Senior Living: Look for the ‘silver lining’

In every little crisis, there’s a chance to learn and grow.

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And then the roof fell in.

Well, not literally. A searing pain shot down my left leg, so severe that I did not think I would make it to the nearest chair. I was gripped by fear. What to do?

I decided to call my young friend Connie, a somewhat excitable type, who hit the high note this time, too. Call my local community health centre right away,” she advised. “Be dramatic. Tell them that you can’t move, that you need help.” Also, as she had many times before, she urged me to get the button to press in case of emergency.

I thanked Connie, and then called the nurse, who arranged a visit to the nearest super clinic the next day. The X-rays showed arthritis in the left hip. I was prescribed Tylenol Arthritis and advised to see a physiotherapist.

That’s how I got to know Roberto, a physiotherapist recommended in glowing terms by friends, two of his former patients. So far, my experience over several sessions has justified their praise. He seems to be a caring person who knows his job and whose main concern is the well-being of his patients.

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Under his expertise, my pain has subsided. I am glad I found him and feel I can count on his help in the future.

Perhaps you can tell by now that I am trying to make a point. I have found that what seems like a bad beginning can lead to a positive outcome.

Unfortunately, I have more cases to prove my point, since more calamities were in store for me in the weeks after my leg trouble. While they can’t compare to bodily malfunction, each managed to upset the equilibrium of my daily life.

The scene of the second case is the kitchen, the culprit being the big refrigerator whose crisper drawers were swimming in water. While I was quite fond of the old refrigerator, I decided that action must be taken. When I called the caretaker of our building, he took one look then said, “I will be back shortly with a new fridge.” True to his word, he showed up shortly, with a new fridge.

That’s when I panicked. As always in an emergency, I knocked on my wonderful neighbours’ door. Out came my neighbour’s, wife who sized up the situation and went to work, emptying the contents of the old fridge and cleaning the dark, dirty floor underneath. Once the new fridge, quite a bit smaller than the old one, was in place, she did a great job finding a place for everything. Taking a look around the apartment, she also announced that she was coming back on Saturday for a bit of cleaning.

When she showed up, as promised, on Saturday with a bag full of cleaning products, I realized I was dealing with someone who really knew what she was doing. Moreover, she also decided that several items in the kitchen and bathroom needed replacing. A few days later, she was back with a bevy of new accessories. So now, thanks to the refrigerator problem, both kitchen and bathroom sparkle like never before and I am enjoying a super-clean apartment

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The third calamity concerns technical equipment. Next to stop functioning was my “special” phone, the one that has big numbers lighting up and a voice-enhancing feature, a huge help for people with hearing issues like myself. While help was on its way, in the meantime one positive outcome was that I was forced to use my hearing aids when talking on my “regular” phone. I was told, but had never quite followed the advice, to get used to wearing my hearing aids all day — and this was my chance to do just that.

I am convinced there is a purpose to everything that happens. So I am keen to know what lies just around the corner.

— Alice Lukacs writes the Life in the 90s column

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