Laughing is Good for Me- Part 9

I’ve been thinking about writing this for some time. It will be about things that make me laugh. But it will be different than the past Laughing is Good for Me posts because some people will think I’m giving too much information. So this is your official warning that some might think what I’m saying is gross, like a fifth grade boy with potty humor.

I have a friend with a serious illness that started a blog when he lost the use of his legs for a while. One of my favorite posts of his was titled “I pooped!” I certainly related to that post because I take so much medicine that It seems like I’m constipated all the time.

I liked how he could take a serious topic and make it funny. He inspired me to write again on my own blog. I have thoroughly enjoyed doing that since I started writing again. So feel free to stop reading something if it’s too gross for you. Or you can skip to Section 2 which is my normal style.

***

Section 1

I wrote in the past that I related to one of the monkey videos, I had posted earlier this year. In case you don’t remember the video or haven’t watched it before, you can find it here. it’s the third video in the post. I recommend you watch it either for the first or second time before you go on with the reading.

One reason I relate to it, is that I seriously doubt I would be able to pass urine or have a BM if I was being watched. Since I am considered to be a high fall risk I am now staying in an adult family home. One of the things that is asked of me is that I not walk alone anywhere, anytime, so that includes the restroom where I use the toilet. Luckily the staff don’t sit and watch or stand and watch. Most times they leave my room and I ring them with my call bell when I am ready to get up from the toilet.

At the time I watched the video that led to the story, I was very constipated. A few times when I was successful in getting something out, it seemed like I was having really old BMs. They reminded me of the pictures of the stalactites which were in the Texas Natural Bridge Caverns on Vedavati’s trip. (Texas Beauty)The BMs were so hard and seemed stuck, so I broke them off, like the monkey did in the video. I did not throw them on the ground, however, I dropped them in the toilet. I laughed when I saw the monkey do something so similar.

***

For a while I had an agreement with a staff member that we would make each other laugh at least once a day. I have a tendency now-a-days to leak urine when I laugh. I often wear a pad in my underwear because of that tendency.

One day I could tell she was trying to make me laugh when I was still in my room, and away from the toilet. I said you don’t want to do that or I will make a mess. We started walking towards the bathroom she said something I thought was funny and I not only leaked, I emptied my whole bladder.

One night a staff member was taking me to the toilet in the middle of the night. I have had a real problem with expelling gas (AKA farting) and I find it humiliating. This night as I reached the toilet, I let loose more gas than I ever had before. I don’t know why, but this time I found it hilarious, especially because it was in front of the staff member. I laughed for at least 15 minutes, and I giggled or laughed whenever I thought about it for days.

***

My daughter, Chaitanya, wanted me to wear Depends (an adult Incontinence product) at night, not because I was incontinent, but rather because she knew I had more difficulty walking at night. She thought it would make it easier for me if I didn’t have to go to the bathroom at night. I was not interested. I also didn’t trust that they would actually work.

So, she decided to prove to me that it was safe for me to use them. She did that by putting on a pair of Depends and then released a full bladder of her urine into them to prove that they were well able to hold everything. I laughed when I realized what she was doing. I think that was well beyond what is expected of a caring daughter. (Chaitanya gave me permission to share this story.)

***

Section 2

The family that runs the adult family home that I am living in presently consists of a husband and wife, two small children, three and five years of age, and the wife’s mother. The three year old turned three since I’ve been here, so she was only two when I moved in.

I think the kids are not supposed to be in the residents rooms without one of their parents present but I’m not sure. One day, the two year old came into my room and sat in my chair silently while I was in the bathroom. When I returned to the main room, my back was to her. I began to realize there was somebody else in the room besides the grandmother who helped me in the bathroom. I turned around and I saw the two year-old sitting motionless and quiet. Apparently she had put her finger to her mouth in the shhhh position to indicate to her grandmother that she should not give her away. I didn’t know a two-year-old could be that quiet. Once I realized what was going on, I thought it was pretty funny.

