My Experience With Low THC Medical Marijuana, and What You Need To Know

Image result for pictures of low THC medical marijuana

 

Over the years I knew that once medical marijuana was legalized, I would be a candidate for this type of “medical pain relief,” if you will. And honestly, I was happy about this and even embraced it with opened arms. As a younger adult, I was an advocate for the legalization of cannabis and I even wrote a college term paper on this exact subject. I knew that when I had been a user of marijuana, I enjoyed it, and it did not seem as though it were a hard and heavy drug that needed to be illegal; but never in a million years, did I think that I would be alive to actually watch as it became legalized, let alone be a patient whom it would be prescribed for as a medication.

Of course, this year to my surprise, it won the judgement of legalization in some form, across many states in the US. I thought to myself , how this was a great win for different patients all across the board, and especially for patients with chronic pain, to whom I am a part of. I had heard that there was marijuana that was specifically grown for the cannabinoids, or CBD, and that the THC would actually be very low within this type of cannabis. Which made me even more grateful, considering that a lot of things have changed since my wilder days, when I had less, or actually no real responsibility.

I can remember having issues with back pain, all the way back in 2004. That was when the owner of a company that I worked for, was nice enough to send me to a chiropractor and actually paid for the visit. (RIP BJ JOHNS) At this appointment, the chiropractor had examined me, and immediately asked me what type of head or neck trauma I had acquired in my past, due to what he had found within the x-rays that were taken. I told him that I had not been in any type of situation to cause anything to be wrong with my neck. At this point, he and I were both confused. I left that day, and just assumed that he did not know what he was talking about, even though he had pointed out that it seemed as though I had detrimental problems with my c-3 and c-4 vertebrae.

The years passed, and I was beginning to experience more and more chronic back pain, however I just assumed that this was normal aging. Then in 2012, the pain was really starting to take a toll on me, limiting my ability to work, do housework, and even play with my kids the way that I was once able to do. I ended up having two neck surgeries, the 1st one was in 2012, the 2nd one was 2014; neither of them were able to alleviate the pain, and actually made it extremely worse. The medications that I was on , were remarkably high doses of narcotics, and yet still were not able to conquer the pain that I was now feeling.

I filled out all the legal paperwork, and waited until my time (in line, so to speak) until being able to see a doctor to whom would acknowledge, that indeed my pain was severe enough to benefit from medical marijuana. At the time that I got to actually see the doctor, I was not able to purchase my medical marijuana, even though I had a patient id number, apparently I had to wait until the state sent me my confirmation of being able to purchase in the form of a “user registry” medical cannabis identification card. I believe that the required time is actually 90 days, and I was going into my 5th month.

Once I received confirmation then I was able to go to the dispensary and purchase my medical cannabis. There were all types, liquids, sheets, vapes, and even capsules; and then there were also different flavors. It almost seemed unreal to me, like a candy store for marijuana. It seemed to far fetched, but this is how I was making since of it. I was going to just order the CBD oil, because I had recently tried it, and seemed to have a lot of success with it in limiting my pain, thus reducing the amount of narcotics that I had to take in. This was when the dispensary associate said to me, “that’s only cbd oil, and it may not work as well for your condition of pain, so you may want to actually get the low THC medical marijuana, which is actually what your doctor prescribed anyway.” I expressed how I had kids and “did not want to feel high.” He assured me that this would not be the case, and that the low THC was actually grown to not get the “high,” but to ease the pain. So I listened to him, and went on about my way.

I attempted this, “low THC, medical marijuana,” that was supposed to “not get me high,” on many different occasions, trying to find a happy medium. They had told me that I would have to find the right dosage for me, so I would have to try different amounts of the “tokes” from my vape pen, to get to the point to where I would be able to ease my pain. However, I realized soon, that this was helping me to mitigate the pain, but regardless, I was also becoming very high as well. This was very upsetting to me, I did not want to become high, I just wanted to diminish my chronic pain to be able to live the life that I once was able to do. However, how could I? If I was always high, I did not want to do anything, just sit there, nothing more, nothing less.

