wings and things

Macular degeneration

My mother doesn’t like to be written about because she is very private about her life, but, as I’m not so private, I would like, here, to salute her for the following:

When my mother was just in her 40s, Dad died of a heart attack. Not long after that, she developed breast cancer and had to have a mastectomy and chemotherapy. Then, about ten years ago, she began to lose her hearing. Two years ago, she fell and broke her hip and then, just as her hip had healed, she fell off her bicycle and broke her pelvis and wrist. And now she has macular degeneration and has to have six-weekly injections into her good eye to prevent it from getting worse (I took her today for one of these).

Despite all of these situations, my mother is an absolute inspiration to all of us and is as active now, at 79, as she was when Dad died and before. She will do anything for anyone and her volunteer work is beyond belief. She has more energy and compassion and generosity than I will ever have!

After the car accident, six months ago, my mother and my brothers’ families had to deal emotionally with repercussions, injuries and enormous anxiety and yet she always remained calm and in control and absolutely supportive of all of us. My own pain of regret had nowhere to go except to my mother and she helped me to figure out how to keep going. (AND she visited Anthony on all of the days I couldn’t when I had the rotten pompholyx condition).

This kind of mother is rare – the kind of mother you would dream of having – and it doesn’t seem fair that she would now be afflicted with macular degeneration, but she is. A fact. Life. Age. Hardship.

And what is Mother doing tonight? She is probably going to ignore the pain in her injected eye and work on the scrapbook she will give Ming when he turns 21 next January She has done this for each of the grandchildren preceding Ming and she has done it for my brothers and me when we each turned 50.

She is funny, clever, artistic and an absolute legend. And she is NOT old!
She is always NEW!

My/our mother xxx


Middle-aged? No way – I’m only 54!

I’ve just realized that not only am I, technically, middle-aged, but I have been for some time. Shock! This realization has been due to a series of health mishaps in the last month.

1. A gastric virus that had me bedridden/bathroom-ridden for two weeks, and a subsequent suspected cracked rib;
2. A rotten tooth that had to be extracted, culminating in an ongoing dry socket infection.
3. An eye test that revealed I need glasses for both distance and reading, and that I have early signs of macular degeneration, and that my strabismus (squint) is quite pronounced due to the fact that I can only use one eye at a time.
4. The flu (the sniffy, coughy, fevery one).
5. Confirmation of cracked rib today due to re-fracture.

Okay so this morning I had to take Anthony to our doctor for the routine burning off of multiple skin cancers but I made a double appointment so I could discuss my ailments as well. As a result I am on two courses of antibiotics for my tooth infection and the flu. Then I took Ants out to brunch. He was fairly mobile at the doctor’s but by the time we got to the restaurant, he needed the wheelchair. Hoisting him out of the car into the chair and racing into the restaurant because it was windily raining, then twisting us both into the far-too-small disabled toilet, then getting us to a table, I must have re-cracked the rib because, as we ate our meal, I experienced an increasingly severe pain to my right side every time I bent or turned. Once it was just to get Ants’ feet off the footplates of the wheelchair and I think that was the clincher. By the time I got him back to the nursing lodge, it was agony, so I raced down to the walk-in chiropractor (my brother is a chiro but he is away at the moment) and he confirmed that my rib was indeed fractured.

The doctor, optometrist and chiropractor all used the phrase “at your age” which I found alarming until I got home and googled “middle-age”. That’s when I made my discovery so I am sitting here quietly now, absorbing the fact that I am middle-aged.

Oh well, I guess I don’t need to stress about any wrinkles I have anymore because you’re allowed to have those when you’re middle-aged. And that’s a great relief!

This photo was taken before I was middle-aged. The little alien on my lap is Ming, now 19.