, in brief, was that I wrote to the consultant, discussed it with my GP, (who was very open-minded) and left all the drugs off.
I had read two books which I highly recommend to you, and which the consultant said that she would be putting in an official complaint about the authors because they were damaging peoples health! She was bringing my case up at the conference she was attending on Heart research, and she was writing to my GP with a disclaimer notice.
My GP laughed when I went to her next, and put my head around the door before my body, and asked if it was safe to come in, seeing as she had had this letter from said Consultant. But she said that she had already written back to the consultant saying that her patient (me) had obviously done a lot of research and that she was entitled to make up her own mind.
Since then, my readings have gone down to 7.5 which is about right for someone my age. Without any drugs, but eating a balanced diet and NOT LOW FAT.
So, before you carry on believing all that is said about having to keep your Cholesterol Levels down, far too low for many of us, read these books. I don’t claim to be an expert, but I know enough to realise that I am a lot better off letting my body do as it thinks best.
The books that I read were The Great Cholesterol Con, by Dr Malcom Kendrick, whom I have now met and he gave me a signed copy in honour of the way that I stood up to these medical bullies. His book is informative, easy reading and funny in a tongue in cheek fashion.
I was diagnosed with the early signs of Age-related Macular Degeneration four years ago. At a regular eye test, the Optician told me that I had something called Drusen, which appeared as little white fatty spots on the picture of the back of my eye. He advised me that I should take supplements which he recommended and so I did that.
Being of a tenacious nature and having an enquiring mind, I began to do my own research about this condition and also found out what support was available.
The news was not good because AMD is apparently un-reversible and steadily gets worse. It is genetic and often caused by smoking. The advice was also to eat plenty of greens stuff, and the jury was out on supplements.
Two years down the line after having new prescription lenses and finding that they did not help my vision, I went to the University in Plymouth, where I had volunteered to be a guinea pig for students, and they found a layer of Wet behind the macula. I was sent straight away to the Eye Infirmary, where they said that it was not yet bad enough for treatment (injections in the eye) but that they would monitor it and start injections when it deteriorated to a crucial stage.
Meanwhile, I was experiencing a great deal of stress in my life, which I will not go into here.
On the positive side, the wet was not getting any worse. I was also watching what I eat, and kept mostly to a natural diet, not eating much of the refined and processed products that pretend to be food these days.
Then, in October last year, the source of the stress left my life. In December I went to the Eye Infirmary who told me that they would not need to see me for another three months as opposed to the usual four weeks, because there was still no change, and they would be discharging me on my next visit if there wasn’t any further change. (I found out from the University that it meant that the wet MD was not getting worse.)
On my last visit to the University two weeks ago, they did a scan, and found that the wet had disappeared! Apparently, the effects that stress can have on Wet AMD is not very well researched or recognised. But the tutor said that she would be telling researchers about my case.
To sum up then; my vision is a lot better. The wet has disappeared. The progression is not as much as was first feared. None of this is my imagination because it is there on the scans. I am now using the distance vision glasses again and managing a lot better.
I claim that the reasons are; because I eat a healthy diet; I do not take expensive synthetic supplements anymore; The enormous stress has disappeared from my life; And I practice Spiritual (not religious) development.
It is a talk by a Chris Knobbe.MD. And just about sums up what my own experience with MD is except for the stress factor.
He has been studying the effect on AMD from our appalling modern diet. He gives correlation studies on this.
I could tell you what he says, but the best way for you to find out is to watch the video. It is quite literally an eye-opener.
He does not claim that we can all repair our eyes, but what he looks at is how we can prevent it and reverse it in the early stages with a natural ancient way of eating.
The four main culprits that are very significant in our modern diets, starting from the early sixties are; White flour, Vegetable oils, trans fats, and sugar.
If you think about it, those are the ingredients in our modern day diet of mainly processed foods.
In the USA the food intake percentages are; Plant foods, 12%: Animal Foods 25% and Processed foods 63%.
He shows the correlation between the increase in these processed foods and MD, from very few cases in the 1920’s to the present day prevalence of it.