***

The Swami in charge of Amma’s North American programs and Centers visited me after I moved to the adult family home. I told him that I felt rebellious, that I didn’t want to take anybody with me when I walked with my walker even though I realized that was for my own good since I am a high fall risk. But I didn’t want to do it. He said to me that I needed to work on surrender. And he added that I was not to walk without someone with me.

I laughed when I heard that and when I have thought of it since then. The swami is very wise. In the past I have thought about it as letting go, but I have never thought about it as surrender.

***

The type of group psychotherapy I did for 30 years included self care contracts and group contracts that were developed by generations of therapists. One of the group therapy contracts was “I will not regress without a contract.” That one went on to say “I will not get into a child space without arranging for protection first.” That means that I won’t act like a child without having a parent there to take care of me or somebody acting in that capacity.

The self-care contracts are meant to be lifelong contracts, as well as some of the group contracts. (I have for a long time felt contemptuous towards therapists who talk about their three-year-old as if it was a real child-rather than metaphor used for healing purposes.)

Much to my dismay, I found myself breaking the regression contract a lot during my first months here. Most therapists add that it’s different when you are sick; that it is natural to “get little” in that situation. But I did not give myself that break. And I still break that contract today, more than I would like.

My tears are constantly close and it doesn’t take much to trigger them, much like a two year old. And I don’t deal with frustration well. I’m frequently like a kid when I’m frustrated.This is not a laughing matter but I think it’s ironic that I would be breaking that particular contract so frequently. All this goes to show that you can find humor in the strangest places. And laughing is good for me.

I want to mention one other thing in this post. Several people have said I need to focus on accepting the situation I am in. I think I have accepted the fact that I have MSA, multiple systems atrophy, which is a disease that has no cure and that they won’t know if I really have it until they do an autopsy when I pass. I think people say that to me because I cry frequently, spontaneously. The reality is sometimes I feel like I’m in hell and would be relieved if I pass, and then a day later I don’t know why I thought that way, thinking then that it is not so bad.

I am aware that when I first met Amma, it seemed like I cried all the time. Sometimes I felt crazy because I didn’t always feel sad when I cried. During that earlier period of crying, a devotee friend once said to me, “It seems like all you do is cry.” That was much like when I was a kid, when my father said, “If you’re going to cry, I’ll give you something to cry about.” I learned to be stoic. This time the tears stopped and I went back to being my normal stoic self. No more did the tears flow freely.

I think that the past tears were healing. I think the same about these current tears. If I need to accept anything, I need to accept that there is purpose behind the tears. Like laughter is good for me…. the tears are also good for me. I can believe that without knowing why they are good for me.

***

Before I left the senior living facility I had developed the habit of saying yeah to everything. Every sentence ended with “Yeah”. The word “No” often followed it. My daughter began to tell everybody that my “YESes” don’t mean anything nor do my “NOs”; that they had to wait to find out what my answer really was.

One day, a friend and I were laughing during dinner about the fact that I couldn’t stop saying “yeah” at the end of every sentence.

She said something about it when I was drinking prune juice. I thought what she said was funny and I ended up spraying her and everything else on the table with prune juice. What happened next was not funny but it was a good lesson.

I started choking on the prune juice. Choking and choking. Before long I felt like I couldn’t breathe and I started wheezing and I was afraid .

My friend hit my back until a big glob of mucus came up and the problem was over. We had learned that when we are eating, we should pay attention to what we’re doing.

***

Soon after I moved into the adult family center I began to chant to myself. Shortly thereafter, I started chanting out loud. I heard the chants constantly, night and day, wherever I was. I couldn’t tell if the chants were nonsense syllables or something like Native American chanting, but I couldn’t stop it. I couldn’t stop hearing it or chanting it. This was bizarre to me, as people don’t go around chanting what sounds like nonsense syllables. I thought that people must be wondering what was wrong with me. In fact, I was wondering what was wrong with me.

