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May 30, 2019

Denied. *cough. cough.*

Journal Entry #25

My brain is swimming today.  It is like the physical, emotional and mental have all collided, crashed into one another and exploded in my body.

So much has happened in the last 24 hours.  Even though I am living at a sloth’s pace right now, life is still unfurling at lightning speed around me.  So, surely like many others, I compartmentalize when life gets busy.  Now, it is time to unpack, sort those compartments out and reclaim a more healthy internal state.

Time to sort the thoughts.  Time to sort the emotions.  This will likely result in multiple entries as I have to do it one compartment at a time.

Back when I was busy, how did I ever find enough time to sort? With life happening at 150mph, did I have myself fooled that I was actually processing and handling life as it happened?  Or was I compartmentalizing and unpacking it when I had time? When I made time? Honestly, with the fast-paced lives that we lead, how in the world would I have ever had enough time to deal with all of it?  No wonder that week/weekend retreats have been an integral part of my health – they were likely a large reason that I have survived this long.

Typically, I am a very decisive person.  I rely heavily upon my intuition when making decisions – the big ones and the small ones.  My intuition usually signals me through gut reactions and responses…little flutters that let me know it is safe to proceed, or a tightening that let me know to take a step back and reassess.  This internal GPS is something that I use with clients to know how to help them, where to start treating them, what questions to ask…it is what I use when difficult conversations are required…it is what I use when making financial decisions…it is what I use when I am project planning…it is what I use when I offer the weekly card pull readings through this website…I use it for everything. Everything.

Today, I realized that my internal GPS is offline.

It is offline, because all of those physical symptoms that I normally use as a guide to decision making, are being used up by Miltefosine.  All of the signals that my intuition use, are being used by a chemical substance right now.   That flutter now means a gurgle is close behind and we best find a toilet…and fast!  That tightening now means the cramps are about to hit…get ready for the vice.  The safe, loving and warm messages that have always helped me navigate life have been hijacked and are causing havoc in my physical body…which in turn leaves me staring off into space trying to figure out whether or not my stomach will tolerate a bowl of soup or if I should just stick with the Saltines.  I’m not kidding when I say I use my intuition for everything.  Today, I couldn’t tell what I wanted or what I needed.  I couldn’t make a simple decision.

How is it possible that there is a chemical so strong, dare I say toxic that it has the ability to undermine my entire navigation system?

I am not naive.  I know that there is an Opioid Crisis…that there are drugs out there that alter personalities, create life-altering addictions, that some choose to experience a high that takes them “offline” so that they can just relax. I guess this is where I segue into one of those things I compartmentalized today.

As the sharp stabbing sensation in the center of the ulcer on my foot is unbearable at the moment…let me get my cannabis.

*cough. cough*

I have been using cannabinoids for about a month now.  My husband has done a lot of research to find out what strains, modes of ingestion, percentages of CBD vs. THC, and the difference between Indica and Sativa…to know what would be appropriate for me with all of the side effects that the Miltefosine is creating.  Considering that I have had reactions to the drugs that were prescribed to counteract the drugs that I am taking…it seems only logical that we would investigate plant medicine and all other options available to me.

Those of you who know me, know that I have been vocally anti-drug use for most of my life.  In high-school, I didn’t associate with those that partook – and if I did, they never did it in front of me.  It was a hard line.  Raised in a strict home, with a police officer for a Dad, I wouldn’t dare cross that line.  I am a natural rule follower.  Mom tells stories of how I would tattle-tale on myself, put myself with my nose in the corner for a time out when I did something that I thought was wrong, or even put myself to bed without dinner.

This one time, when I was 25, I was sitting in my friends kitchen with some other women – they were having drinks and we were all chatting.  At that time I hadn’t had much experience with alcohol, and that particular night, I was the designated driver.  Anyway, the woman who owned the house, pulled out marijuana, and in my naivety thought she was going to make me some herbal tea. When she pulled out the rolling papers, I realized that what I was seeing was a “bud” for the first time in my life.  And I, straight laced, and straight faced, asked her to take it outside, that I didn’t want to be any part of illegal, mind altering drugs.  Can you imagine?  I asked her to leave HER own house because she was doing something outside of MY moral code!

Let it be known that I didn’t have my first beer until I was 35 years old.

It was when I was 35, that I started to notice a shift with my clients and the medications that they were taking.  One was on OxyContin for 20+ years, was weening off, and transitioning to cannabis.  An MS client shared with me how beneficial it has been for her to continue functioning and participating in her own life.  A client who suffered severe IBS for 2 years started using cannabis and within a few weeks not only had her condition under control, but she was back to work and pain free.  As more stories started to emerge around me, I found myself re-framing my opinion of cannabis as I came to understand that this plant has so many benefits for health and healing.

As I write this, it has just occurred to me, that my friend, when I was 25…you know, the one I kicked out of her own house?  She was 40 at the time, struggled everyday with Chronic Fatigue and Fibromyalgia to the point where some days, she simply couldn’t get out of bed.  Perhaps my judgement of her doing it to get high was hasty.  Perhaps she was doing it to manage her pain?  If you are reading this, I apologise for my ignorant judgement.

