What a Ride: The Wave of Withdrawals

First I must state that I am so very lucky to have found a doctor that’s not only compassionate, he knows his medicine. He knows about fibromyalgia, and is PROACTIVE and has seriously started to TREAT ME. Unlike the typical 6-8 minutes with the doctor, “so how’s the pain?” Well, it still sucks. I hurt all the time. “Well, here’s your prescription for Tramadol, see you in six months,” my doctor spends TIME with me. I get to email him and I get replies within a few hours. From him. Not a nurse. From my doctor.

But I know all too well that my situation is NOT THE NORM. I know personally what it’s like to be treated like a pill-seeking drug addict, guilty until proven innocent (i.e., those unconstitutional drug tests – that I must PAY FOR), I know what it’s like to be shamed and cut off from my meds – just like that. A snap of a finger. Although my pharmacists have NEVER treated me like a druggie, I know from reading other’s experiences where some refuse to fill the valid script! Or shame them in front of other customers! We in chronic pain are not the problem, but we’re treated as if we’re the solution, by making folks pee in a cup, or show up – get this – within the hour of being called – with their prescription bottle to count the pills.

The war on pills is never going to succeed, just like the war on drugs. Is it any more difficult to get weed? Pills? Heroin? Meth? Cocaine? Ummmmmmmmm, NO. I use cannabis to relieve my pain, stimulate my appetite, and help me sleep, and have done so for over a decade. It’s no more difficult to obtain today than 10 years ago. As a matter of fact, the plant has been developed stronger, and better. What I’m trying to say is, the junkies out there? Will continue to steal pills to sell them on the street. They will obtain the pills just as easily as they did before.

But those of us with chronic pain? We pay their price.  …

Wow. That was supposed to be a short and sweet introduction to what I really wanted to talk about. Ha! My new doctor, the one who knows his shit, figured out immediately – on my first visit – that my combination of meds were not effective in treating my fibromyalgia. He drew a picture showing how all of the different meds work together. I was on the wrong combination – and had been – for the last decade. So let’s start switching meds, but only one at a time. So the first to go was the wicked Tramadol.

Those that have told us that Tramadol is not addictive certainly have never taken the drug. Not addictive? I’ll tell you what happens when you wean off of Tramadol: a non joy ride through mood swings, panic attacks, frustrating insomnia, night sweats, terrible irritable bitchiness, sadness, depression, and utter lethargy. As in can’t keep my eyes open, until it’s 3:00 a.m. and then I’m up. Up up up up up up with pain pain pain pain pain pain pain pain pain

Finally, it ended. After several months, the wave of withdrawals from the wicked, evil Tramadol subsided. About fricking time. Now I could switch to a different medication, and after several dosage adjustments, it’s working. I feel much – oh so much – better. So the switch to one med got me off of two.

As I told my doctor, after losing my mind – like not knowing words – and gaining 15 pounds in three months without changing eating habits, AND while exercising at least an hour per day, it’s time to get off the even more wicked, evil, oh-so-deceptive Lyrica. From what I’ve read, I’m in for a heck of a ride. This stuff? I have to wean off of very carefully – and not as quickly as I did the Tramadol. Doc agreed. I will follow the weaning schedule, just so I can switch to another med.

Now I forgot my train of thought. This happens quite frequently – yet another reason to rid my body of wicked, evil Lyrica. This drug actually did lessen the pain signals in my body, and it’s a shame the side effects are so awful. Just yet another medicine I’ve tried.

Frickin’ frackin’ here we go again. Fasten your seat belts and hold onto the bars.

Advertisements

Sick of Being Sick of Being Sick …

It’s a never-ending cycle, I might get a few days where I feel okay (because feeling GOOD is a rare day indeed), but most days I wake up and by the time I get to the coffee machine, I say to myself, “I feel like shit. I’m tired of feeling this way. I’m sick of being sick.” Almost every single day I utter these phrases. I used to wake up and say, “I feel like shit.” My hubby pointed out, “but you say that every day.” Does he become immune to my constant utterance of “I’m sick of being sick of being tired …” each and every day? Do I become complacent with feeling this way?

