Controlling Constant Nausea and Vomiting
By James Peacock

In 1989 I took part in the invasion of Panama.  While there I contracted Malaria.  Unfortunately I was genetically pre-disposed to develop Membranoproliferative Glomerulonephritis Type II.  Essentially this rare disease alters the blood chemistry and causes the fibers in the kidneys to be crowded and separated by "globs" of microscopic tissue.  This widens the fibers to the point where proteins and other waste can get past the kidneys to remain in the bloodstream.  A kidney transplant is not possible because the blood chemistry would simply cause the new kidney to clog up and fail as well. 

 In December of 2004 my kidney function dipped below 20 percent, my blood had thickened, and I was hospitalized after suffering a minor stroke.  The part of my brain that tells my stomach to close when food enters it seems to have been damaged and stayed wide open.  I proceeded to vomit uncontrollably for ten days.  I weighed 240 pounds when I entered the hospital, and when I left ten days later I weighed 166 pounds.   The vomiting continued and I lived with a constant nausea.  Four months later I began Peritoneal (at home) dialysis.  Still, the nausea and vomiting continued.   Towards the end of the summer of 2005 My Doctor, a Nephrologist, prescribed Marinol. 

 Marinol took at least an hour to take effect, when it did take effect it hit me like a ton of bricks, and made me high as a kite.  

 It was after my first dose that it hit me.  I've been lied to by my government my entire life.  Why was being high suddenly okay?  Everything I heard said that once high on THC I was going to murder my parents, rob a convenience store, and start doing heroin.  None of that happened.  

 I also discovered that Marinol could not be controlled.   Titration was impossible.  If you took it then you could expect to be stoned out of your mind, even at the lowest available dose.  It did control the nausea, but only as long as I was so stoned that I couldn't function.  When I came down, the nausea was waiting for me. 

 I then did something that I've never done before.   I broke the law.  I obtained some herbal marijuana.   I quickly learned how to smoke just enough to stop the nausea and NOT GET STONED.  Something that was impossible with Marinol.   With the plant form I could relieve my symptoms, be productive, and HAPPY!!!  Odd how not vomiting all the time can improve one's outlook on life.

 However, because it is illegal, obtaining Marijuana is not something you can count on.  When I ran out, I ran out.  I lost my insurance and discovered that Marinol is about $750 a month.  ILLEGAL Marijuana, and I mean really quality stuff, is not that expensive.  I don't have that kind of money to throw around and the risk of getting busted for plant material is even greater.  Essentially, I returned to vomiting every day without relief.

 What I've discovered is that the REAL danger of Marijuana is not brain damage, and lack of motivation, or a gateway to harder drugs.  The REAL danger is getting raped in prison. 

 You tell me, does it seem right that a Veteran, suffering from a disease contracted while fighting for his country, has to make a decision between vomiting constantly and anal rape?  Some days as I lay gasping for breath over the toilet, rape in prison seems to be an acceptable risk.  

 I AM the poster boy for common sense and compassionate reform of our draconian and inhuman marijuana laws.

 I don't care what the forum is.  If I get the chance to stand up and give my name, address, and opinion, I'm taking it. 

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