Medicare and Me, Oh My!

by Kassandra Lamb

OMG, I’m on Medicare! How did that happen?

Medicare and You booklet

They sent me this thick booklet. Have I read it?  Well, um, no.

As a friend of mine once said on the occasion of her 50th birthday, “How did my 25-year-old mind get trapped in this 50-year-old body?”

For me, it’s more like my 45-year-old mind is caught in a 65-year-old body. I definitely feel like a “mature” woman mentally, but not OLD!!

But my body has a different perspective. When I first get out of bed or stand up from a chair, I waddle. I don’t want to waddle but I do, until my legs and hips get unstuck from their resting position and actually start working again.

I look in the mirror and my mother is staring back at me. Instead of the long, lean face of “Kass” I see the round, slightly jowly face of “Marty.”

Don’t get me wrong, I loved my mother. But I don’t want to BE her. And yet more and more, I am.

And then there is the crepey skin and varicose veins. I’m keeping the cosmetic companies’ sales figures up, at least for firming creams.

What amazes me is that I can still rise to the challenge physically when I have to, although the recovery is longer and rougher than it used to be.

In August, I helped my son drive his and his wife’s cars from Philadelphia to their new home in Texas. The trip did not go well timing-wise. We got away late and ran into multiple traffic delays. Somehow I made it through three and a half days of driving. Then I slept for ten hours, helped unload the storage Pod, and then flew home to Florida.

And did nothing pretty much for three days. 🙂

Then Hurricane Irma happened. And I discovered a whole new reservoir of something…not sure what to call it: grit, fortitude, survival instinct.

I posted about this last week. We decided at 8:15 at night that we needed to evacuate. We drove all night. Except for about an hour and half, I was the driver (my husband hates to drive and I, normally, like it.) He did a great job of “riding shotgun,” staying awake himself and engaging me in conversation.

I was shocked that I was able to stay alert for so long. It wasn’t even all that hard when it felt like our survival depended on it.

Yes, I was dragging for a couple of days, just barely perking up in time for the trip home, but I did it.

I could tell you more stories, of friends even older than myself who are taking care of ailing spouses. And others who are still working for a living because pensions are insufficient or nonexistent, some doing physical jobs such as cleaning houses and mowing lawns and fixing roofs.

More and more I’m reminded of how fortunate I am. I watch on the TV the devastation wreaked by Mother Nature—in Texas and South Florida and now Puerto Rico. It brings home to me how easily one can lose so much.

I’m not sure I have a moral to this post, unless it is to count your blessings—and to remember that they are blessings and not take them for granted.

How has the passage of time changed your perspective on life?

Posted by Kassandra Lamb. Kassandra is a retired psychotherapist turned mystery writer. She is the author of the Kate Huntington psychological mysteries, set in her native Maryland, and a new series, the Marcia Banks and Buddy cozy mysteries, set in Central Florida.

We blog here at misterio press once (sometimes twice) a week, usually on Tuesdays. Sometimes we talk about serious topics, and sometimes we just have some fun.

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  • Reply
    Karen McFarland
    September 26, 2017 at 4:59 pm

    I’m right behind you Kassandra. Well, half a decade behind. But time goes by so fast. And it is strange to think that I have entered another decade. Where did the fifties go? To think that I freaked out over turning fifty. Now I wish I could go back. lol. You’ll have to let me know how Medicare works for you. Hey, it might be better than the ACA. Ya never know. Hopefully, you won’t have to use it, eh? Stay healthy and get some rest my friend! ((Hugs)) 🙂

    • Reply
      Kassandra Lamb
      September 26, 2017 at 5:30 pm

      I’d love to be 50 again, Karen! But I’m not really complaining about being 65. I’m relatively healthy and financially secure.

      And Medicare is working out great so far. You get a bunch of free assessments when you first go on it. Had my eyes thoroughly checked yesterday (all good) and getting my hearing checked next month. 🙂

  • Reply
    Vinnie Hansen
    September 26, 2017 at 8:41 pm

    I’m with you, Kassandra. I look in the mirror and can’t believe the old woman staring back at me!!

    • Reply
      Kassandra Lamb
      September 26, 2017 at 9:44 pm

      I think I’d cope better with that old woman in the mirror, if she didn’t look so much like my mother! LOL

  • Reply
    September 30, 2017 at 6:09 pm

    I’m 61 and got my Social security letter the other day as I get closer to retirement age. Since I “retired”back in 1983 when Sean was born, my letter says you need 40 credits to retire, you have 38. Medicare, 40 credits, you have 38…. and so on. I think they told me about those darn 2 credits about 5 times for various things.

    I always thought I’d go back to work when he started school. But preschool and grade school, I enjoyed being able to volunteer for school stuff, and being room mom a couple of years.

    • Reply
      Kassandra Lamb
      September 30, 2017 at 9:28 pm

      Tom had the same issue, Cindy. He was a federal government employee back when their retirement plan was outside of Social Security so he only had 30-some credits. His part-time teaching after he retired gave him a few more so he eventually got over the 40. He refers to the hundred bucks or so that he gets a month as his “wine money.” Now it pays for his Medicare.

  • Reply
    Dwane Knott
    October 3, 2017 at 5:24 pm

    I turn 70 next week. I look on the mirror to shave and see my DAd starting back at me. Good bless, I am still able to be active and not suffering with too many aches and pains. Joining the retired scene in January. 7 decades old soon, hurrah 🙂

  • Reply
    Kassandra Lamb
    October 4, 2017 at 3:13 pm

    Happy Birthday a little early, Dwane! Glad you’re doing well health-wise. Hope you love retirement as much as I do! It’s the one HUGE reward for getting old.

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