In a sense, I think some of that is true for both of us. While my dear hubby is a super compassionate person, and he certainly tries to be compassionate about my never-ending pain cycle, he certainly doesn’t KNOW my pain. I don’t want him to know it. I have almost accepted that this is my way of life. I’m going to wake up most days and feel like shit. That’s just my life.

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I’ve joined pain/fibromyalgia forums on Facebook, and I get depressed reading about other people’s depression, and how they feel like shit, and about how badly they’re treated at pain doctors, or rhematologists, or whatever doctor, when you’re not treated with compassion by your own doctor, face it, you are SCREWED. And sadly, most chronic pain patients are at the bad end of the shaft. From the doctor (“it’s all in your head,” “if you weren’t fat you wouldn’t be in pain,”) to the pharmacist, the stories I have read horrify me. That’s what I face. I’ve already had my own terrible experience with my rhematologist, and instead of putting up with her cruel treatment, I fired her. It felt good to send a letter that I was no longer a patient! Now I have to wait until December to see a pain management doctor. In the meantime, it’s up to my primary physician. Will she give me another two prescriptions in the meantime for my pain pills? And oh my, since Hydrocodone is rescheduled, can we change it to something that might just kick my pain? I mean 5 mg. of hydrocodone just doesn’t kill the pain. It does make life more bearable, but not better.

Trust me, if I could choose between feeling good or taking pills? I’d go for the feeling good! Please don’t treat me like a drug addict. Just treat me with compassion.

Because I’m sick of being sick of being tired all the time.

sigh

It Stinks Around Here

While no leisurely time to post lately, I’ve read way too many horror stories about the way people have been treated trying to obtain pain prescriptions for their LEGITIMATE pain. I know in my case, the fibromyalgia is an invisible disease, as you certainly cannot look at me and know that right now, I’m almost in tears, I hurt so much. But my doctor can tell, MRIs and Xrays don’t lie. A neck fusion surgery doesn’t lie. Getting Toradol shots, going to physical therapy, weekly massages, they all don’t lie. Pain doesn’t lie. WE DON’T LIE. I’d like to suggest, if a doctor cannot establish enough of a rapport with his/her patient to be able to discern whether or not their pain is REAL and very much PAINFUL, then that doc isn’t worth a darn. I’d also like to suggest that if a doctor is more fearful of the DEA and says, “I’m not writing you a prescription because I don’t want to lose my license,” and won’t treat YOU – the PATIENT – it’s time for the doctor to put away the pen and the prescription pad. Yep, close your doors. Find a different way of life. Just like some like to say, “snap out of it!” I’d like to counter, if you really think that I could just snap away my pain, why in the heck didn’t I just do that years ago?!? Do you think I’d like to remain in pain? Oh heck no. No, no, no.

Do you think my pain will ever end? Nope, no matter what the pain pills are, the pain is NEVER LEAVING. My fibromyalgia will never improve, it will never leave, it will ALWAYS BE WITH ME. Yep, my constant unwanted partner, my ever growing pain, right along side me for the REST OF MY LIFE. I try not to dwell on that, just reading it is depressing. deep heavy sigh

So, with that said, I’d like to suggest to all: don’t EVER judge a person by their outward appearance. Just because you can’t see fibromyalgia written all over me, I have a real disease, with real pain, that really sucks. Treat me with compassion, and please, please don’t suggest that “a little exercise will make you feel better,” “have you tried Tylenol PM?” (oh my, my eyes just dropped out the back of my head), or “you’re going to become addicted to those!” If I had eyes in my sockets, they’d fall out again. I’m not asking you to feel my pain, just to treat me like you’d treat anybody else.

Because I? Am way stronger than my pain. But I? have a very low tolerance for bullshit, which unfortunately, those of us in chronic pain? We get way more than our load of crap.

