I have been suffering with increasing chronic pain from arthritis in my knees, back and other areas, as well as migraines and a ruptured disc.
My Kaiser Permanente personal physician is more concerned with her license than with compassionate care. She refused to refill my Fiorinol prescription for migraines — which I’ve been on for over 18 years! I have also been periodically refilling a Vicodin prescription for the occasional moderate back or knee pain.
Since my arthritis pain was getting worse and I started suffering from chronic nausea, I decided two years ago to try medical marijuana. Amazingly, it completely erased the pain for 4 to 6 hours. I was able to skip doses of Motrin or Vicodin, and I was functioning well with little pain. The marijuana also helped me eat.
A few weeks ago I experienced what I think is another disc rupture. I told my doctor how much pain I was in and she thankfully prescribed me one 30 pill bottle of Norco. Two weeks later she refused to prescribe any more pain meds unless I sign a pain contact and give up the medical marijuana. I refused.
Then I had a spinal injection of steroids to try to relieve my back and sciatic pain. I was made to suffer barbaric levels of pain starting the night before as I had to stop taking Motrin for the procedure. So all I had was Tylenol and my medical marijuana. I was screaming in agony throughout the day and during the procedure. It was torture which would have been alleviated if I could have had some Norco on hand just for this purpose.
I am treated like I’m guilty of misusing Vicodin that has helped keep my pain under control for over 8 years with no issues. I do not sell my pills and I don’t go to other doctors to load up on them. And my use of marijuana has allowed me to use very little opiates or NSAID’s so I can avoid addiction and kidney/liver damage
I have a medical marijuana card and all my Kaiser Permanente doctors know I’m using it. Several have told me it is the best thing I can do. But Kaiser Permanente is in lock step with the grandstanding politicians who reach for easy and ill-conceived solutions, which don’t solve anything and cause suffering and discrimination against innocent law abiding people.
Now I suffer in constant agony trying to make Motrin work. I am taking it every 4 hours instead of 6 because I can’t endure the pain any more. And it does very little to stop it. I will then take some cannabis and that helps much more. But with this level of pain, it’s not enough.
And so I suffer, thanks to drug hysteria! I don’t know how much longer I can endure both this level of pain and the uncaring and discriminatory treatment from an expensive health care provider I pay over $500 a month for.
The grandstanding politicians should get a period of severe chronic pain and endure the suffering and indignities they put us through. People who get relief from medical marijuana are not all 18- year olds trying to legally get high. Public opinion is changing and it’s time for our government to allow impartial scientific testing and rescheduling marijuana with the DEA as the science dictates, not frenzy and moral outrage.
People are suffering and relief from pain is a fundamental human right. If politicians are so concerned with the government meddling in private life and healthcare, they would stop opposing medical marijuana.
Lori Berry lives in Richmond, California.
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The information in this column is not intended to be considered as professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Only your doctor can do that! It is for informational purposes only and represents the author’s personal experiences and opinions alone. It does not inherently or expressly reflect the views, opinions and/or positions of National Pain Report or Microcast Media.