I moved into the adult family home about June 10. There was a TV playing Hallmark movies in the dining room. After July 4 they started playing Christmas movies. l thought that must be the new tradition. Christmas programming used to start after Thanksgiving.

I started to suspect that my chants were getting at least some of their tunes from the TV programs. That scenario became even more likely the night that a staff member asked me if I knew I was humming jingle bells. She was shocked but I was only surprised. I laughed but she was right. I had unconsciously added jingle bells to my chanting routine. For awhile I even added the actual words but now Jingle Bells has left my rotation.

***

A lot of these stories might seem serious, but in the end we can remember that there is great healing in learning to laugh at ourselves.

Laughing is Good for Me- Part 8/Making a Difference

I had six stories for the laughing series. I decided six was too many for one post so I’m putting the last three stories into this post even though I expect this one to be significantly shorter than Part 7.

***

My daughter put a microwave oven in my apartment in the senior living facility when she fixed it up. I haven’t had a microwave oven since I found paint chips in my food in my old one. When I looked in that microwave oven, I saw chipped paint on the top.

I hadn’t used a microwave oven since then, except when I stayed at a friend’s house in the summer of 2020. Using one then reminded me how convenient it was to use one. So I wasn’t totally opposed to having it, especially since I knew wouldn’t be cooking on the stove top.

I had friends that objected though and suggested that I get a toaster oven which is what I have at home. They were even willing to go out and find me one. I was surprised when the one they bought was smaller than the microwave oven and since the kitchen has very little counterspace that was especially good.

I had been using the microwave oven to heat eye compresses so they put it on top of the refrigerator and plugged it into the same outlet that the refrigerator was plugged into.

I had second thoughts about that, and checked the Internet to see if it was okay. When I did that, I discovered that nothing should be plugged into the same outlet as the refrigerator. I was not surprised and had somebody unplug it for me. Later, another friend said my microwave oven was now a fly-proof storage unit.

I’m not used to being in Seattle for Christmas. For the last 30 years, I have been in India for almost all Christmas seasons. So when I fully realized I wouldn’t be going there, I wanted to get some Christmas presents, I wondered where to put them in the small studio apartment.

When I looked around, I noticed the microwave oven on top of the refrigerator. I remembered the friend commenting about it being fly-proof. It also would not be where anyone would look for anything and it certainly would not be used for cooking, since the plug and cord were hanging loose on the side of the refrigerator. So that microwave oven truly became a fly-proof storage unit!

***

Satvamrita became a brohmachari (monk) in March 2020. He received a new name at that time. (Before that he was named Sreejit, a name given to him by Amma when he was 15.)

His new name was much harder to remember. Al, his father, still called him Sreejit when talking about him (since Satvamrita was in india).

After Al had a stroke, Satvamrita came to Seattle to take care of him. Al wanted to say the new name correctly but he couldn’t, and so in his confusion used other names. The most common name that he was now calling my son was “Karuna,” my name! So Satvamrita heard “Karuna” many times a day.

On December 29, I came to Seattle for a doctors appointment. There was still snow on the ground.. Afterwards, since it was two blocks away, the friend who drove me and I went to Al’s apartment for dinner. I hadn’t seen him since before he had the stroke.

We didn’t stay long for a variety of reasons. Among them was the fact that between dealing with the snow, seeing Al, and the doctors visit, I was totally exhausted.

Satvamrita walked us out to the car. As we left the apartment, I needed help getting my walker over the edge of the doorway. I looked at my son and called out to him, “Al!” He looked at me shocked, “You too???” he said.

I thought that mistake was pretty funny and am still laughing about it.

***

I was awake from 1 to 3 AM two nights ago writing this last piece of this post in my head. I cried during part of it. I wish I had actually written it down because what I remember isn’t as complete as what I composed during the night. But it’s close.

