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Plunder Woman
While I've been MIA (missing in action) lately, I've been working towards cleansing my system of all the gnarly narcotics that have held me prisoner for the past 15 years. Since 2003, I've taken the whole spectrum of painkillers and have to admit nothing works very well these days. Why continue taking something that doesn't give me any relief? Why continue taking something that harms my already compromised liver? Because I've chosen to make what I think is an informed decision, I'm in the process of weaning myself off morphine because cold turkey is a real bitch. Trust me, I've been down that road a time or two and I definitely don't want to visit that rocky path ever again.

Over the last 15 years I've taken every NSAID known to man, plus Tramadol, Lortab, Percocet, Oxycontin, Methadone, Fentanyl and Morphine. You name it and I've taken it. I've used TENS units and even had 2 internal neurostimulators implants that are wired directly into my spine. I've had two separate anterior discectomies with fusions to fuse 4 of my 7 cervical discs. I have to admit not being able to look up or turn my head has been a little challenging at times. And as for the surgeries, they've done little to alleviate my pain. My last neurosurgeon told me that there was nothing else that he could do to help me. He basically told me that I'd have to grin and bear it.

I've also tried exercise, heated pool therapy, regular physical therapy, massages, chiropractic adjustments, heat and ice with no substantial or long term relief from anything I tried. The only things I haven't tried at this point are steroid injections that are injected directly into the site that's causing the pain and acupuncture. As ordered by my endocrinologist, I can't ever do the steroid injections because steroids make my blood sugar skyrocket. And acupuncture?  To be honest, the thought of being a human pin cushion (even though they say no pain is involved) doesn’t exactly excite me, so I think this particular predicament is called being S.O.L. (shit out of luck)

Physically, I've gone from being Wonder Woman to being a lackluster cave-dwelling crone. Mentally, I've learned to suffer in silence. Isolation is a common tool used by many people with serious medical issues and by people who have simply given up and don't want to play the "happy" game any longer. It's easier to be isolated than it is to be around people. That overwhelming urge to put on a happy face has worn me out. It’s difficult to maintain that “everything is just peachy” act for very long and the older I get, the more that desire wanes. That's why I became a hermit. No, that's not entirely true. The combination of severe chronic pain and my lifelong inability to select a significant other who isn't a complete twisted freak-a-zoid asshole are the two major reasons for becoming a troglodyte. The wealthy call it being an eccentric recluse and the poor call it life after the fast lane. I call it how Mildred maintains some semblance of sanity.

Recently I decided to give medical marijuana a whirl. Both my primary care doctor and my pain management doctor gave me their blessing regarding my decision. Florida legalized marijuana for medicinal use in the 2020, but have always steered clear until now due to all the hoop jumping that's involved.  Once I finally made the decision, I carefully followed all the necessary steps dotting all i's and crossing all t's. Unfortunately, I know what a clusterfuck anything pertaining to the government can be. Anything they handle on a local, state or federal level involves too much red tape that only slows the process of forward movement and expands the room for errors to be made every step of the way.

First, I made an appointment to see Dr. Feelgood. Next, I had my medical records from my pain management doctor and my primary care doctor faxed to Dr. Feelgood. This was done to substantiate a medical diagnosis that is on the list of qualifying diseases and conditions. Previous medical records also help Dr. Feelgood to write a personalized prescription/care plan. Next, I kept my appointment (BTW, Dr. Feelgood really knew her stuff.) Once a person sees the doc and her recommendation is submitted along with your Patient ID number, the mandatory application for a Medical Marijuana card from the state with a $75 required fee (everyone has to get their piece of the pot pie) can be submitted online or by snail mail. About 2 weeks later, I received an email me with my card number. Until I receive my actual card, the email with the card number enables me to make purchases.  They say it takes about 4 to 6 weeks to receive the actual card. That's the speed of light for any government agency! I'll believe 4 to 6 weeks once I have my card in my hand in 4 to 6 weeks.

There's two dispensaries where I live and both do home deliveries. I'll most likely use that service in the future, but I wanted to check out the dispensary in person for my first purchase. I like to see how things work and if they run smoothly. It gives me an overall picture of whether or not I'm dealing with a bunch of imbeciles. It helps keep my expectations in the realm of reality. I have to admit, I was pleasantly surprised by the whole operation at Surterra Wellness right down to the ATM standing all shiny and new inside the dispensary. This feature made a lot of sense since the marijuana business is all cash and carry due to the current Federal laws and banking restrictions.They would have really impressed me if they had a blood plasma center on site so people could sell some blood to buy their weed. That's what I call one stop shopping!

Image result for smoking weed memeThe dispensary was a strange trip...nothing like copping a little weed back in the day from the friendly neighborhood pot dealer! Upon checking in for my first one stop shopping experience, I found out that my approved card number didn't show up in the Florida Stoners-R-Us database when the dispensary tried to access it. So I sat there and called the 800 number into the state registry. Ring! Ring! Ring! I first accessed their automated menu hoping I pushed all the right selections to talk to an actual human being. Of course, there were many callers ahead of me, but the automated recording assured me that the first available representative would help me and thanked me for waiting patiently. I wonder who I'd have to register a complaint with regarding the "on hold" music that played in my ear while I waited. I beg your pardon, but elevator music is not acceptable to listen to for more than 5 seconds and what stoner do you know who listens to that crap?

Fast forward about 45 minutes later and the state informed me that I indeed had been approved and the number emailed to me was correct. Duh! I knew the number was correct. The state knew the number was correct. I wanted to know why the dispensary couldn't access my correct account number. That issue was never answered. "I don't know" didn't seem like an acceptable answer, but I wasn't going to push the issue because I didn't want my correct account number to permanently float around lost in cyberspace. What I did was accept some things are meant to remain a mystery. So now, I'm back at square one. The dispensary needed to be able to access my account via my top secret correct account number. If the dispensary couldn't access my account with the prescription from my pot doc, then I wouldn't be able to make a purchase. Period! Why would I ever expect anything to ever go smoothly from start to finish and not be riddled with all sorts of Murphy's laws? I don't know how, but somehow magically, my card number appeared in the database after my phone call to Florida's Stoners-R-Us registry. Go figure! It must have been a miracle!

Stay tuned for part two of this saga...the purchase.

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