Tag Archives: old age


4 Aug

london 10.10am 22C cloudy sunday 2019

its a quiet time nowadays at least in london anyway. august seem to be a month when nothing much happens in london. i suppose u could include the prudential bike ride this weekend, so today buses will be disrupted. but then road works can also disrupt buses so all this is rather par for the course, and is normal and not newsworthy.

the heathrow strike threatening to cancel 174flights is the biggest news so far. the dam which threatens to burst in whalley bridge is another, though that one dont look like it will happen soon, but who knows really.

overseas news the biggest one is the mass shooting of 20people in el paso, texas, and 9 in daytona ohio. this kind of news must make americans feel the chance is high that they will die from a mass shooting. i think what makes it really frightening is the random nature of the killings. 

then  i read that prince harry’s wife is 38yrs old . and i thought is she that old? so how old is harry then, so i googled it and he is 34yrs old. and prince william and his wife are 37yrs old. and i thought my goodness, how time flies when these people who i remember were young people horseing around,  are now like middle aged. where have the time gone.

i guess people with children must be reminded of the advancing years whenever they look at their children. now they are middle aged, it must make any parent feel they are old. it even makes us readers feel old to read about their age in the news. time marches relentlessly on ageing all of us. 

added, maybe it is better to have nothing happening than to have all that killing happened. but now we get instant news as it happens, and so we get to hear or read of it and cannot be blissfully ignorant of these bad things that happen on the other side of the world. 

old age and losing the mind

21 Jul

london sunday 2.36pm 23C cloudy 2019

this morning i checked my mobile and saw i had a message from a friend last night, asking me to call him . he texted me at about 5pm last night. but i have the phone switched off and only got the message this morning when i switched it on to see if i got any messages. its unusual to get this message, so i called him and got a very bad reception. i could not hear him well, but managed to get that he is in hospital, in chelsea and westminster hospital, having suffered a mental breakdown and committed himself to the hospital and had  been hospitalised. this was 5days ago and he said they are keeping him in, even though he wanted to leave.

anyway, i cannot understand him over the phone, for some reason he was mumbling and i could not hear him. so i said i will go to the hospital and see him. when i got there, i found a sign at the entrance to the ward, saying visiting hours are between 2pm-8pm. well that surprised me because i had the impression i can visit him now. it was about 10 am.  i called him on his mobile, but no one answered.

then a nurse came by and used his card to enter the ward, and i asked him if i can enter as my friend had asked me to visit him. so he allowed me to go in and talk to reception… and she seemed to know that he is expecting a visitor. so we went to the visitors room, and a nurse made us tea and brought it to the room.

i have to admit i did not recognise my friend, if the nurse had not pointed him out to me, i would have missed him.  haha. it has been a long time since i last saw him. and i noticed why i could not understand him. he was mumbling and not pronouncing the words properly…i think he had gotten worst, because in the past he used to talk more clearly… no wonder they wont let him go home, as he has no one there to look after him. at one time, he forgot where his hospital bed was.so i told him to take this time in hospital as a rest , here he is looked after with his meals prepared and he can let his mind not worry about day to day living outside. 

i have a feeling that the hospital is finding him a dilemma, because they cannot let him go home, and at the same time, cannot get social services to provide him with some kind of care. so he ends up blocking a hospital bed. i wonder if that is the fate of us old gay men, if we live long enough to be senile. 

when i got back,( after i went on to the library and read the papers  after my visit to him), simon who was recently told his brother had terminal cancer, (it was a shock to him, as he did not know. they must have not told him about it, as there is nothing he can do, and it will only be a worry to him)  told me his brother had died. i was thinking, it is for the best. its sad to know someone you know died, but i think better to die quick than to linger on for ages, esp with cancer.

and after my visit to my old friend, i am thinking death may be a better outcome than losing your mind, whilst the body is still vigorously alive.

he was telling me he tried to contact another friend of ours, ian, but unable to get hold of him. and i was thinking ian have his own worries, about his old parents, his dad in a nursing home because he is in senile dementia, he is in his 90s, and his mum recently admitted to hospital because she had a panic and anxiety attack and could not cope. both are old and need looking after. it seems if the doctors say they need to be hospitalised or social services decided that a person need to be sent to a home, the family dont have to pay for it. sigh, the perrenial problems of looking after parents or friends that have gone old and losing their minds.

this is a sad post, full of sad news. but it is the kind of news that will fill our days to come in the future, i fear…as friends grow old and die off, or suffer long terminal illnesses, or dementia. or even we ourselves suffer those things. 

