Renewing a pilgrimage

Renewing a pilgrimage

The retirement center where I live is gradually being transformed into a warehouse for patients with Advanced Alzheimer’s Disease. Independent residents are being relocated, rooms remodeled, security doors and systems installed. Patients with severe dementia are fed and tended as well as possible in their individual situations. They’re entertained, offered social stimuli and activities, and encouraged to exercise. Otherwise, they’re painfully...

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Managing the dwindles

Managing the dwindles

I’ve been plagued with health problems that have kept me at about half-speed for three months. I was hospitalized twice and received conflicting directions and different medications from physicians in the same practice. There’s no clear treatment plan for me that I know of. I asked to be, but wasn’t involved in developing one. It’s time to get to the bottom of this dilemma before I drift further down the tube into the dwindles. I’m...

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Life sentence without parole

Life sentence without parole

After a long and full life my 90 year-old good friend, Eleanore, is worn out. While wearing herself down she’s endured at least the usual load of heartbreaks and ecstasies, doing her best for the good of family and others. She surely deserves better than the fate she’s inherited. An only child, her family was neither privileged nor deprived of life’s essentials. Her legally-blind father was a successful businessman. She describes herself as a...

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Death with dignity

Death with dignity

Thank goodness the days of dying like my mother did twenty years ago, with end stage Alzheimers Disease, are mostly gone. She was tied down in a bed and kept biologically alive with tube feedings because she refused to eat and drink. When I saw her in the nursing home a week before her death, she was unrecognizable. I had to ask a nurse which of the two identically situated women in the room was her. Despite more than a little kicking and...

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Eighteen and counting

Eighteen and counting

Our father died twenty years ago. Since then we three brothers and spouses have gotten together nearly every year to celebrate our relationship. Despite the age differences of four and eleven years between my younger brothers and me, there is no mistaking our physical resemblance. Seeing us together in action, we’re like three peas in a pod. The get-togethers are high points of our year. This year we went to Put-in-bay, Ohio, a resort-town with...

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My summer vacation, and beyond

My summer vacation, and beyond

This week middle-schoolers will be writing and showing and telling about their summer vacations. I set up a summer trip as a test of my mettle, old-age resilience and fitness, to continue running around loose. This is my report. Readers may recall that a year ago I suffered a life-threatening, non-cancerous condition, had major surgery with prolonged recovery, sold my condo and moved into a retirement center. Worried and racked with...

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