Part V in My Never-Ending Quest to Get Medical Marijuana Legalized
Dear Doc Zombie:
Itís the day after my husbandís most recent brush with apathy at the hands of the UN-health system. Anyone following our story AND in Chronic Pain will relate, Iím sure.
My hubby, Don, had an MRI of his cervical spine (neck) and lumbar spine (lower back), which revealed ñ GET THIS..new ALERT. All discs in his spine are either ruptured, pressing on the nerve center of his spinal column, radiating pain down both arms and legs, to say nothing of the entire head and shouldersÖall but 5 discs in his entire spine are damaged and getting worse.
So we show up at the surgeonís office yesterday. We wait for over an hour in his bleak and boring (no music) dungeon of a waiting room, and then get ushered into the ante-chamber of bad news. The doc enters smiling and shaking his head as if to say, ìDon, you know that youíre screwed, of course. You shouldnít even be walking, never mind be alive and not-quite-kicking. Then he spends about 5 minutes, seems totally un-prepared for our visit, tells us he has to pull Donís MRIís and makes another appointment for next week!!! I was so pissed, I couldnít see straight. You mean, youíve had the results for 1 _ weeks and we show up, and you donít have them? After waiting over an hour in excruciating pain.?? Are you for real?
For the last month and a half, we have had to endure more torture waiting for approval of my husbandís recent treatment by the surgeon from the damn insurance company. Never mind a Pain Clinic. The doc DID prescribe something for pain (finally..first time in 3 years, and with ALL my husbandís documented injuries. It is inhumane), Tylenol with Codeine..Well, Whoopie-teee-aye-ohÖTry putting a band-aid on a heart attack, why donítcha? Then, to add insult to injury, he cuts him off after a weekís worth of codeine. What an empathetic creature.
Then he informs us that the local pain clinic doesnít accept the insurance (Workerís Comp, for Godís sake!!) my husband has. So where are we? Square ONE, thatís where. OH, the doc also said ìItís not my job to prescribe medications to anybody who needs itî, all this while Iím staring at a diploma that he got for ìPAIN MANAGEMENTî..What theÖ.????? I donít get it. OH, then he says he knows of docs in Massachusetts who prescribe Marinol (liquid THC) which is legal, but he wonít do it out of fear. Is this who I want operating on my hubby?
What a crock of crap. Who do you have to shake uncontrollably around here to get people to listen to reason? Iím the one watching my husband shuffle to the bathroom at 2:00 a.m. after hours of turning over and over in bed (like some hot dog on a grill at 7-Eleven), and dying of the pain, NEVER finding comfort, and being made to feel invisible by the health care system (and I use the term VERY loosely), a system that no more cares about my husband than they care about the elderly, the indigent or the homeless, never mind people who suffer Chronic Pain.
Who cares about Sleep Deprivation?? Who cares that you canít even lift a gallon of milk, because itís too damn heavy, or that by the time you wash your face and raise your arms for that long, youíre exhausted? Isnít this the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave? But Bush procures billions to free Iraq, while my husband and I and millions of others donít have relief, not to mention the 43 million that have no health insurance. Itís an outrage, thatís what it is. DAMMIT!!
NO ONE CARES. Is there not a doctor in the house who can tell us how to get Marinol prescribed in a state where it IS LEGAL, because several of our Vietnam Vet friends have scripts for it. So whatís the deal? Maybe if my husband could get Marinol, all the extra money we have will NOT have to be spent on other medication and we can get necessities like furniture, health insurance, etc.
As it stands now, I have NO MEDICAL INSURANCE other than Medicare (thank God for that!!). I have neck and back surgeries coming up and suffer the tortures of the damned. It sure would be nice to live like a semi-normal person, but acceptance of reality is all there is.
The reality is this: Our conditions WILL DETERIORATE as we get older. Marijuana is our only source of pain relief. We go broke trying to buy it, because the ëpowers-that-beí are so damn greedy, theyíre all in ëití together. The damn drug companies, the politicians, the insurance companies, the DEA:..OH IT IS TOO HIDEOUS to talk about.
When will people see?? What can we do that Iím not already doing to speed the process along vis-‡-vis legalizing Medical Marijuana???
I welcome any feedback which could be of benefit to my husband and me. And now, my weary neck and hands retreat..more later, and thanks, as always, for listening. Hey, Doc..in case I donít get in touch before the holidays, you and your family have a fantastic Christmas and a peaceful and joyous holiday.
JC, Chronic Pain Sufferer