All day in pajamas was a luxury I hadn’t indulged myself in a long time. Having awakened with the beginnings of a sore throat and a headache, I didn’t feel like going anywhere.
My husband himself had been infected with the same mood—his own excuse was a little cough. Realizing I had skipped my aqua-exercise that morning, he decided to keep his sleeping clothes on, too, and laze around all day with me.
Pajamas must have been created precisely for those days!
I hardly ever wear pajamas to sleep, only nightgowns. Pajamas are for boys; even my husband thinks so. Awaking in the middle of the night, he still gets a shock to find someone beside him in pants. To discourage me, he began calling them the big turnoff—until I started wearing socks! It may be global warming outside, but I’m easily chilled.
Pajamas are my first line of defense against the common cold, which seems always waiting to happen. Next to falling, cold is what I fear most. I always bring a shawl to the movies. The movies we go to are likely the ones that don’t attract enough goers to give off an appreciable amount of body heat in the chilly house. In those conditions, Vergel, who often braves it in a T-shirt and shorts, ends up sharing it with me—ha ha!
I even keep a shawl, and sometimes wrap myself in it, in the air-conditioned car, especially on cool night rides. My granddaughter Mona refers to it as my “byankee.” She’s fascinated with my survival travel kit—tissue paper, ballpoint pen, makeup stuff, nail clipper, nail file, hand lotion, alcohol, wet ones, Vicks rub and inhaler, bottled water and soda crackers. I carry a limited version around in my handbag—one never knows.
We have all become more vulnerable to the common cold, but the most dangerous thing is falling. It could alter the quality of the rest of our lives as it did one friend. She miscalculated the distance trying to sit herself on the bed and slid off to the floor. She has been in pain, which shows in the way she walks. The doctors are on top of things, but there seems only so much they can do.
Another friend has fallen 11 times, each time hitting her head and each time ending up in the hospital. What was interestingly scary was that the times she had managed to hold on to something to stop her fall, her grip failed her. Luckily she has managed to come away with no major problems. But her children have decided it is cheaper, not to say safer, to hire a well-trained caregiver.
Prevention and anticipation are really the best deterrents. We have put grab bars in our bathrooms, hoping our grips don’t fail us. We make each other know when either of us takes a bath—just in case something happens. Other than being very conscious about what I’m doing while in the shower particularly, I don’t know what else to do for self-protection from falls.
At a ladies’ lunch, a dear friend and fellow senior, Myrna, distributed a stampita with a Prayer to the Blessed Mother for Protection Against Falls and a bottle of calming oil. What a sweet, caring gesture! Of course, we also had a good senior laugh at ourselves. Oh, how grateful I am to be growing old with friends, whose company alone can make us feel better.
After a whole day in pajamas doing absolutely nothing, I was well enough to attend my next aqua exercises. Our teacher brought several packets of ginger tea for me. And our hostess, Annabel, gave me some tablets to take for travels. All fellow aquabelles showed their concern for me, and that sort of mutual concern definitely goes a long way.
It’s best to live life the way one ought to drive through Manila traffic—defensibly. After typhoon “Ondoy” I started preparing a survival bag for me and Vergel, with basic supplies to last at least three days without electricity. In case disaster struck while we were in the car, we have a smaller emergency pack there as well. Lately we’ve had to consume the salted nuts and crackers we stashed, and have had to replace expired canned goods. But I don’t mind; I won’t be caught wholly unprepared.