One of the first things that happened after his stroke was that AL wanted somebody to notify all of his Facebook friends. That request was fulfilled.

One of the people that he notified was a friend that he used to work with and they had a large box of ice cream delivered to his apartment. There were 6 different kinds of ice cream in it.

Al goes to sleep about 5:30 in the evening now and he often wakes up throughout the night. One night, at 3 am Al called out to Satvamrita in the next room, “Does anybody want ice cream?” “No,” Satvamrita answered. A few moments later again Al called out, “Are you sure.” “Yes,” Satvamrita affirmed. Al had already had ice cream twice that day. Hearing the silence that followed, Satvamrita got up and brought the smiling Al some ice cream.

For some reason, I thought that him asking for it at 3 am was really funny. More importantly, the incident shows how people can make a difference in someone’s life by something that is as simple as sending/bringing them some ice cream.

Because of his stroke, I have realized what a difference Al has made in my life. In the late 1960s he protected me by sitting all night with me at a pier on the Seattle waterfront after I had missed my college dorm curfew. In the 1970’s, we attended concerts by Tina Turner, James Brown, War and others. Later we raised two wonderful children together, even after we were divorced. The hard and painful times that occurred back then are no longer important to me.

Before his stroke we talked on the phone every day for months. I know he was frustrated that he couldn’t do more to help me through my illness but those phone calls were a big help. I’m feeling a similar helplessness that I can’t make it better for him now, but am so grateful that our kids can help him.

This contemplation is giving me an opportunity to reflect on how many other people have made a difference in my life: Amma, my children, my friends, my spiritual community, my colleagues, my clients, my neighbors, and the staff and residents here in Woodinville. And I know I have made a difference in many of their lives as well.

I believe that the next moment is not in our hands. I don’t know whether Al and I will live for a few more days or 10 or more years. What I do know is that our friends and family are pitching in and helping us. They are making a difference. And I appreciate them more than I can say.

***

This post didn’t turn out to be the short one I visualized when I started it but it turned out to be an important one.

Laughing is Good for Me- Part 7

In terms of fruit, my son Satvamrita has only put up with bananas or the occasional orange, for most of his life. Fruit was just too messy to deal with. Now that he’s in Seattle taking care of his father who recently had a stroke, he has decided to expand his fruit horizons. The closest big grocery store to him is in the International District so he is exploring Asian fruit.

At the market he discovered dragon fruit and star fruit, as well as more common staples such as pomegranates, papayas, and persimmons. This is proof it’s never too late to teach an old dog new tricks. He’s 47!

***

A friend who lives at Amma’s Amritapuri ashram in India and I have been writing to each other a lot…using Whats App. She has a sign in her room that says “Seize the day. Live, Laugh, Love” I decided that would make a wonderful motto for me.

I had one friend print a copy of the sign for me and another friend put it on my bathroom mirror so I would see it throughout the day.

(The sign is actually in the middle of the mirror under the light.)

I also wrote two staff members from the senior living facility in Woodinville where I am staying now more and told them about my new motto. Their reaction to my announcement and their interaction makes a good contribution to this laughing series.

Pat: LOVE IT ❤️❤️❤️

Although at first I thought it said, “SNEEZE the day”!!!! 🤣

Emily: I LOVE this too!

LMAO Pat!!

Thank you Karuna ❤

I wasn’t familiar with LMAO so I looked it up. When I found out it was the acronym for Laugh My Ass Off I looked at my Bitmoji app to see if it was there. It was.

***

A friend was writing about her yearning to be with Amma again and autocorrect did what autocorrect does.

Her email:

I so cherish all the times we have had with Amma-. And I feel a constant deep connection with her. And yearn to be in her presence again.

(auto correct (actually)changed yearn into urine 🤣🤣 I guess that means I have to pee)

***

Thank you all for bringing laughter into my life.

Laughing is Good for Me- Part 6

I learned this week that earlier this year, Amma (Amma means Mother) had started singing a song about laughing at our ignorance. I don’t know who wrote the song.

