Thursday, February 7, 2008

Last night's interval workout/ Thursdays at the nursing home

My interval workout last night went very well. I decided to do 60 second jogs at 6 mph, followed by 90 second walks at 4 mph. I kept this up for an hour. Doing intervals like this really helps the session fly by, because it's broken up into so many "mini-goals." It also makes it difficult to zone out, because you have to be paying attention to adjust the settings every minute or so.

The plan is to continue doing intervals, but increase the running portions and decrease the walks. I'll keep all two of my readers posted on my progress, but one of them lives with me so she'll probably already be aware of what I'm doing.

...Subject change...

My grandmother has been in a nursing home for almost two years now. She's 97 years old, and thankfully has pretty much all of her wits about her, but this wasn't always the case. Parkinson's is a real bitch of a disease. She started developing little tremors when I was a kid. At first it was barely noticeable and didn't cause any sort of decrease in her quality of life.

As time passed, of course it got worse, and it got to the point where she couldn't walk very well. She lived alone at that time, so I was worried for her a lot. I called her every day in the afternoon to check on her and work the crossword puzzle over the phone. One day, she didn't answer. I figured she was in the bathroom or something, because old people tend to hang out there a lot. I called back about 30 minutes later, and still no answer. I kept calling and calling, letting it ring for what seemed like forever, and she never picked up. By this point I was very worried, and I called my mom. She drove over there and found her on the floor, alive but pretty freaked out. It was the classic "I've fallen and I can't get up" scenario. She had been like that for hours.

She obviously wasn't thrilled to move into a nursing home and sit idly by as her family picked through her house and either threw away or sold most of her belongings. I can't even imagine how bad it sucks for her there. The fact that she is mostly mentally sound sometimes seems like a curse and not a blessing. If she were a zonked-out senile person, at least maybe she wouldn't realize how bad it sucks at that place.

At least we go to visit her. Either my mom, my dad, or myself goes every day. Tuesdays and Thursdays I stop by after work. I sit with her at dinner and we work the crossword, then we go back to her room for a bit and play gin. I'll admit it's not something I always look forward to. I have to take a Xanax before I go, because I get really tense and anxious about being there. Honestly, what do you tell someone who looks you in the eyes and says "Why can't I just die?" How the hell am I supposed to respond to that?

This is turning into a really morbid post, and I didn't mean for it to. But Tuesdays and Thursdays make me all wonky. Sorry.

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