Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Death Becomes Me

I'm exaggerating. I'm not dying. I mean I am technically -- but not right now. So this is just my high-larious death blog, sure to win over readers and the other 99.99999% who have absolutely no idea who I am.

Today my doctor told me I have high blood pressure. Now I have a couple of theories about that. One is that I don't like my doctor and going to see her makes my stress level go up. The other is my stress level is already pretty high, so it could be that she's right. I'm not on medication or anything. Yet. 

I have to start regularly exercising again and drinking water (blech). I don't like water. I'm sorry. I think it's because in the South, water comes in glasses filled with shaved ice like a snow cone. Now that's a water.  

For a youngish person, I am sort of obsessed with aging. When I was in high school, I had a job working at a nursing home for retired Jesuit Priests. The Campion Center in Weston, MA. According to their website, they are now a Renewal Center. I guess the priests have to go elsewhere when they retire. It's funny to me that all these places are now called some BS name like assisted living or skilled nursing center. 

Here's a good BS name for a retirement home. Putnam Ridge Rehabilitation Center. Tagline: A Refreshing Alternative. Or the Country House in Westchester. Website copy: Our beautifully appointed and spacious common areas provide an elegant backdrop for a vibrant and refined lifestyle. Really?

When I worked at the Campion Center, I figured out that older people are exactly the same as younger people. Some are grouchy, some are letchy, some are kind. Some are forgetful, some remember everything. Some hide whiskey in a pickle jar in their closet. "Oh Father Hegerty," I would say, "I think I can tell the difference between vinegar and whiskey." 

But the body fails us all, eventually.

This week I received the first email from our high school reunion committee. Get psyched for our 30th it said. Mmmm. That really doesn't seem possible. I don't think it could be 30 years since I graduated from high school.  Next year my son will start high school. A frightening proposition. Other friends have kids starting college. Even more frightening. It appears I am getting older in spite of my absolute conviction that I cannot be 30 years past high school days. 

I have decided to remain calm about this high blood pressure diagnosis.  I  took my blood pressure this morning on a home machine. It was actually low - like 100 over 70 (my original theory about hating my doctor may be accurate). I've been drinking plain,  non-snow cone water per my doctor's instructions. And before work, I took my dog Daisy for a walk. I was feeling pretty smug about the whole getting old thing. What am I thinking? I'm not getting old.

Then I called my dog Nancy. "Hey Nancy," I said to her. She looked up at me like, "Who the hell is Nancy? I'm Daisy, old lady."