He gives a list of diseases that are increasing in the countries that have these monster foods, among these diseases are; diabetes, heart disease, stroke, cancer, Alzheimer’s, Obesity and autoimmune diseases. All are amounting to something called metabolic syndrome. Now, with his lengthy research and correlated findings he wants to see MD added to that list.
Because of my own experience, I believe him. I left off the supplements last September and increased my daily intake of green foods. I eat a good diet, and I am aware of my emotional and mental conditions too.
In case you are wondering about my diet, I will say that before seven years ago, I was consuming a lot of the four foods he mentions. White flour, sugar, vegetable oils and trans fats, loomed large in my way of eating. I was a victim of the slimming diet industry, and yes; diet foods contain these ingredients. I dieted on and off for over forty years until I discovered how to eat for my health.
Which reminds me; a lot of Baby Boomers are the ones who were told to eat low-fat foods. That advice happened in the late 1970’s when we were all foxed into becoming low fat eaters. The food industry jumped on the wagon, and it has become conventional to avoid fat.
For the last seven years, I have mostly kept to a natural diet. I eat very small amounts of sugar or even sweeteners. I base my intake on plenty of plant foods and vegetables, one piece of fruit a day, natural yoghurt, (not low fat) animal products, eggs and some amount of natural fats such as butter, olive oil and coconut oil, nuts and seeds. I eat very little in the way of bread but have quinoa and a small amount of rice or oats.
These foods have become my normal way of eating.
Please have a look at the video, before you make any comments or judgements. I do not claim to know it all, but Chris Knobbe.MD, and Dr Harcombe and a good many other researchers and authors certainly know enough for the authorities and many medical professionals to sit up and start to take notice.
If you want to read any further about a healthy and natural way of eating, and why, the following list of authors have written extensively about the subject. Just google them!
Dr Zoe Harcombe; Robert Lustig; Gary Taubes; Dr Verner Wheelock; and much more about the damage that sugar and our faulty way of eating in the 21st century.
Have you noticed this word is becoming more common every day?
“Don’t you patronise me!”
“I feel patronised.”
Are just two of the most common.
But what is the real meaning of the word and where are we taking it out of context?
Over the last few decades, even the dictionary has changed its mind.
In the Oxford Dictionary from 1980 the definition is;
pa’tronize. v.t. 1. Act as a patron towards, support, encourage. 2. Treat (person, thing,) as if with consciousness of one’s superiority.
But in 1996 from the Oxford dictionary it became;
patronize v.tr. (also –ise) 1. Treat condescendingly. 2. Act as a patron towards. 3. Frequent (a shop etc.) as a customer.
For me, the first definition makes sense for the real meaning of the word.
Let me illustrate with a story.
Someone I know who runs a business mostly online had a customer who complained about a product that he sells continuously and is an expert in that product.
When he went to great lengths to explain the nature of the product and why something had developed, which to the customer appeared as a fault, she accused him of patronising her.
But he was simply carrying out his side of her patronising his business. He was superior in his knowledge of the product.
But, we have now developed the habit of using the second definition. Many times when people mean well, such as giving up their seat on the bus, or helping someone in some way, many of us decline that help because we see it as being treated condescendingly.
If being patronised then; is someone giving up their seat for me, or helping me on with my coat, or asking if I am ok, I don’t mind being patronised.
Perhaps we all need to ask ourselves in what context we are using the word. The next time we feel “patronised,” are we feeling condescended to? If someone gives up their seat for you, are they coming from a position of superiority? Or kindness?
The world is becoming a place where many people seem to be on the defensive. You may say this is because Planet Earth is becoming a very dangerous place to be. Maybe true or it may not be more dangerous than it ever was. But we do seem to be feeling that we are living on the edge of a precipice.
But how about being the change you want to see and start with making a change in your corner of the world? There are all sorts of things we can change and to be aware of some of them is a start.
Perhaps the original use of this word in our vocabulary will be the first step. Because once we are aware of peoples true motives and don’t immediately go down the road of being or feeling “Patronised” we can help to spread a little kindness. In turn that will lead to us all to not being afraid of showing kindness, for fear of being accused of patronising the other person.
