Bad News for Medical Cannabis Users in Lanzarote

I have been a medical cannabis user since 2013, ever since I became aware that there was a cannabis association called “Cannapharmacia” in the nearby town of Playa Honda. Before that, I would never even have considered using cannabis to treat my chronic fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis pain, because I would have had to buy it on the street, meaning you never know what you get and also because it’s expensive and dealers are unreliable.

The wonderful thing about Cannapharmacia is that, as a member (which costs only €20 a year), I can simply go there 7 days a week, get buzzed into the club by the girl at reception, and buy my cannabis products inside. At first I bought the actual weed which, because I don’t smoke, is not the best option for me, but I found that it helps my night time pains so much where ordinary codeine-based painkillers feel just like eating candy, and I would put up with the smoke scratching down my windpipe every night before going to bed. For a short while they had the rather expensive cannabis oil which also did the trick really well, but they stopped selling that.

Then someone started making capsules filled with 15mg, 25mg or 50mg of cannabis, and I found the 25mg ones were the most effective painkillers / sleeping aids out of the lot. However, these are relatively expensive, and in the end I decided to go for the cannabis cookies, which are not only cheap (€4 for 5 biscuits, which includes my 20% discount as a medical user), but eating one 2 hours before bedtime, would send me to sleep without any pain or spasm and tightness in my muscles.

The sad thing is that since last week, Cannapharmacia is CLOSED. 

This is thanks to 3 idiots who decided to pose as owners of the association and tried to change the lock to the front door, and then continued to wreck the interior of the club and assault some of the staff. I do not have all the exact details of this incident, but from my own point of view, this means I am back to square one which I was at before I found Cannapharmacia.

From what I know, there are at least 700 members who are medicinal users like myself who have come to depend on the pills, the cookies or the weed to treat various conditions from cancer to multiple sclerosis and chronic pain, as well as other autoimmune illnesses like lupus erythematosus.

And we have nowhere to go now for our medication. 

Personally, I am thinking of growing my own plants on my balcony again, which I did a couple of years ago with kinda mixed results and a rather small yield. However, there’s no point doing this during our tropical summer heat, because it’ll be too hot for the plants, plus there are too many bugs around. So, right now, this is not an option.

I am hoping that Cannapharmacia can work out a secure system of how to protect its members and staff from b*stards like this, and also hope that the police will be prosecuting these individuals in the manner that they deserve.

As for now, I am going to have to buy some weed from a local cannabis club here in my own town of Puerto del Carmen. Sadly, they do not have any pills or biscuits, and the oil they have costs €100. And the price of their weed is twice as much as at Cannapharmacia! However, when you are desperate for pain relief, you just have to find the money for it somewhere

Below is a video Cannapharmacia posted on their Facebook Page depicting part of the incident (in Spanish).

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The Communication Problems of Today

This is something that came up in a (private FB message) conversation with a friend, and I just thought I need to get this off my chest. It´s about trying to reach somebody by phone and them never getting back to you, every single time you call them or text them, and them saying they don´t like to talk on the telephone.

I would like to know what everybody before the internet? We were on the phone with friends and family all the time, talking! Not all the time, okay (I bet some of you were though!), but that´s how we communicated when we didn´t see each other or were trying to organise meeting up etc. I feel very sad that most people have forgotten how to do this these days or say they hate it or “it´s not in their nature” to use the phone.

Eventually, in reply to my phone call or text message, I get a FB, email or Whatsapp message (too fiddly to talk/type for long on the mobile!) from them, writing lots of stuff that they could have told me easily and quickly on the phone, with much less energy and time spent than sitting on the computer, typing. It also would save me from having to type a lengthy reply back, especially if there have been misunderstandings that needed explanations, that would have been totally avoided in a phone call! Finally, with a phone in your hand you could be lying on the sofa relaxing, rather than spending energy typing on the computer.

But that´s not just it. With my rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia I find it difficult most days to type lots of text, but especially when my work on web projects demands a lot of typing/mouse work already, or when I´m worn out like today, after the Carnival. My wrists and finger joints are killing me, and even typing this is agonising (but, like I said, I have to get it off my chest, otherwise I´ll end up with a headache instead, hehe!).

I have mentioned all this before to some of my friends, especially the stuff in the previous paragraph and would have thought that they would understand that my “invisible disability” makes it painful enough for me to always type unnecessary things (like THIS!) and that they would come towards me and meet me somewhere in the middle, but this hasn´t happened. I think if I was in a wheelchair people would make more leeway towards anything that would make my life easier! :/

I am sad to say this, but I will just have to stop communicating with them altogether because I cannot continue spending all this time and painful energy typing when I can avoid it. Moving my mouth to speak doesn´t hurt, but typing does. Always. Even on good days, but I just “bear” it then.