In addition to the concept of laughing at our ignorance, three lines caught my attention when I heard it for the first time. One pointed out that we focus on what we don’t have rather be happy about what we have. The second line said that even after we learn our next breath isn’t in our hands, we keep on gathering wealth. The third line was one that said even with people around us dying, we think we are immortal. Each was followed by the statement “Mother told us to laugh at such ignorance. “

A friend found the English translation of this song for me. When I read it, two more lines caught my attention. 1) Mother told us to laugh at fate by using our intellect to overcome it and 2) Mother told us to laugh loudly forgetting our worries.

While my laughter blog series is not about laughing at our ignorance, it is about finding humor in serious situations. And humor definitely decreases my tendency to worry.

***

A friend that was visiting me was trying to convince me that I should replace my mattress. I could imagine flipping or rotating it, but saw no need to replace it. Later in the visit, she was lying on the bed and slipped off the comforter and landed on the floor. Thankfully, she wasn’t hurt.

After going home, she wrote me and said she was still chuckling about being tossed out of the bed. I said for me it was more like full laughter than a chuckle and that she had fallen too gracefully to have been tossed. Later, I added that I thought that if she had been tossed it was the mattress that was the culprit, because she was trying to get rid of it. That image made me laugh even more! In fact, I still laugh when I think about it.

***

This week there was an African drumming performance at the Woodinville Senior Center where I am living. There had been a text and a phone call about it but I didn’t hear or read either of them. The performance was already half over before I was aware that it was happening.

African drumming speaks to my soul. I was filled with memories of being in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco as well as the grassy part of Seattle Center where I had listened to drummers and danced. At one time I had taken African dancing lessons. I never was good at the dancing but I sure loved to do it. I cried deep tears all the way through the performance.

There was a point when the drummers invited everyone to dance. I stood up but my feet wouldn’t move. My dancing days are probably over.

The African drummers got the African employees to dance and that was fun. Pat, an employee I have talked about in previous laughing posts although I may not have named him beforebefore, started leadng a group of residents in a dance. I had an intuition about him later that night. The intuition I had was that he was a introvert masquerading as an extrovert because of his commitment to bringing joy to the world. I asked him about my thought a couple days later and he said he wasn’t sure. He said he definitely was an introvert before he went to seminary but he may have changed to an extrovert there.

My ex-husband AlI had a stroke the weekend before Thanksgiving. On Thanksgiving Day my son Satvamrita arrived from India to take care of him him. Satvamrita was allowed to take his dad back to his apartment at that point. It is certainly not a funny situation but funny things have happened. Like the day Al decided to go to the store. Satvamrita was walking and Al was in his powered wheelchair. Al wouldn’t tell Satvamrita where they were going. Satvamrita videoed part of that experience.I will this post with two video clips of their journey

***

Laughing is Good for Me- Part 5

I am currently living in a senior living facility in Woodinville,Washington. They have all sorts of activities here. Most of them I do not participate in because of my health but I do what I can.

One day around.Halloween, they offered a complementary pancake breakfast. People were invited to come in their pajamas. I decided I would participate in the breakfast although I would not be wearing my pajamas.

I hadn’t looked at the flyer carefully and showed up on the wrong day. After some confusing moments, the hostess figured out what was wrong.

I decided not to participate in the actual event. I went down to the lobby soon after it was over however and saw a staff member in a very large onesie. I don’t know how many people came to the breakfast and I don’t know how many wore pajamas.

I don’t even remember who was wearing the onesie and I don’t remember if it was a costume or actual pajamas but I will long remember the experience of turning the corner and seeing her. And I will laugh.

On Thanksgiving Day, I also walked to the lobby. This time the person that is most often in the front desk said “Look at what I’m wearing.” She came from behind the desk, pulled up her skirt and this is what I saw … big skinny chicken legs. (They were actually socks.) I laughed.

