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A Million Little Pieces Of My Mind

Aging Gratefully

By: Paul S. Cilwa Viewed: 8/14/2022
Posted: 3/6/2022
Page Views: 480
Topics: #AgingGratefully
One man's experience of hitting his seventies.

Starting with my coming out of the closet, I've made my life an open book on these pages. It may seem self-serving, but that's not actually the reason I keep it up.

The first reason is to give my grandkids an insight into how it was to live and grow up in the 20th Century and the opening decades of the 21st. The second is to reach out to folks who may be going through some of the things I have, and who could benefit from reading that they aren't in this all alone, after all.

So, now that I've started into my seventies, and since I have concluded my Coronavirus blog, I've created this new section of web site, where I plan to complain about aches and pains but also about my triumphs and overcomings of my age-related health.

I grew up in a house full of, as my sister called them, "old people". My mom had me when she was 39 (not exactly a spring chicken); her elderly father and my step-grandmother also lived with us. We even had Great-Aunt Edna with us for awhile.

And yet, their generation was brought up to "not complain". As a kid, watching my grandfather lose his mobility in his late seventies, I had no context for what was happening to him; and, as a kid, it never occurred to me to ask for any. I wasn't frightened by what was happening; I simply accepted it, as I assume they did.

Now, at 71 myself, I wish I could have learned from them what this journey is all about. But with or without them, the journey is now mine. And if I can save anyone from fearing their aging years, or trying to fight them, by sharing my experiences with the general public—then it will have been well worth it.

Movie with the Littles

By: Paul S. Cilwa Occurred: 2/12/2022
Page Views: 186
Topics: #Coronavirus #Maui
My Spidey-sense tells me there's fun ahead!

My daughter, Jennifer, invited me to see a movie with her two little ones (whom we call "The Littles"). I'd have gone, anyway; but the movie turned out to be Spider-Man: No Way Home. I know it was all over the Littles' heads, but it was funny and there was lots of action and no super scary moments; so they enjoyed it.

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Sultry Skies of March

By: Paul S. Cilwa Occurred: 3/10/2022
Page Views: 155
Topics: #Coronavirus #Maui
Postcards from the ledge.

Part of aging gratefully is having time and opportunity to enjoy the sunsets. I get to sit on my 2nd floor balcony in the afternoons and enjoy the show Nature puts on here most every night.

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A Little Like A Dog Park

By: Paul S. Cilwa Occurred: 3/28/2022
Page Views: 164
Topics: #Dogs #Ella #Lilly #AceroatColleyStation
The dogs teach a lesson in making the most of things.

My apartment complex, Acero at Cooley Station, boasts as one of its amenities, a dog park. So I've been meaning to check it out, but hadn't gotten around to it until today. But my goodness…could they spare the space? It's basically about the size of my living room.

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My Birthday

By: Paul S. Cilwa Occurred: 4/8/2022
Page Views: 151
Topics: #Birthday
Somehow, I turned 71.

Of my four kids, only two live near me in Arizona. Dorothy and Karen, the other two, called me for my birthday, of course. Jenny and John had me come to a restaurant birthday dinner!

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Mushroom Rice

By: Paul S. Cilwa Occurred: 4/12/2022
Page Views: 169
Topics: #Coronavirus #Maui
Here's how lazy single people manage to eat well.

As Richard Nixon once said, "I am not a cook." Or maybe it was Melania Trump. Either way, neither am I. But I do like to eat. Hence, I have become quite expert in preparing delicious, fresh-tasting meals out of frozen and pre-packaged ingredients. Tonight I'm just having chicken nuggets, but the "side dish" is what you'd want to write a blog page about: whole grain rice infused with sauteed mushrooms, minced garlic, and black olives. (To be honest, the nuggets are almost unneccessary.)

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A Leap of Faith, A New Dog Park, and Spinal Surgery

By: Paul S. Cilwa Occurred: 4/13/2022
Page Views: 147
Topics: #LumbarSpinalStenosis
A quarter-century-old mistake comes back to bite me in the spine. Also, dog photos.

Many of the health issues aging has brought me are of unknown origin. For example, I have no idea why my Achilles tendons suddenly became so inflamed when I was living on Maui. However, I just found out I have Lumbar Spinal Stenosis, and, as it happens, I know exactly when and where my own actions caused it.

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Basketball for Easter

By: Paul S. Cilwa Occurred: 4/17/2022
Page Views: 150
Topics: #Coronavirus #Maui
Easter eggs give way to sports balls.

Today is Easter, and my daughter Jenny invited me to spend the day with her and the Littles. By the time I arrived, Gianna had already found her eggs and run next door to play with her friend, Brinkley. I did get to catch Dominic's booty, though.

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By: Paul S. Cilwa Occurred: 4/23/2022
Page Views: 138
Topics: #Recipe
We are what we eat. And drink.

A lot of people have noted marked improvements to their health following adding green juices or smoothies to one's diet. Thanks to my personal blender, it's become pretty easy for me to make these. And they're delicious!

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Research Scam

By: Paul S. Cilwa Occurred: 4/24/2022
Page Views: 138
Topics: #BigPharma
Con artists approach from every direction.

