Here’s another testimonial from an Iowan who wishes to remain anonymous. Follow WeedPress on Facebook. If you’d like your story heard by legislators this next session, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or write to me on the Iowa Patients for Medical Marijuana Facebook page. You can remain anonymous if you’d like. I’ll publish your story here on WeedPress and make sure politicians see it next year.
I attended the discussion at the Des Moines Public Library on December 2, 2013, ‘a sensible discussion about medical Marijuana’. I was glad to see a good amount ad people willing to attend. At the end of the discussion, people were advised by the Senator from Iowa City to contact their Legislators to let them know they support this subject. After the knothole I’ve been pulled through by the medical community in Des Moines, I cannot imagine exposing myself to the government and the risk of persecution by doing so.
You stated in your blog that by writing you, I could share my story and stay anonymous. I feel that my rights and trust as a patient have been stomped by the medical community, fueled by fear, accusations and abuse of opiate pain medications. Overdose death from pharmaceutical medications prescribed and not prescribed is the leading cause of death in the US.
I have been a hairstylist since 1987. In 2002 I gave up my business and clientele and went on disability for 2 years. Just previous to this time I was seen by a pain specialist and after being prescribed and trying and failing several nerve medications, I was prescribed various opioid medications, leading up to 100 mcg. fentanyl every 48 hours. This included a patch and buccal tablets that were prescribed during a clinical trial. The cost for the buccal fentanyl tablets was free to me since I was in a trial, but if I were to purchase this drug through a pharmacy the monthly cost would have been $3,500.00. I was prescribed this level of Fentanyl for 6 years.
I have been entrenched in pain and the medical specialty that attempts to control chronic pain by pharmaceutical means for 13 years now. I have endured the following and much more:
Steroidal trigger point injections, 13, 14 and 16 injections into painful muscle knots in three different sessions. Soon after, my thyroid crashed, my weight dropped to 110 lbs., and the head of endocrinology wanted to kill off my thyroid with radiation because hypothyroid was easier to treat than hyperthyroid. I refused this strategy and discovered underlying issues I was able to address without radiation.
I was referred to a neurosurgeon for cervical spinal injections. After an MRI, the doctor realized I have congenital cervical spinal stenosis, and advised that I needed to have my spinal cord in my neck ‘bored out’ instead of injections, because as he said ‘a cc of fluid from an injection would cause to much pressure’. I refused for fear of surgery resulting in quadriplegia and who knows what else.
I was referred to another doctor. When he realized I had been prescribed Fentanyl for an extended period of time, he prescribed morphine instead. As my nerve pain and morphine levels crept up, I was prescribed 430 mgs. of morphine daily.
[Editor’s note: portion excerpted to protect patient confidentiality]
I was able to find a doctor in a private practice who was willing to look at my records and agreed to see me. I walked into his office saying, ‘I don’t know what I have to do, but I want off this poisonous, controlling drug.’. Scarily enough, the pain is still lying underneath all that toxicity. His response was ‘I’m glad to hear you say that, I’ll help you to get to a manageable place.’
With his help I ended my prescribed morphine ordeal on April 15′ 2013. I am now continuing the process to figure out who I am in my personality, my profession, my marriage, my family my friendships (that stuck with me) and my life overall. I am so thankful for the people who love me. I am now being treated for arthritis, which helps, I deal with continuous pain in my face, head, neck, and shoulders but I don’t want spinal surgery. I don’t trust that surgery won’t make things worse. I don’t want to take any more pharmaceuticals than I have to, I don’t want to be under the care of an establishment that would allow a patient to be on HUGE doses of opiates and then pull the rug out from under their addicted feet without assistance of any kind.
My main fear related to my pain now is that I’ll come to a point where I can’t ‘deal with it’ and be forced to be treated medically in a way that I don’t want.
Current research shows the endocanabanoid system is real. In this free country Americans should have the right to at least try a plant medicinally to see if they get relief from pain, stress and sleeplessness. The nerve of the medical, government, and pharmaceutical powers that be who treat pain with opiates, and then allow patients to withdraw from these addictive medications without assistance while denying access to medical cannabis is unconscionable.
We won’t treat you, but we won’t allow you to attempt to treat yourself. Better yet, we’ll treat you with surgery, radiation, toxic levels of opiates and pharmaceuticals, but when it backfires, we’ll refuse treatment, leave you hanging, and then threaten you with fines and jail if you try to treat yourself with a natural plant that has proven to have medical benefits.
Thank you for your time and energy concerning this subject, I would like to keep my name confidential.