January 23, 2004

Cannibalizing your hopes

Category: Personal — Biella @ 7:44 pm

I think a good portion of my energies are spent trying to converge my very firm belief that we really don’t have much control over our lives (and it is the great American myth to think that we can and do) with acting in the world as such and feeling good about it. Instead of management, control, direction, I strive for release, acceptance, spontaneity, mindfullness. But I usually fail and just the fact that I am on an academic path already indicates that, as well, us academics are notoriously controlling types.

There are little moments and ways that one can assert control and I guess that is why I love email. Someone writes to you and you reply at your own time and pace. Sometimes I spit it out a reply fast as fire other times I sit on it and move like molasses.

With the phone there is no such luxury and anyone who knows me well knows that I am not a “phone person.” I no longer go out of my way to make phone calls and in general they represent one huge source of anxiety in my life as bearer of bad news especially in the last year and a half.

I think one of the worst moments was when my mom called me after trying to dial the phone for 5 hours. And this was not a “circuits are busy” problem but a problem with her not being able to see and just trying over and over again to get the numbers right and hit them in the right spot. Since that day, my already tenuous relationship with the phone turned downright sour.

And unfortunately since then I tense when the phone rings expecting to hear some bad news which seems to happen at least once a month with either news from my sister that my mom is missing or my mom recounting a lousy story of someone trying to mug her or swindle her because people can tell she can’t really see well and that she is frail and sometimes confused. Apparently in the fall some mugger pushed her down and tried to take her purse but she, face down, and stubborn as a mule, held on. I have no idea how. She weighs 100 pounds and is mostly skin and bones at this point.

This makes me mad to no ends as it should though as my I first wrote, I still need to release, release, release because sooner or later, I will self-cannibalize with those feelings… Release though is not so easy in those circumstances.

Today she told me about her new medicine which cost her $ 110 (after insurance) for 10 days. That mind you, is only one pill a day and she is supposed to take two, so yeah you figure the math, it is, as an economist might say, a buttload of money.

That is what drives me crazy by the pharmaceutical industry. They feed off of people’s misery and hope. My mom keeps wondering if someone can cure “her brain,” whether there is some operation that will make her see again, whether a new drug can help her. Somehow she retains hope despite knowing that basically part of her brain is dying. When she raises hope I don’t slap it down nor do I feed it too much. I just try to take it as it comes.

Pharmaceutical are the great cannibalizers I feel of people’s hopes and fears yet they claimthey charge such high prices to match their high R and D investments. Fine if they could really back that up. They are not legally required to release numbers of investment to compare with profit. Although based on net profits of billions, they seem to be faring ok. So basically we are taking their word for it. Their word. Heh.

But if you want to learn more about the good practices of a Corporate Citizen read away.

No Comments »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Leave a comment

XHTML ( You can use these tags):
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong> .