Are you reaching the age of 50 and feeling uncertain and scared about what the future holds?
Or you maybe among women who are in denial, and saying that they refuse to think about themselves as ageing.
You may be holding back the grey, having surgery, dressing young, using expensive anti-wrinkle cream and so on.
But guess what? There is nothing wrong with you whatever you do!
I belong to a worldwide group called “The Silver Tent.” The purpose and vision of its founder Francesca Cassini are to have over a million women in this group.
At the moment “The Silver Tent” is being launched, and today 23rd April 2017, is day two of the Launch Summit.
I have just listened to the fourth speaker, Lynn McTaggart, author of “The Field” and “The Intention Experiment”, being interviewed by Francesca. Lynns experiments and writing are about how Intentions work. Or how our thoughts are strong enough to bring about intentions. Whether with negative or positive thinking.
We also heard about the power of collective intentions.
Francesca and Lynn and one of the speakers yesterday spoke about how “The Siver Tent” can be a power for change throughout the worldby joining up into one big group throughout, on the internet, or it could be called the innernet, and in local physical groups wherever you are.
This group and many others, for young and older women are showing how the Dalai Lamas words spoken nearly twenty years ago now, are coming into fruition.
“The world will be saved by the Western Women”
We are built up by women who want to see a change in the world. The over fifties in general have done their bit with children and no longer have to be bogged under with running the household. Many of them are looking for a challenge or a change.
Many of them are starting in business, or becoming writers, or even enjoying taking care of Grandchildren. Some of them have gained diplomas or degrees. In this group, you will learn that it is not too late whatever your intentions are.
You will also learn the way to remain vital, healthy and vivacious in mind, body and spirit.
You will learn the joy of knowing that because you are mature you are also wiser.
And you will learn that it is no cause for worry or upset when your body starts to show signs of ageing. If you are beginning to be limited in energy, movement or physical vitality, there is no cause for alarm.
You do not have to compare yourself to other older women that you see on the internet who are still able to sit in a difficult yoga position or can dance the night away, or can still do a hundred and one push-ups.
Fine if you can, and fine if you can’t. Most of them have been doing it all their lives.
Just as a little footnote I didn’t begin doing Kundalini Yoga until the beginning of this year. I also know someone the same age as me who started last year and it supported her in coming off anit-depressents. Now she has a new lease of life.
I love this community of women, all coming together under “The Silver Tent.” and I am blogging this because I feel so compassionate about the vision and purpose of it.
We are there for each other. Some discussions are funny and others are more serious. It’s fun to ask what others do in any given situation, and expect honest and open answers.
The blossoms are the essential part of the progession to the fruit; and the fruit is just as vital.
Have you noticed when you are filling in a form, they put the age brackets into such an order that when you reach 65, it just becomes 65+?
Society spends a lot of time, worrying, fretting and resisting the very idea of ageing.
But as we evolve as humans in the 21st Century, isn’t it time for us to embrace the idea? Especially as many of us are living for another thirty to forty years after retirement.
We still matter! Because as long as we have breath, we are still vital.
Illness and disease can occur at any age, so why do we think that old age has the monopoly on it?
Yes; our bodies do wear out and become weaker and frailer, and the chances of succumbing to degenerative disorders are stronger.
But being Vital in our older years is still as much a part of life as when we are younger. There are many younger people who don’t realise how vital they are to society, so why do we insist on giving old age the honour?
The word vitality is being used too loosely these days. It is used to promote products, and ironically anti-ageing foods and creams. Consequently, we think of vitality as something that is easily lost and associates that loss with ageing.
Some of the synonyms for the word vitality are; Liveliness, energy, animation, spirit, passion, sparkle and vibrancy; the power giving continuance of life, present in all living things; Vital force or energy.
If you study those words and bear in mind that we are all made up of Mind, body and spirit, you may realise that you can retain them.
Liveliness can remain in the mind and spirit, along with vibrancy and passion.
Every one of us, from birth to death, have something to contribute to the world. No matter where you are, where you live, the state of your mind or health, the state of your finances, whatever your intellect or culture you have a VITAL role to play. At any age.
