What’s the deal?

My pain doesn’t mind the rain.  (Intentional rhyme.)  But, my pain hates drastic changes in temperature, like today’s.  One minute it’s summer, and the next, it feels like fall.  We’ve had something like a 30 degree drop in temperature — right now, it’s about 50 degrees and tonight, it will drop down to the 30s.  And yet, still no rain.  As the weatherman said yesterday, bummer.

As you can see from this picture, I’m not happy about it, even though I love the cold.  That’s because my body has all this extra throbbing, buzzing, and of course, pain.  All day today, I’m like, am I stressed out?  Is it lack of sleep?  What’s the deal?  I didn’t realize what the cause was until I went outside and almost lost my cheap camera to the cold, blustery wind.

Now, if it would just freaking rain. 🙂

Increased Attention to Workplace Harassment and Wellness Programs by the EEOC

http://www.pharmaciststeve.com/?p=10082#comment-10412

Issuing new regulations on workplace wellness programs is also high on the EEOC’s to-do list for 2015. Many employers offer wellness programs (which may include biometric screening and monitoring, exercise incentives, and so forth) to encourage their employees to adopt healthy lifestyles that they hope will lead to improved productivity at work. Although well-intentioned, these programs may run afoul of the Americans with Disabilities Act or the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act, particularly if they involve disclosure of health information by employees or impose sanctions on non-participating employees…

Until the EEOC issues its new regulations, cautious employers should do their best to make their wellness plan truly voluntary by avoiding any penalties for non-participation as well as informal pressure to participate, and should furthermore limit the types of health information collected to avoid seeking information about employees’ genetic background or possible disabilities.

Rite Aid Pharmacist Refuses To Fill Prescription For Disabled Patient

http://www.pharmaciststeve.com/?p=10078

Gulfport, Mississippi: A 36-year-old disabled woman who suffers from Chiari Malformation type I, claims the pharmacist at her local Rite Aid is refusing to fill a doctor’s prescription for the drug Norcos (hydrocodone). She asked to be identified as MK.  MK recorded an exchange with her pharmacist and the video is included below. In a statement to Liberals Unite, she said:

I am a 36 year old mom and wife suffering with an invisible illness that has no cure. I honestly feel this is discrimination. You will hear the pharmacist say that I am an established customer, my script is real and valid, there is enough of the medication in stock, she just wants to save it for other customers….

The subject is: toilet paper

https://painkills2.wordpress.com/2015/02/01/dont-buy-walmart-potatoes/

As the above link shows, I’ve advised not buying potatoes at Walmart (or any other fresh fruits or vegetables).  But I thought ya’ll should know that I bought the Walmart brand toilet paper and it’s the same (if not better) than the name brand.  Cheaper too.  It’s hard to figure out which store brands are the same as name brands, but I can highly recommend Walmart toilet paper. 🙂

Meet My Second Underground Drug Dealers

Meet my first underground drug dealer, Dean, here:

https://painkills2.wordpress.com/2015/03/26/meet-my-first-underground-drug-dealer/

My second underground drug dealers in New Mexico were acquaintances of Dean’s, and they also lived in my apartment complex.  For the purpose of this story, let’s call her Grace, and her boyfriend, Pedro.  While Pedro didn’t live with Grace, he was a frequent visitor.

Both Grace and Pedro were in their early 20s, just like Dean.  And also just like Dean, they were middlemen (middlepersons?) in the underground drug market, supporting their own habits through these transactions.  They had access to medicinal-strength bud, but even though the cost was less than in the legal dispensaries, it was still expensive.  The larger the number of middlemen between the user and the product, the more it costs.  (Although that theory doesn’t apply to the legal dispensaries, who’s prices don’t reflect the actual costs of growing and selling this plant.)

Grace and Pedro knew each other in high school, then connected years later.  I thought their relationship was a little odd, as they never showed each other any affection — no kissing, no hugging, no holding hands.  No public displays of affection.  They were more like roommates than lovers.

Dean (my first connection) told me stories about Grace and Pedro, including stories of the consumption of hard drugs.  Dean also told me that the reason Pedro was with Grace was because she had access to prescription medications.  While I didn’t believe everything Dean said, Grace herself mentioned using pain medications in the past, so maybe these stories were true.

Grace and Pedro had a few arguments in the corridors of our apartment complex, but were mostly laid-back and cool.  Grace was pretty smart, probably smarter than Pedro, who used to visit with me every once in awhile.  After one of their arguments, Grace told me that she thought Pedro had cheated on her.  And then separately, Pedro told me that he did go out with other women, although he denied it afterwards.  Said he was just joking.

When Grace told me they had broken up over this argument, I advised her to get an STD/HIV test, and told her why.  But I doubt she took my advice.  She trusted him; I don’t know why.  Of course, they got back together, and then Grace moved out shortly thereafter.  Another connection to the underground lost, as she wasn’t interested in helping me out after she moved. Neither, of course, was Pedro.

