43 Days to 50.
Vulnerability and aging. It’s really 2/28/20 going into 2/29/20. I”M countinng. 😉
My 74 year-old patient was seen for paranoia, which I thought was going to lead into a conversation about racism and his perceived forfeited authority as a successful White male and in a short-lived career as a police officer. Trauma from being on-duty came about, to my surprise I did not know he had shot and killed what seemed to be a very paranoid middle-aged Black male, reportedly from Bellevue on the street who asked him, “What are you doing?” Apparently, my patient was doing a mundane task of documenting what he was doing while patrolling, and sadly, patrolling alone, which is typically against the rules. Before my patient could respond, the guy unexpectedly took out a pipe from behind and struck my patient on the head, to which my patient instinctively responded by taking out his gun and shot him i self-defense for his life. So, my patient’s beliefs about “uneducated people,” “justice,” and suvival instincts in a nursing home came about. Towards the end of the session, my patient became teary-eyed, during the emergency hospital visit in which he had to get 14 stitches on his head after the blow by the guy with the pipe, his father told his mother he was “too tired” to go to the hospital. His mother tried to expolain such strange behavior by saying his father “might have not been feeling well” at the time. According to my patient, his father was an alcoholic. Was his mother using code words for drunk? Neither my patient nor I will ever know.
Justice. Aging. How does that fit together in a long term facility? How does that fit even when independent and in reasonable health 50 and beyond? This is where I try to clutch onto my “old age of youth” in my very dwindling days as a” 40 year-old something” to dear life. Oh God. Are my 40’s really slipping away from the tips of my fingers? Yes they are. I have to stay in the moment. I’m going to modify Eleanor Roosevelt’s quote from above: “This moment is the youngest I will ever be for the rest of my dear life as I blend into my 50’s in spacetime.” 😮
Being 50 definitely is going to have its quirks. I’m okay with using my intermittent menopausal resurgence of chagning hormonal levels to use the real “don’t fuck with me attitude” with others. When pissed, I can rightfully pull off the “Honey, I have lived and will be living life, so don’t fuck with me. I can see through your bullshit. Cut the crap and cut it now.” While I’ve always maintained this stance, I can back it up with my years. 🙂