… I don’t know any way to end this than to say, “Gosh, it stinks around here!”

Raise Our Voices and Be Heard

It just really sucks hurting so bad. I’m not in a flare (at least I hope not) but I am recovering from one of my worst ones ever. Last night when I went to bed, I could barely keep my eyes open, and I slept soundly. Perhaps the insomnia has left me alone for a while.

I’ve joined several Facebook groups dealing with chronic pain and fibromyalgia. I’m not the only one hurting, I can assure you that. I’m not the only one with a horror story, oh no, mine is just a blip of so many, that I think the Earth’s surface could be covered. I’ve never read so many injustices, so many cruel statements, just so many of us hurting, and getting either no relief, or barely any. And the stories of what we go through, the ignorant looks, the suspicious glances, the embarrassment, it’s just downright sad.

Chronic pain, like mental illness, is an invisible disease, and both are not adequately treated, or even acknowledged. I read about one person’s doctor who said they would never prescribe pain pills because “fibromyalgia is all in your head.” Or another story about how a pharmacist not only refused to fill a prescription, but had called around to other pharmacists, telling them to deny filling this certain person’s script. It turns out the doctor had written something incorrect, but they wouldn’t even call. But they spoke about it – in front of a line of customers – and very loudly apparently. What the heck?

Or what about the person’s son who steals her pain medicine in the middle of the night. THESE are the folks that have put us in these positions, but WE are the folks who need to be treated with dignity, and the same privacy we expect – we deserve – from our health care providers. “Well, this is the only way we can prevent …” bullcrap! The DEA hasn’t done anything but make these pain pills even more attractive by making them so taboo. Even Tramadol, a non-opiod, is now going to become the latest trend on the street, all because it’s a scheduled narcotic (even though it’s not a narcotic, explain that, just like Lyrica) … So the folks on the street are going to keep on with the street deals, while us suffering in pain get treated like drug addicts. Some are even just downright refused to be treated anymore. One person said her doctor basically said, “I’m not going to treat you because of the DEA. Not risking my life.” Closed the door.

BAM!

It’s a travesty that we who already endure pain like you wouldn’t believe – because YOU can’t see it, YOU aren’t feeling it, but WE DO – it’s such a travesty that we are treated like druggies, forced to pee in a cup, all the time, just to get our medicine. But it’s not considered “medicine” at some drug stores – it’s a DRUG – and you’re a DRUGGIE – and you raise red flags – so we’ll just not fill your prescription here. WOW. At least I have never had my pharmacists or technicians do anything other than be professional and courteous, but there are those horror stories. Imagine you having to go pee in a cup every 2-4 weeks just to make sure you’re not doing anything you shouldn’t be doing. Is that right? Is that legal? I think NOT!

WE are being denied the treatment we deserve, and as a whole, we need to RAISE OUR VOICES AND BE HEARD.

If you want to join my fight, email me at chronicpainmanifesto@yahoo.com. Email me your story and I will collect our voices and our stories. Let’s stand up and fight!

If you want things to change, you have to BE the change.

My “Dear Doctor” Fiasco Horror Story Turns Happy!

Since I began this blog just a little over two weeks ago, I have learned so much from not only my fellow bloggers, but from Twitter folks, and especially from Facebook groups dealing with chronic pain and/or fibromyalgia. I have learned that we all have the same stories, just our symptoms differ. What we all have in common are horror stories about how we’re treated by either the medical community, some of our own doctors, pharmacists, and even family and friends. On the other hand, I’ve also learned that we all share hope, concern, compassion, and care for one another. Thankfully, the good always outweighs the bad. And hope always, always prevails.

So if you read my last post, the letter that I wrote to my rheumatologist, you might be wondering what happened. I was so nervous to approach her, because I had only seen her twice. Both times, she typed in her computer, rarely making eye contact. Although she was helpful in explaining certain things, and changing some of my meds, I should have trusted my gut instinct: that I really didn’t know her, and thus, to tread lightly with what I’d tell her. But I’m an honest person. I went to my appointment and proceeded to read her the letter. Halfway through, I started crying. She continued typing away, she didn’t say anything until I was finished.

