Thursday, May 28, 2015

You Know You're Getting Old When.....

Getting old sucks....Sparky is resisting as long as she can....She is pushing herself to keep going and keep moving, when some days she just doesn't want to exercise. But Sparky has the "jumpin' bean gene"....She can't sit still for very long at all. When friends come over, Sparky gets restless when sitting, she's got to bounce her leg, jiggle her foot, or do something with her hands like knitting. And even then, that's not always working for her. She feels like getting up and MOVING! Let's go somewhere everybody, is what is going through her mind along with a jillion other things. Sparky has trouble focusing...(and finding her way around town, and finding her keys, her wallet, etc. etc. adds E.) Yes, yes...she does...She's probably an ADHD adult that has never been diagnosed. While Sparky was traveling, the sights, the sounds, every day a new experience, she reveled in that...She never noticed how much trouble she had sitting still, BECAUSE SHE DIDN'T! Except to sleep!

So how's this relating to getting old, you ask? Well, Sparky is noticing some things that she needs to work on, like balance...Sparky cannot stand on one foot for more than 20 seconds on either foot. Sparky starts losing her balance when closing her eyes and standing in one place. Sparky cannot walk a straight line toe to toe across a room. Tai chai might be in her, too....Or a visit to the ear doctor, as one ear keeps getting infections. Sparky knows all these things are great things to bring up to the doctor next time around which will be when she gets on Medicare-- soon. Yippee!

So here's Sparky's list culled from several different places and her own experience, but she's not going to tell you which ones are which. You know you are getting old, when......

You get excited about getting on Medicare....
You have lots of trouble keeping your train of thought going on the single line this blog, for example!
You have trouble driving at night....Or no longer want to drive at night....
When a young person the age of one of your children calls you, "sweetie" and it bothers you.
People call you at 9:00 PM and ask, "Did I wake you?"
You can't remember the last time you lay on the floor to watch TV
You bend over, you look for something else to do while you are down there or you notice dust     bunnies that you can't see while standing up.
You don't think of speed limits as challenges any more.
You know what the word "equity" means....
Everything hurts and what doesn't hurt doesn't work.
Your address book contains more M.D.'s names than friends.
You constantly talk about the price of gas....or your ailments.
You get on the mailing list for funeral insurance....Sparky was depressed to get this in the mail today.

You look for your glasses for a half an hour only to find they are on your head.
You don't care where your spouse goes, just so you don't have to go along.
Your idea of a night out is sitting on the patio....
Getting lucky means finding your car in the parking lot.
Your childhood toys are now in a museum.
Your drugs of preference are now vitamins.
You get propositioned by AARP.
You shop for health insurance like shopping for a new car.
A late night now ends at 10:00 PM or sooner.
Your idea of weight lifting is standing up....BWAHAHAHAHAHA....Sparky likes that one.
You start researching information on the internet for "cataracts".
Dressing becomes complicated---is this style suitable for a senior? Am I going to be able to fasten or zip up the back?
You realize things you buy now are not going to wear out before you do....
You like to get home early and "get settled".....
You recount stories of "I remember when the price of.......  was..........."

And there are lots lots more, she's sure....

At any interesting sideline on the diabetes topic Sparky has been on lately...She was really bad for dinner this evening...After a long day subbing for several days for a rambunctious 5th grade class on the last four days of school, (What WAS she thinking??!!) Sparky jumped at the chance not to have to fix dinner...So we went to Texas Roadhouse. Now, you COULD be good at the Roadhouse, IF you ate just a salad with vingarette dressing, a 6 oz. sirloin, had a small baked potato, and drank water...That doesn't raise Sparky's sugar too much. As a matter of fact, it stays within an acceptable range. But does Sparky resist the bread?  NO-O-O-O-o-o-o-o-o...Does she cave in and have only one roll and skip the delicious cinnamon butter? NO-O-o-o-o-o-o.... She eats TWO rolls, has her own little tiny cup of butter that normally TWO people are supposed to share, and eats a great big baked potato and has the salad. She DIDN't have a Sprite like she used to do.... Glucose level after two hours of eating? 229....One of the highest on record...Musta been those two rolls and the cinnamon butter, mutters Sparky, feeling just the slightest ashamed....

So-o-o-o-o...despite working all day and being bone tired, Sparky decides to take some cinnamon supplement and ride her bike 6.5 miles...Checked her sugar after coming back home, one hour later after the high reading and it's 125...which is good for someone working on watching their levels. Sparky has discovered that exercise really helps bring that sugar level down. She has also read that cinnamon has a positive effect on reducing blood glucose levels, so she did more reading.

