In life there are disasters which hit you all at once (“We’re repossessing your house”) and those that chop away; death by a thousand paper cuts. I lost this week to paper cuts. But so what? As my grandfather told me; “What do you do when life hands you lemons?” Make lemonade? What are you talking about? No, you go up on the roof and throw them at your neighbors (“look’ee ma! See em run!”).
You know I was all set up for this 31 day challenge, which has now been postponed a few days. Last Monday William from fencing asked me how the challenge was going. When I let him know there were problems in starting that day he said, “Oh, it’s hard to start a new project on a Monday.” Actually, I told him, I tend to have difficulties starting projects on days ending in Y.
Let me give you an example: On Wednesday I got a call from my doctor’s office chastising me because I did not show up to the appointment the previous day with the specialist Dr. Quinn. Appointment? What type of specialist is Dr. Quinn? When was I notified of the appointment? There was a lot of “I’m reviewing the records” and then they hung up. The next day, another call. I had been rescheduled as a special favor, at the exact same time I have another doctor’s appointment. “Well, you’ll just have to sort it out yourself.” I was told. As yet, I still have no idea what specialty the doctor might be – I think it might be either heart or gynecology. I’d really like to know so I can arrange my thong days.
Yesterday I went to get my eyebrows shaped; which actually was suppose to happen after I turned my hair purple on Tuesday, except that they kept saying they were full and it would take another hour, until we ran out of hours. I do not recommend going to a beauty instruction academy for anything involving wax. The girl doing my eyebrows was graduating in two weeks. She started by dropping wax into my hair. The instructor came over, many, many times. Getting my eyebrows shaped usually takes about 5 minutes. 35 minutes later we were still at it. “You are leaving some eyebrow, right?” I asked, “I won’t have to paint them on?” The girl started talking how lucky I was to have so much to start with. “That a big problem now?” I asked, “Women coming in with big sighs talking about being cursed with their thin arching eyebrow like top models?” The instructor came over to check and found that strange parts of my forehead were covered with wax. “We got zealous and I know there is only one eyebrow left, but it’s well shaped right?” I asked. The instructor laughed. Before leaving I told the girl that she had convinced me of one thing; I was never getting a Brazilian wax done there (for the guys, a Brazilian wax is having your public hairs ripped out – it’s intimate and painful). Why? Well, first it was the 8 beds crammed into a room with all the privacy of an overcrowded ER. Second it was the numerous consults. “Instructor, I’m half done this Brazilian, can you come check? Actually, bring the class of new students to observe too!”
Meanwhile, doctors on two different continents have been working to try and get me a medication which I really need to live a normal life. This wonder medication, for example, interrupts some sort of spinal neural response that can give people with certain types of chronic pain almost total pain elimination. This drug is used around the world with virtually no side effects. It either works on you or it doesn’t. I’m one of the people it does. But, because it replaces so many other drugs, it has been consistently blocked by US companies for FDA approval (though 4 months ago the European company was bought out by Pfizer so FDA approval should come in a year or two). My Canadian doctor has petitioned the Canadian Government which in turn asked Pfizer to give me the drug, though US unapproved, on a special humanitarian exemption (which they can chose to do). When I left the UK, my UK doctor gave me enough for 6 months, which is now gone, but can only give me more if I fly back to the UK to get a prescription in person, he did however suggest I try an on-line pharmacy. I found what seemed a US based one and faxed in my prescription. Yesterday afternoon I received notification that I would not be granted an exemption and they suggested that I seek alternative possibilities. Alternatives? Do they mean alcohol? Valium? Nietzsche?
So it looked like I would be stuck paying for everything myself from the US online pharmacy (since my Canadian doctor is happy to give me prescriptions). Until I got to my US Post office box this morning to find a letter from the FDA saying my medication had been seized from the US mail (permanently), for, ironically, my own protection. Ouch! So I am $80 poorer and back to square one. Then, on returning to Canada, I was sent to Canadian Customs special duties inspection for bringing back a used DVD box set of Remington Steele worth $18.50. Me, big time smuggler!
I think right now my life can be summed up by this actual conversation I had with my favorite postal worker:
Her: “Bad news?”
Me: “Well, there may be a gun and a tall tower in my future.”
Her: “I never heard that, and when they ask, I know nothing about you.”
Me: “That’s good.”
3 hours ago