During recent visits to my GP I discovered that not only does she think that Cannabis is “really bad” but would rather me risk being suicidal.
As a child, like many young boys, I loved to climb trees, particularly during conker season. Every Autumn my brothers and I would go to our favourite park to harvest the nuts for our playground game. At the age of 13, whilst shaking away at the horse chestnut laden branches, I fell from a height of about 40 feet landing unconscious on my back on the ground. I spent weeks in bed unable to even get to the toilet. I slowly regained my mobility and with the help of physiotherapy I was able to walk, albeit like an old man at first with a stick and back arched forward – but such a relief to be spared paralysis.
Anyone who’s ever had a back injury will tell you – it never fully heals, it’s with you for life. I’ve learned to manage my ‘bad back’ over the years by being very careful what exercise, if any, I undertake – even lifting shopping bags into the car had to be done with great care or I’d be flat on my back again for days.
As I get older and now in my 40s, the frequency and the amount of pain increases – until I discover Cannabis! I’d used Cannabis recreationally many times previously, particularly in my 20s but the efficacy of it as anti-inflammatory and a pain killer weren’t realised until a trip to Amsterdam a few years ago. I am now more active than I have been for over 30 years.
Discovering a medicine that gives a new lease of life is fantastic, the problem is in the case of Cannabis, aside from its illegality and cost, is the lack of availability of high grade bud, so I occasionally still need to use pharmaceutical drugs to substitute the lack of real natural medicine.
During my latest bout of back pain and a Cannabis drought, I visited my GP to seek help. On the first visit I felt the need to explain that, although illegal, I have found Cannabis to be the most effective treatment for my back pain and I asked my GP of her thoughts on this.
“Cannabis is really bad, I see too many people messed up on it!” she retorted. She clearly wasn’t open for discussion on the subject and the conversation ended there. I was prescribed Codene.
Two weeks later I returned, having used all of the Codene and still suffering. I explained how effective they were initially but the problem was that I needed more and more to achieve the same level of relief, “I can now see how people can become addicted to these” I told her, “and I won’t be taking any more.”
She then offered me Gabapentin (Gabarone), something I’d never heard of, so I took the script and vowed I would research the drug before using it.
To my immense shock, I found that, amongst many others, suicidal thoughts and actions were listed as a side effect! And that abrupt or over rapid withdrawal may provoke a withdrawal syndrome reminiscent to alcohol. It is recommended that prescribers of this drug should balance the risk of suicide with the need for the drug. - She never once questioned my state of mind.
The more I thought about this, the more disgusted I became.
Given that the doctor believes that Cannabis is “really bad” and that people become “messed up” on it, she still went ahead and prescribed a potentially lethal drug without question!
I look forward to my next visit.
By Steve Simpson
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