 

 

 

The C Section without the baby!

Last Monday I was scheduled to have a hysterectomy due to having some womanly issues that were affecting my everyday life. Considering my past complications with spinal surgeries, I really did not want to have another surgery, ever. Still I knew that I also could not, nor did I want to have my monthly, month round, sorry guys, I know some of you do not like hearing about this kind of stuff! lol So to make a long story short, I opted to have the surgery. The doctor told me that they would only be taking out my uterus, so my body would still be producing its own hormones, so that was really great to hear. He also told me that due to my previous c sections, he would just be going back through that same scar, so long as there were no complications which would otherwise force them to have to make a new incision right below my old scar. Now that did scar me, because after all theses spinal surgeries that I have had, I actually was begging to believe that “complications” was my middle name. Still the biggest challenge was yet to come, and that would be explaining to my babies 6 and 8 years old,  and also my 17 year old that I would be admitted into the hospital. They do not like when I am away from them, well especially the babies. They tell me that their dad is strict on them, or in their words, “mean”and they want to be with me all the time. I explained to them, that normally after each c section I had, I came home early, even before the doctors thought i would be ready to leave, and after they cried and begged me to not leave them, I finally convinced them that this was something that could possibly help me with some of my tiredness, and grouchiness, so they somewhat agreed.

The day of surgery, I really do not remember too much because of all the pain and medication, apparently they did go through my same incision, but they had to make it larger for the uterus to come out. This time was far more painful from the other c sections, I thought, and I did not go home as quickly as I’d hoped for, and my kids were not very happy about that! Nonetheless, I still got to see them everyday, not for as long as we all wanted, because they had to get ready for school the next few days, and I needed my rest obviously, but I still was able to reassure them that “mommy’ would be home soon.

Those next few days were kind of depressing, I was up in the hospital, without my own kids, and of course they just had to put me on the floor where other women were delivering their own bundles of joy, and bringing new life into the world. All that I delivered on that day was a defective uterus! Not fair in my eyes! I had made the decision after my 6 year old was born, to have my tubal ligation, yet that really was not what I ultimately wanted, I just knew that I did not want to bring another child into the current relationship that I was and am still in. I knew it would not be a good thing to do, so even though I wanted another baby, I knew that if I did not have my tubes tied then he would have talked me into having another baby, and I felt this was the one way that I could prevent that from happening. So, even while I felt as though I gave birth to a defective uterus, instead of another baby as I wished for, I’ll take that, because my kids now make me feel like the best greatest mom in the world!

 

It’s Not Just About Money

cropped-doctor-counting-money-copy.jpgThis is what I was told about 2 weeks ago after pitching a fit a my orthopedic surgeons office when his office desk lady told me that he told her that he would not see me unless I paid the full balance owed to his office from prior visits. The only problem with this was, my insurance covers 75% and 25% after deductible has been met, which it would have at that time already been met, and also they were billing the procedure wrong, and also they were billing me for doctors that I have never even met before! Not only that, but he knew that I had been to his office 2 other times the past week and because his office screwed up they had to reschedule my doctors appointment and that meant that I was out of my medication, which in my case meant even more intense pain! So therefor, I was not the most friendliest person in the world that day I will admit. However, in my defense, I believe that doctors often lose sight of what they actually go into the medical field for to begin with. At least I would hope that most of them would have started off wanting to help their patients and not just caring about the money, but that is not what I have found to be the situation these days and times.