it seems i got gout

14 Mar

london 7.38pm 11.2C dry thursday 2019

i thought i had a fractured left foot again, when it came up about 3days ago. there was no reason for it, and i read that it might be a stress fracture. today i decided to go tothe A&E in st thomas hospital, to let them check it out, and to ask them if it will affect the prostate biopsy that i will be getting in chelsea westminster hospital on 21march. i thought i will just get an antibiotic from them, and crutches and told to rest the foot… but they took one look at it and said it was gout. it surprised me so much. and later the urate was found to be high in my blood. so it looks like the other time when my right foot got swollen might have been gout instead of a fracture. that time there was also no history of trauma to the foot. 

added. 3.48am saturday 16.3.19. i got prescribed colchicine 500micrograms , 4x a day for 3days.  then he told me he is also going to give prednisolone, but i take it only after a day or two of the colchicine, with the pain getting no improvement. and pain killers paracetamol. i allready made up my mind that i wont be taking the prednisolone or painkillers, and i know i can tolerate the pain. i am glad i dont have to pay for these prescriptions. it cost £8.80 for each medicine. i wonder if i can return them but i know they dont like taking back medicines .

today saturday, (about 2days) it is working. swelling going down and not so painful . colchicine is given to reduce inflammation. he was telling me not to take ibubrufen, whcih used to be given for gout, but i should not take it it seems. even though it is a anti-inflamatory medicine. 

i did not think i eat that much red meat… though they say it includes chicken and pork in the cause of gout. and that i do eat. so it looks like i will need to reduce my intake of those , if not cut them out entirely. and eat lentils and peas instead. oh well, i will change my diet if it will help prevent any more episodes of gout. i wonder if it is old age that is giving me so many medical problems these days. for someone who have no medical problems at all before i retired, it shocks me that i am getting so many now. 


13 Nov

london 5.58pm 12.4C dry night tuesday 2018

one thing good about not working or having any responsibilities for another person, is that i can sleep as much and as often as i like. and i think healing takes place quicker too when i sleep. certainly my foot looks better today than yesterday. so that is a good sign that what i am doing is right.

my friend david who goes to the circuit training class has told me he fell on a visit to his brother(it is to celebrate the brother’s birthday) somewhere up north and is on antibiotics. between us two we are a right old bunch aren’t we? is that what getting old means? i hope not because it would be a horrible prospect to contemplate.

i wish david got email, but he seem to have leap frog that to a smartphone and so communicates only by text or calls. and it is difficult to write a lot on text. 

old age problems

16 Mar

london 6.12pm 11.4C dry cloudy friday 2018

its mild, warm today. strange really because tomorrow it will plunge to 0C. when the east winds brings in siberia cold to cover all of uk.

i have just been with ian, for our monthly chat meetup. we went to the ageuk tavis house cafe, where they are very welcoming, and coffee is only 50p. they are in fact very easy going about people bringing in their own food to eat there, even providing microwaves to warm the food up. and a sign says to bring your own cup if u want to takeaway a drink. they still continue with washable mugs if u drink in. i think that is good , so that they dont use any disposable cups anymore.

our talk is rather gloomy in a way. about his ageing parents. they are in their 90s.  he got a text message from his sister saying his mum had a fall. and there is also the constant problem with his father, having strokes, and needing care. what with his mum having cancer, he got a lot of future problems to solve involving their care. as the population ages, many will have this problem to solve. 

but here is something for the kid in all of us. i found them. 

right hand image is a macdonalds happy meal toy. the legs pull out to a 12cm measuring tape. the other one, i have no idea . toy cars inside this yellow container. usually i find the container empty… and i use them to keep coins. this is the first time i find one with its contents intact. 

added 8.39am saturday 9.11.19. ian’s dad died 20oct 2019. he was actually visiting us at my flat when the call came from his sister that he had died in hospital. she and his mother were visiting him at the time, as the doctors have said he has not long to live. and they had just came back from lunch when he died. ian thought it was a false alarm, as he had been lingering on in the past for so long. that is why he did not cancel our meet and had planned to go there after our meet. the hospital is in essex. the father has dementia and had been so for a long time. 

old friend

12 Jan

london 1.03pm 7.6C overcast. friday 2018

i have this friend who is in his 80s who had told me he is stressed out doing simple things on his laptop. like for eg, he said it took him 3hrs to pay a parking ticket fine via online. he said it is too small the words so he finds it hard to see, even using a magnifying glass. it straight away gave me an inkling of why he is finding it so hard… he is not savvy about computers otherwise he would know that he can change the font size of the words in his computer, or tablet…anyway i told him to ask me to come round next time you have this problem, and let me see if i can help. and so he asked me to go see him at his flat today at 11am. he uses a tablet and microsoft computer, both of which i am not familiar with, so i am not sure if i can help out. but i shall try. 

