Sands of Time

Image result for withered hands

My run of good health came to an abrupt end a few of weeks back and I have been in and out of the hospital. The recovery is on but I have been left with a barely functioning right-hand that bemoans at the thought of heavy movement (Blame those IV injections). The thought of typing is painful but today is my blog's third birthday and of course, I wanted to butt in and wave a hello with my left hand!

And also leave something to ponder that has been doing rounds in my head.

This happened to me at the pathology lab I frequented for my medical tests. It was still very early in the morning, and particularly rainy – only a handful of us sleepily making our way pricks and pees. I was as far from dwelling on ageing as I peed in the cup as I am to landing on Mars, but I did!

The lowdown of what happened –

There was a lady, a very old lady seemingly unaccompanied who was there to take some tests.

She had to enter her details in the system before they could take her blood. It seemed that she was a little short of hearing, so they asked her for her details, ever so slowly – repeating every key word. Her answers were apologetic and laced with regret as she asked them to repeat their questions, visibly fretting over the "inconvenience" she was causing.

When I looked around the room, every person wore the same gentle, patronizing smile. The lab guys also somehow assumed that she will not know what a cellphone is let alone remember the number, and proceeded to mansplain it. They also preferred to overlook her remarks at the tests she had to take and just refer to the prescription.

Because she was old, and frail and apologetic?

She was impaired of hearing, but she was evidently of sound mind! Her answers were crisp and clear, her command on the language clearly showed that she was well-informed. But yet she was denied of this control and the basic level of respect. Worst part is that she probably constitutes the majority – almost all old people I have met look at themselves as an inconvenience!

It has never hit me so squarely as it hit me that day – of the constant babying of older people. And I doubt we realize we are doing it – we stay in the delusion of being understanding and helpful. But on the flipside, I know for a fact that if anyone speaks to me like that, it will be an incessant blow to my dignity. It's a casual ageism that I need to contain next time I speak to anyone elderly – especially my grandma.



Thoughts? I apologize in advance for not giving a prompt reply – my hand will take a while to recover.

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18 thoughts on “Sands of Time

  1. Sadly there are many situations to which we can potentially react unreasonably…. such as a mental health situation, or a circumstance where a degree of prejudice or uncertainty exists. Why, when somebody does not understand us due to language difficulty, do we think that repeating it but louder will help? Why do we intuitively want to pat a dog’s head as a sign of affection (we don’t pat each others heads)? Our ability to react to certain circumstances logically is very questionable. Now rest up and get back to normal asap! 🙂

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  2. I’m so sorry to hear you’re having trouble with your hand! It’s such a terrible thing not to have the use of your dominant side. I hope you get better soon, Praj!

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  3. Oh, sorry to hear about your health. Hope you recover soon.

    One never imagines what is going on around unless we give it a due thought. The incident seems to have come as an eye-opener for you.

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  4. Heyyy Prajakta ! I know it’s hard for you to type so reply whenever you can, but what happened to your hand? I hope it’s nothing serious. Get well soon ! Can’t wait to see you back. Congratulations on your third bloggiversary !

    And I can totally understand where you are coming from with that experience, that was a very thoughtful realisation. Something we take very lightly in daily life activities but is very impactful.

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  5. This touched me very deeply, Prajakta. I think whether it is a little child, an ill person, an older person. When we feel that someone is in need of help we try to “baby” them… yes, you are right, we need to be cautious that we don’t make a person feel humiliated or not being taken serious. Your post is important and should make us wake up!

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  6. Yeah, I don’t even talk to babies like that. PUPPIES & KITTENS though 😉
    It’s a truly valid point, about being respectful and reverent.

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  7. SMiLes.. mY FriEnd.. Prajakta.. yes.. so..
    so.. sorry that your right hand is injured
    and hopefully a fast recovery for you..
    but good to hear yoUr LeFT Hand
    STiLL has plenty to say
    for years you
    know
    it was
    considered
    an evil one
    to use then in
    more dArK ages
    of two handed left one human
    potential.. isms and averages
    of the Human Condition based
    on past perceptions and future
    expectations in group way think
    of systemizing science mind away
    From A poTenTial of A MaGiC MiNd
    iN heART as SpiRiT iN A MiNd and BoDy
    BaLanCinG soUL wHo sees no restraint NoW
    oF limiTations oR eXpectations of future passing
    group think isms that make guarantees we supposedly
    canNot deFeat.. A best thing about Freedom of Expression
    And a Global SpeaKinG WorLD NoW iS liMiTs and eXpectations
    of group thiNk isms of befoRE and AfTER coME to so much more
    HUMaN PoTenTiAL Now.. for instance.. the lie that humans are weaker
    BeinGs than their so-called savage ancestors or ‘they’ were less intelligent too..
    for any TrUELiGhT
    Feral
    Cat of
    Human WiLL
    run circles of
    InNaTE FlUiD
    Intelligence and
    Physical Prowess now
    Around A Domesticated
    HUman Cat.. tHinG iS2..
    hUMaNs don’t ofTen
    coMe WiLd and
    Free as
    Noble Heaven
    LiVinG NoW BEasts
    they used to be iN Peace
    And Love and GRace as Wilder DoG/
    Wolves do out of Human Domesticated
    CAges too.. so much more than GroWinG
    oLd mY FRiEnd as the evidence continues to
    clearly sHow around a globe that there are those
    who stray from isms of cAges beFore and LIGhTEN
    uP A LuciFeRD waY of DoinG DiFFeReNT More.. yeS.. LIGht BrinGerRS as ‘they’ Now too..
    DancE and SinG freeR noW MoRE than dirt naps ‘fore of Heaven’s dreAm in burns and coffins less..
    STiLL
    WaiTinG
    oN GoDoT
    sad sAd PeRioD
    HuMaN BeinGS..:)

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  8. What an incredible post Prajakta and happy 3 year blog anniversary. Ageism and stigmas towards the elderly is very real. So much respect with the matter of how you have addressed it with this post.

    As for myself next year in Canada I will be classified as a “senior”. The biggest thing I have noticed these last few years is finding a decent job I believe all because of my age. I get so many interviews, and the interviews go extremely well. I have so much to offer, but it does not go any further. And I can sense from those interviewing me I am not the right fit because of my age.

    It can weigh heavily on my self esteem at the time. I would not regard myself as an elderly person, but I can’t imagine how difficult life must be for the elderly and the lack of respect they are given.

    Thanks again for sharing. Please take care of your hand my friend! 🙂

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  9. With more people living longer, I wonder how this will play out. Perhaps we’ll see more movements to treat the elderly with respect. But you’re already ahead of the curve raising awareness. Thank you for that! Learning to type with your left hand is sure to be good exercise for your brain. (I did it when I broke my right wrist.) I hope your hand heals well and quickly. Congrats on three years!

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