It is now 10.37am on Thursday 2 April, 2009 and I am on my own for the day as my husband has gone to UWA (University of Western Australia) to talk to medical students about diabetes, a condition which we both have. For several years I used to go as well and it was good to be able to explain to the students just how diabetes affects the lives of those who suffer from it and how we come to terms with the rules by which we have to live but don't let it become overwhelming. I unfortunately can no longer spend the day doing these things because of my arthritis but am so glad that he can still do so and now two or three times a year and not only to medical students, but dental and podiatry students as well, as diabetes is a complaint that can affect so many parts of the body. I do hope he enjoys himself again and I know he correctly feels he is doing something really good to help future generations of diabetics and their dealings with, and being understood by, the medical profession at large.
Now for something less serious but about which I am really feeling pleased with myself. As mentioned before I have had bi-lateral total hip replacements over the past 10 months and as it can take up to 12 months for total recovery I still have a way to go before all is completely well. Yesterday I returned to my Wednesday morning exercise group run by my physiotherapist. I was overwhelmed by the welcome I received from others in the group....a hug here, a kiss on the cheek there....and was told that even though I'd not been for nearly 3 months not a week had gone by when somebody had not asked Jenny (physio) if she knew how I was going. They are a terrific group of a dozen or more people (all over 77) and we have so much fun and I had missed them all so much and, nice to know, they had apparently missed me as well. I was able to tell a couple of good jokes to make them laugh and was told I must be there again next week. None of them are likely to read this blog but it was so wonderful to feel so welcome and my thanks to them for that welcome.
Of course having done that I decided, while on my feet, I'd go with hubby and do some grocery shopping, and mustn't forget the Easter eggs. I spent an hour walking around Woolworths 'cos when I shop I like to walk down the aisles just in case there is something I didn't put on the list.
Had to then rush home for a quick lunch as we both had appointments with our GP and to have our annual 'flu shots. (I only have a half shot as for a couple of years my arm would come up in a large red lump which would be painful for a week or more...but the half shot still works okay...or at least has done for a few years so 'touch wood' that it will this year as well).
Problem arose later in the day when I was just so stiff and unable to move much and was very, very tired. Compared with things I used to do just doing an hour exercising and then an hour shopping doesn't sound much does it? Makes me realise I really AM getting older even though sitting here I don't feel much different to when I was say 35 or 45. I think that mentally I am still pretty well on the ball (others may disagree - I dare you!) and that is why I forget I am what is these days is considered 'frail aged' (that is over 75 years of age). Trouble is (as happened when I walked in to the group yesterday everyone said "you are looking really well?) people see me....a reasonably large, healthy looking individual and I get no sympathy at all : ) I am not even sure that my doctor takes me seriously and usually says "Oh, you'll be fine" even if my B/P is a bit high etc.
Speaking of blood pressure...our endocrinologist said it would be a good idea for us to purchase a good blood pressure machine and perhaps check our B/P daily. My husband has been told by another doctor he is seeing to do this twice daily for 3 weeks as he has a problem which can cause his B/P to rise a little too much. So far it has been good so the new medication he is on seems to be working. Anyway, the long and the short of it has been that when we check our B/P at home (particularly my own) it is always much lower than when it is checked by a doctor. It was suggested we take the machine with us when next visiting our GP which I did yesterday and asked her to use our machine before using her own. She checked that I was using it correctly (and I was) and would you believe the two machines gave almost identical readings, albeit somewhat higher than when I do it at home.
Do hubby and I both suffer from "white coat fever" perhaps? The GP explained that we are usually more relaxed at home and not to worry about it being that much lower. Apparently both machines were made by the same manufacturer and she also told me that the machine we had was a very reliable one which is good to know.
I have gone on a bit here but I feel so good about what I did yesterday. I wish I could do more, and doing more for me probably won't be all that much more, but at least I did it and will now keep on doing it. I don't have a lot of friends as so many have left this mortal coil but I will look forward to that hour on Wednesday mornings which I will spend with a group of people who don't judge me for what I am but who I am for which I am very grateful.