but i slept late and woke up at 10.30am, and was rushing around thinking i am going to be late. but when i opened my mobile to see if there are any messages, i saw one from him, stating that he forgot his hospital appointment today and have to cancel our meet and meet on monday instead.

it was close to 11am by the time i got to read that message so it was a great relieve to me to text him back saying it is ok, monday is good. 

i am so glad that i dont have to rush about to get to him today. and suddenly instead of a day of rushing about, i suddenly find myself with lots of time on my hands.

 i realise i am not good for early morning meets. even though i usually wake at about 7am… it is just that today i thought i shall lie in a bit, rather than wake up at 7am and have so much time to kill before going to him at about 10am. by which time i know i shall be rather sleepy.

so afternoons will be better timing… i text him saying i prefer our monday meet be after 2pm.

it is also a day when i get a free lunch from a restaurant that is doing a promotion. it is between 11am -2.30pm . it is a indian restaurant, but a fusion one, not a traditional indian restaurant. rola wala, it is called, and u could go to their website and get an invite from them via email for a free lunch on that day 15 jan. it is for one of their vegetarian dishes.

i am wondering if my friend might like to go, but i dont know.with old people you sometimes wonder if it might be too taxing for them…i hope i wont be tired out to go out just because i am 80, but who knows, at that age, it might be everything is an effort. now you know why people dont ask 80 yr olds out, because they just fear that it might be too tiring for them.

generally for these freebies, i like to go on my own, that way i can go whenever i like, instead of having to coordinate meeting times with another person. 

getting back to normal with the foot. an insight into how old age view money and spending

1 Jun

london 1.15pm 23.9C sunny thursday 2017

i have had my follow up hospital appointment in the fracture clinic this morning. the foot has healed so well, that the doctor says i can get rid of the surgical boot, and even the crutches. or when i said i would like to keep the crutches he said maybe have one.

he sent me to see the physiotherapist to get instructions on how to exercise that foot. and it was during the session with the therapist that i realised,  from what he said, that the time to not put pressure on the foot is at an end. from now on, the foot has to be worked on to get it back to normal use. there is a time to take pressure off it entirely, when the bone was healing but once healed, it is important not to carry on that no pressure kids glove treatment.

it is a danger that the patient gets too used to molly coddling the foot, but it is time to change tac and get that foot working … hence the exercises that i have to do two times a day… a set of 4 exercises that would make me put an  evenly spread  pressure on the foot whereas now because the ball of the foot is still tender i tend to not put my foot flat down. in fact, if i dont use it i shall lose it. i had a chance to put my leg close together and i can see the muscles of the left leg was so much smaller and not as muscular as my right leg. even in such a short time as 6wks, the effect is showing.

it makes me realise i should go back to the gym and start body building. i had a look at my arms and saw that they are much thinner than i remembered them… 

i saw this article today in the daily mail, one very honest writer telling of how even though she is very comfortably off, she is like a miser when it comes to spending, and confirming the old adage that we turn miserly as we age. she says she had seen how old people she knows turn miserly and vowed she wont be like them, and now she finds she is turning into them.  i think there is a lot of truth in what she says… and she is being very honest in seeing it in herself and writing about it. it is not something that old people may wish others to see.

she gives some reasons why she feels that way… and one of them , that she knows what those things used to  cost in the old days… that the prices now are like exorbitant to her and she refuse to get them now. that seems possible as an explanation.

but she did not mention another reason that might be quite high in the list of refusing to buy things now. and that is not to be wasteful. she says she can well afford to put up the heating, but wont… it can be argued that she does not want to waste energy wastefully heating up the room. she think she is just being miserly. but not wanting to waste is a good reason i think.

and i wonder when we grow old, we tend to not bother with our looks, hence she writes about  not bothering to buy fashionable clothes and buying from primark instead or go to the hairdressers,(it seems joanna lumley cuts and dyes her own hair. if so she is really good at it, because she always looks so well turnout) or even bother with makeup…or use the cheapest moisturiser as we realise they all work the same. i mean these are really legit reasons not to spend money on those things. so it looks like some of the things may not be due to being miserly, just being savvy about goods and services and getting our money’s worth. in other words we have seen through the advertising hype and able to see the real worth of things and alter the way we spend. as usual, there is a line between being frugal and being miserly… it is a fine line.