My fist surgery was June 14th of 2012, it was a 3 layer anterior cervical fusion. This was the biggest mistake of my whole entire life. I knew better, and I still allowed a doctor to persuade me to do this just because he had been through more school years than I had been through. Still, just in my few months that I was in nursing school, this was one of the first things that was taught to me; “never have surgery done on your back, because if you do, if the pain does come back, it will come back 10 times fold.” It is sad that I can still remember where I was, and in what class, and which campus, but instead of listening, back then to the one person that I now know for a fact knew what he was talking about, I decided  to go and listen to a doctor without any other reasoning, other than him being a doctor. I just believed that he could not have possibly just have wanted to do a surgery just to get the money from it, I mean what kind of cold heartless human person would do something like that, certainly not a doctor, and certainly not my own doctor. Doctors actually care about what is best for their patients and their health, so I was sure that if there was something else that should have been done, or could have been done, he would have definitely done them. I was proven wrong in all cases. This doctor told me nothing would help me but surgery. When asked if I could go to a chiropractor, physical therapy, or even massage therapy he told me that these things would just worsen my condition, and not help in any type of way. He refused to see anything but surgery as an outcome. However after the surgery was done and I continued to complain of pain, he also refused to believe that there was any wrong doing on his part, instead he just assumed that I was addicted to the pain medication and said that he could not do anything else for me.

Next I then found another doctor whom would also tell me everything that I’d want to hear before agreeing to have the surgery, and yet after the surgery everything would be different. My 2nd surgery was supposed to be done in order to correct the 3 fusions that did not take, in order for me to be able to get off the pain medication. This doctor understood how important this was to me, and he said there was going to be a very good chance that I would be able to never have to take any more pain medication again. It was a 10 hour surgery, first he had to cut the 3 level fusions out that were previously placed and then then place 3 new fusions within. After this was done, he then flipped me over to where my back was exposed and then proceeded with a posterior surgery, by placing 2 metal rods down my spine. He really seemed as though he empathized with me and my situation, well that was until after the surgery was done.  Yet again, I was still in pain, and this doctor not only did he not want to to take any responsibility for my pain, but he also went as far as to speak to someone that was taken of  my FERPA, due to previous threats made by them. Needless to say, the doctor violated my HIPPA rights by speaking to this person, and this person managed to make the doctor believe that they “were concerned for my safety because they loved me, and did not want me to hurt myself,” but the real reason was that we had split up and he did not want me to be able to manage without him, so therefor, he made sure that he ruined plenty of doctors for me to where I would need him to be able to find them for me, or I would have to remain in constant pain. But that is a whole other story.

Then we move back to FL, which is where it all began, this is where the first surgery actually happened, and this is where the downward spiral of my my life began to take place. I regret ever having this first surgery done, I feel as though it totally ruined what was a great life, an independent life, my life. Either way, what’s done, is done. We made our move back over a year ago, and due to my chronic back pain I knew that I needed to go to my primary care physician to get a referral for orthopedic surgeon; and because I had this doctors office the first time I lived in Florida, I already knew that they would more than likely be referring me to the office right across the hall, which was the office that they referred me to the first time and I did decide to go through with my surgery, however I did not know that the doctor would not want to go through with patient care after making his pockets fatter. But such is life I guess. Of course, due to the convenience, the office referral was made for the orthopedic surgeon, right across the hall. I wonder if they really would have made the referral for the office across the hall if they knew everything that had happened with me and my my situation? I’m positively sure they would not have, especially considering I had to find everything in me me to not sue for neglect and malpractice. After hearing that this was the the referral they had made for me, it took me a couple of days to actually think it through to decide how I wanted to handle this, and if I would actually be able to handle to this considering this man completely screwed up my life. I decided to go call and make an appointment, and to my surprise, I found out that he no longer worked at this facility. So actually, it was really no surprise at all, what was a surprise to me, was that he was still practicing medicine, just at a different location.

