In sickness and in health

Anonymous,  Almost 70

I have had a few health scares of late…one of them possible Glaucoma….but not tested yet due to a terrible reaction to some medicine prescribed for eyelid dermatitis by one ophthalmologist which propelled visit to another ophthalmologist He is the one who said you might have glaucoma but we both chose not to test for it at this point because of skin/eye irritation from the medicine I have been taken. I have an appt. with him in 3 weeks for Glaucoma test.

Why I am really writing to Seventy Candles…is for any special advice on how to be in the moment with such worries and possible illnesses or whatever. I know as they say it can be worse….and have always had a bit of a hypochondria personality…but my love of life personality always managed to outweigh it….but lately not as easy…and I’m turning 70 this month ..and I wonder if that makes me more anxious. I don’t like this new me. However, I still love life, I am active etc..but this hypochondria and some very real possibilities is seeming to get more attention in my mind.

Have any of you experienced this? Any advice from any of you insightful women on how to deal with this would be so appreciative.


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8 Responses to In sickness and in health

  1. Diana says:

    I think that our concerns change with our age. At thirty I worried about losing five pounds, being able to buy a house, and when my infant would sleep through the night. Most of those were things that I could do something about. I could affect the outcomes.

    At seventy-two I, too, worry about things that I can’t impact – health issues, the environment, the stability of Social Security. (I could make this a really long list!)

    But at any age I would have lost sleep over the threat of a glaucoma. I hope that you get your test soon and it has great results. But waiting would be trying for anyone. I, too, would be anxious.

    I deal with my own myriad anxieties several ways. I practice Yoga (it truly calms my thoughts). I walk and exercise every day. I read or watch something light on my Kindle before bed and allow myself to think only about what I’ve been reading as I fall asleep. And I divide my anxieties into those I can do something about and those that I can’t. I refuse to dwell on the things that I can’t change.

    I’ve taught myself to focus on the little things – the way the light hits the trees, the joy of a morning cup of espresso, the sound of a great jazz riff….I make a conscious effort to notice the positive in my life.

    After your current issue has been resolved, if you’re still concerned about increased anxiety, perhaps it’s time to talk about options with your physician (assuming that you have a good one.) . There are both medical and non-medical solutions.

    Best of luck and do come back and let us know how your life is progressing.

    • Diana Belland says:

      Thank so you so much for your wise words, especially the idea of dividing your anxieties into those that you can do something about and those that you can’t. Those are wise words, and I will try to follow your example. I am 72 and just recently retired. I was sure that when I reached retirement I would be reaping the rewards of having practiced good health habits for many years, but, instead, I find myself suddenly facing some medical challenges which may sidetrack me from my retirement travel plans and other pursuits for awhile. It’s a comfort that the Seventy Candles blog offers us the chance to share not only our hopes for the years beyond seventy but also our fears and worries about the symptoms of aging we are dealing with. We don’t have to pretend that seventy is the new fifty, but we can share our ways of coping and gain courage and strength from each other. Thank you.

  2. Lucy says:

    Thank you Diana for your very wise words. Very wise.

  3. Lucy says:

    Especially appreciate the espresso reminder. 🙂
    Again thank you for taking the time to speak to my soul.
    I like a “conscious effort” to notice the positive things in my life.

    And…really love your words stated below as I am person who always needs a practical method in dealing with any thing.

    “And I divide my anxieties into those I can do something about and those that I can’t. I refuse to dwell on the things that I can’t change.”

    Again,thank you from the bottom of heart.

  4. Roseann Cervelli says:

    Sometimes I think that the scares and anxieties that come our way are our Soul’s way of waking us up a little to the impermanence of all things, and really beginning to come to peace with that Basic Noble Truth…Not to frighten us, but to remind us that what is before us in each present moment is precious and to see the Good, the Beauty, the Potential for Wisdom in each moment. While we are living our days, let’s really LIVE them- not as some automatic robot-like, unconscious way of going through the routines of the day, but with a Wide-Awake Thankfulness and Wonder for each New Day. It is for us to have the Wonder of what each new day will bring, as well as what I can create to make each new day as wonderful as it can be.
    This year, I made myself a promise to journal a little each day, so that I can remember the little things that we so often forget…As I finish each page, I look to the next blank page and wonder what I will write upon it tomorrow. I say to myself, “It is an empty page now, but it is up to me to fill it- with the experiences, events, happenings, musings etc. that I can create with the new day given to me.
    Living this way has helped me calm a lot of anxieties about getting older, health issues etc. Though I may still fret over waiting for results from a doctor’s tests, I don’t dwell on that- I am working to train my mind on creating the most meaningful and purpose-filled day that I can…And doing this- not from fear or distraction- but from a true sense of Gratitude for Being Alive and being able to do the things I can which make the world a better place for me and those around me.
    I wish you peace as you make friends with your anxieties- they are part of life too, and are here to remind us both of how vulnerable we are, but also how strong and courageous we are, as we live and create our lives- to 70 and beyond!
    Blessings of All Kinds, Always and in All Ways,

    • Fran says:

      Beautiful thoughts/post, Roseann. Everyone should read this.

      I’m turning 69 — have COPD and waiting for the outcome of a test for lung cancer. I’m not afraid, and I’m not living in denial either. I’ve had a great life (not without tragedies, like everyone has), my affairs are in order — I’m ready to go. I’m going to hate being dead — LOL — I love being alive, but I always knew I could die at any time, and, rather than scare me, that awareness has enhanced every day. Since I was 60, I’ve considered every additional day as frosting on the cake. 🙂 //// What I am afraid of is being incapacitated, for years, in a nursing home, but I rarely think about it. Life is very good just as it is right now.



      • Roseann Cervelli says:

        Dear Fran,
        Thank you for your reply to my posting- it is always nice to know that when we put forth a Sound into Life, its Echo falls upon someone’s Heart. And I wanted you to know that your writing touched me deeply as well..Your Inner Peace and Courage truly shine forth from your words and how you have been living a difficult situation with such Grace, Dignity and Inner Strength.
        About 8 years ago, the loss of a loved one took me on the Journey of “Making Friends With Death.” (There is a book by Judith Lief on this, as well as many other inspirational books…) I found myself truly drawn to Buddhist philosophy and thinking- it seemed to give me a deeper understanding and answers to those inner questions which you can hardly formulate into words…
        Buddhist teachings really help me embrace my own fears of death, fears of growing old, fears of loss of loved ones and on and on…the many fears that are so natural to just being the human beings we are. There is nothing wrong with being afraid. It’s how we live that fear, learn to embrace it, and as one teacher said, even to learn how to “smile at fear,” ( which to me seemed almost impossible to do!) Changes come slowly, but I found through readings and reflections of this nature, I found myself to be so much less reactive, and much more accepting of Life…And the paradox was, that even though less reactive, I found myself more empowered to face whatever needed to be faced. It sounds from your writing that you have reached this most sacred Place Within…
        I have a Facebook page titled Voices of Love- I have been posting on it now for almost five months. Have been posting spiritual writings which have been given to me for almost 36 years now…I don’t know if you would find them interesting, but I thought I would just pass that along to you…
        I thank you for your courage and your “Noble Heart” for sure…Keep that Inner Peace and Joy coming- our world surely needs it…Blessings of Love and Light on your Journey…

    • Lucy says:

      Roseann…Just saw your reply to my email…wonderful wise words…I am printing your response and putting it on my refrigerator.
      Much love to you.
      Be good to yourself.

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