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Saturday, April 18, 2009

Anew, A new, A new You....

Every seven years, or so, we grow enough new cells to have a new body. Really. I don't know all the scientific facts related to this phenomenon, but you can check the facts.

So, every thing, from blooming bulbs to hair follicles, have a life line of sorts. We can see growth in babies and in teens, in people we have not seen in a while, but we don't really see it in ourselves. We do, after a while, when the face in the mirror looking back at us is now our mother's face, not ours. (Or, father's!)

When we are older, we are more concerned about things breaking down than about things that renew. I'm sure my hair is new. But, my liver? How do I know?

I can't eat the same things I used to eat. My liver, stomach, intestines, and all the other parts of digestion tell me I can't eat the way I used to. I must adjust, or I'll be spending my golden days at the doctors' . I've given up on sweets because my organs are rebelling. These are not the same organs, trust me, I used to have banana splits and not only didn't gain an ounce, but I had no trouble sleeping.

I'm writing this blog at 3:30 a.m. my time. NOT BY CHOICE! I had a B.L.T. sandwich for supper last night. My stomach prepared a legal brief that was delivered four hours after I went to bed, reminding me of my legal obligation to maintain this body as it is; not make it worse.

I know that all around me,( in this town with many older folks it is easy to find living lessons), people are shopping in the local supermarket one day, and in for a bypass the next. We are all falling apart when we least expect it. I don't have to remind you that four weeks ago I was on heavy medications to combat the pain of bursitis in one shoulder, a pain that cancelled any other growth except household mold.

We change. We tend to break more easily. We tend to forget more easily. And it will only get worse if we don't take action to halt the decline, and plan the changes we can control. The last few weeks in physical therapy pointed out ways for me to upgrade my workout for my upper body all through the cold and wet months, so that come spring, I can pull weeds and dig plants, push carts and do all those gardening chores without straining, spraining or breaking any body parts.

What about the parts we don't see? How do we keep the brain running effectively? We need to grow new dendrites by exposing ourselves to new tasks, new challenges, work at staying active mentally, and not just doing what we enjoy and comes easily. It's probably a good time to learn a foreign language, new math, new skills, a good time to become activists, promoting causes that need our attention. We help others grow as well.

NEW RULES!

32 comments:

Delwyn said...

A great post Rosaria.
I am finding too that the wheels are starting to fall off...first the eyesight deteriorates at a much quicker pace, then the darn tinnitus pounced...and has set up home in both inner ears... accompanying me everywhere I go...I tell myself it's the hum of cicadas... the vertigo comes periodically and flips me over...

so I am determined to keep as fit as I can and to that end do two pump classes and two body balance per week plus lots of walking and stair climbing - as you know...and my paddling...

All the additional research, writing , reading that we are doing is good exercise for the brain...
and then there's the psycho- spiritual realm that we need to nurture and tend to as well.
The body, mind and spirit take a bit of exercising...but isn't it fun?
Happy days...

Delwyn said...

P.S. I Knew you were up late...

Dave King said...

A fine post. What really intrigues is the question of how we can remain the same person when we are being continually rebuilt.

Paul Costopoulos said...

Well last night I took my 13 year old grandson to lunch at the Eaton Center near where he lives. Going, it is downhill (steep) all the way. That return trip at a 13 year old clip left me panting...and in a sweat, as I had been in a sauna.
My 11.1 times renewed brain seems to be working rather well but I do have a mild case of A.D.D.A. (Attention Deficit Due to Age): you know when you get up to get a glass of water end up picking a newspaper and then wonder what you were to do?

Helen said...

Very timely, Rosaria! At least for me ... I will turn 68 in September. The list of foods that no longer 'agree' with me continues to grow. I give great consideration to what I put into my body - not always making the best choices, and paying the price at 3:30am as well. Perhaps I should get up then to input comments on your posts ~ at least you might be awake to read them ~ in real time!

I love the fact that our bodies continue to morph, giving us opportunities as we age to improve ourselves!

Reasons to be Cheerful 1,2,3 said...

I'm afraid I can relate to this probably more than I should be able to for my age! Renewal is an encouraging thought though, I'll hold on to that. Had a great catch up today Rosaria, enjoyed your other posts too.

Frankofile said...

As I sit here for the nth hour of physical inactivity - you remind me to get up out of my chair.

OK, just let me post this, read that...

Andrea said...

Oh can I relate! I guess it is time for me to learn something new, get that old brain fired up again. Thanks for the reminder - I almost forgot!

Debbie said...

I just had my latest bone density scan. And I need to exercise more. A lot more!

Renee said...

Rosaria you are so intelligent. Now where is 'the most intelligent sixtyfivewhatnow award' when you need it.

Since you are off all meds now I am writing out a prescription for you that I read once will help all of us in the brain connections department.

If you are right handed do all everyday things with your left hand, as in brush your teeth, open the door, butter your bread etc with the opposite hand than the dominant hand.

Love Renee

p.s. if you can't read my signature it is because I think I am a doctor.

C. Michael Cox said...

Your stomach - legal brief comment was classic. Thank you for the laugh...unfortunately at your expense.

A Woman Of No Importance said...

It all goes south post-40 in my humble opinion...

As my medic/philosopher cousin so brightly puts it, 'It's all about managing decline...'

I wish you well in finding balance, Rosaria, in locating the foods and drink that will not irritate your being...

You are a wonder, a force, and we want you around and among us for centuries to come, bella, seriously!

Siobhán said...

