An update on Angel Raisch, a very ill medical marijuana patient.
Date: Wed, 25 Jul 2007 09:23:43 -0700
Subject: OPN: Update from Angel Raich
I wanted to pass this along to you all… Angel Raich is one of my heroes. My heart cries out for her. Please sen her your well wishes and positive energies.
As if any of you MPP Supporters needed persuading to take action, but I think this e-mail that we received today from Angel Raich is a powerful reminder of the pain that many medical marijuana patients are fighting on a daily basis. Please send Angel your words of encouragement and support to firstname.lastname@example.org.
I have not been online, maybe a couple times since my treatment but wanted to at least give you an update. I have not been doing well since my radiation treatment on my brain tumor. I have been really really ill with some short term and long term problems. I will first go into the complications and then the bad side effects. The radiation will continue to cause side effects & complications, both short term & long term ones over the next 6 month to year. I would like to thank all those of you that sent me e-mails giving me support. It would be great to hear from some of you by phone so I will leave my numbers at the bottom of this e-mail.
Problems from brain swelling see in side effects. I have been having pretty low blood pressure, my average is 100/70 and now it’s 90/64. The whole inside of my throat on the left side is swollen which is not allowing me to get enough Oxygen making it hard to breath. The left nostral is swollen making it hard to breath through my nose. I stay light headed and run out of breath from walking around the house or talking, if I do both at the same time it make it all worse. I do not have any engery. At night when I try to sleep my tongue, jaw, and throat collapse cutting off my air and when I eat cannabis it relaxes my muscles to much making it all worse. Thank god I have a c-pap machine for my apnea or I would be in trouble. The machine blows air into my lungs but now the air is not all going in my lungs because of my throat. The doctors do not know if these things are short term or long term. They said, it may be long term and may not go away, time will tell. All of these make it very hard to get sleep and I am having problems resulting from lack of sleep. The lack of etible cannabis is causing many problems from lack of sleep to increased in my over all pain levels. I went from eating 5 large bits at bed to a 1/2 of a bit which is causing it’s own set of problems. I am getting a scooter to help me get around, I am hoping my medical insurance will pay at least 80%. I have only been out of my house a couple of times in the last month to get a massage and get a hair cut.
The side effects are hitting me very hard and I am not recovering very well. I first started with severally throwing and diarrhea for 3 days, which was worse than I have ever experienced. Ever since the treatment I have had sever headaches, pressure on my skull, sever dizziness, sever nausea, and ear ache from brain swelling that is not going away. I am having sever pain in the left side of my jaw making eating and talking difficult and very painful. I have really bad blisters on the left side of my mouth and left side of the roof of my mouth that last for over 2 weeks making it hard to eat. I have sever fatigue and weak that is making it hard for me to move about my own home. My left side of my head including my face is sever painful and not going away. I have lost more sensation in the whole left side of my head. My left side of my face lost more sensation too. I am not able to fully blink my left eye, which makes it stay very dry and painful. I have double vision that comes and goes. I lost more sensation in the left side of my mouth, jaw, tongue, chin and upper throat area. Which is extremely painful. The doctor expects more side effects and damage to the nerve the tumor is growing on over the next 6 months to a year as that tumor shrinks, most of which are all long term and will not ever go away. Thank god it’s not drooping so I can keep hiding it from everyone. My hair on the left side is thinning out and it went straight so I had to cut it short to hide it. I am having even more side effects than this too.
This is a very difficult time for me and I do not know how well I will be when this whole thing is done. It is scary. I am doing my best to stay positive and hang in there. When talking to people and they ask me how I am I say I am hanging in there or I am not doing well but hanging in there to keep a positive view. I try not to think about all these side effects even though they are controling my life at this time. When I say I am hanging in there, I am not really doing well but I say hanging in there as a way to cope, and to tell myself I will be ok. But the truth is I do not know how I will be in the months to come.
I do plan to try to go to Annie Harrison’s Women Congress, I plan to try to go to Hempfest, and the NORML Conference. I am not to sure how well I will do at these events but I am very tired of being in the house. I do not know how I will manage these things and I hope my scooter arrives this week which will help me get around. I have not been working at all since the treatment but my new attorney’s are still working on my new congressional bill which will not be ready for review until around September.
It would be great to hear from some of you and if you live in the bay area please stop by and see me. I can use all the support I can get right now. I am sorry I have not been able to work or give support to those who have been dealing with the DEA or the Hinchey Amendment. I have just not been able to help. This is a first for me and I am not use to not working on the medical cannabis issue. Most of the time I work no matter how sick or how much pain I am personally in. I miss it but do not have the energy to help, instead I need the help more than I ever did or more than I would lead on to be. I spent the last 9 years hiding my own personal pain and illness in order to be strong for everyone else and for the first time I am not able to do that. I am sorry! May of my friends in the movement have recently said they forget how sick I have been because I am so independant and I hide my illnesses well, so it has been hard on them to see me like this. I miss all of you and I want to continue to work in medical cannabis. Can you all please pass this message along to others in the movement. I will put this as an auto-reply message too. Thanks.
Compassion and Justice,
Brandy Zink, LMT
Ohio Patient Action Network
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