Tuesday, June 24, 2014



Temecula, CA – Living in a town where street-corner preachers who play guitar have their charitable tax-exempt 501c designations celebrated in the local mainstream press by crowing career
politicians, you might think all life here in this Christian stronghold is held in the same noticeable light. Unfortunately that is not the case.

Thankfully one of the aspects of any small town press is bringing attention to those left in the shadows, often times almost isolated in their illness. Recently attending a birthday bash at a local cannabis growing collective, I met Mitchel Larsen [no relation to Sam Larsen, x-15North, Glee], someone with a disorder that I had never heard of, chronic bilateral radiculopathy. This is the story of Mitchel Larsen and the diy way to funding for those without the golf tournament connections.

I am 23 and I have chronic bilateral radiculopathy with damaged nerve roots in my lumbar spine and herniated and bulging discs in my cervical spine. My debilitating condition causes me chronic pain in my entire body and I am unable to do most things for myself. My wife is my sole caregiver right now but I desperately need someone who is trained to handle someone in my situation.
I am in need of a service dog as well as a power wheelchair, and several other assistance tools. I also need to be able to see a chiropractor and massage therapist several times a week to treat my symptoms and alleviate my pain which is something that insurance does not cover.

My wife and I live paycheck to paycheck and cannot afford any of the things that I desperately need. We can barely afford my medication and we need all the help we can get.” – November 19, 2013

“My condition is getting worse. It has now been 16 months since I was diagnosed with a simple "sprained thoracic spine" and here I am now, unable to walk and all over body pain with a multitude of neurological symptoms. For the last year I have been told by multiple doctors that I need to see a neurologist and my primary care doctor (an orthopedic surgeon) has told me repeatedly that he just can't help me but work comp still refuses to let me transfer to a neurologist.

For about the last 3 months I have been having non-epileptic seizures which have been getting worse. I need to see a specialist and I am going to be forced to pay out of pocket with money that I just don't have. My wife has to work and cannot be home with me 24/7 to care for me. I am becoming desperate for an in-home care taker who can better care for my needs.” – 5 months ago
“I have seen no improvement in my condition so far and it seems to me that the doctors have given up trying to figure out what is wrong. Every 6 weeks it is another hour drive to Riverside to hear the same line: "I don't know what's wrong with you, you need to see a neurologist" my scripts for narcotics are refilled and I do it all over in 6 weeks. Work Comp insurance company, Employers, refuses to even acknowledge that they have received a request from my orthopedic surgeon to send me to neurology. It seems that they will continue to play these games with me indefinitely. If my doctors won't diagnose me I cannot apply for Disability, leaving me to try to survive off of nothing.

Employers also refuse to pay for the pharmaceuticals (which I don't want to be taking in the first place) and they will not cover my medical supplies such as the adult diapers that I am now required to wear. I have been managing my symptoms as best as I can with cannabis however that is another medical expense that insurance and especially Work Comp will not cover. I am only able to consume 1 gram of concentrated cannabis [tincture] per week because that is all my wife and I can afford to squeeze out of our budget. To be able to actually heal* myself, I will need to be consuming closer to a gram a day. I am unable to grow my own from my wheelchair and I need help with this enormous medical expense.” – 2 months ago

I was finally able to get some new MRI's done, of the cervical and lumbar. What they came back with was 2.0 mm herniated discs at C4-C5 and C6-7 with spinal stenosis that is pressing on C5 and C7 nerve exiting roots, Hemangioma at C6, and myospasms causing a straightening of the cervical lordosis. They also came back with 2.7 mm disc herniated discs at L4-L5 and L5-S1 with myospasms causing a straightening of the lumbar lordotic curvature. I am still wheelchair bound and unable to dress myself, get to a toilet, or transfer myself from my bed to my wheelchair without the assistance of my wife which is exasperating her back pain. An in- home nurse to help is necessary but WorkComp is ignoring the requests sent by my doctors along with the request for a TENS unit to help control my pain.

My seizures still cannot be controlled. On June 4th I was admitted to the hospital because of a 20 minute seizure. I simply cannot afford the amount of cannabis oil that I need to eat to control my condition. I spent 4 days in the hospital where they ran a brain MRI, EEG, EKG, chest x-ray, and a tremendous amount of blood work and I was given no answers as to why I am in the state that I am in. Because of the hospital stay I now have a $1300 medical bill, and that is with insurance. Even with the finding from the spinal MRI's, it is going to be a long, expensive journey to find what is wrong and how I can control it.

Please help however you can. My medication is expensive and so are my hospital bills. I can't do this on my own.” – 9 days ago

To donate any amount, please go here.

(Ed note: With only $122 dollars raised since Nov 2013 and having 423 Facebook friends which equates to 29 cents a person, the Temecula Calendar will donate $20 by July 4th to Mitchel’s GoFundIt. Good Luck, Mitchel. *- Cannabis ingestion has been shown to ‘cure’ chronic illnesses like cancer, mitigate disorders like autism, and rebuff ailments like polio and MS.)

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