We love our parents. They’re still together, and that’s super rare these days. Of course, we remember them being as spry and energetic as they were when we were younger. Unfortunately though, that’s just not the case anymore. We asked our parents if it was okay with them for us to share a little bit about the struggles they’ve been facing lately. They agreed on two conditions. One, that we don’t use their real names or pictures – so we’ll just refer to them as Mom and Dad. Second, they asked us to omit certain details that they were worried might identify them. No problem. So if I get a little vague, just know that it’s to protect my parents’ wishes.
Our mom used to smoke cigarettes for a long time. She’s quit now, but she did some serious damage to her lungs. She’s been having trouble breathing for a while now. It’s pretty scary for me to think about. I mean, imagine not being able to breathe fully, and feeling short of breath all the time. If you’re reading this, please don’t ever smoke cigarettes. It’s not worth this fate.
Mom has been doing really well lately with taking better care of her health. She is watching what she eats, and trying to take walks more often. She’s also getting serious about getting her breathing back on track. She is seeing her pulmonologist (lung doctor) regularly now. They’re considering a surgical procedure that will help her gain back more of her lung capacity. I’m hopeful that my mom will be around for many more years.
My dad is a different story. He has knee and hip problems. He has already had one hip and one knee replacement. Now his other knee and his other hip are bothering him. His doctors have to strategize with him to help figure out which procedure he will need to have done first.
To make matters worse, my dad has pretty bad hearing loss. I don’t know whether he went to too many concerts or something in his younger years, but it’s gotten a lot worse as he has grown older.
On top of that, my dad has had a lot of issues with back pain. Thankfully he’s doing a lot better now. They had to use radio frequency waves to kill some of the nerves in his back that were causing pain. This has limited his mobility to some extent, which wasn’t very high to begin with. However it was well worth it to make sure that he’s no longer in such terrible chronic pain.
My dad is a pretty good sport about all of this. He always chuckles and says, “it sucks getting old!” I hope that I have fewer health problems later as I age – it inspires me to take much better care of myself now. I love my parents and I hope to have both of them around for a long time yet!