Now, as I go through this experience with Leishmaniasis, and more has been revealed about the benefits and uses of Cannabis and that there are virtually no side effects, it seems only logical that Tim would look into it for me.  He has been feeling pretty helpless through this whole process, and this is something he could do to help me.  Plus, I work in the natural health industry…and I have always gone the route of natural medicine before or in conjunction with Western Medicine…so it seems a good fit.  I would just have to get out of my own judgement and give myself permission to use a drug that was once illegal and one I was once so against.

After having side effects to the chemical drugs, and then allergic reactions to the chemical drugs that were prescribed to counter act those side effects…the doctors agreed that plant medicine is a great alternative, one that covers all of the symptomology that I have been experiencing.  And the only side effect is munchies.

I can live with that.

The disgusting thing is that I have had to jump through hoops to get access to medical marijuana, the right dosage and in the way that our Medical Benefits would cover it.  It’s expensive, you know?  I had to have my family doctor fill out their forms, because, get this…Naturopaths – doctors of natural medicine, and the front runners educated in plant medicine – are NOT allowed to prescribe it!  Remember how I like to follow the rules?  I want to source this plant medicine in an ethical way.  Because I am using a lot of it right now, I want to be sure I am not breaking any laws by possessing it.  I want to lean into the medical benefits to help pay for the drugs that the doctors and I have found work for me.

Today, our medical benefit company denied my claim for the use of Medical Marijuana. 

They said that I didn’t qualify with my condition.  They said that there are 3 other more appropriate drugs that I need to try first and once I have done so, I can then re-submit through my doctor and then they will re-consider my claim.  Drugs that they haven’t yet disclosed.  Three different doctors have agreed that we have exhausted all standard pharmaceutical options, and that cannabis is the next logical step. I didn’t “qualify.”

That’s right.

Our insurance company told us that they will not pay for the medicine that is working for me.  So, every medicine that I am taking right now to get better, is coming directly out of our pockets.

Miltefosine.

Gravol.

Pepto-Bismol.

Cannabis.

And that doesn’t include the vitamins, minerals, electrolytes, immune supports, accupuncture tacks, pedialiyte (and the list goes on) that I am taking in addition to the chemical shit-storm that is costing a small fortune.

I don’t get angry often.  I usually let things roll.  Today, with my navigation system offline, I got mad.  I mean, really, really mad.

How dare they?  How could they?  Who do they think they are?

It is extremely clear to me that there is a bigger issue at play here.  The tides haven’t changed.  People, big pharma, insurance companies are still seeing marijuana just like I saw it when I was 25.  Ignorantly.

It shouldn’t be this hard to get.  It shouldn’t be restricted access when it is medically indicated.  This process, jumping through hoops, filling out extra forms, taking up valuable Doctor time and appointments, just to have an insurance company deny something that is needed and necessary makes me sick.  This is why people source it unethically, buy it from the streets where it is cheaper and laced with dangerous other drugs.  It isn’t right that people that are in situations such as I, are forced to deal with all of this extra stress and then have to find ways around the system to get what we need simply because Big Business can’t get on board with a plant.  It should be as simple as taking the script from your Doctor to the pharmacy and having it filled in 10 minutes like any other medicine.  It is easier and more convenient to get Oxy, than it is Cannabis with the current system.  How ridiculous is that?!

I will tell you this much.  I have 10 more days of Miltefosine to go.  And I will NOT do it without cannabis.  Thankfully, Alderville Native Reserve is only a one hour drive from us – one option we have – and my husband doesn’t mind being my pharmacist as we go though this.

Tim has taken his research and is paying it forward, to help others by starting an information page on Facebook called The Green RoomFor information purposes only, please consult your doctor before taking this or any medicine.  Tim and I watched the Netflix documentary the other night called Weed The People.  It is really informative.  If you have time, it is worth a watch.

All anger aside, I am grateful, no matter the cost, to have access to the medicine that I need.  Miltefosine that comes from Germany.  Cannabis from Alderville.  The important thing, is that I can get what I need to get back on my feet.  I am thankful that we have found something that helps.  Don’t get me wrong, I am not cruising and coasting through this…but I couldn’t imagine doing it without the cannabis…I would think that the days would feel even closer to hell without it.  I am thankful for a husband that is obsessive with research and dedicated to helping me get well.  I am thankful for the opportunity to expose my children to plant medicine in a way that isn’t scary, forbidden or ignorant. This is a whole other complex compartment that I have yet to unpack…but I will.  I am thankful for all the visitors and prayers.  I am thankful that Stephanie, our minister brought Communion to my mom and I today.  That we were able to come together in ceremony and in prayer in a meaningful, spiritual way.  Thank you Stephanie, for offering such peace today when it was so, so needed.

Mostly, in this moment, I am thankful that I only have 10 more days of Miltefosine.

*cough. cough*

Xo Juli

1 thought on “Denied. *cough. cough.*”

  1. Juli, here is what Adam has researched for me:
    Balanced THC 6 mg/ml CBD 6.mg/ ml I take only the CBD in the morning and at noon for any nausea or “crappy” feeling and then at bedtime the same dose with a tiny dropper of the THC Indica
    I vap with THC Solei Balance Harmonizer whenever the needs arise and without fail I get instant relief.

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