I typically don't share a ton of personal details on my blog but family and stubbornness have been on my mind the past few days, so I hope you don't mind my post tonight. I had mentioned previously that recently my parents had gone to visit their respective parents in Los Angeles. My mom's dad has rapidly deteriorating vision in one eye, despite recent surgery, and has completely lost it in his other eye. My dad's mom has been undergoing dialysis for some time now and is now making four trips per week to the dialysis center. Neither of these situations cropped up overnight. Both sets of grandparents are fortunate enough to have hired help as well as family living with them 24/7 to assist, but tempers run hot and stress levels run high as everyone struggles to cope with the "new normal." I think the hardest part for each family member is just that - this may be the new normal.
My grandparents have been dealing with it in their own ways. My once-commanding and statuesque grandfather is slowly sinking into a quiet depression and losing mobility due to inactivity and muscle atrophy. My grandmother ignores the doctor's advice of keeping a bland, liquid diet and eats and drinks whatever she wants, having become incredibly food motivated and angry at her dietary restrictions. As a consequence, in the past month, she's already been hospitalized twice. My dad came back with a very important piece of advice for us all: don't become more stubborn as you age. The inability to accept or adapt to circumstances, in this case health, when they change puts you down a much harder path. I'm not professing to be a doctor but improving the handicap accessibility of your home or watching your diet are some small ways of making their situations a little more tolerable.
My dad, ever the practical one, says that they're teaching the younger generation a lesson and showing us, as they have done our whole lives, how to live to be better people. It's a lesson that I will not forget and hope that they can, in their own time, learn as well.