My first visit with the “new” doctor seemed to go over well, I told him everything that had happened in my past, and I told him that every since the surgeries that I’ve been in worse pain than even before I had the surgeries, and I prayed and begged for him to take everything out! As I was crying to him, I could  He earned my respect right then by saying to me that he would not just cut me open if he could not guarantee that it would not relieve  most of my pain. At that point, I felt like I could totally trust this man, I mean it seemed legit, he was not after my money from the surgery, if so, he would have just agreed to just do the surgery and been done with it, but he did not. So maybe this was the honest doctor that I had needed to meet this whole time that I had been searching for all these years. Nonetheless, I had been fooled before by thinking that doctors actually cared about my well- being, just to be made a fool of in the end, so I knew not to put too much thought into it. Although, I did find out that I was not the only case of my very first surgeon that this doctor was now seeing as a patient to try and correct the previous surgeons mistakes, so apparently there were a lot of other people who should have sued that doctor also for malpractice. Like I said, I’m surprised he’s still practicing medicine, and to top that, he is supposed to be one of those doctors that they use in court rooms when they need an expert doctor for reference.  After hearing my cries for help, and sending me to get a new MRI done, my doctor told me at my next visit that he was going to do everything possible to get me out of the pain that I was in even if that did mean surgery, but he wanted to make sure that he could actually rid some of the pain before going in. Within a few weeks, I received a phone call explaining that he had figured out exactly how to do the the surgery to alleviate some of my pain, and he told me that the date would be in March, of 2016. Needless to say, I still have not had the surgery. He even went as far as to give me the surgical cleanser that I would was my body with the night before surgery, but no such luck. The bad part is I was actually hoping to reclaim my life again! I gained trust for this doctor, and yet again, I was let down. Each month I went to his stupid doctors appointments, and listened to yet another doctor jerk me around. As March 2016 approached, he gave some full of bologna line about how he didn’t have credentials to do anything but out patient surgery, and my surgery of course would have to be more intensive and would take more time so of course I knew that it was going to be inpatient, my question is why was he not smart enough to know this? As I finally watched March pass me by, I was given even more excuses, like my insurance was not wanting to pay for certain things. What they did not know, however was my husband had all the surgery codes and had already made sure that our insurance would be able to cover the procedures. Next, they decided that they then needed me to pay $6,000.00 up front, which at this point was impossible due to the move to Florida and all the pain medications and doctors visits that we’ve had to pay for out of pocket! Finally , I had enough, enough of all the unanswered calls, from when I would call with questions and they would tell me that someone would be getting back in touch with me, enough of all the empty promises, and enough of getting my hopes up just to be let down! But most of all enough of being jerked around by yet another doctor to make his pockets fatter!!!

During all of this jerking around that I was being put through, I made another appointment with this doctor due to being in unbearable pain. The lady at the front desk told me that the doctor said that he would not see me without me paying my balance in full! Which was crazy because I had already met my deductible, and I have 2 types of insurance the primary which covers 75% regardless, and then the supplemental which after the deductible is met covers the other 25%! Not to mention, they were attempting to make me pay for the doctor visit that I had not even went into yet! Which I’m pretty sure is not legal. So because I was in such pain, and I am known to be a bit of a brat when feeling this way, I decided to tell them that it was a shame that they are all only about money, and what happened to doctors that actually cared about their patients! Because I made such a scene, I suppose the doctor did not want me to scare off the rest of his patients by allowing his dirty little secret to get out, so he whisked me and my family away into our own room to be seen.Then he decided to feed me more lies, telling me that he can not stand to see me this way and what hurts him even more is that he knows that my kids have to see me in so much pain and that truly hurts him as a person. BLAH BLAH BLAH. Hell, he even told me that to prove to me that he was not like the other doctors, who had lied to me in the past and were all about money, that he was going to do the surgery even if he had to do it fro free. At this point, I did not know what to think, maybe this is what needed to happen for me to finally get someone to do what they were supposed to do. Maybe, just maybe I will actually be able to play with my kids again like I used to before all this. I don’t know what it was, but I just felt like I was being lied to, probably just to get me out of his office. But either way, I listened and still had a bit of hope. A week later, I received a letter from his office manager telling me that he no longer thought that he could help me, and I needed to now find a new doctor for this matter.