Most of us want to be good citizens. And if we understand science and modern medicine, it can be very tempting to volunteer for a vaccine or other medicinal study. And to sweeten the pot, it's normal to pay study participants. After all, if the new medicine turns out to be effective, the pharmeceutical firm stands to make billions of dollars; and they can't make a penny if sufficient volunteers cannot be found. I've done a couple myself.

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Dog Days

By: Paul S. Cilwa Occurred: 4/30/2022
Page Views: 173
Topics: #Coronavirus #Maui
You can't really be lonely if you live with dogs.

You'd think my dogs, Ella and Lilly, would miss Maui. But no; as long as they're near me, they seem to be happy as clams.

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Life Inside My Apartment

By: Paul S. Cilwa Occurred: 5/1/2022
Page Views: 176
Topics: #Coronavirus #Maui
It's nice to be able to go out, but it's also nice not to have to.

I moved into this apartment about 3 and a half months ago, and have definitely taken my time in arrnaging it to my liking. But I've pretty much done so by now.

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No More Pool

By: Paul S. Cilwa Occurred: 5/2/2022
Page Views: 173
Topics: #Coronavirus #Maui
Ella loves to swim. She also sheds…a LOT.

So my daughter, Jenny, lives just a mile from me, and she has a lovely back yard with a beautiful pool. Since Ella, the Golden, sheds a lot, she isn't allowed inside Jenny's house. But Jenny fixed up the yard so I could let the dogs into it without going inside. And then Ella immediately jumps into the pool, and spends her entire visit just swimming, back and forth.

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By: Paul S. Cilwa Occurred: 5/23/2022
Page Views: 209
Topics: #Coronavirus #Maui
Sleep: I'm in favor of it.

A few weeks ago, my daughter Jennifer got me one of those smart watches. And it may have already saved my life.

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Cosmo Dog Park

By: Paul S. Cilwa Occurred: 5/28/2022
Page Views: 161
Topics: #CosmoPark
Living their best life.

One of the things I miss about living on Maui is on behalf of my dogs, Ella and Lilly. On our property, they had free run. The cabin door was always open, so they "walked" themselves when they wanted. Here in Arizona, they must stay on-leash outside. Luckily there's a really nice dog park with a lake for them to swim in.

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By: Paul S. Cilwa Occurred: 6/10/2022
Page Views: 158
Topics: #Dogs #Ella #Lilly
More photos of my dogs. Yeah.

I live with two dogs, Ella (a Golden Retriever) and Lilly (a cattle dog). They are so sweet that I take far too many photos of them. Here are a few.

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Father's Day

By: Paul S. Cilwa Occurred: 6/19/2022
Page Views: 168
Topics: #Coronavirus #Maui
Dinner AND a shirt!

Having just returned from a pre-Father's Day vacation in Costa Rica compliments of my daughter, Jenny.

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Pooltime with the Littles

By: Paul S. Cilwa Occurred: 7/20/2022
Page Views: 125
Topics: #Dominic #Gianna
I love hanging out with my youngest grandkids.

I dropped by to hang out with my littlest grandchildren. At first, it was just the very youngest, Dominic.

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River Float with the Rizzos

By: Paul S. Cilwa Occurred: 7/24/2022
Page Views: 214
Topics: #SaltRiver #Gianna #Dominic #Zach
I go down the river with my grandkids.

I haven't made a visit to the Salt River since before I moved to Maui. It's not that I haven't thought about it; but with my weakened ankles I wasn't confident in my ability to navigate the rocky trails. So I didn't try; but today I was invited to go with my daughter Jenny and her family and I was very grateful to go!

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Cosmo Again

By: Paul S. Cilwa Occurred: 7/27/2022
Page Views: 129
Topics: #Ella #Lilly #CosmoDogPark
Back to the dog park with the lake.

I try to bring the dogs to the lake park at least every other day. They need the exercise! But it's been very hot here lately, so I have to bring them early in the day before the temperature exceeds 100°.

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By: Paul S. Cilwa Occurred: 7/29/2022
Page Views: 129
Topics: #Aging
I may find myself in a beautiful house.

I finally got some art on the walls. They are canvas prints made from some of my favorite photos from Maui. So here's what my apartment looks like now, starting with the inside of the front door.

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Oh, My Back!

By: Paul S. Cilwa Occurred: 8/8/2022
Page Views: 160
Topics: #Aging #LumbarSpinalStenosis #SpinalStenosis #Epidural
In which I get a lumbar epidural for a pain in the back.

This past April, I learned that I had lumbar spinal stenosis. Today, four months later, my insurance finally came through for a procedure that may help relieve the pain. The procedure is called a lumbar epidural, and it is a shot (or, in my case, a pair of shots) that place a steroid into a space in the spine. The injection is named an epidural steroid injection because it involves injecting a local anesthetic and a steroid medication directly into the epidural space that surrounds the spinal cord and nerve roots.

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Do Not Get A Lone Little Doggie

By: Paul S. Cilwa Occurred: 8/9/2022
Page Views: 130
Topics: #Pets
If your house will be empty for more than an hour or two at a time, do not leave your dog alone.

The poignancy is presented by this poor dog who has, presumably, been sitting at the door for 8 or 9 hours, waiting for its human to return. The cruelty is that this is completely unneccessary. Please allow me to consolidate the rules for having a relationship with dogs.

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