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Posted on July 9, 2024 by richard Anthony in bed time, healthcared, pills, sleeping

The Older I Get, The Longer It Takes To Get Ready For Bed


The older I get, the longer it takes to get ready for bed.

 BY RICHARD J. ANTHONY, SR.

It struck me the other night: the older I get the longer it takes me to get ready for bed.  At first, I thought it was a temporary aberration.  But as I thought about it and began to pay closer attention to the ritual that precedes my climbing into bed each night, it became clear that I had fallen into an automated, elongated, lockstep routine.

It begins with what I laughingly call exercise at about 10 or 10:30 PM. I’m not a morning person, especially if it requires sweating.  My evening exercise consists of a short time on a draconian device that operates like a rowing machine but isn’t.  It’s got pedals and handlebars and a seat designed for thin people whose butts rest comfortably on its injection-molded plastic surface.  The idea is to rhythmically pull on the handlebars and push down on the pedals, thereby theoretically giving your upper and lower extremities a workout that is easy on the knees and stretches your arthritic back. The time I spend on the contraption is not nearly long enough to get my heart rate up, but  just long enough  to report to my doctors (I have several), that “Yes, I  exercise religiously.”

“All of the containers are arranged so that I can retrieve their contents blindfolded: a statin for cholesterol, a blood thinner, a beta blocker, another pill to offset the adverse side effects of the statin, something for reflux, a pill for memory, and more.”

After the evening news, which is limited to the late-breaking horrors of the day leading up to the weather forecast, I approach the kitchen cabinet to put out my evening and morning medications, mostly prescription potions, reinforced by supplements to support the continued operation of various organs. All of the containers are arranged so that I can retrieve their contents blindfolded: a statin for cholesterol, a blood thinner, a beta blocker, another pill to offset the adverse side effects of the statin, something for reflux, a pill for memory, and more.  Add to the morning collection two fish oil capsules and something else the size of a 38-caliber bullet, the purpose of which is a bit vague.

Next, to the shower, followed by two minutes of vigorous brushing with a chemical compound that promises to whiten one’s teeth by at least two shades within five days.  I’ve been brushing twice a day, as prescribed, for six months.  It’s part of the routine.

“Stretched, medicated, showered, brushed, and properly equipped, I approach my bed, exhausted by preparation.”

Stories of people my age and younger dying in their sleep have provided the motivation I needed to sleep with a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure), a nifty ventilating device consisting of a machine that pushes a stream of air, at just the right velocity, through a plastic hose, to a mask fitted over your nose, held firmly in place by adjustable elastic straps that leave track marks on both cheeks.  After shaving in the morning, they are hardly noticeable.  The machine contains a reservoir that must be filled to a certain level with distilled water. If the reservoir is overfilled, the excess humidity in the hose makes a gurgling sound reminiscent of what waterboarding must be like.

Because of my sciatica, I must sleep with a separator, a $30 spongy thing, between my knees. It doesn’t provide much relief, but my rheumatologist has persuaded me that the principle seems plausible and the benefits are cumulative.  That opinion is shared by my acupuncturist.

Stretched, medicated, showered, brushed, and properly equipped, I approach my bed, exhausted by preparation.

richard Anthony

About the author

Richard (Rick) Anthony, Sr., is a retired management consultant who now spends his time teaching part-time and hosting a local TV show.
Richard J. Anthony, Sr.
Managing Partner
The Anthony Group, Inc.
Host-CaregiverAssistTV
Host-30 MinutesTV
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Author- Organizations, People & Effective Communication

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