So, if you, my good friends, have any suggestions how to solve this dilemma, I am open to suggestions…

UPDATE: I have now deactivated my Facebook account, because it is taking the biggest part out of my life that I spend typing and communicating. Instead, I´m back on Twitter again – much less typing to do there!

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Depression – it is possible to beat

“Stay” by U2.  Such an utterly gorgeous song.  I still think this is their best ever.

And it still makes me cry, it holds so many memories – when this came out I was suffering from depression and I would listen to this 10 or more times in a row because this song would actually make me feel something (don´t ask me what though), and at the time I wasn´t able to feel much in the way of emotion, the depression was making me so numb to everything around me.

It´s depressing just to think about it.  I think the tears I shed just now are for the girl I used to be and how sad and desperate she was back then.

It still terrifies the shit out of me to ever slip back into it.  There have been short bouts of a month or two up till 2003, but nothing since then.

Between 1992 and 1996 I had counselling and various other “treatments” battling with it, but you know what, none of that really helped – it aids and guides you, yes…. but in the end, the only one that can get you out of your deepest black hole is YOU.

It´s one of the worst nightmares (those years were the darkest in my life) and one you think you never wake up from. And to persevere and try and beat it is just such an impossible task, because you just can´t, because you keep slipping back into the “I don´t really care” and “what´s the point” way of thinking.  I don´t know the amount of times I cancelled my counselling sessions just because I thought “this is not helping anyway” or I couldn´t face going outside, and then going back the next week because I felt that tiny 1% more positive again…. sigh

 But any of you who suffer from depression… if I can do it – so can YOU.  But it´s just so NOT EASY.

People who have never suffered from it could never understand what it is really like.

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Soul-Destroying Fatigue

Passed out for not one, not two, but THREE hours from 1 – 4pm! I´m so lucky I don´t have a “proper” full-time job. With these episodes of soul-destroying fatigue I really wouldn´t cope too well…

Mind you, I do remember even back in the office in London, my last job there before 2004, I used to regularly fall asleep a couple of times a day, right there at my desk, with my head falling forward as my fingers were still typing away. This used to happen around 11am – 12 noon and then again at about 3 – 4pm almost every day. I just could not keep awake.

I used to escape to the toilet for a few minutes, walk up and down the stairs, go outside for some fresh air (or have a cigarette when I was still a smoker), make myself a coffee, trying to wake myself – but it was very difficult, and nothing really worked. My voice and thinking also become so sluggish, but I somehow muddled my way through each day. However, I was always surprised that this did not happen to other people in the office?

In retrospect, I of course now know that the fatigue is a symptom of fibromyalgia (and rheumatoid arthritis), but try and explain to your boss when he wants something and it takes you twice the time because you become double slow when it happens…. :(


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Your Ideal Weight…

By the end of last year I realised that I would have to lose that flab around the middle again.  My weight had been creeping up slowly for the 6 months before Christmas and I just had to make a resolution for “some time next year” to go on a diet again.  So I set the date for 1st March, 6 weeks before my birthday.  

Explained in a nutshell, the diet that works for me, and has worked for me before, is basically keeping carbs and proteins apart, i.e. eat them on different days.  When I diet, I am very very strict, but the weight came off only slowly.  However, by late April I had lost almost 4kg and I had beaten those bad habits that I had picked up the year before.  These were: starting to eat butter again with bread and toast, whereas for years I had used cream cheese light as a substitute, and I was drinking 1 or 2 Red Bull type energy drinks a day.  Those were the worst things I could have done, so I´m glad I am now off that sh*t again! 

I seem to still be losing a tiny bit of weight even though I´m not dieting any longer, but funnily enough, I have been pretty much on junk food for the last few months. Okay, I don´t solely live on junk food – I believe I have found a perfect balance between coffees/pizzas/Burgerking on the one hand, and lots of fruit, herbal teas, wholemeal products and supplement pills/vitamins on the other. I have been keeping off butter (or very little of it), using virgin olive oil instead, and off those evil energy drinks (only had one of those since March). Instead of potato crisps, I have been munching on corn chips. 

And what about the beer?! Well, I have been drinking a little more than usual, but obviously still within good limits regarding my weight. :)

So there. I hope this is not rubbing it in too much but will actually inspire you a bit, if you are not happy with your weight…

energy drinks

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Ouchies

I cut into my fingernail with a knife the other day.  Yeah, stupid clumsy me, it´s always the same story!  Some days I just have no coordination, drop things, accidentally smash plates, walk into door frames and generally hurt myself randomly.  The bright side is (there is always a bright side to everything!)…. at least nobody is watching!

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