Sunday, September 8, 2013

Faith, Health, and Feeling Foggy

Ideally, I'd have noticed that my methylphenidate prescription was running out earlier than I did.

On the whole, I'd prefer that the local pharmacy's automated system not 'forget' about a particular sort of prescription as soon as a customer enters a refill request.

If I had perfect health, I wouldn't need medical care.

Instead, I got opportunities to practice patience.

Life in the Real World

I called the local pharmacy on August 30: the Friday before Labor Day weekend. A short talk with someone there got the refill process started. Later in the day, I called again to confirm that a faxed request for my methylphenidate had been sent.

Maybe I'm overly-anxious, but one time the fax either didn't get sent, or got lost at the other end. It took more than a week to sort out that mess.

Controlled Substances and Regulations

That particular prescription is for a "controlled substance." Thanks to abuses over the last several decades, American laws and regulations keep that sort of drug from falling into the wrong hands. That's the idea, anyway.

The prescription has to be re-authorized each time I refill it, thanks to regulatory fallout from the '60s. A doctor in St. Cloud signs a form; after which the signed form gets sent by mail to Sauk Centre, where I live. The form must be sent by surface mail: no fax; no email; no 21st century tech at all.

Maybe I should be glad that it doesn't have to be sent by carrier pigeon, although that would be faster.


The authorization hadn't arrived in Tuesday's mail. No surprises there. Mail from St. Cloud does occasionally arrive that fast, but not often.

Wednesday's mail had no authorization, either. I wasn't particularly concerned, although by then I'd used the last of the prescription and could feel my mental acuity slipping away. Maybe it would come Thursday.

Late Friday afternoon, I got a call from the pharmacy. The authorization had arrived that day, and I could pick up the prescription any time. I went after supper, then waited while the folks at the pharmacy tried to find the bottle. They knew that it was there, but couldn't find it. Somehow it had gotten misfiled on their 'ready' rack.

I took the first methylphenidate tablet Saturday morning. By noon I didn't feel as foggy as I had for most of the week. After several days, I should be back to 'adequate:' for which I'm grateful.

Frustration, Relief, and Being Human

Experiencing emotions is part of being human. There's nothing right or wrong about emotions, by themselves. What matters is what we decide to do with them. (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1763-1770)

I was frustrated, and a tad apprehensive last week, particularly after Wednesday afternoon passed with no authorization in sight.

I could have called the St. Cloud office, but didn't. This sort of thing has been going on for over a year, ever since the pharmacy's computers were upgraded, and previous experience told me that the authorization probably was in the mail. The reasonable thing to do was sit and wait.

Happily, I can get by without that prescription. I'm comparatively slow-witted and sluggish: but I can get by. Besides, this way I had many opportunities for practicing patience this week.

And I felt a wave of relief when the 'it's here' phone call came.

Getting a Grip About Faith and Health

Taking reasonable steps to maintain my health isn't any more, or less, "spiritual" than brushing my teeth. Come to think of it, dental health involves brushing, and that's not quite another topic.

I'm a human being, made in the image of God: body and soul. And is a key word there. (Catechism, 362-368)

I'm expected to keep myself healthy. (Catechism, 2288)

Within reason. (Catechism, 2289)

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What's That Doing in a Nice Catholic Blog?

From time to time, a service that I use will display links to - odd - services and retailers.

I block a few of the more obvious dubious advertisers.

For example: psychic anything, numerology, mediums, and related practices are on the no-no list for Catholics. It has to do with the Church's stand on divination. I try to block those ads.

Sometime regrettable advertisements get through, anyway.

Bottom line? What that service displays reflects the local culture's norms, - not Catholic teaching.