Feb 1st, 2012 | By | Category: Senior Moments Blog

Body-Mind Connection

Turning over the authority of your body and mind, post 70, to the enemies who invade us, amounts to waging a very intentional battle. There is no way to escape the full complement of weaknesses to which we may be prone.  There is a way to hold some of them at bay.

Let’s investigate the latter:  Aging is a very predictable process which will find its subtle and not so subtle ways of reducing our abilities and discouraging our strength and stamina.  The first lesson is not to give in. Often, following on a major surgery or other illness, our bodies seem to want to “give up.”  The easy chair becomes more and more desirable.  Exercise is less and less appealing.  Both of these enemies are certain to prevail, if we let them.

Cancer, because of its insidious nature and invasive treatments, is a big time enemy, armed with all kinds of means for limiting life for us. When met with the need for radical prostate surgery, I was soon to discover just how debilitating such an experience can be.  I expected to be up and out in short order.  No such luck.  Four years later, I am cancer free, but still combatting the loss of energy that I had known prior to surgery.

Serious consideration and evaluation needs to come into play when faced with the prospect of surgery.  If it is to be elective, evaluate it very carefully.  Your pre condition, i.e. before surgery, may be better than a post condition which may rob you of some of your abilities.  Be sure, no surgeon can promise you lack of side or after affects.  Deciding if you want to live with things the way they are or risking some improvement will be the struggle as you entertain your options.

Proactive Life Care

Taking care of ourselves is a major priority.  Even with that some debilitations will occur.  Diet, consistent medical evaluations, vitamins, exercise, all are contributors to keeping yourself in the best shape possible. Depending upon your DNA, there still may be issues over which you have little to no control.  For example, I have been diagnosed with two conditions for which there is no cure or effective treatment:  lymphacytic colitis and macular degeneration.  Living with such conditions, within the framework of what encouragement and reinforcement your physician can provide, will likely be the best one can do.

Finding reasons to maintain good health is another way to reinforce your own ability to head off the invasion of body and mind enemies. For example:  plan a trip, an extended cruise, within your means financially and physically, that gives you something to anticipate.  Or, plan a reunion with your children or grandchildren.  Or, invite old and dear friends to spend some time with you.  In other words, get your mind off yourself and your negative condition.

Decide that aging will work for you and not against you.  I have known many, in their 90’s, who have maintained good mind and body control and subsequent enjoyment of their day to day routines.  These persons have made practical, workable, sensible and deliberate choices which help them engage themselves toward having a fruitful and productive life. I know one woman in a nursing home, well into her 90’s, who gets great joy and satisfaction from playing the piano and entertaining her neighbors.

Holding off as many medications as possible is also a good practice.  Medications also come with side effects which may create difficulty in your staying in control of your self. As always, your primary care physician needs to be your partner in these issues and choices.

Distractions contribute largely to feeling good about how you feel and how you get along from day to day.  If possible, consider having a pet.  Identify ways to redirect your time and energy from unsatisfying experiences to those that give you a reason to be.

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