Something tells me that you're not really a Tina and might not even be a "pharma rep," but I'd like to give you the benefit of the doubt and will address you as so. After reading your interesting comment to me this morning on my last blog post, I have a number of questions that go beyond my perhaps knee-jerk, immediate response to the comment. I'm going to bank on you actually being a pharma rep and therefore hope that you'll visit here and perhaps respond, again. This being said, I do hope that you'll refrain from attacking me or my family personally.
I'll remind you of your comment:
I am a pharma rep and it really is not like that. You sound too angry and maybe you should help for that. Pharma has been ragged on too much, and it is not true. I feel sorry for you because that anger and bitterness is in your body and the only person you are hurting is yourself. I can see why some people in your family get upset with your rage.
My first question addresses your claim to being a pharma rep and "it" really not being like that. Like what? In the blog post and elsewhere on my blog, I've mainly written about my experience with "pharma," and whether it's paying $16,000 for a vial of ACTH or $949 for a 30-day supply of Onfi or going through the slow and torturous process of weaning a powerful narcotic from my child's 75 pound body, there are very few emotions other than despair and anger to express. I am perfectly aware that pharmaceuticals can also work powerfully toward the good, but other than writing some kind of caveat, I'm probably going to just write about my own experience and expertise. That being said, have you read the latest ten-part series on Johnson and Johnson? How about the story of just how the manufacturers of Oxycontin managed to saturate the market with their painkillers, snow physicians about their efficacy and contribute to the raging heroin addiction problem our country faces? I can write about that from experience, too, as I have several -- yes, SEVERAL -- relatives currently addicted to opiates and heroin. The goodness of pharmaceuticals has eluded us. So, when you say "it really not being like that," I'm interested to know what it's really like. I know for a fact, too, that other minds would love to know.
My second question refers to your assertion that I "sound too angry" and should get help for that anger. Thank you for that concern, if you are, indeed, concerned. To tell you the truth, I did waffle a bit about that post and asked myself whether it sounded too angry. I have friends and family who were very much helped by pharmaceuticals, by painkillers used at the end of life, by antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications, by chemo for cancer and so on. I am sometimes painfully aware of my anger, my biases and the ineffectiveness of being and seeming so. I feel conflicted about expressing my anger, but I also believe that anger to be a justified response to the hegemony* of our medical/industrial complex over those people who dissent. Perhaps it's also a response to the patriarchy's hegemony over angry women. It's completely and utterly justified in reference to the clusterfuck that is marijuana policy in this country. In any case, what would you have me do otherwise?
Finally, this isn't a question -- or even a defense -- but I am aware of the corrosive effects of anger as well as how, when directed wisely, it can galvanize and energize. I am gifted (by chance, by luck, by the universe) with a talent for stringing together words to express myself. I'm going to always strive for truth, for expressing the world and my life as I see and experience it. Sometimes, I'm going to sound like a bitch, a whining and spoiled first-world ingrate. I appreciate when people call me on that and promise to always accept that criticism humbly and work on it. Other times, I'm going to rage and rant despite the "anger and bitterness" in my body and take my chances on it "hurting" myself. Why? I'll answer that. Not a week goes by that I don't get a telephone call, an email or a comment on this blog from someone who is grateful for my expressing my experience because it so closely resembles theirs, and they don't feel so alone. That makes any slights to my body worth it.
My final question concerns your stated understanding of why some people in my family get upset with my rage. Dragging my family into it sort of blows your cover as concerned Citizen Pharma Rep. Or are you actually in my family, Tina?
*Thanks to my friend Allison Ray Benevides who taught me everything I know about hegemony. You can read her brilliant take on everything here.