Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Actually, it's not that simple

Yesterday my peaceful mood was thrown by a medication problem.  I ran out of a major immune-suppressant medicine, which keeps my body from rejecting my transplanted kidney.  This medicine is thought to be very important. How does such a thing even happen?

It's easier than you think. I take about a dozen prescription drugs, 30-some pills a day.  I get some at a local pharmacy, some by mail-order, and some from a specialty mail-order place that handles unusual things.  I expect the special mail-order pharmacy to do things right---they always have.

Two weeks ago I ordered a refill of Neoral from them.  Four days after that I received a box from them with sirolimus, my other special med.  I have plenty of sirolimus, so I thought, "Well, huh, I don't need this but they sent it. Okay."  

That's the last I thought of it until yesterday morning when I went to get a fresh box of Neoral.  I didn't have any.  None.

I was rightly anxious about not having that drug, and made several attempts to get it.  (For one, I left a message with the nurse who handles my kidney doc's prescriptions.  He never called back.) In the late afternoon, I saw that the specialty pharmacy's website gave email addresses for its executives, and I wrote to the pharmacist in charge of their midwest division.  That worked. She called me within the hour, apologized, and assured me that it was being shipped overnight.  I'm tracking it, it's on a FedEx truck somewhere in my neighborhood. (Update:  It arrived that day around 5:00.)

Okay. I intend to track pharmacy refills on my calendar from now on.

I was struck by how confused and depressed I got.  I needed some anxiety to propel me into action. But I didn't need to go into a bleak mood.  It came to me pretty easily that I owed that to my father.  He would have been spitting with blame.  How could you be so stupid?  Don't you keep track of these drugs? And so on.  He's been dead 20 years this month, but that voice still pops up now and then. Ah, his legacy.

How could you be so stupid was one of his refrains especially for me.  I have wished sometimes that I could sit down with him then as an adult and say, I wonder if you've ever thought about how this affects your daughter when you talk to her like that.  Who talked to you like that when you were a child?  How did you feel?  But I wasn't an adult back then and couldn't respond rationally. I was a child, and these attacks wounded me. Many children of alcoholics are physically beaten.  I just got emotional abuse.  So did my brother, sister, and mother in other ways.

Everyone in the family was molded by my father's hypervigilant perfectionism, which was quite irrational.  It was based on a belief that you were in complete control of your life, even though he'd been a soldier and knew better. This radically oversimplifies life, and is a logical fallacy.  Karma is vast and complex.  We just do our best.

I worked on this post yesterday. In the evening it occurred to me that I'd spent all day defending myself against that internalized blame, when in fact the pharmacy made the mistake. This is a symptom of the complex PTSD caused by an abusive childhood.

1 comment:

  1. Maybe you should beat yourself up for not sitting daily? Muster up some humor at what should be we all carry around like Atlas carrying the world. We all know you will probably die taking out the trash or cleaning your bathtub instead of missing a dose or two providing you have some peace.