Growing up, our mother cut our hair. It was cheaper. The money we saved allowed her to go to the beauty salon … which she deserved. Initially, she used handheld army clippers, then an electric one from Blue Chip Stamps. (Look it up youngsters!)
In my family, several relatives have essential tremors – unintentional shaking of the hands which comes on with age. I recall one day before a haircut, my mom noticed the scissors shaking. Sadly, that was the last haircut she gave me.
Shaking didn’t seem to affect her, though, and my aunt who lives in California has the tremor also. For both of them, drinking a glass of water was an adventure. I once got them cones, and it was like target practice watching them trying to lick the ice cream. They succeeded.
A few years ago my mom, in her 90s, taught me to make her apple pie. Helping me, she peeled apples with her shaky hands, all without a break in the continuous peel.
With the pandemic, I have to cut my own hair. My hands are shaky.
No problems yet drinking water, eating ice cream, or making apple pie.
Lucky I’m not a surgeon.
Gene Uzawa Dorio, M.D., is a geriatric house-call physician who serves as president of the Los Angeles County Commission for Older Adults and Assemblyman to the California Senior Legislature. He has practiced in the Santa Clarita Valley for 32 years.