Proxies and quantifiers

On Friday I got the phone call that my prescription would be ready on Monday, and that I could just go and pick it up then. As usual, this triggered the monthly round-up of my medication (What’ve I got lost down the back of a cushion? What’s going to need rationing out?) and I thought that I’d managed to use the full 400ml of morphine this month (After having had my dosage increased from 300ml a month to 400ml a month). I was heartbroken – I thought that I’d reduced my consumption. This, you understand, isn’t a goal in its own right (I don’t feel like I should reduce my morphine consumption for some kind of moral reason) I just use morphine consumption as a proxy for how much pain I’ve been in. So a high-morphine month is a bad thing because it means that I’ve been in a lot of pain.


The idea behind increasing my monthly dose was that, given more morphine to use, I wouldn’t have to ration it so tightly, thus would take it sooner and end up in less pain. I thought that all that had happened was that I’d taken more morphine and been in as much pain.


This morning, I found my entire month’s supply of morphine under my workbench. I’d managed to stretch the previous month’s 400ml to cover two months, just via the expedient of being able to take it on-demand without worrying.


In that month, I’ve got swimming so much more often, I’ve gone for a couple of long walks, and I’ve actually made it to work (Admittedly, not much, but a little bit). All because I haven’t tried to put off taking my much-needed medication.


Parables in action.


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