I was pleased that when I asked for one, she gave me a photo and permission to put the picture on my blog and to say whatever I wanted to say. I will hold that whole experience in my memory. And I will laugh when I think of it.

***

I thought I would give a warning before the next section. some of you may not want to read it because it is gross or because I sound like a middle school student who is obsessed with bodily functions.

My stomach is gurgling a lot. Actually it is more than likely the gurgling is coming from my intestines. One day I was too tired to hold the phone while I was talking to my son, so I set the phone on my abdomen with the microphone pointing towards my head. All of a sudden the gurgling started. “What is that?” my son exclaimed! Remembering that moment still makes me laugh deeply.

I am on so many medications that constipation can be a real problem. I celebrate it on a day that I poop at the beginning of the day. I sometimes even celebrate the size of what comes out of me!

It isn’t only stories about humans that are making me laugh. Somebody sent me the cartoon about two crows, a baby and a parent. The parent crow was saying to the baby crow “Just hold it until we find a parked car.” Not only is that like middle school humor but it also feels like it is actually true that the crows have their strategies for interfering with human lives all planned out.

For many years, I have only remembered one joke. Question: How do you make God laugh? Answer: Tell him your life plans.

This week, a friend added to my joke repertoire. I don’t know why he told me this joke unless it is because I have so much gas and essentially no control over when it comes out but it certainly fits the category of bodily function humor:

An elderly couple is in church. The wife says to the husband, “I’ve let out one of those silent farts, what do I do?”

The husband says, “Get new hearing aids.”

I laugh every time I remember it.

Laughing is Good for Me- Part 4

I saw a new doctor a few months ago. At one point during the appointment, he saw that I had something in my mouth and probably figured that it was gum or candy. He stuck out his hand and said “Spit it out.” I was shocked but I’ve been laughing about it ever since. I am 72 years old. I wondered if he had children and how old they were. At the time, I simply mumbled “It’s for dry mouth and it is gone now.“

I kept waiting for something else funny to happen. One day last week, my phone provided me with that experience. I dictate almost everything nowadays. What I dictate and what the phone writes is often drastically different. That day, I wrote a friend who is out of the country and said I hoped that she and her husband were having a good time. What the phone wrote was “I hope that it was everything that you want and that you were in the freezer having a good time as well.” I have laughed about that change ever since it happened. Where does the phone come up with these things? At least this time it was not cussing.

Two friends visited me a few days ago. I was telling them about something that I wrote about in the first post of this series. The husband’s response was funny. I wanted to use it and to quote him correctly so asked him to write it down for me. When I received it in the written form, I discovered he had added to it. This was his response:

The way I figure is if you are old enough to be passing by a window, and you haven’t seen a naked body — now is as good as time as any! Not that I would give them much to see, and quite likely could scare the aliens away from the human race if they were seeking a probe-able body. In reality, I would likely be a little embarrassed, but not enough to think twice about the matter. 😊

If you don’t know what this is referring to I suggest you go back and read or reread the first post. I still am uncomfortable with the thought somebody might walk by my window and see my butt but I always laugh when I think of these responses.

Laughing is Good for Me- Part 3

I remembered the story I was going to tell the day after I published the last post without it. So I will begin this post with that one.

***

During the height of Covid everybody ate in their rooms. When I first came here, they were starting to use the dining room again, but most people preferred to continue eating in their rooms.

When a meal is prepared, a staff member writes the name of the person who ordered it on the box that holds the entrée. They get your name from the dinner menu we fill out each morning.

I have found that staff members learn the names of residents at astounding speed. But my name was not familiar and my writing gets continually worse.

One evening, the word “Karma” was written on my box!

I really laughed at that one. I hadn’t been asking “Why me?” or “Why is this happening to me?” but if I had been, I imagine, but of course don’t know, Karma would have been Amma’s answer! At least it would have been MY answer.

