Archive for December, 2010

215 Card on Hospice? – Apparently Not!

As our Mom, the Cancer Warrior, battles on the timing now is 4.5 years since her diagnosis.  She is on Hospice and getting pain management drugs from them.  This is one really great thing, about Hospice.  Hospice pays for all pain medications as well as some other drugs.  They don’t pay for everything but we’ve found one substitute that they will pay for so at this poing all drugs are covered. 

Well the pain is very strong and if she were not on any drugs then the level would be intolerable.  Additionally, as her doctor describes her tolerance level, if either he or any of us were to take the same amount of pain medications that she is consuming in a single day we would be in a coma.  Pain medication blocks the brain’s pain receptors but the body gets busy creating more so that is why the pain medication levels typically need to be increased over time.  This does not necessarily mean that the cause of the pain is getting worse, just that the amount of pain medication needed to block the pain has increased.

One of our good friends recently started taking a marijuana product to help with her pain from crippling arthritis.  She told us about how nice the clinic was and how impressed she was with the level of knowledge and the different types of products, differing ways of taking it, regulated dosage increase paths, and the different symptoms certain strains effect better.  As our Mother is deeply opposed to smoking any products we liked that the product had capsule or oil forms.

Several times over the past year we have discussed this alternative with my Mom’s doctor.  He always says that it is not that good for pain relief but it is good for nausea, depression and appetitie.  At our last visit we brought it up again since at times her pain is very bad.  He said sure, she could try it and then tried to write a prescription for it going through Hospice.  We don’t know if this is the way it is in California or if it’s just our Hospice’s policies but they informed us that if she decided to go on any marinol or marijuana product that she would have to go off of Hospice.  They way they explained this is that since they are in charge of controlling the pain medication and since they do not dispense marijuana they would not know how much she was injesting so would not know how much current pain medication they should cut out.

So that’s it.  Her choice was to not take any marinol products and stay on Hospice or forgo Hospice and take her chances with the 215 world.  Of course, she chose Hospice, but too bad she doesn’t get to experiment with another pain control substance.