May 21, 2016

Getting Together with an Elderly or Infirm Friend? Lunch Isn’t the Only Option.

Now that I'm starting to recover from two months of battling shingles, I scheduled my first lunch out with a friend yesterday. Appropriately, it was with Jack Golodner, whom I've known longer than any of my other friends. We met in the early 1950s as students in Cornell's industrial Labor Relations School.

We began with the usual “organ recital,” often the prelude to other conversation when friends in their 80s get together. Then we discussed problems with medical care generally, and issues with our own doctors in particular. We had a very nice time together.

But when I got home, I realized I had exhausted my limited energy supply for the day. I was wiped out. 

I certainly hope that my endurance improves as my recovery from shingles progresses. For now, a lunch date is pushing my limits.

Other Options for Getting Together
Last Sunday, my friend Puru called, said he was thinking about stopping by, and asked if I wanted to drive over to our neighborhood farmer's market with him. I wanted. We spent over an hour at the market, and I picked up a few things at the Safeway next door.

The outing gave us a good chance to chat, and brought some welcome additions to my pantry at home. It also took much less energy than going downtown for lunch.

Puru has also offered to stop by on his way home from work -- when the weather improves – to drive me over to Potomac Avenue. This level street just a few minutes from my house offers gorgeous views across the Potomac River… and a good opportunity for me to try out my new walker for some needed exercise.

I haven’t spent enough quality time lately with many of my good friends. But I won’t throw a big party; I don't enjoy large gatherings. I much prefer having a good chat with one or two friends. 

As I mentioned, I'll try to recover as much as I can of the ground lost to shingles. At the same time, I recognize that my storehouse of energy must eventually diminish as my age and my Parkinson’s both progress.

But by exercising a little creative thinking, I can still come up with fun things to do. For example… the last time I was in Copenhagen, I wanted to see Tivoli Gardens. Since my slow shuffle would certainly have limited our experience, I rented a wheelchair and had a great time.

Here I am with my friends Terry and Prav, who came over from London to push me around:

So, be thinking about fun things to do with your elderly and infirm friends.

I’m sure they’d be happy to see you if you just wanted to drop by for a chat. Of course, it might be nice if you also brought some of that great soup or salad you make.

Care to guess whose birthday is next week?

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