Monday, 24 February 2014

more on decrepitude

I started this blog at the end of January, by explaining it's inception, saying that in many cultures decrepitude begins at age 70, and saying too that I had originally thought of as being the future site of my musings and wanderings.

Well, it's been a rough week.

At one-thirty Thursday afternoon my husband, Brian, was taken to the hospital in an ambulance  and at 10 pm he was returned to his  hospital room after emergency hernia surgery.   Many of the intervening hours were scary and pain-filled.  The results were excellent.  Great ambulance driver, kind and capable nurses and a handsome skilled surgeon.  Brian is healing and doing well.

As Brian slept for 12 hours straight, waking to have a glass of water and a slow climb up and down the stairs before returning to another 5 hours of oblivion, I noticed that my right eye was feeling too big.  It was as if my that eyeball belonged in a bigger face.  And it ached, ever so slightly.  PANIC level 1.  Pressure?  retinal swelling? my vision was next to nil.   Impending blindness?  I tried not to cry with fear, from exhaustion, from feeling lost.  The tears would wash out the drops I had so painstakingly deposited-  first from the bottle marked with a red marker and then 5 minutes later, one from the blue marked bottle.

It seems like it's macular edema, when the retina, responsible for central vision, becomes swollen. It happens rarely after cataract surgery, but the fact that I've had a retinal vein occlusion makes it more likely. Hopefully, special drops will help or....egad...injections of steroids or surgery.
PANC level 11

And we know that these new drops will work.

I found the following synonyms for decrepitude and thought this might be the very time to post them.  I'm way too full of piss & vinegar to really embrace them, but tonight, in my weariness, I can read then and give an ever so ever so slight nod.

n.   The quality or condition of being weakened, worn out, impaired, or broken down by old age, illness, or hard use.
Here are synonyms I found on

dilapidation n./ruin, feebleness  
frailty n./ weakness, flaw
debility n./ weakness, incapacity, disease
decay n./ feebleness, down, collapse
dotage n./ feebleness, age
caducity n./ age, deterioration
puniness n./ strong condition, infirmity

I was particularly drawn to the word 'caducity', which I hadn't heard before.
ca·du·ci·ty  (kə-do̅o̅′sĭ-tē, -dyo̅o̅′-)
1. The frailty of old age; senility.
2. The quality or state of being perishable; impermanence.

[French caducité, from caducfrail, falling, from Latin cadūcus; see caducous.

Merriam Webster aided my feebleness by using the word in a sentence:  'forgetting the name of an old friend was another painful reminder of her progressive caducity'  
So I think that by combining my two word-full sources,  progressive caducity becomes not just increasing senility, but also 'progressive impermanence'.
While I feel quite able to accept impermanence,  I feel uneasy about it being progressive.


  1. Oh my goodness Jackie, what a few days you've had. I hope Brian's recovery goes well. Yours too! I'm feeling a little caducic myself this morning with a persistent pain just beneath my left breast. Hope to see you soon. Joanna

  2. Oh my friend, I agree. I can accept the concept of impermanence. Just not the process of getting there. You are so brave. Appreciating the care of care givers. Acknowledging your fear.

    I hear your love for Brian. I hear your love of life and the visual world and words on a page.

    I love you........

    David xxoo

  3. Also......I love the shadow box. Mostly cause I see bits of my past too........ Thank you. D xxoo