About:


“Behold; The Aging Sociologist”, a web-blog produced by the League of the Grey; a website of  advocacy and research for those interested in the psych~social aspects of aging.

~~~~~

My wife and I live in a southern California community not too far from Los Angeles; in an assisted-living, retirement environment.

We’ve been married for over fifty years.  I am a partially paralyzed stroke survivor; a clinical sociologist, graduate of City University of New York, a retired psychotherapist.  She has had a professional career as well; and age-related issues of her own.  In spite of, (or because of) our challenges, we thrive.  This; our story, our adventure through recovery, began…

In the dry heat of August, in the southern California morning; too intense to stay in bed, I had wanted to sleep in all day long. We lived, at that time, in a 1926 lathe-and-plaster, two-story home but it’s thick stucco walls made it cool enough for me.  Still; I had a project waiting for me at the office. Reluctantly; I got myself dressed, gulped down a bowl of Cheerios. And stopped.

What I remember accurately is  that ‘something’ just wasn’t right. I don’t remember what it was exactly. Just a ‘something’; something a little ‘off’. I do remember telling my wife, “I’m really feeling dizzy”. I had experienced a small stroke two years earlier, but I had gone right back to work after six weeks. I wasn’t scared. But I was being cautious. I was 59 years old. 5ft. 8 inches tall. And 298 pounds.

“Do the math”, I could have said! I was a second stroke waiting to happen. And it was happening!!  

I was getting more and more dizzy. Fortunately, my wife and I were living on the same street as Los Angeles’ Cedars-Sinai Hospital,  5 minutes away.  During those five minutes I had lost consciousness.  My wife remembers that I was throwing up in the car.  She remembers that I had started convulsing.  She remembers arguing with the woman in admitting who demanded accurate paperwork; my wife, screaming at the clerk,  “He’s having a stroke NOW”! Do something !!!   She has told me that a doctor, hearing the commotion, took control of the situation.  But; for me?  I remember…   …  ….

NOTHING…   …   …

Three weeks in Critical Care…   …   …three months of in-patient rehabilitation.

Several days of re-learning the basics of swallowing. Several weeks re-learning how to control by bowels. Several weeks of sitting in a wheelchair, strapped to a back brace to strengthen my spine. Learning how to walk. Learning how to speak. Learning how to write.

That was 2002. Now is 2017. I am writing this blog. The right side of my body is paralyzed. I can walk with a mini-walker for a few yards. My wheelchair takes me further. The (in)famous Los Angeles Rapid (?) Transit System takes me further still. My arthritic hands are…   …   …arthritic hands. There’s more. Worse.  You can imagine.

Don’t!

I hear stories of families devolving under the stress of similar events.  My wife and I are still going strong.

“Now”, is all there is. An incredibly short series of ‘now’s. They can disappear in a moment.  Cherish what you have.  Its all you’ve got.  Its the same for all of us; I know.  Maybe some day, I’ll tell you my raison d’etre; why I don’t give up. Maybe some day.  As soon as I figure it out.

The story never stops.

Until it ends.

For now,  there is more to tell.

The rest is the on-going work of my blog.  It has given me hope and focus.  And Meaning.  And Purpose.  I hope you will find the work useful as you, and I, age.

 Further.

Jonah A. Steinhaus; Editor

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