You may not ever become rich, a writer, an artist, a teacher, a celebrity or earn lots of money. You may even be thinking at this moment that you are not successful because you haven’t reached a goal that you had in mind. You may have just been diagnosed with an illness or condition that you perceive as a road to failure.
You may even be thinking that you are already a failure, let alone when you get older.
You may have just retired or are coming up to retirement, and you see the future as bleak and that you will no longer be a vital part of society.
On the other hand, you may be looking forward to a bit of peace.
Do you have the thought at the back of your mind that it is downhill all the way after the age of 65? Do you think that you must do the things on your bucket list before it’s too late?
Too late for what? Perhaps too late to be able to travel freely, too late for certain activities, yes. But have you thought about what else it may be too late for? Are you seeing the time to come, the “too late” as a time when you are sitting like the proverbial cabbage?
The truth is that; As long as you have breath, you are still vital!
But how can I remain vital when I am too weak or helpless to do anything?
All of us have energy running through us as long as we are alive.
Most of the time we are unaware of it and only when we are active in some way, we become aware. But it is there; how else would your heart keep beating, your eyes seeing and all the other organs in your body stay working?
Collective energy is what you feel in a crowd at a football stadium or when the whole world stood still when we were witnessing 9/11.
We are part of the Universal energy, and what is more, it is Vital to every one of us, it is what keeps us alive. You are part of that collective energy.
Even people in a coma, or under anaesthetic have an energy running throughout their body. And they are still vital to the planet and in turn to society.
And even the person in a state of weakness, infirmity and very old age, have that energy and vitality.
People become “old” at any age. The physical process starts at age 27. But in many peoples minds, they begin to feel old as soon as they see the first grey hair.
We put people into categories or brackets. We have expectations of what we can do at any given age. We use the expression “I’m too old for that.”
The perception is different in all of us. Some may still be playing football or running at age ninety; others may need to stop being physically active at a much earlier age due to injury.
When we run upstairs and forget what we came up there for, we fear that it’s the ageing process setting in. Forgetting that most of us at any age do that. What about the schoolchild forgetting his sports kit, or losing his jacket? Do we ask if he or she is getting old?
We think of the darkest fear that we have with the process of old age as a line of events.
We retire; we travel or join things; take up mew hobbies.
Next; we expect we will start to suffer from disease which disables us from doing all the things that we like to do.
We then expect that it’s downhill all the way to becoming useless, a burden on society, and want just to die.
But guess what? That vital energy is still there.
Remember that the Universe does not centre around you, but that You are simply a vital part of it.
So as you become weaker and frailer, you can have either a positive effect on others or a negative.
Prepare for your older years with the thought in mind that you are vital to those around you at this time, and you are on the road to FEELING vital until the day you die.
Another synonym for vitality is spark or sparkle. Are you going to be the spark that lights people’s fire, even when you simply smile at people around you?
Don’t tell me that you can’t do that when you are old and frail. I know many who do.
Having the spark that lights people’s fire starts at any age. Think of the effect that even the youngest baby has when they smile for the first time.
Are your family and friends going to be drawn to see you? You can do this by staying energised while you can by listening, learning, reading, writing and creating new things.
If your niche is gardening or craft do it, while you can.
Stay informed, be active, eat well.
Research drugs before you take them. You do not have to just go along with what the doctor says and jump on the roundabout of taking one drug after another that dulls your brain and mind.
Make younger friends, don’t just join the local senior citizens club and talk about the weather or your latest illness.
You have a lot to offer younger people coming along. Only three days ago, I was lunching in the centre of London with a young student from Singapore. How did I get there? I was at a Seminar on making choices with people of all ages.
The turning point for me was when at the age of sixty, a friend of the same age commented that she hated this business of getting old.
I thought “I’m outta here!” No way was I going to join that bandwagon.
Yes, I am ageing, yes time is running away with me, but I changed my thinking to one of “My older years are going to be a time of learning, wisdom and supporting others to do the same.”
The feeling of loss comes from losing something precious.
