Friday, January 17, 2014

ONE NURSE TALE



MEET XESIA, A 420NURSES MODEL AND PATIENT


Temecula, CA – Less than a day back on the job and comes this report concerning the recent attempt to remove medical cannabis from patients in Washington State through legal maneuvers in the legislature. Rather than editorialize this young woman’s plight or pass judgment on the politicians, the young 420Nurses model’s story is presented exactly as she told and wrote it down with no editing. There is no need to sensationalize the truth.

“Hello. My name is Xesia Anaya, on Wednesday I went to Olympia to speak on behalf of the patients in Washington State. I was asked to share my story, and how Cannabis saved my life. So I got brave, and this is what I told them..." 













"I am 32 years old, and without Medical Cannabis I would not be standing here today. I was born with Congenital Heart Disease, and at 14mos. had my first open heart surgery, my second at 11 years, and will need another sometime within the next 5 years. My particular surgery is defined as a Tetralogy of Fallot, and a Human Homograph. In laymen’s terms, my Pulmonic Valve over works itself and begins to thin, stretch, and separate requiring it to be replaced. I also have 4 V.S.D’s or “holes’ in my heart” that must be closed and repaired.

So as you can imagine I was no stranger to Doctor’s offices, and Hospitals. I think in fact it’s safe to say that I spent the better part of my life in such places. I even wound up spending my 12th birthday in an isolation tent. Needless to say, I wasn't always the happy healthy child one wishes to be, or have. But, it was the reality I had to deal with, and it wasn't a good one.

As the years went on and I seemed to be plagued with medical issues and sickness. I never got the run of the mill colds or flu’s like other people, it was a cyst or a gallstone. In 2004 I was rushed to the emergency room, and after a brief examination (not unlike the one I had 3 days prior…) they found I had 5 gallstones present, and that two had blocked the duct from my gallbladder to my pancreas. They had no other option but to remove my gallbladder, and in doing so nicked my pancreas bringing on a full blown case of Pancreatitis. I spent 27 days in the hospital with a feeding tube down my throat, and an IV with a myriad of Narcotic medications. When the morphine drip would no longer help, Demerol seemed to be their answer. Even at 20 years of age I felt confused that a doctor would give me something like that. I will never forget the nurse that cried while administering my “medication”, she was also the first medical professional that introduced me to the idea of using cannabis as an alternative. I wish I remembered her name so I could thank her, she planted a seed in me that eventually saved my life. 

After I was released from my nearly month-long stay, I had lost an unhealthy amount of weight and suffered for horrible withdrawals. Due to the Prescription Medication withdrawals, I spent over 5 days and 4 nights with absolutely no sleep. Suffering from severe depression, hallucinations, and anxiety attacks, I really thought things could not get worse than that... But they did.

One day I woke up, to find my ribs were sticking out on the left side of my body. Apparently where they had fused my ribs after my last open heart surgery, had separated. The clinical term is subluxation. This causes severe inflammation and pain from my back through my chest wall. On top of my currently leaking heart valve, and my 4 V.S.D’s to again be repaired.. I was a complete mess, and was in an incredible amount of pain. At this point, I was now on a heavy Prescription Medicine regimen, and was extremely addicted to both Opiate and Benzodiazepine medications.

Like most, I started out being put on such “harmless” medications like Vicodin. But then, it was Percocet’s, then double Percocet’s, then on to Instant release Oxycodone, Oxycontin, until eventually I was on large doses of Methadone. And that was only the pain medication! They were also not opposed to putting me on muscle relaxers like Flexiril and Soma, Benzodiazepines such as Valium, Colonopin, and Xanax all together and ON TOP of SSRI’s and MAOI’s like Effexor, Celexa, Lexapro, Prozac, and Zoloft All to combat the severe depression caused by extensive medical History and Current state of health.

Then, like many people in my situation, they started treating me like a junkie. Every time I went into the hospital with a problem that was a result of my medication, I was turned away. And being someone with extremely legitimate health concerns, it just made the stress and anxiety all worse. By this time my body was completely dependent on the medications, as much as my mind didn't want to be. I saw myself going downhill fast and couldn't do a thing. I lost friends, a job and ruined my marriage of 10 years. I was literally a shell of who I was, and who I used to be. My memory was horrible, and I hardly remember days at a time of my prescription drug haze. 

I had tried to wean myself off my medication, but anyone that has dealt with Opiate addiction knows it’s no easy task. Opiate withdrawals is like the Flu x100. The moment your body metabolizes the medicine and needs more your body goes into shock. Not shortly after it begins with cramps, sweats, diarrhea, nausea, headaches and crippling depression. You can’t eat, not even a drop of water. You can’t sleep, and feel like you are going to crawl out of your skin. It is a fate I wouldn't wish upon anyone.

After battling these horrible symptoms coupled with all the stress, mounting hospital bills, and my extremely poor quality of life, I felt helpless and hopeless. It had finally come down to the point where at 28 years old my life was over. I was not able to deal with the idea and concept that I would have to spend the rest of what time I had miserable... I felt doomed. After 36 hours in the bathtub throwing up, sweating, shaking and losing hope... I decided to end my life. I was so emotional and scared, and I am not sure why but I took a minute and made a phone call. In the past, I had made numerous attempts to be taken into detox, but this time they finally listened. It was a real ordeal being kept on suicide watch.. because even though I knew I wanted to live, I knew I didn't want to live like that. I had to go to great lengths for them to keep me until I felt safe on my own, and even though at times it felt hopeless I just kept fighting.

Towards the end of my stay, I asked to speak with my doctor about use Cannabis Medicinally. He told me he would be willing to put me on a program so I could try it out. Within the first week, I was eating food again, no longer getting sick to my stomach, I was sleeping again, and felt genuinely happy. I couldn't remember the last time I felt like that.

Now I am standing here before you 4 years later, happier and healthier than I have ever been in my entire life. I haven’t been near a hospital since my switch from traditional prescription medications to cannabis. I only go in for checkups once every three months. My entire outlook on life has changed drastically for the better.

So now, after fighting for centuries to have the freedom to use this incredible plant, we saw steps were being taken in the right direction. And since then, the Medical Cannabis Industry has been flourishing and giving hope to people all over the world. We are seeing adults and children alike being given the quality of life and the chance that all people deserve. So how can now after seeing all the incredible things Cannabis has done, can they try to take that away from us? 

By taking away our rights as patients, you are taking away our rights as human beings.
And as I wrap things up, I could talk about our current state of affairs, but I don’t need to. You all know what’s going on and really what’s at stake, otherwise I am assuming you would not be here. So instead, I will just merely ask that those that make the laws, to think about the people, not just the money. This is about so much more than money, it is about life.

I ask you to think what you would do if I were your daughter, or your wife. Would you rather me life miserably out of a Prescription bottle, doomed to the life of a medically made junkie? Or would you push past your own personal reservations, to allow me to be happy and healthy? Please, think about the lives that literally hang in the balance upon your decision. And do also know, that no matter what happens. The true Medical Patients of Washington want the rights we were promised. We are not giving up, and we are not going away.

Thank you”

[For some background on this concept, please see the story, Funny, You Don't Look Fluish - Ed]

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