In the 80’s I was a young nurse in a major medical center. I was happy to be working after my rigorous education which included anatomy and physiology, chemistry, psychology, ethics, and nursing in every facet of health care. I was ready and I was excited.
I had grown up on the east coast, the daughter of a policeman. While my father and mother were smart enough not to forbid us from experimenting, my dad always said, “you don’t know what’s in the pot, so I’d advise against it.” Predictably I abstained.
My first job out of nursing school was in oncology. I learned very quickly how to give complex chemotherapies, about testing, surgeries, repeat admissions but most disturbingly I experienced first- hand how much my patients suffered from the “cure”. The nausea was profound and on most evenings we were giving IV meds for vomiting. It was so important to quell suffering because it helped patients eat, move, and generally made them feel better and hopeful. However, I was not always happy with the constant nausea my patients experienced and how miserable they felt after their chemo was done.
Then one evening a young friend of one of our cancer patients came in with a joint. Unashamed, he asked if his friend could smoke it. I remember sitting at the desk and thinking why not? I had heard pot was good for nausea and appetite enhancement. I was tired of the nausea and knew my patients were struggling through their treatment. After that, on evenings the cannabis would come in from time to time and we pulled the curtain and patients felt better, stopped vomiting, ate, and slept.
Years later I had the honor of working in Hospice. One of our patients smoked cannabis and gained 9 pounds, felt better and was happy for the first time since his admission after using his cannabis. He chose inhalation which gave him the munchies, hence the weight gain.
In 2014 I had the privilege of attending a Patient Out of Time Clinical Conference. It was there that I learned about the Endocannabinoid System, and everything fell into place.
So for all of you who doubt the medical importance of cannabis medicine; take it from this very sheltered nurse who has learned so much. Cannabis can be very helpful for those who find relief from this plant medicine. It is my HOPE you continue to use cannabis if it is helpful or consider it if you suffer.
Respectfully submitted by Eileen
If you’d like to share your Stories of Hope…we would be honored. You can submit to [email protected]