Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Fallout from Falling Friday - and a Senior Moment

On June 17, I posted about a fall I took while exercise walking on the West Side of Binghamton, NY. (I'm about 99% healed, and I thank everyone who commented on the fall - I appreciated your support.

What I didn't know at the time is that two other people I know fell the same day, which I had called "Falling Friday".  I didn't know about either incident at the time I made the post.  An acquaintance fell in downtown Binghamton (and then had to drive to North Carolina, which her husband did while she spent the trip with her ankle iced and elevated.)  The other person was the 90 plus year old mother of a very good friend.  She had a dizzy spell and fell into a china cabinet, breaking the glass.  She spent two days in the hospital and was released.  The doctor thought it was medication prescribed her after a value replacement.

So when I read this article written by a medical blogger, I got scared. I got really scared, because there are other elderly people in my life.  Like a 99 year old aunt in law, and my mother in law, who is in her 80's.  Thank you. Laura Newman, for writing this very important article. 

Do you have an elderly family member you care for? Or care about?  A friend?  Someone's friend?  Please read this article.  The life it saves may be your loved one's.

After all, how many of our elderly live their lives without taking medication?  Very few.  Yes, medication can be lifesaving.  I have a medical condition for which I take medication and I can also tell you that without modern medicine, I would not now be alive.  I suspect some of you reading this post could also make this statement.  Modern medicine can be a miracle.

Or, it can kill.  At least, the improper practice of it can kill.  Like fire, modern medicine has two "sides".

So again, please read the article.

Please educate yourself about the risks of overmedication, especially in the elderly.

Not that long ago, my husband took a AARP driver course (in NY, it allows for a credit on your car insurance).  One of the things the course covered was the fact that, in the elderly, medicine can work differently than in younger people.  It can cause some very serious side effects.  So, please take this article very seriously.

Now, what about the "senior moment" in my title?  When I think about how modern medicine can kill when not used properly, I take a moment and think about my spouse's 99 year old aunt.  She is so stooped over it is painful to watch her walk.  But her memory is sharp.  Her wit is intact.  She is a joy to be with when she visits my mother in law and we can spend time with her.  She lives with her son, still does cooking and housework, and loves to socialize with family.  Until the past 3 or 4 years, I am not sure she ever spent a day sick in the hospital.  I am so happy to be able to spend this moment thinking of her.

Oh yes, there is one other thing.

She is not on any medication.  She enjoys "spring tonics" and follows (much of the time) a vegetarian diet.  She loves life.  If she lives into next January, she will welcome her 100th year.

Coincidence?

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