Elf M. Sternberg (elfs) wrote,
Elf M. Sternberg
elfs

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Protest The Hero

As most people who've read my blog know, Omaha has a rare and severe form of epilepsy for which there's one drug, Gabitril, that manages to keep her seziures under some semblance of control and allows her to be coherent for most of the day. Watching her struggle with this condition for twenty-plus years, it never ceases to amaze me how she gets up every morning and keeps going, trying to lead as normal a life as possible, raising two children, being active in the community, and being just about the most awesome partner I could ever ask for.

I went to the pharmacy this Saturday to pick up her monthly medications. Since we've used up our "discretionary" pharmaceutical allowance for the year through our insurer, we have to pay full price. It came to $1177. Just for November.

There are two pharmacists and four technicians at the pharmacy. All of the technicians are women, and since Omaha's probably better informed about her drugs than they are, the pharmacists take her word for it that she knows what she's doing with them. Which means that every month, one of us deals with a technician, and every month the technician says the exact same damn thing: "Are you sure you want to spend that much money?"

Osiris wept, of course I don't want to spend that much money. But if I want my partner of 26 years to be healthy and whole and sane, I'm going to spend that much money. Period. I tell the woman, "That's what her medicines cost. Ring it up please."

This time, the woman asked, "Have you been married a long time?"

"Twenty-six years," I said.

"You're such a nice husband for doing this," she said.

If there's one thing I have in common with Honor Harrington, it's that I don't feel like a freaking hero for doing my duty. But this happens all the time. There's apparently something vaguely "heroic" about sticking by your commitment for 26 years, a commitment made with eyes open and with no mitigating circumstances.

I didn't unload on the technician because I knew she meant... well. But she reflected a sentiment that has always bothered me.
Tags: life
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