Another life lesson learned . . .

Considering the alternative, growing old is not such a bad proposition.  However, it does present us with some stark realizations as to how much certain of our abilities have atrophied, or, in some cases, disappeared altogether.  Take balance.  I essentially have none.  To explain: over twenty years ago, I discovered that my left vestibular nerve was totally non-functional (we have two of them, each dedicated to balance and hearing).  Fortunately, I had only lost the balance function.  A series of exercises was prescribed called Cawthorne’s vestibular exercises, and, after about four months of doing them, my balance was restored to near perfect.

Over the next five to ten years, I noticed that the exercises, which I continued to do on a daily basis, were no longer having quite the desired effect.  I saw a local otalarynxologist (try saying that three times fast), who ran a series of tests that revealed that I now had zero response for balance in both vestibular nerves.  In the course of that time frame, I traveled to Duke Medical Center, only to learn that the cause was “idiopathic,” or of unknown origin.  Additionally, I learned that I also had a condition called oscillopsia.  After much Google searching, I found a rehabilitation center that specialized in both bi-lateral vestibulopathy and oscillopsia, and spent about four months learning special exercises to help me cope with my disability.  I was almost back to normal.

Fast forward to this morning.  A former house painter, I had purchased paint, masking tape, and a new brush, and was ready to paint the powder room in our new town home.  I carefully removed the wall plates from the outlet and light switch, covered the floor with newspaper, and removed all the artwork from the walls.  I was ready to get started painting.  Not so fast, José.  Our downstairs has nine-foot ceilings, making my trusty old, five-foot aluminum ladder inadequate for the job.  No matter, I brought in the fiberglass six-footer from the garage.  It would give me the extra foot I needed to get the job done.  Not quite.  What I failed to take into account was that I couldn’t get any closer to the wall than the toilet and sink would permit, and that extra distance away from those two walls left me standing on tiptoes trying to reach the top of said walls.  Fuggeddaboutit!  Not happening.

The moral of this convoluted story is this: Know your limitations, and be grateful you’re still around to heed them.

So, rest assured, I will be on the phone tonight, calling a painter for an estimate.  Heck, I might even consider getting rid of that six-foot ladder . . . or not (after all, I haven’t completly lost my mind, and learning is a step-by-step process).

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About AuthorJoePerroneJr

I am a former professional fly-fishing guide, and I write the Matt Davis Mystery Series, which presently consists of five books: As the Twig is Bent, Opening Day, Twice Bitten, Broken Promises and Deadly Ransom. The series is set in the real town of Roscoe, NY, in the Catskill Mountains, where I guided for ten years. I love fly fishing, movies, cooking (and eating), and music. To learn more about me and my writing, please visit my website at:
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9 Responses to Another life lesson learned . . .

  1. chasingbeans says:

    You have brought up an interesting topic here. People should learn from your thought!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Warning well noted! 🙂 We’re all in this together…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. balroop2013 says:

    I could climb on all kinds of ladders, high stools and tables to reach anywhere though I hurt my forehead in middle school and came home with a bandage (a vivid memory)… but I respect my age now and refrain from such adventures. 🙂 #lifelesson learnt quite early! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. You lasted longer on ladders than myself, Joe, and we are close to the same age. I stopped climbing higher than 2 steps on the ladder about 3-4 years ago. I could tell the unstable feeling in my brain and said, “Nope, no higher than 2 steps, please!” I’ve come to accept that, as my ears don’t like to clearly hear and my eyes “just ain’t what they used to be”, my brain is also aging. It takes it longer to interpret things. That it why it is so hard to understand someone who speaks fast. How many times have you had an aging person say, “Slow down, please”, and what do others do? They still speak fast but LOUDER. Louder isn’t the issue. “Look at me as you speak, everyone, and slow down, please!” Smiles! Oh, and spelling? Yes, I used to be able to spell really well. How many times, now, I have typed “you” and meant “your” and vice versa. My fingers will type faster than my brain can keep up, and I will skip entire words, have to proof carefully, and then yes, blame it on automatic spelling on the computer, lol! Have to blame someone or thing, smiles! I have come to accept my aging mind as a GIFT of aging to make me stop and smell the roses more often. Thusly, peace within has replaced feeling badly about the things I can no longer do.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Falls kill people of all ages. Many, but not all, are balance related. Others have to do with overlooking safe practices. Even young professional fall. You are doing the right thing in calling for help.

    Liked by 1 person

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