Sunday, April 10, 2016

Field Tripping

     Last week, after I gave my speech and before the giant doobie was reinflated in front of The White House, someone came up to me and slipped a business card into my hand. He said, "These people might be able to help you."
     When I looked down, I wasn't surprised to see it was from a medicinal marijuana dispensary in D.C.
     As I have said before, CBD oil or some form of medicinal marijuana will be my next step if the Depakote Sprinkles stop working. I don't want to try the anticonvulsant that can make me angry/angrier nor do I want to try the one that can cause kidney stones...or any of the others.
     Instead, I will stick with my beloved Depakote, the one that can cause liver damage but hasn't yet and possibly thinning hair, but hasn't done that yet, either...after more than 26 years in my system. The sprinkle formula is still working, but I need something extra to help me sleep at night, just as I have for years.
     My brain just keeps going and going, like the rabbit in that battery commercial, even when my body is exhausted and doesn't want to even climb the stairs to my bedroom.
     The anxiety is still there, but I'm relying on tobacco for relief, as I have for three years now, which concerns both medical doctors and therapists much less than the possibility of me taking Klonopin on a regular basis.
     Benzodiazepines are a bigger threat to my health than smoking cigarettes. Someone should probably tell the Surgeon General to ease up with that warning label.
     After breaking up with my therapist on Friday, I pulled out the business card and took a closer look. Stapled to it was a white piece of paper with an address on it for a surgery clinic, a doctor's name and a phone number. The paper said not to go to a certain wellness clinic because it is "way overpriced," and I would regret my decision in the long-run.
     It also promised a free gram for first-time patients, any house strain.
     A Google search gave me information on how to get almost to the surgery clinic from the nearest Metro station, but I called the number to make sure. The woman who answered the phone explained that it was within walking distance but suggested taking a bus from the Metro.
     "I can't believe I'm actually going somewhere with a big bud of reefer on its business card," I commented to my husband, who didn't get what I was even talking about until I showed him the actual picture.
     When I gave him the address of the surgery clinic, he said, "That's not in the best part of town. How about if I drive you tomorrow?"
     I explained it was mostly a fact-finding mission I was about to embark on, to relieve the stress of dumping yet another therapist. Then, I added,  "I'm not sure someone who works at the Pentagon should be seen hanging out around a medical marijuana dispensary."
     That's when Tommy offered to be my chauffeur. As we headed out the door, I told Ron I didn't think I was even eligible for medicinal marijuana from a clinic in D.C. because we live in Virginia.
     Still, I gathered up some of my medical records in case I needed to prove to someone that I actually do have epilepsy.
     According to the dispensary's website, D.C. is one of a few places in the United States that allows  medical marijuana to be recommended for any condition or ailment a physician deems fit.
     In Virginia, the laws are a bit trickier. Epilepsy is the only condition that can be treated with medicinal marijuana, but there are no dispensaries. There's a form for people like me so we won't be punished if caught with medicinal MJ.
     As I noted in previous posts, my neurologists work for Uncle Sam and cannot even discuss medicinal marijuana with me nor fill out the form that would keep me from being punished. The room goes ominously silent if I bring up the subject; I might as well be asking for a needle and a spoon.
     Our venture was unsuccessful in terms of even getting through the first door, but it was gloriously stress-relieving. The not-so-great part of town wasn't bad at all. There were houses, older ones with small but nice yards.
     It was nothing like the time I got off  a Metro station in a different part of town and saw a guy peeing at the top of the escalator, in broad daylight. (Even then, the people were nice, and nobody tried to hurt or threaten me in any way.)
     The most obvious way to tell we were out of the touristy part of town was being able to find a parking spot at the clinic. When we took the elevator up, the door was locked, so I called the number and talked to the same woman who gave me directions.
     That's when she told me they were closed and only saw medical marijuana patients on Mondays and Thursdays, between 10:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. "You didn't tell me you were coming today," she said, in that tone of voice, the one that could get her hired as a school secretary on the spot.
     I told her I had epilepsy and could she please repeat the days and times for me to write them down, then hung up and said some bad words, apologizing to the woman sitting next to me, who didn't seem to notice.
     Tommy and I decided to check out the dispensary anyway, even though you cannot enter one without first presenting a medical marijuana card. Ironically, it was located much closer to the part of town where there is never parking and plenty of cherry blossoms mingling with the tourists.
     When we couldn't find a parking space anywhere near the address of the dispensary, we decided to put the top down on the Mustang and call the trip a bust. It was such a beautiful day and becoming obvious that I was not going to get any information about medicinal marijuana in D.C. that day, at least not in person.
      By that time, it didn't matter any longer because I had already come up with a better idea, one I'm not going to share quite yet. To find out what it is, you'll just hafta keep reading, won't you?
     I haven't taken any more of those Klonopin, by the way, not since walking out of my therapist's office. Guess I wasn't so addicted to them after all.