Grace’s cousin and his girlfriend lived with her — let’s call him Jackass.  He was younger and I think his girlfriend was still a teenager.  After his girlfriend moved to a different state, Grace told me Jackass was depressed about it, so I allowed him to visit once in awhile.  He was unemployed and these visits grew in number as time went on.

Jackass wasn’t dumb, just apathetic.  I don’t think he suffered from depression, but he did appear very lonely.  He told me that he used to be homeless (in another state) and that he missed all his friends.  It seems no one in his family wanted to put up with his lack of motivation for very long, and he didn’t have any friends in Albuquerque.

Jackass and I talked almost every day for awhile, including of all things, subjects like baking. But he mostly talked about how much he missed his friends and all the stuff they used to do, especially raves and different kinds of drugs.  He kinda dressed like a raver, wearing a wool hat even in the summer.  He had a huge mop of very thick and wavy hair, which he hid underneath the hat, and of course he didn’t have too many clothes.

Jackass also talked about how hard it was to get a job and that he might join the military, as he had few options.  I don’t think he was serious about joining the Army — he just wanted people to feel sorry for him.  But even so, he seemed like a nice enough guy, non-violent, and I grew to have some trust in him.  He usually did what he said he was going to do, unlike Grace and Pedro.

In the weeks that Grace was preparing to move, she didn’t have any time to help me, so Jackass became my only connection to the underground.  Since I’ve given him the pseudonym of “Jackass,” perhaps you’ve already figured out how this story ends.

Jackass often talked about wanting to move back to the state he used to live in and returning to his homeless friends, which he said he could always count on.  He felt those were the only people who cared about him.  Plus, he had nowhere to go after Grace moved, as she said he was not welcome in her new place.  At one point, he asked to stay with me, but I said no. (I’m a nice person, but I’m not a masochist.)  After Grace moved, he stayed with his mother across town, but was still willing to help me.  At least, that’s what I thought…

When you deal with middlemen, you have to provide your exchanges up front.  The last time I saw Jackass, I gave him my part of the exchange, and then I never heard from him again.  And I subsequently learned from one of his cousins that he was actually ripping me off the whole time. Yeah, I’m still angry about that, but that’s the price you pay when you’re forced into the underground drug market.  You can choose to be ripped off by the legal dispensaries or your underground connections, but when we talk about medical cannabis, you’re going to be ripped off somewhere.  It’s called the drug war.

If I didn’t have trust issues before (which I did and plenty of them), after my experiences with Jackass, Grace, and Pedro, I have become even more wary.  I don’t make friends easily, and when that friendship is treated like shit, it makes it even harder to make friends in the future.

I’ve got one more story about the underground bud market, and I think I’ll name that character… Dickhead. 🙂

Here’s Proof That Helping Homeless Is About Investing In Your Community

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/04/15/weingart-center-video_n_7062458.html

After researchers studied chronically homeless people in Florida last year, they discovered taxpayers saved about $21,000 per homeless individual by providing stable housing and case management services to those who had been living without permanent shelter, the Orlando Sentinel reported. As it turned out, costs like jail stays for homeless-related crimes and emergency hospital visits were much higher than costs associated with simply giving basic services to those in need…

8 Women Share What Happened When Antidepressants Killed Their Sex Drive

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/04/15/antidepressants-decreased-my-sex-drive_n_7024738.html

Women are two and a half times more likely than men to take an antidepressant medication — and for many, it’s affecting their sex lives. According to a Johns Hopkins health alert, 30 to 70 percent of people on an antidepressant will experience sexual problems as a side effect…

https://painkills2.wordpress.com/2015/04/12/the-history-of-antidepressants/

Ben & Jerry’s Is Making Beer, Just Try To Contain Your Excitement

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/04/15/ben-and-jerrys-beer-new-belgium_n_7072372.html

The beer will be called “Salted Caramel Brownie Brown Ale,” and it sounds delicious. The beer will come in 22oz bottles and contain 6.3 percent alcohol. Additionally, the beer collaboration will benefit an organization called “Protect Our Winters,” which helps fight the effects of climate change on mountains…

I’m waiting for cannabis ice cream, preferably chocolate. 😀

This is what my 4/20 looked like last year

These were my options last year as part of the Medical Cannabis Program in New Mexico.  And since I couldn’t afford to renew…

This year, my 4/20 looks even more bleak.  I have no choices for medication at all.  And by the way, that shake was crap — I ended up throwing it away. (And that wasn’t the only time New Mexican bud ended up in the trash.)  It was like throwing away real money.

https://painkills2.wordpress.com/?s=Visual+aid+for+GrassRoots+product