Meeting Scotland’s Illegal DIY Weed Doctors

Unfortunately, if you live in the UK, buying the bud that could treat seizures or ease the suffering experienced by cancer patients is still very much illegal…

Abigail and Sarah are originally from Maine – a state that permits the use of medical cannabis – but now live in Edinburgh. Abigail was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) two years ago and was prescribed a number of drugs to help treat the discomfort and fatigue she experiences. However, the anti-inflammatories she was given gave her ulcers, and a bad reaction to the steroid Prednisone led to her being hospitalised for pancreatitis.

Sativex – a drug made with cannabis derivatives – is licensed in the UK, and although it “tastes awful” it did help with Abigail’s pain when she tried it. Problem is, because it’s not available on the NHS, the exorbitant asking price – £450 for three bottles (you have to buy it in threes for some reason) – forced her to go for the more affordable, though considerably less legal, option: cannabis.

As inhaling burning plant matter isn’t exactly the most proactive thing to do in the pursuit of good health, Abigail and Sarah decided to set up a “coven” in their Edinburgh flat. There, they process cannabis for medical purposes, turning it into oral capsules or making an oil that can be added to food or dissolved in the bath to help treat skin conditions…

Also present is Helen, one of their “patients”, who suffers from chronic migraines. “I tried all the things [the doctors] gave me,” she says, when I ask why she turned to Abigail and Sarah for help. “Beta-blockers gave me asthma and opiates just made me really sick. Cannabis is literally the only thing that gives me relief. It doesn’t make the headaches go away, but it takes the pain down a notch or two.”

She mentions the stigma attached to cannabis. “If I could take opiates I imagine I’d be taking a load by now, and no one would judge me for it. But with cannabis, if you do it every day you’re seen as a layabout, as a stoner – even if it’s the only thing that allows you to function.” …

While we wait for that to work itself out, I ask whether anyone there actively campaigns for the decriminalisation of cannabis. “I’ve been really hesitant to get involved,” says Abigail, “because in many of the campaign groups there’s this prejudice against recreational users. I identify as a medical user, but I don’t want to distance myself from others in the way that they do. I fully support recreational use, especially as we have high levels of alcoholism in this country.”

“Britain would be a much mellower country – much more cheerful – if recreational use was legal,” says Sarah.

“Yeah, I was really disappointed that we didn’t get independence in Scotland, because a brand new country… you know, we would have had so much more control over drug laws,” adds Abigail…


Poet Aja Monet Confronts Police Brutality Against Black Women With #SayHerName

“Melissa Williams,” Aja Monet reads, “Darnisha Harris.” Her voice is strong; it marches along, but it shakes a little, although not from nerves. She’s performing a poem that includes the forgotten names of girls and women who’ve been injured or killed by the police. She finishes forcefully, then pauses, exhales. “Can I do that again?” she asks. “It’s my first time reading it out loud, and … ” she trails off.

Monet had written the poem — a contribution to the #SayHerName campaign, a necessary continuation of the Black Lives Matter movement focusing on overlooked police violence against women — earlier that morning. That evening, she’d read it at a vigil. Now, she was practicing on camera, surprised by the power of her own words…

“Drive for Equality”

Taxi App Hailo Pranks Customers With ‘Heterophobic’ Driver Ahead Of Ireland’s Gay Marriage Referendum

The clip was released as part of Hailo’s “Drive for Equality” campaign, in which the company offers free rides to customers to their local polling stations for Ireland’s same-sex marriage referendum on May 22. If the referendum passes, Ireland will become the world’s first nation to adopt marriage equality legislation through a popular vote.

I knew there was a reason that I was proud to be part Irish. 🙂

Somewhere Beneath the Sea

An underwater fantasy
gave my world a tilt
by this funny, Scottish guy
who no doubt wears a kilt

Reading about diving
Makes my head pound
Suddenly, my ears did pop
(Holy cow, I need a mop)

He wants to free The Leaf
(So at least he’s not a creep)
Please welcome Addy
to the WordPress family

My advice to Kaiser is stop bullshitting your patients.

I arrive at Kaiser’s Department of Psychiatry and at first, no one knows anything about it…

I waited for another thirty minutes and another woman found me and dumped the paperwork in my lap with the statement: “We don’t do this?”

Me: “You don’t do case management?”

She: We don’t do this. Maybe a family member can help you.

Me: (I’d had enough) Look. Everyone knows that Kaiser doesn’t want to work with the mentally ill.

She: That’s not true!

Me: I’m not an idiot. If you don’t do case management and you don’t do family therapy, and you don’t do intensive groups for trauma then by logical extension, you don’t do psychiatry. If I could do this alone or with family, I would have!

She walked over to reception, and then returned.

She: Why don’t you sign the forms and leave them at the front desk; your regular case manager will call you when he returns from vacation.

A couple of guards arrived in reception and glared at me…

I would think that anyone suffering from anxiety would have taken the guards’ presence as a threat.  Just goes to show you how those who suffer from mental illness are treated within our “healthcare” system.

Arachnoiditis and nerve blocks

Since my umpteen nerve blocks, I have gone downhill in no time, especially the last couple of months…

Sometimes my rt arm hangs dead by my side and as I think I mentioned, the hand is clawing, locking and turning inwards. But it confuses me as I am not totally sure it is Arachnoiditis and pls do not let it be the beginning of crps . So many of us have ended up with crps. My rt foot is also turning inwards and downwards with toes that are constantly cramped downwards. And yes, at times when my nerves are really acting up, my head starts bobb up and down. One time my eyes rolled back and I thought I was having a seizure. All these symptoms are worsening and to then hear from my docs that it is volitional when it is not, bothers me to no end…

I will report the dr who gave me all the blocks but first I have to secure consistent help from someone who is ethical and caring enough to take me on as a patient. This doc with all the blocks recently opened up a pain clinic in town, the one and only, so I can understand her motive behind the harassment…

Just one more thing…the neuro referred me to a physiatrist who said, “are you sure you didn’t suffer emotional or physical abuse as a child”..”when was the last time you laughed”…..I walked out.

Importance of Medical Restrictions and Limitations

From my perspective it is often true that insureds and claimants, and in fact their physicians, are completely unaware of the importance of medical restrictions and limitations in the evaluation of disability claims.

Although most insurers continually request patient notes, physicians rarely (if ever) include R&Ls in the notes. Lacking the specific information they need, insurers then keep asking for the same information over and over again, only to deny claims by citing, “there are no restrictions and limitations to preclude you from working.”

My reviews of most claims show that despite voluminous patient notes and recommendations there generally is not one R&L among them. Without specific R&Ls to support disability the door is left open for insurers to deny claims legitimately even when it’s clear from the combination of patient records there is no work capacity…

“Restrictions” are defined as work or life activities insureds should NEVER do. “Limitations” are defined as “work or life activities insureds can do, but only to a limited extent. And, all good intentions aside, many physicians themselves are not aware of these definitions and rarely write them in patient records or on disability forms…

My son’s story

“Someone I love has gone away,

And life is not the same.

The greatest gift that you can give

Is just to speak their name.

I need to hear the stories

And the tales of days gone past.

I need for you to understand

These memories must last.

We cannot make more memories

Since they’re no longer here.

So when you speak of them to me

It’s music to my ear.”

(Photo taken in April 2014.)

People say the darndest things

“What would happen if the President, the Supreme Court, and all members of both houses of Congress were stoned out of their gourds twenty-four hours a day? The chilling truth is, it might be an improvement.” — Allan Sherman

“All cruelty springs from weakness.”  ~~ Seneca ~~  (Thinking of you, DEA.)