A loved one, a loved possession or perhaps moving from a beloved place.
It can be a loss of a limb, of our hearing and our independence perhaps.
In the case of Aged-related Macular Degeneration, it is a gradual loss, but there comes the point where you have to accept that it is never going to get better.
(Some people like to claim that it can get better because there are treatments available outside of the NHS in the United Kingdom, but I have looked into that, and it depends on what type of AMD you have.)
I want to share with you my journey with this problem because I can see that there is such a lack of information about what people are actually experience. I did not know about the darkness, distortion, light sensitivity and other problems. I just thought that it was a matter of losing central vision.
Now I want others to know what to expect or what their relatives or friends are experiencing. I do understand that there are no two cases alike. Each person’s experience will be as different as each of the millions of others who have it.
Yesterday after suffering from dry AMD for two years, and then a further nine months with WET MD, I finally reached the point where I had to face up to the fact that it is never going to be better than it is now.
I am currently waiting for the point where my eyesight has degenerated to the NICE guidelines, so that I can start having injections to slightly improve the sight or at least arrest the deterioration. (Injections cost the NHS £1000 each.)
In the last two weeks, I have been experiencing distortion, and I thought that my eyes had reached the necessary point. So I was surprised when the consultant said that there was no difference on the scan from four weeks ago.
When I asked why I have the distortion suddenly, he replied that he was surprised that I had not had it before.
He also explained that I only have it in my GOOD EYE!
It is weird how I have struggled seeing out of my bad eye, all of my life, but now the good eye is so bad that the bad one sees clearer!
He also explained that the injections might slightly improve the sight again, and they will most likely maintain the sight that I have. But it is worth repeating that the sight has to get worse before it gets better.
This is where the conundrum comes in. I suddenly realised that the sight I have now would never be any better because they will not give me the jabs until it gets worse. Therefore it is never going to be any better than it is now.
Does that make sense? My emotions went into a dip yesterday when I realised that deep down I was hoping that the injections were going to make things better.
I hope that this blog makes sense to you and you can understand what I am trying to say.
I am firing this off early in the morning before a busy, but enjoyable day out in Falmouth in Cornwall with some friends. I am so grateful for that.
A very kind liaison lady came to see me at the Eye Infirmary yesterday, and she gave me some anti-glare goggles to place over my glasses, for the light sensitivity. She was there for me and listened and reassured me that I would never completely lose my sight unless anything else goes wrong other than the MD.
So I have a lot to be grateful for. But I wanted to share this to my groups on Facebook, and others who may find it when looking up AMD on the internet. Just to help people understand this condition that bit better.
I am also grateful for the lovely people in my local MD group in Plymouth, for their company and understanding. When we eat out once a month, we can sit and laugh and feel somewhat normal, even with the enlarged print menus that the restaurants provide!
These illustrations show the progress of how a person with AMD can experience the decline in vision.
AMD (Age-related Macular Degeneration) is quite a common condition .
The macula is located at the back of the eye and is the most sensitive part of the retina. When it is damaged the centre of your field of view may appear blurry, distorted or dark.
I MUST EMPHASISE THAT IT IS THE CENTRAL VISION THAT IS AFFECTED AND PROVIDED THAT YOU HAVE NO OTHER EYE CONDITIONS YOU SHOULD NOT GO COMPLETELY BLIND.
Ageing itself can cause damage, and there are two types of AMD commonly known as Wet or Dry.
The dry type is slow advancing, and many people will have it for some time before they notice there is something amiss.
The first signs are that you may find yourself forever cleaning your glasses. Or you may simply put it down to needing new glasses or that you are putting poor sight down to part of the ageing process and ignore it. It is mostly picked up when you have an eye test. Generally speaking, it begins at the age of around 50, but since nothing happens at any certain age, that is not a given fact.
Dry MD can slowly develop and once diagnosed, it can be monitored and you can change your diet and lifestyle to help slow the process down.
However, 1 out of 10 cases develops into Wet MD and can have more serious implications. Although with wet MD there are injections to slow the process down, there is still no guarantee that it will work.
Let me tell you my story.
