Friday, August 02, 2019

Frustration Station (Medical Update)

The blog has been silent for a week. It was a week filled with annoyance and frustrations initiated by our visit last Saturday - as mentioned in the second paragraph of my previous post, above. That appointment, at a local Medical Marijuana dispensary, did not work out at all as expected! Rather than bore the underwear off any stray reader, I'll try to nutshell the tale, but it isn't easy to tell briefly. This could well ramble on.

I, allegedly, had the last appointment of the day at a local dispensary where I had assumed a doctor would be present to recommend (or not) medical marijuana (MM) for me. It turned out, however, that there were numerous "walk-ins" to be dealt with after me - the small waiting room was heaving with these when we arrived.

A good imitation of chaos ensued.

My "interview with a doctor" consisted of a few minutes talking to an elderly guy on a laptop screen. The doc seemed less interested in listening to what I was telling him about my ailments than in attaching his own labels to me. After a few minutes he gave the assistant some code numbers. That was that, doctor-wise.

I was then handed over to an assistant and "the boss" to provide my documentary proofs of identity (my US passport), proof of residency in Oklahoma (my Voter ID card), and my Medicare card. These were scanned or photographed, and a photograph was taken of me (passport style). There were some mumblings about proof of residency, and there being a need to submit the top sheet to the deeds to joint ownership of our house. This should have been unnecessary, as the Voter ID card was one listed as acceptable proof of residency in the state. We agreed to send what they had requested, by e-mail, and the "boss" would call me later that evening to finalise things and get my debit card number for payment of $20 to the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority (OMMA), and submit my application to OMMA. I had paid "the boss" $75 in cash for his part in the process, for which he gave a peculiar type of receipt on my husband's cellphone - something we have yet to decipher. All the time we were there, by the way, "the boss" guy was dealing with at least one, sometimes two, other applicants concurrently with me.

We went home, searched for house deeds, found what seemed to be appropriate and sent it to the e-address we'd been given. Then.....nothing. No phone call that evening, none the next day nor on the day after.

We visited the dispensary on Tuesday, explained what had happened (or hadn't happened) to a lady who seemed to be in charge there. She made a phone call to "the owner" (as in "the boss") who allegedly told her he would call us that evening. He didn't. More calls to the dispensary followed next day, with promises made by recipient to call me back. Nobody ever called back.

It was Thursday by now - I had steam coming out of my ears. Another call to the dispensary - this time I let it rip a lot more than I had during past phone calls. The guy at the other end of the line said "We were only hosting the event, it was nothing to do with us". GRRR! I told him that as hosts to something, they had to take some responsibility for what had gone on. He promised to call the owner of the outfit who had "organised" Saturday's chaotic event. Nothing further was heard by that afternoon.

At some point, someone had given me a phone number which led to an answering machine at the offices of "the owner", in Oklahoma City. I decided to leave a message on it. I guessed my message would be just one of thousands and like everything else I'd done, be completely ignored. The answering machine cut me off after a few seconds, but I kept going back each time, continuing my call, ending with pleas to "please, please, please will somebody ring me back!" Ten minutes later somebody did. It was "the boss". That turned out to be a very long phone call, an hour or more with lots of waiting time included. What had gone on on Saturday was repeated over again, as though Saturday's visit had never happened. This time, eventually, I was asked for my debit card number and that was that. He said I should receive confirmation that my application had been received by the OMMA, and that my MM card should be with me in around 5 to 7 days - possibly by Wednesday next. I got the confirmation from OMMA within a few minutes.

On reflection, and upon further reading around, using name of "the boss", I began to realise that there is a veritable flood of applicants in the state, a never-ending flood it seems, and "the boss" and his organisation are trying to deal with the flood, but without adequate means (or so it appears to me, now).

Fingers crossed that the train, having at last left Frustration Station, will arrive at the proper destination bringing with it my MM card, to enable me to buy some MM to assist with my pain-when-walking and my nausea/loss of appetite.


Anonymous said...

Learning new stuff every day right when all you want to do is get high! New government changes look better from afar, not up close and has your name on it. I shall cross fingers that you have some thc pain relief in your immediate future!

"It is amazing that people who think we cannot afford to pay for doctors, hospitals, and medication somehow think that we can afford to pay for doctors, hospitals, medication and a government bureaucracy to administer it."
Thomas Sowell

Wisewebwoman said...

Sweet goddess! The big joke here when it all went legal and stuff (read scads of moolah to be made by Big Guv)was that no one was prepared for the onslaught of purchasers so all these lovely new glassy dispensaries ran out of product.

But my dear the hoops you ran through? All we need is photo ID. Deeds no less!!!take the biscuit.

I sure hope the end to this misery is in sight for you. What unwanted stress and antagonism.


Twilight said...

Anonymous ~ Thank you kindly Anon - my fingers are well and truly crossed now too. :)

Twilight said...

Wisewebwoman ~ Yes - lots and lots of $$$$$$$$$ are in there somewhere, for somebody!

Things wouldn't be quite as chaotic in Oklahoma if regular doctors would recommend patients for MM - if they felt it would be of help, of course. It seems, though, that in Oklahoma regular doctors are not prepared to do so. That has left would-be applicants for MM relying on people like "the boss" guy I met to organise ways of helping, i.e. providing access to a doctor to obtain a recommendation, providing help with submission of documentation etc. It's a worthy attempt to help, but I suspect such people are being overwhelmed by the number of applicants, and some applicants fall through the cracks (which I think is what must've happened to me). I'm hoping things will be more straightforward from now on. :)

R J Adams said...

Just another way that mad, mad, America treats its sick citizens. It'd be hard enough to deal with such bureaucratic nightmares if you were fit and well. I hope it all works out for the best in the end, Twilight. Thinking of you. RJ.

Twilight said...

R J Adams ~ Thank you, RJ. Perhaps by the end of the week I'll be experiencing a fit of giggles about it all (courtesy of MM) - or maybe not. :-D I'm actually not quite sure what to expect. So many of the prescription meds prescribed to me so far have not done what they were meant to do. I'm starting to be wary of feeling too over-confident in MM - but it has to be worth a try. :) Thinking of you and Mrs RJ often, too. My love to you both.

:) said...

No news is good news? Doubt you're sailing full mast, but mud in your eye anyway.

Twilight said...

:) ~ Ta very much! :)