Sometimes choice isn’t choice no matter how hard you try. Sometimes, it’s all you can do to get close.
Sometimes it’s all about the brick wall.
Last time out with the blog, I’d just spent weeks researching and making choices about and preparing for the best way to vaccinate young Tristan Beagle. Then I called my vet’s office and had a conversation with the front desk. This was weeks prior to the actual appointment, so there’d be time to sort out any issues.
In this conversation I defined the vaccine I was looking for (ad naseum), made the desk staff person repeat it back to me (ad nauseum). Then I had her check with the office manager as to whether the vaccine was on hand or would need to be acquired specially, although they’d had it on hand a couple years earlier when Connery got it for [reasons]. Not making any assumptions, me!
Then I asked her to write it down and give it to our vet so she could weigh in if she wanted to. Then before hanging up I confirmed both the kind of vaccine and that the vet would have this information in case there was a problem with it all.
I pretty much went through it all again. Yes! I was told. All is fine.
Then when I walked in with Baby Tristan Beagle, I confirmed it again.
Those of you who lurk in various online edges of my life already know that instead of the two-way distemper/parvo vaccine, Tristan received a four-way. It contained one unnecessary vaccine and one vaccine I very, very specifically didn’t want because of its immediate effects on the immune system of a young pup.
*insert a kind of dumbfounded fury*
Lesson One: Sometimes there’s nothing you can do to overcome the way people slot clients into neat little boxes and go NA NA NA I CAN’T HEAR YOU when you don’t fit in one of those boxes.
Lesson Two: Sometimes choices really aren’t actually choices.
In the wake of the staff error, the vet and I went looking for the two-way.
Never mind all the research and the expertise behind the recommendations, the two-way is available only in 100-dose batches. And the second booster (a three-way of parvo, distemper, and adenovirus) is also available only in 100-dose batches. The clinic understandably won’t order it for a single client.
So as with human health care, Big Pharma is now controlling our choices.
I’ve put feelers out and in the meantime the clinic office manager has, we hope, located another clinic that can provide a two-way for that next booster shot. I should find out this week.
No joy on the three-way yet, though.
Sometimes it feels as if those boxes are closing in ever more tightly around us, doesn’t it? Choices that aren’t choices…I bet the comments could be brimming with such stories. (I came up with a whole bunch of them while I was writing this, and had to slap my hand to keep from rambling on and on and on.)
Honestly, it may be that we can’t stop ourselves (and our pets) from being crammed into boxes that don’t fit us. Round peg, square hole and all that.
But I figure we shouldn’t stop fighting for it–and above all, we shouldn’t stop fighting for service providers to listen to us, and at least hear us well enough to inform us when they can’t provide what we’re looking for…instead of making decisions for us by blithely assuming their box is our box–to the point that they don’t begin to listen at all.
Five years ago I was able to find the two way for my litter. Box of 20 or 25 but I had nine puppies so…Now to remember where!
Yeah, NINE puppies!
I honestly don’t think it comes in 25s any longer. :/ A few years ago you could get the vaccines separately, too, but not now.
Oh, and now I’ve spent the day continuing this research, in spite of VERY BIG DEADLINE. I now know exactly what vacs Tristan got, and have searched out its safety sheet so know what was in the carrier. Plus I have a line (thanks to a Facebook friend) on single-dose options for his third round.
My golly! It’s a steep learning curve, isn’t it?
PS I had the wrong thing in my head. Vacs are still available in 25-dose options.