Nearly three years ago during a regular annual eye test, the Optician showed me the photos of the back of my eyes, and I could see white spots. (Drusen) He explained that these are signs of Macular Degeneration.
I felt quite alarmed because my Mother has it and I have seen her struggling over many years. But this optician told me about a nutritional supplement that would help to slow up the development. We shall discuss that supplement in the group that I hope to start on Facebook.
I already knew of a Guild in Plymouth which helped people with vision and hearing difficulties, so I went along and found a lot of information about the condition and also what aids there were available.
They also told me about Plymouth University having a department where you could go and have regular examinations and also be a guinea pig for students learning Ophthalmology. Not only that but if there was a serious development, they could contact the Eye Infirmary direct and I would not have to go through my GP.
I rather liked that idea, so I went. And for the past two years I have enjoyed talking to the tutors and students and finding a lot of information. They also have a scanner there, and it was fun to see the back of my eye laid out for interpretation.
They have been impressed with my tenacity and resilience to the situation, and how I stay so positive. But I must admit to being quite alarmed at times when I notice more severe symptoms such as distortion, even to the extent of seeing people’s head’s shaped like ET.
I have a couple of other issues with my eyes, such as double vision which manifests when I am tired and with the added complication of the 6th nerve damage. So, eleven years ago it stopped me from driving. Although I had the problem all my life, as I got older I could not control it so well. But that is another story.
The 6th Nerve damage was caused by the forceps at birth. Resulting in what is commonly called a lazy eye. So I am mostly reliant on my left eye, I often describe it as “I can see all right, but it feels like the brain will not tell me what it is I am seeing.”
Because of the problems with my right eye, the Eye Infirmary are keeping up regular monthly checks. If I lose the vision in that eye, I will be in trouble.
Last July I went along to the University because although the regular eye test at the opticians resulted in new glasses, I was still struggling to see. They did a scan and found that it had developed into Wet MD.
Wet MD is where abnormal blood vessels grow underneath the retina, and these vessels can leak fluid and blood, which can lead to swelling and damage of the macula.
The University fast-tracked an appointment for me at the Eye Infirmary (What a horrible name)
After numerous tests, the EI are monitoring me regularly because when it reaches a critical point, they can start with injections into the eye, which will slow up the progress.
The latest development is that peoples faces are distorted and have taken on a perculiar appearance. I have adjusted my own image here so that you can see what I am seeing.
You can read in a previous blog how this affects my everyday living.
Some people have claimed that there is a cure, but I have yet to come across any proven cures. The EI and the University certainly have not found any.
But I was asked the other day about whether MD can be prevented.
It is best to start as early as possible to make lifestyle changes.
Although none of us can guarantee to prevent any disease in our lives, there are things that you can do to strengthen your chances of not getting it. Or giving your body a better chance to deal with any disease at all.
It is no surprise to me that the answer is the same as with many other diseases of the Western world, such as obesity, cancer, Type 2 diabetes, and other modern diseases.
Eat a healthy diet rich in green leafy vegetables and fish.
I do all of these things and also take a special supplement called Macushield.
I am considering starting the Facebook group for this condition, both in helping people to try and prevent it and how to deal with it.
Would you please comment either on this blog or in the comments on Social Media if you would like to join us.
There are plenty of MD Facebook groups in the US, but because our health care systems are different in the UK, I think that it will be of benefit to many.
Also, of course, the nature of the condition prevents people from reading on Facebook, and I suspect that many don’t get the opportunity or are not aware of the advantages of it.
But it may be that you have a relative or friend that you could help by belonging to the group.
Would you please share this, because I would like as many people as possible to benefit from a good Facebook group on AMD.
The picture below is the scene without any eye problems!
Necessary for the success or continued existence of something; extremely important.
The Cambridge definition of the word “redundant” is;
Unnecessary because it is more than is needed.
Which category do you think you fit into?
I am determined that I fit into the vital one. I have decided that right up until the day when I die, I will not become redundant.
Because I know that what you think is what you get, I know that this will happen. I want to be vital to my family, friends and all those that I come into contact with.
