Selves, Straws, Snaps

You know when the stupidest crap morphs into something you just can't deal with?  The kind of crap that any other time you would handle with aplomb, or wouldn't even notice you were handling at all, it would be so effortless?


My pharmacy has moved and they're taking the opportunity to upgrade computer systems, which entails bringing in new staff with knowledge of such.  When I dialed my way through the automated ordering tonight, instead of the final prompt I got, as I have been getting lately, "Please hold for a member of our pharmacy staff."  I've been thinking they're having some issue with the computers and phones when I get this prompt each month.  Lately I'd been taking the Rx in physically.

Ha.  Ha ha ha.

Turns out, my pharmacy has been filling my birth control under someone else's insurance since MARCH (when I got this year's birth control Rx).  I am only finding out about this now because of a particularly detail-oriented new staff member.  Prior to this whoever's been filling my Rx hasn't been checking my date of birth or my insurance any time I've picked up the Rx.  Once someone (who's not a regular at that pharmacy location) did ask to verify my address, and it wasn't mine.  Of course, nothing came of that ("Oh, you must have two profiles, we'll fix that"), and of course that happened mid-week, when this whole identity/freaking insurance fraud problem could've been solved easily.

My GP has my chart as Firstname Maidenname-Marriedname.  She sends my Rx's in as Firstname Maidenname, because that's just always how she's done it.  My GYN has my chart as Firstname Marriedname now, and as of this year that's how she sends my Rx in.  This is a new thing as of 2009, despite my having been married since 2007.  2011, however, was the first time she e-prescribed for me.  So you can see where the confusion comes in.  Shorter:  "Humans.  I get it.  But this is why we check our work."

I've known there was another version of me wandering around Manhattan (she has my Firstname Marriedname) since early 2010 when I went to an orthopedist for the first time.  The person checking me in/verifying my patient identity looked at me and asked in a surprised tone if my date of birth was in '68.

This other me must live in my neighborhood, because apparently she also goes to my GYN - it looks as though this year's birth control Rx was sent into the pharmacy from my GYN's with her date of birth.  Either that, or the pharmacy got in the Rx with my DOB and didn't notice, instead going to the first Firstname Marriedname they saw in their system, and going from there.  I'm not sure which, but I should be finding out tomorrow after they've had time to go and look at the physical Rx they got in March.  Anyway.  That's beside the point, and whether it was my doctor's mistake or the pharmacy's mistake is irrelevant to tonight's Ridiculous Breakdown That Any Other Time Would Not Have Even Been A Thing.

Here is the Thing.

There's this woman I share a name with, an orthopedist with, and apparently a gynecologist with.  She takes the same birth control as I do, but has a different insurance company, a different date of birth, a different life.  (And a different birth control copay.  I noticed mine had gone up; I just thought my insurance company were being dicks about it.)

I'm having a thematically tough time with who I am lately.  I don't particularly want to be this version of me very much, this past while.  This role, this function, this name - they just get on my very last nerve recently, and they are heavy.  They sit there on that nerve, and they press.  It's an exquisite irony to learn that if I'd just told my GYN to go ahead and keep using my old identity, that old name (which my insurance still has no issues processing), I'd be having no issues this weekend.

This year, you guys.  This year.  This year's been tough.  It's been no 2009 (the year of YHGTBFKM), but it's held its own.  I've been noticing just how tough lately as I've segued back into fall clothes, clothes I specifically remember wearing at specific places during specific moments in Paris last September, and the same clothes are slipping off, are sagging, are baggy, where last year they were maybe a bit loose.  It's not that I've lost so dramatically much weight, but more that I've deflated.  This year has been deflating.

So it is an especially back-breaking straw, this whole "ha ha, I'm your identity, and I shall screw you now!  if you'd just used your other identity, you'd not be screwed!" prescription thing.  There's just too much ugly poetry there.



Terrible and Wonderful

I already wrote my September 11th experience here.  Rather than rehash everything, the link is here if you feel like reading about it.

That post is from five years ago, and while it still rings true, what I remember more than anything now is the care people took with each other.  

I also remember making sandwiches for rescue workers at one of NYU's dining halls.  My roommate and I worked at a table across from a little boy and his mother, assembling ham, tomato, and mayo on white bread.  I remember us giggling at the gobs of mayo the kid slapped on his sandwiches.  "Is he trying to give the rescue workers heart attacks?" we asked each other.  I remember it was a relief to giggle, and it was a relief to see the unintentional humor of this little kid very clearly in a one-sided competition with us to make the most sandwiches.

I mostly remember the generosity, the unspoken assumption that it was okay to lean on a stranger, if you let them lean back on you.  And it wasn't like that only on the 11th and the 12th.  It was like that for months.  It was terrible and wonderful.


September Blue

This was the color of the sky on September 11, 2001.  Everyone talks about the blue of the sky that day.  (I was looking through some pictures, and found this, from last September in Paris.)

The roll of film in my camera (imagine that!) that day was black and white, so I don't have any pictures of the sky, but this was the color.  Truly, it felt like a mockery, how visible the columns of smoke were from downtown.


I left the apartment on the morning of September 1, 2011 and headed to the subway.  It wasn't until I walked a few blocks that I glanced up at the sky.  It was exactly this blue.  Oh, perfect, I thought.  That's just great.  My throat got tight and my eyes teared up.  It's gonna be an interesting couple of weeks.  I said just that to my therapist, later in the day.

Honestly, I've always felt like a bit of a fraud, having feelings about it.  I was two miles north of the World Trade Center that day.  I didn't know anyone who died.  I didn't know anyone who was physically hurt.  I didn't have to evacuate my dorm, even.  I have friends who saw people jumping.  I have friends who ran from balls of pulverized concrete and asbestos, up Chambers Street.

My therapist (who was my group therapist 2004-2006) remembered that "it really affected" me.  I assume that's because my eating disorder really kicked into high gear afterward, after it had been lazing its way toward clinical significance during the summer of 2001.  But I told her again this past week how silly I felt, tearing up at Lexington Avenue almost ten years later, just because the sky was a certain color blue.  I obviously didn't tear up last year in Paris when I took the picture above, or if I did, it was because I was flying home that afternoon.

Wednesday night  I stayed up 'til 3:00 reading this week's New York Magazine - their 9/11 Encyclopedia.  There's an entry about the blue in there.

I don't know how to describe the feelings I have around September 11th.  It was terrifying.  It was desperate.  It was life-affirming.  September 12th was simultaneously one of the most numb and most purposeful days I've lived.  September 13th was a Rube Goldberg trap of bad decisions.  September 14th school officially went back to normal, but life didn't.  We didn't.  It was a new normal, I guess.

It's strange to feel that ten years minus ten days later, one is still in that new normal.