|Carolyne Mas, 1985, Asbury Park Press|
Fast forward to 2002, my life shifted from playing music to caregiving as not only did I become a mother to my son that year, but upon the death of my father I became caregiver for his sister. During this period of time, which lasted until 2008, I learned so much about healthcare and nutrition. My aunt would live to be 94 although her prognosis had been poor when I first began taking care of her. She was in an advanced stage of Alzheimer’s disease and was bed-ridden, but with a healthy diet consisting of organic foods, she was able to be taken off of the anti-psychotic drugs she had been given to combat agitation. Her illness seemed to hit a plateau, which baffled doctors. It was also during these 6 years, however, that I would begin to develop arthritis in my hands from the repetitive motions of changing my aunt’s diapers. This would later on contribute to a major life change.
|My son and my aunt on her 91st birthday in 2004|
It took some time for me to get back into playing music and by 2013 I was touring and recording again, mostly in Italy. By then, however, my hands began to bother me and I would wear hand braces to immobilize my aching thumbs in between shows. On the last gig I played in January of 2014, I had to wear a brace on my right hand in order to be able to play the piano. I knew then that this would be my last gig, at least for a long while.
It took me some time to actually make the move to enroll in college, and I began by taking classes online at Cochise College in the fall of 2015. I already knew that I wanted to obtain my BS in Integrative Health from Arizona State University, and I was very excited when I finally enrolled at ASU in the fall of 2016. I graduated summa cum laude in May of 2019.
Today, I am in graduate school at ASU, pursuing my Masters in Medical Nutrition. It has been my dream to help Baby Boomers like myself find optimum health at a time in our lives when we should be enjoying our accomplishments. It is exciting to be beginning a new journey, and I am so happy that our lives have intersected at this point in time.