You may be thinking that this is a huge claim to make. None of us knows what is going to happen to us from day to day. We may think we have a fair idea, and we make plans, but often those plans don’t come to fruition.
But being vital is all about what we make of those times when things go wrong. It is what we see in them and what we make of them.
Yesterday we took my 94-year-old Mother to an outpatient’s appointment at the hospital. She is very frail, so we needed to hire the use of a special taxi to take her in a wheelchair. When we were coming back, the taxi driver fell off the ramp leading into the taxi, and the wheelchair and Mum fell sideways off the ramp and landed on top of the taxi driver.
At first, we thought that everyone had been injured, and that could well have been the case. But as we were in the hospital car park, there were medics on the scene very quickly.
No one sustained any injuries; I was glad to be able to leave it to the experts and just observe what was happening.
The outcome was good, and even though my mother can be difficult at times, it is her plucky spirit that keeps her going. I saw a different side of her, the grim determination to be vital, kept her from being kept in hospital overnight.
When she saw my brother later in the evening, she joked that she was all shook up like Elvis.
Yes, the thing could have turned out to be more serious, and we might all have been thinking differently this morning. I am not going to go into the idea that someone was taking care of her because often that can seem too high-minded to many people. But the thing is that it all turned out to be well.
The taxi company gave us a free ride home, the wait in Casualty was only an hour, my Mum saw the funny side of it and is feeling grateful that things were ok. The taxi driver was unhurt and so was Mum.
There were so many good things that came out of the incident. There was the sense of caring and expertise from the staff on the scene, and I was able to relax and surrender my Mums care to them.
The fact that I can see the funny side of it, the fact that I can see the good that came out of it and the fact that all was well; is being vital.
If I were feeling redundant at my age now, I would probably have just seen how awful it all was. I could have felt redundant when I had to leave the matter to the experts. I could be thinking that the taxi driver was an idiot. I could be cursing the fact that the dogs had peed on the carpet when we eventually got home!
But my strongest feeling this morning is one of gratefulness and knowing that we are all vital, as long as we are alive.
No person needs to feel redundant. Even those elderly people suffering from dementia, are vital. Those who are very ill and dying, at any age are vital.
Even that person who “Gets on your Wick” has a place in the world.
So are you vital or redundant?
I know that I am vital, and that’s why I am Ageing with Vitality.
Just an after-thought here. My definition of being vital does not mean that we have to have the body or energy of a forty-year-old! That may be possible for some, but please don’t run away with the idea that if you are feeling less energetic than you were in your forties, that does not prevent you from being vital!
Many may say that at the age of 72, all you need to worry about is looking after yourself. Your health, your wealth and your welfare.
Yes, folks that is so true.
Taking care of ageing bodies is vital for your health, by *eating sensibly, keeping active and taking good care of the financial situation. Care of your appearance is also important, and hygiene with your personal care and surroundings is essential for general well-being.
Keeping active in the sense of exercise, such as walking, swimming or weight supporting activities, is also something to keep those bones and the cardiovascular system healthy.
And what about your Spiritual and mental wellbeing?
Meditation* is fast becoming one of the ways that people are getting in touch with something more than the outer body and world.
Spirituality, awareness and consciousness is a great purpose as we age.
Yesterday I went to a casual meeting of Damsels, (A national movement called Damsels in Success for women) in which we made up our vision boards for what we want.
Contrary to many older people’s beliefs, there is nothing wrong with wanting things, as long as we are not taking them away from others.
But we were all reminded that our wants are not just about things.
We thought about our purpose too.
We need to think about what we want in the way of why we are here, our legacies to the world in the way of wisdom, service to the planet as a whole and spreading love and peace. How we want to be in our interactions with people, and how we want the world to remember us.
Younger people tend to think about purpose as being what their careers may be or how they can serve the world and make a living doing what they love. That is the natural course of life.
But as we age, it is a good idea to look at our purpose in the last what could be thirty or forty years of our lives.
We had a lot of fun yesterday, and there were some children there too. Adult children and young children alike were absorbed in finding pictures in magazines. Cutting and gluing and arranging the pictures.