“I can answer some of your questions,” she said. “No, I do not support the use of marijuana in any sense, and not for medicinal use. Furthermore, if medical marijuana is passed here in Florida, I would never prescribe it.” She then proceeded to shame me for my use of marijuana, and that if I had a dirty UA after this initial drug test, that she would kick me out of her practice. And, I would be drug tested every 2-4 weeks continually, regardless if my next screen came up negative. Why didn’t I tell her initially? Well, I didn’t know her! But I’m coming clean now.

“There is no reason you shouldn’t be clean after three weeks of stopping,” she said. She said that more than once, insinuating that I was lying. So the result of that letter was: no prescription for my meds, and a thoroughly detailed (I’m sure) account of my letter in my records. Remember, she typed the ENTIRE time. When I told her I had an appointment with a pain management specialist in December, she told me that under no circumstances would this other doctor treat me with THC in my system. I MUST swear to her that under no circumstances would I continue my use. I said I couldn’t do that, although I would continue not using it in order to have a clean UA. I continued to explain that what she was prescribing wasn’t even cutting down on the pain, so why should I promise not to use the other, if it DID help? She mentioned that the pain doctor COULD prescribe other meds, which WOULD help me. In that case, yes, I’d be willing to continue not using marijuana.

I left her office in tears, totally struck down. I continued to cry all day, feeling lost and without any hope. If she wouldn’t even prescribe Tramadol (which is now a scheduled drug, too), what could I do? How in the world would I get any relief ever? But several hours after swollen eyes and a crushed soul, I thought, I really need to talk to my own primary physician and tell her what happened. After all, I have a rapport with her, I can trust her, I can talk to her. In the evening, I had to take my son to an appointment, and it just so happened we were talking to a psychologist. I mentioned to her that I had fibro and had a really crappy day, I was in tears again. After my son left the room, she said, “I want to know about your fibromyalgia. What is going on?” So I proceeded to tell her the nightmare I had just lived.

“How DARE that doctor treat you like that?!?” she exclaimed. “She had absolutely no right to shame you that way. As a doctor, she NEVER should have treated you that way!” I told her I had an appointment with my primary the next day. She suggested that I start my conversation with, “I have something I really need to talk to you about, but I need to do it ‘off the record.'” She said if my doctor was keen, she’d know what I was talking about (the marijuana use). I said that I believed I could be honest with her without repercussions, unlike with that other doctor.

Long story short, my primary physician spent an hour and a half talking to me. She was indeed receptive, indeed compassionate, and never once did she make me feel like a drug addict like that other one did. I even asked her, “In all the time that I’ve been your patient, have I EVER given you the impression that I’m a drug addict?” She shook her head no, and said, “absolutely not.” Furthermore, she too, said the other doctor had no right to treat me like that, to insinuate that I was lying, and that I should end my patient status with that practice.

My doctor had no problem taking over my care, that she would be able to prescribe everything that the other doctor did. She would not subject me to drug tests, and she commended me for my honesty. I think she learned several things from me, because I told her some of the information I had learned. I told her about this blog, and how therapeutic it was for me to write. I think I’m a good writer, and I am touched when people tell me “this is me, this is how I feel, but you write it so well.” I am touched when I can spread some hope among us.

So even though my primary did not advocate my former use (or future use) of marijuana, she did express that if we could get me to the pain management doctor clean, that perhaps he could get me to the point where I wouldn’t feel the need to turn to the other. He just might be able to! And for that, I’m willing to be clean.

This all happened this past Wednesday and Thursday. I discovered that if I use my inner strength, that I can persevere through ANYTHING. And with a great primary doctor, I’ve got one in my corner cheering me on.

There IS hope. Spread the word!

