End-of-the-Year Musings

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Are the Hoodie-Footie commercials off the air yet? Is it safe to come out now? Thank goodness they’re only around for Christmas and Valentine’s Day. I don’t think I could stand it all year ’round.

I have begun making preparations for next year. For example, I have ordered 90-day supplies of cartridges for my insulin pump and strips for my meter. Since they’re fully covered by my insurance company, it gives me a good head start for the year. By the time I need to order more, I’ll have met my out-of-pocket medical expenses. Thanks to good ol’ diabetes, it doesn’t take long to get there.

Let’s see…you have a doctor for each part of your body (it seems); medications (I have stuff for asthma, for blood pressure, for cholesterol, for depression, to help with phantom pain…), strips to check your blood glucose; insulin perhaps; maybe a membership at a health club; and on and on.

I’m thinking about acupuncture to see if it will help my for arthritic knees. I couldn’t walk before the amputation. My orthopedic surgeon asked me about knee replacement surgery and I told him I had a pin put in a toe, got a bone infection, and lost part of my toe. Then I had a screw put in my heel, got a bone infection, and lost part of my leg. I’m not about to try for “three’s a charm.” He agreed.

Maybe acupuncture will help my phantom pain. It can be very annoying. Sometimes I just want to cry out of frustration, but I don’t. Not yet, anyway. I have an uncle who lost a leg right after World War II. He fought in Europe. Didn’t get a scratch during the war. Afterwards, a Frenchman who had celebrated a bit too much drove a tank over Uncle’s jeep. I asked Uncle when the phantom pain went away. He said he didn’t know. He still has it. Oh, joy.

One more charitable contribution needs to be taken care of: Mom’s Hanukkah gift. Several years ago, she decided she didn’t need “stuff,” so I started buying things from Heifer International in her honor. Usually for her birthday, but I got her one of those one-cup coffee machines for that occasion this year. The organization supplies animals (primarily) and education to families around the world so they can raise themselves out of poverty. I’ve gotten her everything from chickens to a llama. (She never sees the animal: She just gets a card. I get a tax deduction.)

Diabetes organizations are among the places I donate to. Hopefully, you do, too, if you’re financially able.

Mostly what’s on my mind right now, however, is trips. I’m ending the year with one to South Carolina to see Dad and kicking off the new year by taking my granddaughter and her best friend for an overnight to Chicago. We’re taking the train and have tickets to see I Love Lucy: Live on Stage.

And if they’ll stop spending my money, we won’t have to take a jar of peanut butter and a loaf of bread with us so we can eat.

Usually I don’t wear my prosthesis. Because of the arthritis, I couldn’t walk before the amputation, so I don’t much bother now. However, the train ride is five hours long. Or about an hour longer than it would take to drive. But who knows what the weather will be like, granddaughter hasn’t been on a train for six years, and friend never has, so that seems to be the way to go.

Speaking of going, I can’t go five hours without. Going, that is. So I’ll have to wear my prosthesis so I can get to the bathroom. I have let my residual limb get out of shape — literally — so I’m working on that.

Perhaps I should think about New Year’s resolutions, too. Do you have any? Mine need to deal with diabetes and weight. I don’t know about you, but it’s overwhelming to me to do everything at once. So I begin with something that’s easily accomplished. It makes me feel successful and then I go on to the next thing on the list. Also easily accomplished, just not as easily as the first one.

Enjoy the rest of this year, and I’ll see you in 2013.

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