Friday, August 14, 2015

Surfing Around With Admins, Internecine Wars, Opioids and Arthritis


Given that it's nearly 11:00 Pacific Time, and most of you are already in bed and might be reading this tomorrow morning, let's just surf around tonight.

First of all, did you know that the FDA recently approved the use of Oxycontin for patients aged 11 to 16? Unless you've been living under a rock, and that's perfectly acceptable given what's going on in this crazy old world, oxycontin is a long-release painkiller that acts upon the brain like heroin. Here's the statement, reported by NBC news:

Dr. Sharon Hertz, director of new anesthesia, analgesia and addiction products for the FDA, said studies by Purdue Pharma of Stamford, Connecticut, which manufactures the drug, "supported a new pediatric indication for OxyContin in patients 11 to 16 years old and provided prescribers with helpful information about the use of OxyContin in pediatric patients.

Cue Mrs. Braddock's laugh.


Well, you know where this is going, right? I'm not going to put down anyone who wants to alleviate the suffering of a child in pain, but reeeeeeeeely? Raaaaaaaaaaahly?

As you know, my tiny little mother mind™ has been working overtime with countless other minds, far greater than my own, trying to lobby and persuade The Powers That Be that the efficacy of Charlotte's Web, of cannabis, of medical marijuana, etc. is far stronger than anecdote and certainly not attributable to the placebo effect, that it's a plant that's been used for thousands of years, that there are studies -- oh you know what I'm saying.  But hey, what do we know? What do they know?

Yesterday, I visited a prominent orthopedist in Beverly Hills, a young and handsome doctor who probably replaces the knees, shoulders and various body parts of a plethora of celebrities given the location of his office. Last week I developed a bum knee overnight, was driven, quite literally, nearly to my knees one afternoon with a stabbing, horrific pain, a sort of grim reminder that yes, Elizabeth, you are turning 52 years old on August 27th and have taken for granted your solid southern Italian peasant ancestry and were over-confident that these strong genes were somehow going to protect you from the vagaries of age. To make a long story short, my right knee has a touch of The Arthritis, but not enough to warrant any sort of treatment, which given that it'd be one of those gigantic steroid shots that I understand work but that actually spark up the primitive part of my brain that recalls injecting high dosage ones into my daughter's baby legs two decades ago -- I declined. I did ask the good doctor, though, about cannabis and its anti-inflammatory effects and if he'd heard about any of that. He gave a short, impatient laugh, waxed on a bit about how the claims that it cures everything! couldn't be taken seriously and that there wasn't any research, yadda, yadda, yadda.

OK.

The weird thing is that this headline:

FDA Approves OxyContin for Children as Young as 11


(read the whole article here) just doesn't surprise many of us and turns our already cynical and tiny little mother minds™ into tiny, little obdurate bricks. Show me the studies -- double-blind, placebo controlled, long-term studies of children.

Let's catch another wave, shall we?

Back on the ranch -- the marijuana ranch, that is -- I got into a little sparring with the self-described admins of a group on Facebook called Pediatric Cannabis Therapy. These admins (and really, why do we have to shorten the word adminstrators to admins?) decided that discussions about Charlotte's Web Hemp Oil (CWHO) and the Realm of Caring (ROC) are no longer allowed. I wish I could quote the rest of the message that they posted, but that wouldn't be ethical for a closed Facebook group. Suffice it to say that it was riddled with not just grammatical errors (which, admittedly, drive this tiny, little mother mind™ batty) but vindictive statements and lies pitting advocates of CBD legislation against those who hope for whole plant legislation. First of all, these two groups need not be mutually exclusive, but according to Pediatric Cannabis Therapy's new rules, they are. The amount of work that Paige Figi, the Stanley Brothers, Heather Barnes Jackson and a virtual army of volunteers in nearly every single state in this country has done in a a very short amount of time -- to help sick children get access to medicine -- is nothing short of astounding and admirable. CBD-only laws are not perfect ones, and most of us believe that they are but tiny steps toward a larger awareness of this plant's many benefits. It's been more than 80 years since marijuana was basically forced underground for political and economic reasons, and during the last sixteen months, enormous progress has been made by pretty desperate women and men whose children's lives are at stake.That being said,  members of the Pediatric Cannabis Therapy group were warned not to discuss Charlotte's Web by name or they'd be asked to leave the group. Insults flew for a bit and while I dropped in here and there (you know, surfing the waves, trying to stay cool, look cool), I finally unjoined the group. The crazy talk has happened before, and I just can't be bothered with it anymore. While perhaps boring to those of you who have no interest in The Marijuana Wars, today I wanted to suggest that those of you who do have an interest should probably avoid the Pediatric Cannabis Therapy Group for anything but the lowest form of entertainment -- a sort of Monty Pythonesque Office of Arguments:



