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Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Opioid Crisis 😢

Last month my son heard from a kid from our Chicago neighborhood on Facebook. They went to grade school school together and lived a few streets over. She has a brother. Both my kids knew them. The girl let my son know her Mom passed away from a heart attack. They chatted for awhile. My son told me about it later that week. 

He heard from his friend again this week. She told him they found out how she really died. She died of an overdose of opioids mixed with alcohol. Her Mom was recovering from back surgery. They had also found prescription bottles for opioids that were not in her Mom’s name. This makes me think her Mom’s surgery was awhile ago.

Omg. After I asked how his friend and her brother were doing I had a conversation with him about opioids, since this hits close to home, my having back surgery, my spouse having 2 TNR’s. I told him there are no opioids in the house and he didn’t need to worry about us and he didn’t need to ruminate on it. Both my kids are pretty much professional ruminators. That’s what landed my daughter in the hospital many times, ruminating over something to the point of becoming ill. 

This didn’t have to happen. Illinois has an 
Opioid Alternative Pilot Program which basically is for patients who have or could receive a prescription for opioids as certified by a physician licensed in Illinois. The patient’s licensed physician can go online to complete a Physician Certification. The patient then goes online to complete their portion of the application, attach a passport photo, copy of driver’s license or state ID, proof of current address and pay a $10 fee online. After they pay the fee they can usually print their “card” and visit a dispensary in about 2-3 business days. The card is good for 90 days from the processing date (the date on the “card”.)

For patients with a condition or conditions on the 
Illinois list of debilitating conditions they can apply for a 1, 2, or 3 year registry card under the  
Fees are $100, $200, and $250 with reduced fees for patients on Social Security Disability or Veterans. Patients applying for this card are given provisional access to their selected dispensary until their application is approved. Approval times vary from several weeks to a month or more.

Caregivers can also obtain a card so they can purchase items at a dispensary for a card holder unable to do so themselves, or accompany a card holder and assist them at the dispensary. Application for Designated Caregiver Identification Card Fees vary based on whether it is a 1, 2, or 3 year card.

It’s not about getting “baked”, or stoned”. There are so many more ways to use medical marijuana/cannabis. There are many kinds of edibles, tinctures that you put a drop under your tongue or add to a beverage, tonics that you drink, and much, much more. You can get a variety of different THC and CBD strengths. You can get a product with only THC or only CBD. THC is what can make you “high”, depending on the % and how much is smoked, vaped, or otherwise consumed. There are a multitude of strains of marijuana that have different effects. They may be for inflammation, pain, anxiety, insomnia, to help with appetite, stress, depression, headaches, muscle spasms, and much, much more. The employees at the dispensary that meet with card holders are called “Bud Tenders”. Way to make it not about the weed! The Bud Tenders are trained to know the various strains, THC/CBD levels, and delivery methods that can help individuals with their conditions. They basically answer all questions and make suggestions about what would be good to treat an individual’s condition(s). They will ask, have you ever, are you ok with smoking, or vaping? Would you rather use edibles, tinctures, capsules, tonics? They are very aware that some individuals aren’t comfortable with medical marijuana/cannabis. Card holders have been told it may help them and they are willing to set aside their preconceived notions and try it.

Just an FYI. If you see products in a store or online that say they contain CBD, CBD oil, don’t fall for it. The only place you can get CBD products that have been lab tested not only for authenticity of ingredients and potency, but also pesticides, heavy metals, and other contaminates is at a dispensary.

Not sure this is right for you or a loved one? Ask your doctor and research online. Already have your card? Ask your Bud Tender what they would recommend you try for your condition(s).

Some doctors are erring on the side of caution, strictly limiting opioid prescriptions. Others still hand out prescriptions like they are candy. Most doctors require you to take a drug test at every visit to insure you aren’t abusing opioids, and to insure you are taking your medication and not selling it on the street. Seriously.

We have a friend who was attacked by a dog at a shelter shortly after rotator cuff surgery. The dog flung her arm around like a rag doll. She had surgery a month ago to undo the rotator cuff surgery and next week goes to Northwestern to have her shoulder repaired. This woman has a virtual pharmacy at her house. Name an opioid, she either currently takes it or has taken it. She also has fentanyl patches and probably the MCPP card, since this pain has gone on for well over a year due to the dog attack that did so much damage to her shoulder, arm, and hand, and PTSD. The kinds and dosages of opioids is concerning.

Feel free to share this information for Illinois. Other states have other criteria, application processes, and cards for medical marijuana/cannabis. 

Don’t take my word for it, do your own research online and talk with your doctor. FYI, your doctor does not need to be a specialist treating your condition(s), it can be your primary care physician because they manage all your medical care. Your doctor does not “prescribe” certain strains or products. The Bud Tenders at the dispensaries are trained to assist you and answer your questions. Many dispensaries even have meet-ups, lunches, or classes to find out more about the products available.

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Monday, July 1, 2019

you were at my wedding Denise

Not a very strong comeback when some Denise insults you on Twitter. The person who some Denise insulted was Megan McCain. And I don’t really get it. (This was about a month ago, I forgot to post.)

Full disclosure...Denise was not at my wedding. The Denise I knew was someone I briefly dated. (Not briefly enough!) And she WAS NOT at my wedding. The Denise episode was at a not good point in my kid’s illnesses. I needed somewhere for them to be while I was at work...ONE DAY! All that was needed was keep your eyes on them, don’t let them wander off, feed them, and for the love of Pete don’t yell at them! What was wrong with her? When I went to pick them up I found my son wandering around and not doing well. My daughter gave me a full report. Denise yelled at him for not keeping up with her at the park. Really? I confirmed with her what happened and then grabbed my kids and stormed out to have her chasing me down the driveway yelling at ME. (Seriously dodged a bullet there.)

I stopped contact with her until she called one day needing a pickup from the train station after a job interview. It was only a pickup and drop off. I try to be a good person. So I did it. I pick her up and she’s got a huge bouquet of flowers she hands me. I saw where this was going and tossed them in the backseat. Didn’t look at them, didn’t read the card. I ignored them. Thankfully the pickup to drop off was a short ride.  I tried really hard to not listen to her begging to get back together. I told her no. There were no apologies for her behavior. No, are your kids ok? I dropped her off, drove to the local food pantry, removed the card and gave it to a staff member and asked them to either make someone’s day, or split it up and make several people’s day.

I really do try to be a good person. Help people out whenever I can. Just like, you do for family. But that’s just me, what my Mom and Dad instilled in me. I am old fashioned. I’m fine with that.

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