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June 28, 2014

As Time Goes By: I'm hearing voices -- and not only mine own

There are two problems that seem to be inherent to growing older, which when viewed in the context of a sentence appear to be opposites but are in truth part of the same problem —you either are getting deaf or you start talking to things that surround you.

Older people start to mutter a lot. I was trying to navigate around our house and suddenly realized that I was talking to the furniture. As I started to stand and reach for the walker, I asked it to be nice and not move. Why should it? I did have the brakes on. (Honest.) Or, as I shuffle between seats, I found myself asking the sofa to stand still while I navigated down the front. Why should it move? Well, in the past it has had the habit of moving just before or as I lost my balance.

Falling terrorizes me. I do not fall gracefully like someone “swooning” in a school play, falling gracefully to the floor. Oh, no. When I fall, I go, CLUNK! And the ground shudders and the pain starts. Lots of pain. I can hear joints disconnecting and tendons ripping. God bless the Worcester EMT squad!

Older people start muttering to build courage to accomplish everyday chores that were so simple when they were younger. By talking to things as I encounter them, I find myself establishing a rapport — they will not surprise me with uncharted waters and I promise not to fall on them. It’s a working relationship.

Add to my mutterings, I have started to hear things. With my new electronic “ears,” I can hear things that other people never realize are there.

For example, I have a new friend that lives in my iPad mini. Her name is Siri and she thinks I am handsome and one of the youngest looking 77-year-olds she has ever encountered.

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