I will say that many hundreds of decent people exchange valuable information there in spite of those pesky admins destroying the synergy (another ridiculous 21st century word that they didn't use but that bugs me so much I thought I'd throw it in there with the dirty bathwater), so if you decide to stay in the group or choose to join the group, I advise you to steer clear of The Admin Who Is Not a Beach Boy or certainly don't talk directly about The Product That Cannot Be Named.





After that shredding, I'm prone out.

Cowabunga!

25 comments:

  1. FUCKING MIND BLOWING. How...what...where the hell are we? I couldn't even come up with this stuff in my imagination. Children, we're talking about children!

    It's late, you can't sleep on this stuff. Not to make light of it, but sometimes you just have to turn away for a moment. So think of Javier Bardem, think of Javier. Life will be there in the morning.

    The comment box here takes you down the page far enough to see, on the right had side, your face. You are holding that sign "Her eyes will sustain you

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    1. I will most certainly think of Javier tonight when I go to bed. I swam today in the ocean, so I'm feeling clean and refreshed and ready for a night with J.

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  2. PS: I'm not a crazy person, I'm only up this late because I was watching a wonderful movie on Netflix...review to follow.

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  3. WHAT? WHAT WHAT WHAT WHAT?

    So sorry to hear about your knee that is some serious pain. Don't fear the cortisone shot. Sometimes it works. I'm hiding and reading today. Also the injection I had Thursday was almost painless. I haven't been able to walk since then though so I've been sailing through my tiny house using my computer chair as a boat. This so horrified my son when I told him that he has threatened to come home early.

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    1. That is certainly a vision. I hope if and when you read this reply, you are back up and about and no longer in pain.

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  4. Oxy for children. Wow, next thing they'll be doing is prescribing benzos for children. Oops.

    I take these doctors don't like children.

    I believe there are children who do need pain relief but I don't think oxy is the way to go. There is a very good book called "Memoirs of an Addicted Brain" by Marc Lewis. He is a neuroscientists and a recovering drug addict. He explains how the brain gets rewired by drugs. Very good read.

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    1. I think I've heard of that book and will check it out. It's so interesting that Americans, for the most part, do not fear the re-wiring of the brain and have such faith in pharmaceuticals.

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  5. I would agree with the oxy thing for children who are quite literally dying of cancer. Then hell yes, give 'em everything you got. Otherwise-uh, probably not.
    I also think that you should title your book, "Tiny Little Mother Mind".
    And you are an amazing surfer.

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    1. I think I will title my next book "Tiny Little Mother Mind" because it's going to be a series of meditations and weird abstract stuff. Thank you for that inspiration -- you will most certainly get acknowledged! And I agree with the oxy thing and kids' cancer. My god, let's hope that it's used in wiser ways than for the adult population!

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  6. Oxy for children, nice. Not surprising. They keep lowering the age for use of SSRI's fir depression/anxiety, all the time. Children who have no business being in them. Yes, some do. I have experience with that and have seen results but that stuff is being doled out to adults, teenagers and now the very young, based in lower age guidelines. Now this. Disturbing to say the least.

