Blog Feature Medical

Battling for My ACMPR: Part 3

Julia Veintrop

Appointment with family doctor

With the date of my consultation in Vancouver booked and approaching, I went to my GP in Victoria to score my free medical travel pass. Plus, I wanted to take another shot at getting him to sign my weed papers. At this point, I realized my GP was inclined to refuse, and was uncomfortable, but I see him as a victim of stigma and the ignorance it has perpetuated. Thus, I feel it is my duty to help free him from these mental bonds so that he can make up his own mind without bias.

Yes, there is a tiny part of me way deep down that feels the slightest, smallest, teensiest little smidgen of guilt for making his job harder; but, unfortunately for him, it is overshadowed by my need to rage against this absurd system that is directly affecting me. My doctor is in a position to do something about all of it. If he won’t, I and many others like me will take up this cause, and all that relates to it. At this appointment, he is visibly relieved to be able to hand me off to a “specialist’s specialist” and as you can probably guess…he refused to sign the paperwork. Oh well, maybe I will get him next time! Thinking ‘river and a rock’; I will either go around him, above him, push him over going through him or slowly wear him down with constant pressure and persistence…poor guy…

Pre Vancouver visit:

I have sat here for days trying to find the words to describe just how bad I felt up to this appointment, and they just don’t exist. I like to fake that I am brave but I am really not. At this point, I am so scared that the foundation of my thoughts are all based on what is going on in my body. I have to get an organ removed and I have to do it without any opiates.

The only pain medicine I can and will take is cannabis; which is why someone is signing my form. I don’t want to have to discuss my cannabis use with a police officer when I am fresh out of the hospital; I really feel I shouldn’t have to, especially considering this topic would never come up if I were taking a prescribed a pill. I am determined and ready to go full B WITH AN ITCH MODE if my human rights don’t start getting respected. Someone had better get their pen out fast.

Visit with my Specialist In Vancouver:

Remembering how great my last appointment in 2011 with her was, I have big time hope in my heart…and I am not disappointed. She is smart and for the first time in a while, I feel like my doctor can tell me a thing or two about my health, and what is going on with it…what a concept.

She knows what is causing me pain, what to do about it, and she is confident that this surgery will successfully be my last. The best part of the appointment was seeing her delight at my disdain for opiates, and my desire to use cannabis as a pain reliever. If you had asked my GP, he would tell you I would practically be biting down on a piece of wood wrapped in leather; my surgeon however, believes that cannabis is an effective pain reliever for both short and long term acute pain. Thank god! I was pretending to be fearless so that my doctors would allow me this constitutional right, but truth be told, I was pretty scared. Hearing a world renowned surgeon tell me that everything that has to happen is going to be just fine was an enormous relief, and I know I am lucky. Many people don’t get to hear this kind of good news; I appreciate and savour it.

Remembering the shell of a person I used to be when I was addicted to that awful medication, this doctor is proud of me for finding a way to let it go, and she tells me so. Having her ask me intelligent questions like, “Can you administer your own cannabis in the hospital?” and “ What form will you use? Extract? Vapor?” relieves an enormous amount of stress. Hearing her address the fact that she doesn’t know enough about cannabis to prescribe a gram per day amount is not a surprise and good, reliable information is accessible these days, hooray! So, I am left with a promise to sign my ACMPR… in the future. I think I just won a battle and maybe I am about to finally win the war for my ACMPR. I am going to get my legal right to medical cannabis; its just a matter of when.

*In case you are not aware, the Government will pay for your travel expenses if they are medically necessary. So, if you are travelling to another city for a medical appointment, the ferry and/or plane ride will be covered for you, an escort provided if requested and a vehicle, if applicable. Go to your family doctor or walk in clinic and request the forms; they will be given to you on the spot, for free. In addition, there are a variety of hotels around BC that provide significant discounts and benefits if you are staying for a medical reason. On the BC Government website, you can search through these hotels by discounted rate, date and location; to access this easily, google Medical Travel Accommodation Website.

A Point Worthy Of Note:

I would like to take a moment to mention something about the places where you can pay a fee to have a doctor sign your form. Another perspective was brought to my attention: without these places offering this service, access would be a lot harder for patients. The fact that doctors have to put their life’s work on the line every time they sign this form is not only ludicrous, it is a shining example of our government deliberately ignoring its legal responsibilities. I cannot fault a doctor for wanting to be able to save money in case they lose their license, and without these fees, people like me would be entirely at the mercy of the medical system. I am in no way against the places that provide this service; quite the contrary. I just can’t afford the fees.

It is not a secret that I have a deep respect and appreciation for dispensaries, especially The Victoria Cannabis Buyers Club. The reason is simply that they provided me with access to consistent medicine that I can afford. Everyone responsible, all the growers, bakers, packagers and budtenders at my illegal dispensary, can go to jail for actions that are saving lives, including mine. I believe there are benefits to all avenues of patient access and that room should exist for all of them.

Julia Veintrop
From an early age, Julia displayed a passion for writing and languages, a fascination with journalism and an amazing memory. Her career focus had been gaining skills and experience in many different fields of counselling. Her ambition to have a career as medical general practitioner was interrupted when she became very ill from cervical cancer and the procedures necessary to remove it, beginning almost seven years of severe medical issues. Using the written word as an avenue of release and feeling the miraculous benefits of cannabis first-hand, she developed her skills throughout her illness and shifted her focus to cannabis from the patient perspective. Today, she devotes her life to a cause she truly enjoys, cannabis activism, so that no one need suffer unnecessarily due to lack of education or access.

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