Untangling the shipping mess was going to wait. I had 17 bottles, and was on the program. I figured that my dose ought to be 50 mL per day. I vividly remember that first day. The whole family gathered around the kitchen table, almost like a ceremony. They watched as I carefully measured out the dose, then quickly threw it back to a grand applause. I am not thinking that the kids understood how important the moment was to me, but they played along, and their enthusiasm added to my excitement.
My new daily ritual was in place. I had read that some folks split the dose up throughout the day, or tried to disguise it in their food. Myself, I saw no way to enhance the palatability of this stuff: like my whiskey, I did it straight up. Certainly not tasty. Not too bad, though, and from where I sat, well worth the unpleasantness. So, I did it, with a lot of support from my family. My kids were happy to help. It was sort of a big deal. We had adapted an old army cheer. Without even asking, all available kids could be depended on to scream:
We like, we love it, we want more of it;
Then one of them would sound off “fire in the hole,” while a second would yell “shotgun!” For whatever reason, I really liked this. So, I was not totally alone in the process, I had a support crew.
A few details remained. I was much relieved when I had a sample of the oil tested and determined that it was bona fide. My next high point occurred a week or so later when I learned that my test shipment had finally been released from Customs.
Like the story to date, nadirs inevitably followed the peaks. So, after released from the talons of Customs, I learned that there was another snag: The bottle was impounded by FDA because the shipper was not properly registered. This one was a bit of a black hole. With Customs, a kind Customs Broker from FedEx helped me along. FDA, though, was a different animal. It was just sitting there and nobody at FedEx knew what to do about it. I had no idea what the deal was, and no advocate.
After a few weeks, I received a letter from FDA’s Oakland field office stating that they had my shipment. Nothing further.
Frustrated by the lack of details, I called the telephone number on the letter. No answer. I then decided to pursue the guy who had signed the letter. So, this is what is great about government workers: total transparency, no privacy. It took maybe 5 minutes on the interweb to find this guy’s contact information. To my surprise, he answered the telephone right away, listened to my story, then asked that I give him some time to sort what was what. I was certain that this would be the last I heard from him. To my amazement, within an hour, he called back and told me my package was on its way.
So, I guess there is a moral to this story: be persistent, and struggle until you find the right person. The test package arrived at my home, the next day.