[Vision2020] medical marijuana
idahovandal1 at live.com
Thu Jun 2 12:24:51 PDT 2011
This is a slight change of topic, and I've recommended this book before, but for those with chronic pain, or for those close to someone with chronic pain, I would like to again highly recommend "The Pain Chronicles" by Melanie Thernstrom. It's a fairly new book, it was published last year. It's a very well written and compelling book about chronic pain (as Melanie describes it, pain that is with you "every single minute of every single hour of every single day"), the sociology of chronic pain, the psychology of chronic pain, the physiological effects of chronic pain, how chronic pain and its sufferers have been viewed through history, how the medical establishment has dealt with and currently deals with chronic pain, the various medications and alternative medicine. It was a revelatory read for me. I find myself being something of an advocate for this book.
> Date: Thu, 2 Jun 2011 11:20:20 -0700
> From: lfalen at turbonet.com
> To: london at moscow.com; vision2020 at moscow.com
> CC: tyedye at moscow.com; alford at lmtribune.com; scengle at lmtribune.com
> Subject: Re: [Vision2020] medical marijuana
> Thanks Bill for posting this. Marijuana laws are insane. My wife had ovarian cancer in 1993. She had all of her female organs removed, had radiation and chemotherapy. The only thing that would help her nausea was Maratol (synthetic THC).
> She has not had a reoccurrence of cancer, but the after effects are still with her. It destroyed her lymph system. she has to take diuretics to control water retension. Her digestive system is very touchy. She is constantly in pain and and has a bout of vomiting all night every two weeks or so. She is strongly anti-drugs and it was difficult for her to accept the use of Maratol, but it was the only thing that worked. The laws on marijuana and also forfeiture laws need to be changed.
> -----Original message-----
> From: "Bill London" london at moscow.com
> Date: Wed, 01 Jun 2011 16:03:18 -0700
> To: "vision2020" vision2020 at moscow.com
> Subject: [Vision2020] medical marijuana
> > The essay below was originally posted by Susan Engle of the Lewiston Tribune on her blog at the Tribune website, and then reprinted in the Tribune itself on page 8C today (June 1) on the best of the blogs page. This is the most powerful statement I have yet read on this issues of pain, suffering, and relief (and medical marijuana).....thanks Susan....BL
> > ---------------------------------------------------------
> > I would have risked the arrest
> > Posted on 25 May 2011 by Susan Engle
> > If I had known 12 or 13 years ago what I know now about medical marijuana, I might have ended up doing time. And it would have been well worth it.
> > On June 20, 2000, my mother, Patty Engle — then a young 58 — died of breast cancer after battling the disease for nine years. For the final four years of her battle, I had a front-row seat for the horrific effects of cancer, pain and chemotherapy. It is not an exaggeration to say I would have literally given my right arm if I could have alleviated even a fraction of her suffering.
> > There’s a scene in the movie “Terms of Endearment” that is recognizable to anyone who’s ever watched someone suffer through cancer treatment. The character, played by Shirley MacLaine, is standing vigil as her daughter suffers through a breast cancer death. When the time comes and goes for her next pain medication, Aurora Greenway goes on a memorable rampage (see clip at bottom), ending with a shouted order I’ve never forgotten:
> > “It’s past ten. My daughter is in pain. I don’t understand why she has to have this pain. All she has to do is hold out until ten, and IT’S PAST TEN! My daughter is in pain, can’t you understand that! GIVE MY DAUGHTER THE SHOT!”
> > I’ve been there. I’ve felt that way, even though the nurses and other hospital staff were wonderful and caring and did everything within their power to make her as comfortable and pain-free as they could.
> > See, cancer treatment does a real number on the body. In the final couple of years of her life, mom was on heavy doses of narcotic pain killers. They worked, sometimes, and sometimes they didn’t do enough. They also depressed her respiration and slowed her disgestive system to the point that it would grind to a halt, resulting in terrible stomach and bowel pain. That was secondary, of course, to the steady, unrelenting pain in her bones, hips, chest and extremities as the cancer raged out of control.
> > If the pain happened to be particularly strong, it would “get ahead” of the pain killers and it sometimes took hours or even days to get it back under control again.
> > Then there’s the nausea and lack of appetite. For much of the last year of her life, it was tough to find food that mom could keep down or even had any appetite for at all. At one point, the only thing she could eat was Chef Boyardee Beefaroni. Don’t ask me why. Later it was tapioca pudding and for a while it was beef broth. Just that. Beef broth. She said her lack of appetite was not just not being hungry, but rather the complete lack of interest in food on any level.
> > Of course, now I know that marijuana could have alleviated some of that pain and nausea. For a cancer patient, lack of appetite can be just as deadly as pneumonia. The patient withers away, depressing the immune system and depleting the body of the vitamins, minerals, proteins and enzymes so necessary to battle diseases and illness.
> > If I had known back then that scoring mom a doobie would have made her crave a cheeseburger and allowed her to sleep through the night without throwing up every five minutes or crying out in pain when she tried to roll over in bed, I’d have been on the corner looking for a dealer and the divil, and the law, take the hindmost if they didn’t like it. It’s sort of my Aurora Greenway moment, “GIVE MY MOTHER HER MEDICINE!”
> > It’s time this country came to terms with marijuana as a drug that could be useful in treating cancer, chronic pain and other illnesses. Regulate it, tax it, put it in the pharmaceutical pipeline, sell it at your local Walgreen’s and have the DEA keep the records. And stop acting as if doing so would cause the fall of the Roman Empire.
> > Can we, just for once, stop being so schizophrenic when it comes to marijuana and alcohol? Other than the occasional glass of red wine, alcohol serves no useful purpose as a medical treatment and yet it’s available to anyone old enough to buy it, in whatever quantities they wish. In case you haven’t noticed, it’s a gateway drug too. It just happens to be legal and marijuana isn’t.
> > Frankly, I have little use for the opinions of people who have never watched someone they love suffer from chronic illness or pain, or who have never experienced the same for themselves. You may think you know how bad it can get, but you would be wrong.
> > Get back to me when you experience your own Aurora Greenway moment. Then we’ll talk.
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