Some of my patients crack me up.
Elderly does not mean demented or grumpy, drooly or frumpy.
I actually believe that some of my older patients are some of the most entertaining people I encounter. One little lady flounces in and looks like a million bucks. Seriously, I wish I had her style. Nothing she wears says grandma-wear, let alone great-grandma-wear.
Yesterday, I had a nice conversation with a octogenarian while we were waiting for a room to open up. I asked her about her summer plans. She smiled and said she was going to be in the area most of the summer. She babysits her great grandchildren every once in awhile. I asked about that, told her that I thought that could be kind of challenging. She laughed and she told me that her great grandkids don't come over that often, that she's kind of a last resort. I asked why. She said she'd spent years as a principal in a school and that was back in the day when a stern look or the threat of calling a parent whipped a kid right back into shape. "I'm kind of no nonsense." Then she laughed in the most delightful way and her eyes lit up.
"People asked me why I was a principal so long. and I told them I just loved it." Her eyes twinkled. "Every day was different and I never knew what to expect." She laughed. "Those kids. So inventive and creative."
And that is what I want to be like when I'm 85. Loving people, thinking that folks are a real kick, worth a little corrective action when necessary, and creative. With a twinkle in my eye and a quick sense of humor.
Change. I've learned to embrace it, ride it out til the end. Sometimes I'm kicking and screaming, other times weeping with my eyes clinched tight. Once in awhile I ride like a dog in a car, head out the window snorting what life has to offer. Mother to young adult children, a marriage of thirty years, and a desert to mountain to valley waltz with God have shaped me into someone I never imagined I'd be. Life is short and I want to live it. Tears, sighs, laughter and change. Every morsel granted to me. Scrambled, shaken or stirred.