Agree with Michael here...
My stomach prepared a legal brief that was delivered four hours after I went to bed...
was the best line I've read in ages.
Brilliant.
Thank-you.

willow said...

Yes, I agree. The "legal brief" bit gave me a huge chuckle!

I hear ya. I turn 53 this year and my body is hitting a brick wall!

marc aurel said...

There is a wonderful documentary, called "Seven up", I think, by an English film maker Michael Apted. He interviewed some boys and girls when they were seven and again every seven years after that. They are now in their early fifties. I think 49 was the most recent addition.

Eddie Bluelights said...

Thanks for the comment - much appreciated. I am sorry I have not visited you for a while - unfortuantely been busy at work. There are about three or four of your posts I would like to read - perhaps tomorrow - look forward to that. Eddie

Renee said...

Rosaria how old is your granddaughter?

I spent time with Josephine today and she is such a joy. She will be two on June 1st.

Love Renee xoxo

Ian said...

It's a great time to learn a foreign language!

Fire Byrd said...

I so agree with you Rosaria. But after my wake up call I can truely say I'm fitter now then ever I was pre cancer.
As for my mind I'm lucky I live with my 18 year old son!!!!
xx

Midlife, menopause, mistakes and random stuff... said...

What a lovely post Rosaria!!
I do find different things happening to my body as I age, but amazingly I find that I can actually "see" and feel more.
That I can understand the big picture a little better......
"We help others grow as well".....that is my favorite line in your post :)

Steady On
Reggie Girl

An English Shepherd said...

They do say over here ' you are what you eat ', must mean more than I thought!

Wizz :-)

Reya Mellicker said...

This is a fantastic post. I can SO relate! Thank you.

Seeing an acupuncturist really helped my digestion, and though I can't eat the way I used to (or drink, for that matter), at least my organs are happy and harmonious in their relationships with the food I do put down there.

As for my brain, I try to challenge it every day, read books I don't quite get, read poetry and gaze at paintings trying to understand. I play word games (something I've never enjoyed).

Aging is humbling. And there's a wonderful bit to it, too.

Thank you for this!

lakeviewer said...

Thank you everyone for stopping by and sharing your insights with others. I'm off to exercise those limbs, keep them useful for as long as I can. I can't afford servants; thank God for that, actually. Doing my chores will keep me alive! Who knew.

♥ Braja said...

Boy, Rosaria, do I ever understand what you've written here :)

The changes in the body and the lack of mobility after such an accident are an alarming indicator of how swiftly such "privileges" can be removed from us and what our lives would be like without them....thank you for an appreciative reminder...

Lola said...

I'm stealing the legal brief line, you know that - right?

What a great post. I agree with Erin, it does all go south after 40. And after bearing a child in your 40s. But the benefits are so rewarding! And you have a granddaughter! How wonderful is that? My mother says she's a much better grandma now than she ever was a mother then (she was a great mother).

I love Renee's advice to do everything with the other hand. It works on the opposite side of the brain too.

I think these posts and your blog are a sign that your ailing arm is getting better and your brain is in need of no exercise whatsoever. It's in perfect shape.

Are we learning Japanese now? Tee hee...

Woman in a Window said...

I think you're dead on point! Yes, challenge ourselves to the bitter end. Why stop learning, pressing, growing? Let's do it!

Natalie said...

A wonderful post, Rosaria. I am starting to notice these things now as well. We are onto it. :D

Ribbon said...

I think you're a bit of a star and thank you for what you have shared here.
Yes things definitely change as we age and some things for the better. I'm still young in comparison to some and old in comparison to others.
I too like Lola became a mother for the first time in my 40's and the blessing of a little person is certainly keeping me mobile :-)

Enjoy your little people too.

best wishes Ribbon

Mervat said...

This is appropriate for all ages. I recently read a journal article where a gene has been discovered which allows cells to renew but only in the aged state depending on our age. In mice scientists have been able to modify this gene to enable them to renew their cells as if the mouse was a newborn. The potential for humans is that we may be able to modify our own DNA in the future to have cells that are reborn as if in a newborn state...imagine the potential for our brain at the very least. We may be able to learn new skills and languages as if we were a 5 year old. Now that is food (good food!) for thought!

Angela Recada said...

What a wonderful post, Rosaria. I'm in my early 50s and feel the aches and pains of arthritis, chronic back pain, phantom post-surgical pains, etc. I know I need to exercise more, but find it so difficult to do often enough in Winter.

Exercise is so vital to our overall health. My parents are healtier now than when they were my age. My mother, a two-time cancer survivor, maintains her slender physique through proper diet and lots of exercise. She even watches over my 82-year old father so closely that she has his diabetes under control merely through a strict diet and exercise.

I'm glad you are feeling better. As you know, I just found your blog relatively recently and had no idea you were in such pain. I hope the worst is over!

Angela Recada said...

Me again! I forgot to comment on what you said about learning something new. That, too, is so important. It's not just doing crossword puzzles, because the brain becomes too used to doing that, it's not enough of a challenge anymore. Learning a new language, learning to read crochet or knitting patterns, doing mental math, these are things that really exercise your mind.

My grandmother used to play four handed card games by herself, keeping track of "everyone's" score and cards, to keep her mind active. She also made up her own mental math exercises. She was incredibly sharp until just before she died at age 96!

Sydney said...

Sounds good. Excellent post. I like your attitude.

But I am terrible at crossword puzzles and my husband won't play scrabble with me. Sigh. I am hoping that learning to use this computer, then a digital camera, not to mention an ipod and iphone, and blogging and uploading pics and little movies is going to tide me over til I can figure out a way to learn french.