There are two kinds of cinnamon--Ceylon cinnamon, a lighter and more refined type of cinnamon, and more expensive, and cassia cinnamon. Cassia cinnamon is the common kind most often found in the grocery store. Both come from the inner bark of the cinnamomon tree. There is a BIG important difference between the two. The cheaper, cassia cinnamon has a naturally occurring toxic substance in it called coumarin. Coumarin can cause liver damage in high doses. Ceylon cinnamon has very little traces of that in it. You can find cassia cinnamon with chromium (an additional mineral added to a cinnamon supplement sold in health stores and at Walmart). Chromium is supposed to enhance the action of insulin in your body, thus helping blood sugar levels along with the cinnamon.

Sparky tried this supplement for awhile, and it really seemed to help bring her blood sugar levels down when they occasionally rose to alarming levels. But after reading about the coumarin possibly causing liver damage in high doses and not being able to find what constitutes a high dose, she switched over to the more pure refined Ceylon cinnamon. The doctor didn't blink an eye when Sparky mentioned she was taking cinnamon, the doctor didn't ask which kind, she didn't mention what an ok level was, and Sparky didn't have the information about cinnamon types at the time of the doctor visit, so she took it upon herself to switch to the Ceylon cinnamon and stay away from any possible liver involvement with the cassia cinnamon and chromium combo. A standard dosage listed for cinnamon capsules, by the way, is two 500 mg. capsules twice a day. Sparky knows that supplements can be a dangerous path to head down, because they are not regulated very well, nor are you sure of what you are getting in the supplement. She read not long ago, that well known brands of supplements being sold at drugstores and Walmart and other places were recently tested and found to contain very little of what they were supposed to have, along with other stuff that didn't belong there. (A very scientific explanation is not in Sparky's repertoire at the moment). careful with dosing yourself with cinnamon in your attempts to get your blood sugar down, Sparky says...Do some research, check it out more, but there IS some credibility (according to research) to cinnamon having a positive effect on blood sugar....It wouldn't hurt to sprinkle some on your oatmeal and toast, that's for sure....The danger comes in using high levels of cinnamon supplements on a daily or regular basis, and also which type you are taking....

And while Sparky thinks cinnamon is helping with the blood sugar levels, the biggest impact on sugar levels thus far has been her bike riding....Sparky can't afford a gym membership, nor is she able to run or wants to run like some folks....But a simple bike ride (yes, she puts in some miles) on a hybrid bike, NOT a road bike, has been the biggest factor so far in affecting her blood sugar in a positive way. So dust off that bike of yours, and out you go! It can only help you feel better, lose some weight maybe, (Sparky has lost 13 pounds so far!) and help get those sugar levels down.
AND ----you never know what you might see...At least in Florida, it's pretty cool! Time for a bike ride.....Bye for now......
Two little sandhill crane chicks spotted on my last bike ride


  1. I did get a bike, but haven't gotten into riding it yet. I keep promiseing myself I will, and then find an excuse. Oh well, the hiking I am doing has got to be good for something.

    1. But you are doing LOTS of hiking right now...that's terrific! :-)

  2. I don't think I've ever tried standing on one foot before in my life. My initial limit was about 20 seconds too, but by pressing my "up" leg against the down one I can make 30 pretty easily. Is it good for a person to practice this?

    1. that's cheating by pressing your leg! :-) I have no idea if it's good practice this but I'm going to. I've been practicing counting backwards from 100 down by seven as that is frequently mentioned as part of a dementia test so busy working on that! haha...

  3. I hope Sparky's health issues get resolved soon. Getting older is certainly not for the faint of heart OR sissies! :-(

  4. Getting old sucks! We try the best we can to stay healthy. George is excited, he gets Medicare on July 1, I still have a way to go :(

  5. From what I've learned, our balance is the thing that can get us in the end. Poor balance means we fall, then we break bones, etc. Mine isn't that great, but I've done some (very little) yoga using my Wii Fit, and it's a great way to improve, while it logs in what you are doing, and if each time is better or worse than the last. And you can do it indoors. :)

  6. The Wii sounds great, Barbara. I need to revisit that...I used to have one years ago and gave it away to my daughter. For all who've written and commented, thank you. I am doing much better in a LOT of ways..Down 13 pounds, yay!

  7. Getting old is a new life experience always a bit of a challenge, but hey at least we are getting older, beats the alternative!

  8. Thanks for the info on cinnamon. I knew that it could help with blood sugar but never knew the difference between the two. I think if you buy your supplements from a nutrition store and choose good brands you are probably going to get a higher quality. I've never bought many from grocery or Walmarts.

    Good for you on the bike riding. I know you're enjoying riding in Maine.