P.S. I’ve continued my at-home drug tests, and after 27 days, I’m still testing positive. Even though I could use, I still haven’t. I’m kind of curious to see when I’ll be truly clean! Of course, when my lab tests return, I’ll know exactly how much was left in my system. How dare that other doctor insinuate I was lying! If she knew anything about marijuana use, she’d KNOW that it takes 1-2 months for THC to leave a “chronic” user. Sheesh, I know more about it than she did. And THAT? Is a shame.

Chronic Pain Sufferers Suffer Even More Now

The DEA recently changed Hydrocodone to a Schedule III drug, making it even more difficult for chronic pain sufferers to obtain the pain medication they NEED to survive in the United States. When we take pain meds – even every day – we are not drug abusers. Why? Because the pain meds actually TREAT the pain and allow us to function. It’s the abusers that messed it up for us. If you take pain meds and you’re not in pain, yes, you will feel “high.” But not so for us.

Now we must go to our doctor to pick up our prescription – and only WE can go (no-one else). Then, most likely, we have to take a drug test in order to pick up the script. At the drug store, we have to show our identification to pick up the medicine. Our information is entered into a drug database. In short, we are treated like drug abusers and/or criminals. And these drug tests? You have to take them even if you haven’t shown ANY SIGN of drug abuse. That’s just not right.

A lot of folks in pain use marijuana, which is a natural pain reliever. It aids sleep naturally, which is so very important for fibromyalgia sufferers. If we cannot sleep, our condition worsens.
So imagine the frustration we face. If we use marijuana, we have THC in our systems for days – or weeks even – and thus, have a positive result on the drug tests. So then the doctor refuses the pain medication.
Imagine if you had to pee in a cup to receive blood pressure medicine. And a positive result meant you wouldn’t get your meds. You could have a stroke and die. So you tell me – is this fair? It surely isn’t. Why are we treated any differently?

Join me in our fight to get the help we need. That includes #medicalmarijuana. Educate yourself. This PLANT has been used for almost 5,000 YEARS as a natural remedy for MANY ailments. It was a negative spin made in the early-mid 1900s that changed the views about marijuana, and made users look like criminals. I can assure you that the “typical stoner” image most people have is INACCURATE. If you think people who use marijuana are lazy or stupid, don’t have any motivation, and eat munchies all day, you are WRONG. Lazy people are lazy, regardless if they smoke pot or not. We users are professionals, we are responsible adults, we give back to the community, we are GOOD PEOPLE.

I’m in pain. Serious pain. I want help. I don’t get the help I need. I’m treated like a drug addict. Is this wrong? I think so. If you think so, too, help me spread the word. It’s about time we #legalizemarijuana and stop wasting taxpayers money on the “war on drugs,” which has literally pissed away our money. According to recent polls, 88% of Floridians support the initiative to legalize marijuana. I would be there are about 88% of us who use marijuana – in the USA – where supposedly we are free. REALLY?
Think about that.

My Manifesto | Truth About My Pain, Pot, and Pills

Imagine that you feel like you have the flu – but without the “sick” part of it (you don’t have the stuffy head, cough, etc.) – meaning your entire body aches, you feel like you’re running a fever, and you have ZERO amount of energy. Now imagine feeling that way every day. EACH DAY. Can you even imagine?

Okay, now let’s add constant neck and shoulder pain that hasn’t subsided in over 20 years. Constantly. In pain. For over 20 years.

Yes, 20 YEARS. 1040 weeks. That’s 7,300 days. 24/7 constant, chronic pain.

I’m sure that most of you CANNOT imagine what this feels like, but if you’ve got fibromyalgia, you know exactly what I’m talking about.

CONSTANT pain. Constant. Imagine your brain yelling, “pain, pain, pain, pain, pain, pain, pain, pain …” 24 hours per day, seven days per week, 52 weeks per year, for over 20 years.

This is me. This is my life.

And it sucks.

So what do you do when you’re in constant pain? You do WHATEVER YOU CAN to make the pain subside, or at least be less intense. But how? In the United States, getting a prescription for anything that contains a narcotic is almost impossible. Let me tell you how many times I was given a prescription containing narcotics for fibromyalgia.

