I was aghast when I first noticed that my body was turning into the Sahara desert. I was drying up from the top of my head to the tip of my toes.
My eye doctor prescribed Genteal Ophthalmic Solution for my eyes to lubricate them as needed. After washing my face in the morning, I would dab on and assiduously spread Roc Deep Wrinkle Daily Moisturizer. Then I would rub in Gold Bond Neck and Chest Firming Cream, which I had ordered from Amazon.
At night, I toss and turn restlessly. A friend advised me to put a bar of lavender soap at my feet for a restful sleep. I have a bottle of lavender oil that I rub on my neck and below the ears, because lavender is known to have a calming effect. However, I get up to go to the bathroom for a pee two or three times during the night, disturbing my zzzs.
Sometimes, I forget why I went to a certain room—for sure it was to get something, but what, for heaven’s sake?
I have now also forgotten many friends’ names although I remember their faces. So I simply say, “Hi, how are you?” Fortunately, in this time of the coronavirus, I don’t have to make beso-beso. I practice waving my hand à la Queen Elizabeth.
Exercises and music
With aging comes a slower metabolism, adding avoirdupois that targets the waist and belly. To combat it I try to eat low-carbohydrate foods and more of veggies and fish, steamed or broiled rather than fried.
In the morning when I get up, I do bending exercises and do the twist to music. Thankfully, I have aqua aerobics three times a week in a 4-foot-deep pool in my friend Annabel S. Wisniewski’s house with other senior ladies. Annabel is in the restaurant business, and unfailingly serves us fattening breakfasts of champorado with tuyô, scrambled eggs with longganisa or pork tocino, accompanied by sinangag, or arroz caldo with various condiments.
Because my knees had deteriorated, I had to get a cane or walking stick. Well, that has its benefits—people would give me a wide berth and help me up and down stairs. Fortunately, my friend Rita Ledesma (may she rest in peace) shared with me her recipe for pain-free knees, which she claimed works wonders, and is perfect for any pain in the joints. She took it every day and lived a pain-free life. Its active ingredient is Knox unflavored gelatin mixed with water and juice powder, and taken on an empty stomach. I must say that it works.
Well, I guess that it also helps that I do aqua aerobics three times a week from 8 to 9 a.m. under the sun, getting vitamin D in the process. And I take one Conzace soft gel capsule after breakfast. The zinc in it has certainly raised my immunity so that I have been asthma-free for a year now.
Unfortunately, I have become a spectator instead of a participant in the game of life, sitting back, watching my family members and younger friends act out their passions, advising, when solicited, which is best, rather than butting in with my unsolicited and unwelcome opinion.
I wonder when my time will come but hope that the end will be painless. I fervently wish that I will not have to be connected to IVs in a hospital for weeks. My prayer is that I go gently in my sleep at home, and not “Rage, rage, against the dying of the light,” as the poet Dylan Thomas raved.
Looking at the doughnut, not the hole, there are some good things about growing old. You can play solitaire the whole day, if you like. And you can sleep till noon. When you wake up, it’s time for lunch or brunch. You’ve missed a meal thus less calories. You are also allowed to spoil your grandkids with endless gifts of doughnuts, lollipops, cookies, toys, whatever.
Although Christmas is a happy time, it sucks having to wrack one’s brain for the right gift for the right person. As the most senior member of the family, one ought to be excused from gift-giving. But because it’s “more blessed to give than to receive,” as the saying goes, one is obliged to do so. In Pampanga, where my late husband grew up, the older folks don’t bother to buy gifts. They just give their grandchildren cash.
For oldies like myself, the best gift of all is simply peace of mind, a worry-free existence in good health, with thanksgiving in one’s heart for a life well lived, and friends galore, no matter if they are as forgetful as oneself. —CONTRIBUTED INQ
The author is a writer and retired restaurateur-hotelier.