Now my vision board is sitting on the wall in my office, and it is going to be interesting to see how it develops.
I did a vision board about two years ago, and three quarters of it came to fruition. So this idea works. It is mainly to help to focus on what you really want in life.
I have published my vision board above for you to see. Some of it is not very clear, but I hope that you will get the gist.
There are holidays that I want to go on and clothes that I want.
On the right-hand side, you can see a picture of an audience. That is a vision I have for speaking to larger audiences. So far they have been quite small.
There is a picture of a choir, well actually I already belong to one.
The picture of Helen Merrin contains the words “Gold not Old”. I am aware that I cannot change my older looks, and the wrinkles, but I want people to see past the wrinkles and see the gold of kindness and support to others.
On the left is a beautiful garden in which I can visualise myself sitting. We only have a small garden where I am living, and gardening is not my forte. But year after year and with some patience, I am gradually building up something like the illustration. But you never know, one day something or someone may turn up to help me make a better job.
There are several little sentences that I found such as “Home is where the heart is” “See the beauty in everything” “Why be dull?”
There is also a sentence at the bottom that clinches it all. “Signed Sealed and Delivered”
That means that I believe that it will happen. The Universe always has our best welfare in mind. I never cease to be amazed at the synchronicities that happen every day for me.
I am not saying that life is golden, and things are not tough for me at times, but when they are I am aware of the fact that the Universe does indeed have my welfare in mind because it has everyone’s welfare in mind. We are all part of that whether we are aware of it or not.
What is your vision and purpose for the rest of your life?
*There are blogs on these subjects on my Website, patriciacherrylifecoach.com
A similar word to that of Mystery is Mastery, isn’t it?
While contemplating my own ageing process this morning, it has dawned on me that there is a lot around us these days about anti-ageing, conscious ageing, and even with myself “Ageing with Vitality.”
I have been through a transition in my life over the last couple of months, and the main theme of that transition has been “Surrender”. (Which I have written about in the previous few articles.) http://www.patriciacherrylifecoach.com/blog/
During that transitioning process, it has been a revelation to me that I simply cannot be in control of my own ageing. I cannot be the Master of my destiny.
However much I work at how to age consciously and with awareness, this still does not mean that I can control the outcome.
Ageing does bring about physical impairment, cognitive impairment and some amount of dependence.
I am watching the process of my Mothers very old years. In this process I am constantly reminded of my own ageing.
We are almost bombarded by stories of marvellous old people who are doing wonderful things at certain ages. Skydiving, marathon running, etc. Somehow ageing in a normal way is seen as a failure.
This is the mystery of ageing. We like to think that if we do this or if we do that, we won’t get old so quickly. We are putting off the evil day, as it were.
But think of the word mystery. We love to read a good mystery. We watch detective stories and love to try and solve who did it. As children, many of us used to read Enid Blyton Mysteries. Part of the excitement was the exploration.
Now, personally, I am exploring the world of ageing. I am facing my own mystery of ageing. Some of it is in shadow, and there are certainly shadow aspects in ageing.
But I want to live in the light of ageing, which will in turn light up the shadow side.
So while I cannot be the master of my ageing process, I can be seeing it as a great adventure. I can be excited at the discovery of the mystery of ageing.
I had a vision this morning of an adult person putting up a large silk tent. The colour was lemon and lilac. Underneath that tent, which was billowing, there was a small child waiting to put his little red tent up. Waiting for the adult to show him what to do.
At the time of this vision, I was meditating and thinking of how my Mother was at the age I am now. I am learning from her how to age and how not to age. I am hoping that the lessons that I am learning will stand me in good stead for when I am 94 years old.
I am learning from my Mother, how to put up my little red tent!
But the main thing is that I have already learnt today, at 7 am, that there is a narrow line between Mystery and Mastery.
I cannot control, or master my ageing process, but I can enter the mystery with wonder, and a sense of learning, discovery and spirituality.
Have you considered your ageing?
Are you in denial that it will happen?
Are you hoping to Master the outcome?
Or, are you going to see it as a big, scary adventure and solve the mystery of how to age with vitality and be in the light.
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