Chapter 66

Chapter 66

I finally told my doctor at Orthopedic Associates, “No more medication, I’ve done all the physical therapy and everything you asked me to do.” I wasn’t getting anywhere. It wasn’t helping.

“What about shots?” he asked.

It was for my shoulders and neck, the tendinitis and bursitis. My shoulders are so bad I couldn’t lay down or even sit in a chair, it was so painful. I couldn’t sleep. It hurt all the time.

The shots were something, which helped, but what happened was from June to November last year my heart started going crazy because of the fucking shots. I told him, “I can’t do those anymore, the side effects are terrible.” I told him I was thinking about medical marijuana.

He said, “Let me know how that works for you.”

I told him I would.

I looked it up, made a phone call, had to go online, fill out forms, and go see a doctor who specializes in pain and medical marijuana. Ohio’s not messing around, which I kind of like. Personally, I’m all for it. I think it’s a God given herb, but you have to be careful.

I called my doctor, told her what I was doing, that I was so sick of pharmaceuticals.

Marijuana is here for a reason. It cures epilepsy, helps with Alzheimer’s, is good for Parkinson’s, all sorts of things.

I’ve been giving my mom medical marijuana for four years. It’s the best thing I’ve ever done for her. She now sleeps when she’s supposed to, so she doesn’t get her days and nights mixed up anymore. She has an appetite. Before, she was losing a pound a week. She was crabby today, so I pulled out a gummie for her.

“Open up little birdie.”

Ohio’s medical marijuana program passed in 2016, and was supposed to be operational by September 2018, but red tape delayed it until the beginning of 2019.

The basics of the law are, qualifying conditions only, permitted for medicinal use only for patients who are prescribed medical cannabis by a doctor to treat one, or more, of 21 qualifying conditions, prescriptions by approved doctors only, patients and caregivers must be registered to purchase, possess, and use medicinal cannabis with the State Board of Pharmacy, a 90-day supply of medical marijuana only, and medicinal cannabis in a form that can be vaporized, no igniting or combusting using a flame, or as tinctures, patches, and topical ointments.

It’s a lot, but it’s the law.

When I got my appointment, it was in the King James Building in Westlake. The office was all white, except for one wall that was wall papered in marijuana leaves. When the doctor introduced herself, she told me she had been an anesthesiologist.

“But I stopped believing in the pharmaceutical world,” she said.

“Not many of us do,” I said.

She went over my medical records. At first, I was nervous, but then she said, “You’ve done it all, but it’s going up your neck, so you have every reason to try marijuana. You’re still working, too, so it will work for you.”

She sent me to another office, where a young girl was working, who told me all about it.

“You’re going to love it,” she said. “Just remember, it’s illegal to smoke it.”

“OK, no buds,” I said.

“No buds.”

“Just the oil,” I said.

But I sat on it for a couple of weeks before actually trying it. I finally drove to a dispensary in Elyria. I went in the door. There were two more doors. I pushed a button. A camera looked me over and they let me in. I had to fill out forms and more forms. A man led me out to where the marijuana was.

“This is Chelsea, she will be your personal shopping concierge.”

“For real?”

“Yeah, you might have questions.”

The marijuana room was beautiful, new, crisp, clean, natural wood on the walls. There were three huge flat-screen TV’s. Six tables filled the room, dark wood legs, marble tops, glass cases.

Wow, I thought.

“What are you interested in?” asked Chelsea.

“I don’t know, why not tell me about everything.”

She did.

There was indica, sativa, and hybrids. Indica strains are physically sedating, perfect for relaxing with a movie before bed. Sativas are about invigorating, uplifting effects that pair well with physical activity and social gatherings. Hybrids fall somewhere in between. There were THC and CBD mixtures. There was all kinds of everything.

I got a bottle of hybrid and three different kinds of gummies. The oil was a tincture, the type of thing you put under your tongue. Oh, my God it helps! THC is the best thing I’ve ever done. It stops the pain.

I had been getting my mom gummies, getting them from a friend. She ran out for seven days and every day my stepfather looked more and more haggard. I swore it would never happen again. My doctor’s visit cost $260.00 and the medical marijuana card $50.00. My stepfather paid for half of it.

My mom’s nickname when she was a nurse was “Buescher the Pusher” because she was an IV therapist. Now that I supply her with gummies, I have become “Buescher the Pusher.” The older you get the more like your parents you become.

It’s better than living on pharmaceuticals.

I was clenching my teeth all the time and had to take Flexeril.  It treats muscle spasms. I was taking Vicodin, too. It’s a combination medicine used to relieve moderate to severe pain. It contains an opioid pain reliever and a non-opioid pain reliever. It works in the brain to change how your body feels and responds to pain.

With the THC oil, I don’t take those drugs anymore. I take my tincture at about 8 o’clock, get into my PJ’s, getting ready, and in the next hour it takes effect. My eyes get small and I start smiling. Whatever and whenever Brian says something, all I can think to say is, “What?”

But it’s the greatest thing. I can finally relax.

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