***

Last Saturday I had company. At one point I said I usually walk out to the front desk lobby area or beyond five times during the day. I remember when I walked to my room for the first time. It seemed so far. I couldn’t imagine doing that walk every day even once. Even by the next day, the distance didn’t seem so far.

Back to the story at hand. I listed the reasons why I went out to the lobby area so much. 1: pick up the free pastry that’s put out every morning for us and to fill out and submit the menu for dinner 2: pick up the free afternoon cookie that’s put out for us 3: pick up my to-go dinner 4: pick up mail or a delivery and/or 5: to meet a visitor

The visitor that I was telling this to laughed and said that the staff had certainly found good ways to keep us moving. I also laughed when I realized that what he said was true. I’m not going to pass up a free freshly made pastry or a free freshly made cookie. Especially when I can rationalize that they are small. and I was also not going to miss out on a dinner, a delivery, or a visitor.

***

I was wondering what my third story would be. And then Pat came back from vacation and provided the perfect opportunity. (If you don’t know who Pat is, read or reread the last story in Part 2 of this series.)

I had walked out to the lobby to get my cookie for the day. I picked up the cookie and then decided to also get some cold water. I put a lid on the water and then put it on the walker seat next to the Amazon packages that I had just picked up.

The water slid off the walker seat and spilled on the floor. The lid had come off. It created quite a mess and I was mortified. Especially since I couldn’t clean it up myself.

All of a sudden I heard “Karuna’s water has broken. Karuna’s water has broken.” Being the mother of two children and an ex labor and delivery nurse, I had no doubt what he was referring to. That was so funny considering I’m 72. What could I do other than laugh.

Laughing is Good for Me- Part 1

There are things that have happened since I’ve been here that have consistently made me laugh when I think about them. I will describe three of them.

***

My room has a view of a tiny Greenbelt. People rarely walk by the window. I’ve seen a woman walking her dog go by numerous times but no more than once a day if that. Once a week the facility staff work out there but they use noisy tools so I always know when they are nearby.

I am using a walker all of the time now and I am staying in a studio apartment so if I forget to close the bathroom door or if it swings open because it was not shut fully there is a very remote chance I will be seen.

A friend was visiting about a month ago and I shared my concern. her response was: “Karuna, if someone saw your bum (butt) it would make their day.” I have thought of her statement many times since that day and I always laugh.

***

I have had many medical tests over the last two years and recently had some that when I wrote about them to my son and daughter said “it sounds like i’m writing about a torture chamber”.

I have a friend that’s currently a patient in a hospital in India. When he described two procedures he had, they sounded like two of the three i had recently experienced. He called the equipment ancient medieval torture devices.

I couldn’t believe the words he used were so similar to the words I had used. I felt validated. I always laugh when I think about that memory too. (I got his permission to talk about him.)

***

I have been getting a variety of services from a home health care agency. Last week one of those therapists was doing a cognitive test with me. Afterwords she wondered if having big letters would make it easier for me to read since my eyes tend to sting when I read… so i don’t read.

During the session, she had me read a 100 word story in a big print book. As I read the story, she became mortified. The story was about the death of a cat and the stories in that publication had apparently always been light. This one was pretty grim.

Towards the end of the story, the cat died and was buried. What happened next in the story surprised us both. There was a sound at the door and when the door was opened it was the cat that had died. The author speculated that either they had buried the wrong cat or that he should be renamed Lazarus, because he had come back to life. Whenever I think of the look on the therapist’s face or the sound of her voice as I read the story I laugh.

There are other things that have brought a smile to my face or full-blown laughter. Maybe I’ll write about them in a future post!

Always Looking for Role Models

As I age, I find myself drawn to older people who can serve as role models in the aging process. I met a woman in Amritapuri whom I think of in that way. She lives a life of adventure even though she is well into her 70’s. The woman in this video is a very different kind of role model. I don’t see myself following in her footsteps, but I thoroughly enjoyed the video. I hope you do too.