Wednesday, January 6, 2010

If you get what you always get

You know that cliche - "If you do what you've always done, you'll get what you always get." Or maybe the generations that followed mine don't know it. Back in the day it was a commonplace that many a therapist murmured sooner or later. For that's what we see other people do - the same old thing, butting their heads up against that wall and expecting it to give this time. I seldom catch myself at it, of course.

Actually, this is the story of a small triumph. I just finished a 15-minute phone call with my special mail-order pharmacy, a call that seems likely to result in me getting at last the doses of EPO I need to inject myself with, not to compete in bike races, just to stay upright.

My kidney doc faxed that prescription to the regular mail-order pharmacy Nov. 22. Then again December 24. Nothing continued to happen. I worried about it. At last Tom made his way through a file and came up with a certain phone number, and - voila. It turns out that EPO has to be ordered from these people, not those people. It would have been nice if those people had called or written to tell me they couldn't fill the scrip, but no. They are a bureaucracy, and once something becomes a bureaucracy, its purpose is to perpetuate itself. Furthermore, the tendency is for everyone in it to exist only to keep himself out of trouble by following the regulations.

Maybe we hit the yellow brick road at last for the EPO, for which I am truly grateful, and will be more grateful when it actually arrives. Meanwhile, what makes this sort of ordinary granny story in any way Zen? Well, it's about getting in touch with reality. And how good it feels.

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