By Kris McFalls
It's that time of year again when we reflect upon the year that is ending and think about the New Year that is about to descend upon us. Tradition dictates that we resolve to make the next year better than the last by making personal improvements in our lives. We do so by setting goals, otherwise known as resolutions, to do things such as lose weight, earn more money or spend more time with family and friends - all the while knowing full well that statistics show most of us will give up on those resolutions long before the flowers bloom in the spring.
While people with a chronic illness are often grateful we get to ring in the New Year at all, many of us are more concerned with making sure our prescriptions are all refilled before December 31st, than making resolutions to lose weight. With that in mind, I have developed a list of suggested resolutions for people with a chronic illness. Some are intentionally silly, while others are well within range for many of us.
- Meet your annual insurance deductible before the end of January.
- Remodel the walk-in closet with slanted shelves so that the oldest bottles of medication automatically roll to the front and the new 90-day supply that just arrived via UPS can be used in the order that it was received.
- Create five new responses to "Have you tried vitamin supplements?" so that you don't blow a gasket the next time someone asks.
- Develop a new line of interior design accessories that discreetly displays your bright red biohazard needle box and IV pole in plain sight.
- Invent an invisible germ shield to go with your invisible disease so that you can be protected from those who think you really don't look that sick.
- Invent hot/cold underwear that self-adjusts depending on your hormone levels and medications.
- Spend more money in insurance claims than you could possibly make in 2012.
- Convince your congressional representative to introduce an American prescription recovery bill that will forgive outrageously high copayments.
- Get a petition going that will force elected officials to use Medicare so they can see how the real world deals with healthcare issues.
- Be more productive when prednisone-induced insomnia takes over.
- Create a pin or sign that warns family and friends the prednisone is currently in use.
- Organize your wardrobe closet by prednisone and non-prednisone clothing.
Whether you chose to set New Year's resolutions or not, it is almost second nature to reminisce about the past year and look forward to the next as we approach 2012. Many of us with chronic illness hope and strive to regain the health we once had; doing so, after all, is natural human behavior. However, if we continue to lament the past, we might just miss out on the blessings of the future. And for many of us, thanks to immune globulin, we have a future. With that in mind, I would like to wish everyone a Happy New Year.