ZERO. NONE.

Yep, zero times. (But I did manage to have a couple of prescriptions written when I was in so much neck pain I couldn’t move my neck, and then for my neck surgery. I always managed to mete out these pills.) Not until we got a rheumatologist in town, after I had gone through intensive physical therapy, after I had neck fusion surgery, was I given a prescription for hydrocodone specifically for my fibromyalgia pain.

Because HEAVEN FORBID should anyone be able to feel good! That’s against the law.

Yes, I left with a prescription for hydrocodone. A WHOPPING 5 mg. Wow. (To give you an idea, you can get aspirin with 8 mg. of codeine over the counter in Canada.) Now the 5 mg. didn’t take away the pain, but made it less severe. I can actually function like a normal human being! Now I don’t have to make those pills from my surgery last over an entire year. Never once have I obtained codeine illegally. NEVER.

So I’ve been going to this doctor for over half a year now. I went to pick up my THIRD prescription (that’s only three in six months, do the math, I didn’t take a pill every day), but I was told I needed to go pee in a cup for a random drug test because of the new federal laws. Even though I’ve exhibited ZERO signs of being a drug addict, I’m assumed guilty until my urine shows that I’m drug free.

That’s a problem for me. A huge problem.

WHY? Because I did WHATEVER I COULD to ease my constant, chronic pain. That meant I smoked pot. Marijuana, mary jane, reefer, blunts, call it what you will. I call it my lifesaver.

Fortunately, I couldn’t take that drug test right then and there because of a previously scheduled appointment. I would have failed that drug test on the spot.

I’ve had to give up marijuana to pass this drug test. So now I’m faced with a serious decision.

Do I give up the marijuana that had long-lasting effects on my pain? Or do I give up the pills that occasionally make me forget the pain for say, maybe an hour? Sometimes two, if I’m really, really lucky. And that’s only every other day. The pills, yes, do more than the pot, but only for a fraction of time. I can’t be popping pills several times per day because I don’t have that type of prescription. And I doubt I ever will if these federal laws continue to exist.

Do I get high from these pills? Not really. But why? Because I’m in CONSTANT, CHRONIC pain. Those pain pills actually treat the pain, and thus, it doesn’t make me high. Now a person not in pain? Would certainly be high. Yes, these pills would make you feel good.

But feeling good is a problem in the United States. We have a war on drugs here. We have people sitting in prison for doing drugs. For feeling good. Feeling good shouldn’t be a bad thing.

So here I sit, mad as hell. And I have EVERY RIGHT TO BE ANGRY.

I shouldn’t have to suffer when there’s relief to be had. Nobody should have to suffer. But we with CONSTANT, CHRONIC pain do suffer. We suffer from pain ALL THE TIME. CONSTANTLY. CHRONICALLY.

What’s so ironic to me is that I can go buy a bottle of booze, which totally impairs me. Pot doesn’t. (How many car accidents are caused by driving drunk? Too many to count. But yet, how many car accidents have you heard were caused by smoking pot? Yep, none.) Or I could go buy a gun without any background check. Both the booze and the gun could hurt numerous people. But thank goodness, I’m not crazy. I don’t want to get drunk, nor do I want to shoot anybody.

I don’t even want to shoot the lawmakers who passed these drug laws. What I would like, though, is for any one of them to “fill my shoes” for a day. Heck, not even a full 24 hours. Let’s just give him/her half a day of CONSTANT, CHRONIC pain. But no pills, no pot, no booze, nothing. Then tell me how you feel.

I’d just like some pain relief. That’s all I’m asking! That’s all we’re asking.

And then let’s have this one person tell me if these laws are worth it.

Because what the majority of Americans think about pot? Is not true. We’re not all lazy potheads, who sit around doing nothing, eating bon-bons all day long (because heck, if you get stoned, you get the munchies, right?) Before prohibition, marijuana was legal. As a matter of fact, it was ILLEGAL NOT TO GROW IT! That’s right, the hemp used from marijuana was used to make rope, which was very necessary in the shipping industry.

