Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Second Coming

Munchkin wanders out to sea. Yesterday, her mother wanted to wander out to sea and drown herself.

This is going to require a little backstory, but it will be worth it.

My mother has a serious spinal injury that has deteriorated over the years. Long story short, she has rather fewer vertebrae now than she once did. This injury requires her to be on some serious and controlled medication. My mother takes the type of medication that periodically becomes the subject of an MSNBC documentary called PERCOBENZOMETHADOT: Scourge of America's Small Towns. It is really just a fancy version of morphine. The morphine is released gradually over the course of 12 hours. Regular morphine must be taken every four hours. This requires the injured person to develop a baby-minding sleep pattern, waking at least once during the night to 'dose up,' a further waking in the morning feeling terrible. So percobenzomethadot is well worth the trouble, and I salute the big pharma giant who came up with it.

The problem is that if you are up to no good, you can crush your percobenzomethadot. Then you get all that lovely morphine at once. This is not the idea. Apparently it makes people much happier than doctor-prescribed medication ought to make them. Of course, people with chronic pain are unlikely to use their percobenzomethadot this way, because it rather defeats the purpose, now doesn't it?

In order to prevent my mother from misusing her percobenzomethadot, my mother, like all people taking it, must receive regular scripts. No refills allowed. The doctor must see her in person to give her the more complicated prescription. Then that prescription must be called in to the pharmacy days in advance of when it is to be filled, as the pharmacy keeps a very limited stock on-site, as they do not want to be hell up. But she can't wait too long, because the super special prescription expires in seven days.

Also, people taking percobenzomethadot for their disintegrating spine are not encouraged to operate motor vehicles while under the influence. So mum needs a ride.

During the work day, because that's when the doctor works.

Since my brother is currently gainfully employed, I and the three woodland creatures bundled into the car to take my mother on this monthly errand.

We handled the doctor's appointment with aplomb.

At the pharmacy, things fell apart.

Munchkin wanted to ride in the cart. I had let her ride in the cart at the grocery store this morning. This is because the grocery store carts are big proper carts, and the pharmacy carts are little pretend carts, the sort found at liquor stores. They could not hold a four-year-old.

She started to whine and melt down.

I told her to stop. She didn't. I took her out front, leaving my mother with Genome (Firefly was strapped to me). Out front of the store she proceeded to shriek as loudly as she could and make a variety of interesting and dramatic gestures. She was attempting to communicate that I was the worst mother in the entire world.

Need I mention that there was regular foot traffic to shoot me disapproving looks? We were also right in front of a homeless man selling the homeless periodical.

After a few minutes of this I realised it was not going to taper out on its own.

So I smacked her butt, and told her if she shrieked again I'd smack her again. She shrieked again. I smacked her again. She stopped, opting instead for soft-ish weeping on a bench.

Now I had _really_ gotten some horrible looks.

I used to read childfree groups sometimes. One of their tropes was that parents think that they are entitled to be treated better than the disabled. A surprisingly high number of the childfree identify as disabled in some way.

They are wrong. Being four is a terrible, terrible disability. If an adult acted this way, we'd either sue him, or commit him.

I think that Munchkin committed at least two torts against me, including the intentional infliction of emotional distress.

When the crying was more or less under control, I dragged Munchkin back to locate my mother. The prescription was not filled, running 30 minutes late at this time. She went back to the pharmacist and stressed the important of having it right now, for the well-being of everyone in the store. He filled it. We all went back to the car. I realised that I had left some vital object upstairs. Went upstairs. Genome sees me walking away and starts to cry. Found item. Went downstairs. Leaned against car. Cried. Drove mother home. Called husband. Cried again.

My mother points out that no one took down her license plate number, and it's unlikely anyone called CPS because they had no way of identifying me.

"Hi, child protection? There's this woman in black . . . yeah . . . looks about ten days dead, to be honest."

But if I disappear, you'll know where I've gone

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