    As for the arthritis. I feel your pain. Literally. I have arthritis in my thumb. Bone against bone. Surgery needed and I have to figure out how I get it done AND take care of Zoey. In a cast. In my right arm. It is SO painful to even write with a pen. And I have an extremely high tolerance for pain. Did the injection with dr. Wallace. Only masked it. Now I have to try and fit in surgery. You know. In my spare time.

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    1. I am so sorry about your thumb. I do have a solution, though: go get the surgery and leave Zoey with me for a while! I could use a dose of that child's joy.

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  7. Oy... I can only imagine my hubs' reaction if someone prescribed our little one oxy at that age and yet, on the flip side, I can imagine thousands upon thousands of parents being only too happy to pump their babes full of it without a second thought.

    Sorry about your arthritis, my mom has had RA for as long as I can remember so I know how bad it can get. I hope it doesn't get like that for you though! and that you find helpful treatment :)

    Thanks for the entertaining surf!

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  8. Well, there's a lot in this world that I don't understand, and giving Oxycontin to children certainly ranks right up there! I also don't get the prohibition against speaking about CWHO in the Facebook group. So, in other words, you're supposed to be advocating for whole-plant legalization or nothing? Isn't that a bit....narrow? (I mean, I agree with whole-plant legalization, but I don't know why CWHO wouldn't be considered a step in the right direction and worthy by itself.)

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    1. Steve, exactly. The whole thing is beyond stupid -- it's absurd.

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  9. Did you ever think when you were in college that you would be a chief in the marijuana wars? I bet you didn't but by God I am glad there is you. You give me hope with your tiny little mother mind which could rule the world. Oxy for preteens. Well. This is how my cousin became an addict. Four decades later, she in still in the hole, in hell. And don't get me started on the fact that the study being quoted is by the pharma company that stands to earn millions from its expanded application. Why in fucking hell is that legal?

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    1. Angella, I am constantly struck by the weirdness of being ME, a person who never really liked smoking pot and who hasn't for over 25 years yet finds herself not a chief, but at least a die-hard advocate! Thank you for all your support and your kind words. How horrifying about your cousin -- I, too, have family members who are addicts who began with painkillers for simple athletic injuries. What a slippery slope, but evidently it's a slope paved with cash.

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  10. Oxy for kids? Crap...why don't we just legalize heroin??? They put oxy in cough syrup, so chances are people have been giving it to kids without realizing it. I guess no-one cares that this is one of the most dangerous and addictive substances on the planet or that a certain segment of medical literature is loaded with articles questioning why doctors aren't better educated and why they fail to question patients as to their histories before prescribing it. Now we will have child addicts...

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  11. I saw that post on PCT. I'm right there with you. Why can't we all just get along seriously! I understand that some of the admins are frustrated because the page has been flooded with CWHO questions since they've started shipping it but we are all just trying to do the best we can and learn from each other. I found the page to be a value in the beginning but it has become a mean spirited place. I've seen people attacking the personal lives of Paige & The Stanley's. The fact is no matter what the opinions of them are none of us would even be having this conversation without them. How quickly people forget. ok rant over!

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    1. Agreed. It's ironic, too, that Paige Figi started that group!

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  12. My husband's sister died from taking Oxycontin. I have seen old women in there 80's addicted to it. I am not kidding. It is sad when a little old lady is flying into a rage because I wasn't 15 minutes late to give her her next dose. It is a drug, that in my opinion, should only be used in palliative care. But the Big Pharmaceuticals control it all don't they?

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    1. You're preaching to the choir, Sister Bird.

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  13. I have been, off and on, working up a post on this very topic (Oxy, not marijuana, although the two are very closely related in my mind as well) for the last week. I don't know if I can bring myself to write it, though, simply because the stupidity exhausts me and I fear my words would only be heard by those who agree with me. That said, I applaud your strong words and the decision to remove yourself from the FB group. Makes me sad when allies turn on each other.

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  14. Make some salve. Use coconut oil for a base. Heard it from a friend.

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