So … a bunch of folks set out to make marijuana users be BAD PEOPLE around prohibition time. Unfortunately, that misperception stuck. All the way into the year 2014.

Well, let me shoot down those untruths.

When I was in college (oh yes indeed, I went through college, got a degree, made the dean’s list, was a member of Phi Theta Kappa, all while being high), my roommate mentioned something about stoners being lazy. “Really?” I asked? “They’re late, too. Never on time,” she said. “Oh?” I replied? I let her go on about her misperceptions.

“Have I ever been late for anything?” I asked. “No.”

“Do you think I’m lazy?” I asked. “Heavens no,” she replied! “You go to college, you work part-time.”

Well, guess what. I get stoned. EVERY DAY! Gasp!

Not only did I get that college degree (with honors), I worked every spare minute I could during college. After college, I got a professional position – where I excelled. And I still smoked pot. (I even went back to college to learn Spanish.)

Yes, I’m a stoner. And I’m not ashamed of it one bit. This marijuana is the ONE AND ONLY thing that has allowed me to survive the past 20-30 years. It has been my major source of pain relief. It was the only thing I could turn to.

A little bit about me: I am a professional woman, with a full-time, prestigious position, working almost 15 years for a world-wide company. I work with many folks who smoke weed just like I do. Some of us joke that if we had mandatory/random drug tests, our company would have maybe 3-4 folks left. The rest of us would fail that drug test.

We’re all UBER intelligent people. And we smoke pot.

Outside of work, I was on the Board of Directors for a non-profit agency for five years. I was the head of the Public Relations program. Still smoking pot. I helped our fundraisers go from $25k per year to $50k. I completed the annual fundraiser 100+ page catalog during the same time I was putting together my son’s school’s annual yearbook. Oh, by the way, I took all the pictures for that yearbook, too.

I hope you’re getting my point.

I’m not a lazy, no-good, good-for-nothing stoner. Not many of us are.

Lazy people are lazy people, whether they smoke pot or not. There are lazy people who smoke pot and lazy people who don’t.

But there are doctors, professors, lawyers, all sorts of professionals – respected members of society – that smoke pot. I’m one of those respected members. I’ve got a house almost paid off, I don’t have any bills outside of my monthly American Express card, which I pay off in full each month. I’m probably one of the most active parents at my son’s school. I volunteer regularly. I’m a good person.

You wouldn’t ever know by looking at me that I smoke pot. I have a lot of friends who don’t know I do. Because it’s still a bad thing … in their heads.

But not in mine. I know that I’m not a criminal. I’m a thriving individual that gives back to my community, sometimes more than 100 percent. I’m an overachiever. And I smoke pot.

So here I sit, writing this manifesto, marijuana free for an entire week. And I’m in pain. Bad pain. But in order to get that prescription for those 5 mg pills of codeine, I can’t get that other pain relief. Like I said, it’s a serious decision. Get some relief now? Or pay for it later with a failed drug test. So I remain pot free.

Pain, pain, pain, pain, pain. Pain, pain, pain, pain, pain. Imagine your brain repeating that every second you’re awake. Imagine being in constant pain. With no relief. Can you?

Because I’ve been a “chronic” user of marijuana for I’ve lost count how many years, it could take up to 12 weeks – or more – for me to pass a urine test. My next appointment with my rheumatologist is in a couple of weeks. I’m sure I’ll fail that urine drug test.

And I won’t be receiving any more prescriptions for hydrocodone.

That’s why I’m mad as hell.

Wouldn’t you be?

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Well … I feel much better now that this manifesto is written and ready for the world. I’m sure all of you (or at least some of you) understand why this is anonymous. I mean HEAVEN FORBID should I have to pee in a cup for my employer.

To see other Manifestos, check out the Daily Post’s Weekly Writing Challenge here.