Saturday, March 20, 2010

Expiration Dates

We’ve both reached that age when overnight travel means making sure we have all the meds. The first time I lined up the little brown cylindricals, it nudged, again, that we are not the spring chickens we once were. (You know, we Baby Boomers like to live in denial.) Pharmaceuticals enhance and lengthen our lives so it’s all good: except the reminder of a time when we needed nothing but an occasional vitamin.

We even bought contrasting week-long pill containers (purple for me; aqua for Mike) so I can fill them and forget about them. There’s a big (BIG) initial on each compartment so you can take what you should when you should, as long as you couple your dosage at another daily activity, like breakfast. If that becomes habit, then when fog brain creeps in and you wonder, “Did I take my pills?” you can recheck that initial. If the compartment is empty, you can generally assume you took your medications. Unless and until you start getting your days confused. I believe THAT’S when you hire help (remind me!) or move into one of those nice places where someone ELSE will help you remember.

As I am currently living the more habitual life, I fill the pill boxes for both of us each on Sunday and, once a month, I drive to Walgreens (NOT CVS --- ask me sometime) to get our rather large, next supply.

So, as I was checking out the containers, I spied what was inevitable. “Refills until 4/20/10” This particular med should discourage a return of the silver-dollar-sized kidney stone that initially sent us to the doctor last February. When we began refilling it, we checked the expiration date and sadly noted that we would not need to get it renewed.

But as it happens, I will call the doctor next week to get it renewed. What a happy call that will be. At both ends.

Busy people are planners. Calendars, day planners, and, I’ve heard, those smart phones, keep us on time today and help us see what’s ahead tomorrow, next week, next month. That kind of planning becomes habitual, almost without thought.

When the doctor tells you that your days are numbered (yes, we’re ALL going to die sometime. They LOVE to say this.), marking down future activities becomes an act of futility. A waste of ink. And reminders that most people DO plan become little knife jabs to the heart.

Previews for a new movie. “December 2009” “Spring 2010” Expired prescriptions. Expiration dates on credit cards.

Last spring, when Mike was really quite weak, recuperating from his surgery, we we going to drive to Fort Knox to see our nephew graduate from basic training. I went to the BMV to get a handicap parking permit. The nice lady, who knew Mike, handed it to me. It expires in 2013. I remember looking at her; she was tearing up; I grimaced at the expiration date. Turns out, there was no handicapped parking spots (imagine) and we walked the distance. It was fine.

We had joked that, along with all the pills, the time had come to sell the ski boat and get a pontoon. Then illness and a bleak prognosis moved that out of thought.

There was the hub’s concern that we ‘not waste money’ on things like magazine subscriptions or the XM Radio renewal or his membership at various organizations.
There were just a few lingering law matters that he would finish from home and then be done.

Slowly, we are turning back toward life. YMCA membership: renewed. XM Radio: renewed. Road and Track, Fine Woodworking, Wooden Boating, Esquire, Rolling Stone: renewed.

Although he sold his plane, last week Mike received his new medical clearance that will permit him to get his pilot’s license again. Although he got rid of most of the guitars, new ones keep appearing. “Loaners,” they tell me. Although he told me he’d never get back to Deal’s Gap (Tail o the Dragon), we are making the drive in April, trailering a motorcycle. And there’s another trip on tap to visit buddies in Fort Lauderdale.

Last week, we mailed a check to Indianapolis to change his profession status from inactive to active.

We sold the jet ski; we have a buyer for the ski boat. We’ve picked out that pontoon. Manufacturers, keen to let Baby Boomers live in denial, are making them a little “less codger,” or dare I say (?), cooler.

Today, a lovely gift of a spring day, we are headed to Indianapolis to see Avatar 3D in IMAX. Yes, we’ve read the reviews. But no matter, this should be the best way to view the movie and, you know what? We made it past Christmas 2009.

Fighting my reticence to ask God for specifics, a spiritual path that I’m traveling, I have asked Him to give my husband another fantastic summer which will be more time at the lake, Mike’s view of almost-heaven. We talk often about Heaven and, yes, we know, that it will be too wonderful for words. But, for God’s reasons, He’s given us this incredible gift of more time together and we are both stretching out to embrace it.

Thank you, our friends, as you remember us to Our Father. Please know that, right now, we are living within the special protection of His Arms.

Upcoming in April will be more tests and we will keep you posted. Right now, today, join us in thanking the Creator of all for this glorious day and all it affords.

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