Slowing Down, But NOT Out!!

I have several friends whose parents are now well into their 80’s. Until very recently they have been alert, active, involved and very healthy. Some people can keep on running in high gear for much longer. But some start to feel the effects of time once they hit their mid 80’s.

When these very active, social people begin to experience pain and limitations on activities, sometimes it can have a domino effect. One of my friend’s Mom’s has been in this situation. Her Mom was used to attending local dances at the community center several times a week. She began experiencing severe hip pain, and although she was still intent on going to her dances, the pain became so bad that she was unable to sleep.

Because she wasn’t getting enough rest, her immune system was compromised and she came down with a terrible chest cold. At that point she could no longer go to the dances at all. She started to become depressed and it was alarming my friend. She didn’t know what to do. When she called me, we decided to get together and try to come up with ideas for her Mom.

This is what we decided. Once her cold was better, we took her to her Primary Care Physician, he sent her get some x-rays and that is when they discovered her hip pain was the result of severe osteo arthritis in her left hip joint. With x-rays in hand, he referred her to a good pain management physician, who gave her a series of shots, and her hip began to feel better. She was still a little worried about dancing. We told her, go to the dances, sit and listen to the music that gives you so much joy. See your friends and dance, but don’t dance every single number. Pick just your favorite ones, dance, then sit and rest for a bit.

She has been following this advice and she is happy again. Yes, it is frustrating for her not to be able to dance with abandon, but it is less frustrating than being stuck in the house, not seeing her friends and feeling sad. Sometimes it is better to have part of something than to have nothing at all.

So she dances, she laughs and she lives the fullest life that her body will allow!! And best of all she is happy again.

Aileen Brazeau

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