Appetite Enhancement
by Mary Jo Evans

I am a 55-year-old white female with multiple disabilities. I am 5' 2" and weight approximately 115 pounds. I am very fortunate that I weigh this much right now. My weight drops if I don't smoke marijuana, sometimes as low as 80 to 85 pounds. Several years ago I was having so much pain in my abdomen that the doctors could not understand why nothing showed up on diagnostic tests. From the blood work-up, they knew something was terribly wrong. I had liver enzymes in my stomach, my white count soared to almost four times the normal range, I couldn't have normal bodily functions, either bowel or kidney, and I swelled up with what they thought was serious edema, with my abdomen looking like I was nine months pregnant.

Nothing they tried seemed to be working, and they finally decided on surgery. What they found was that adhesions (from past surgeries) had grown through a large portion of the major organs. Pyloren plasty was performed, and along with removing and bypassing a large portion of small intestines, they freed up the other organs that had been taken over by scar tissue. They removed several lymph glands that burst once the surgery began. There was quiet a bit more they did to me, but in the interest of time I will be brief. Recovery time lasted about two years for most of the symptoms, but the bowel problems remained.

The doctors at the time had me using marijuana in the hospital but could not admit it. They decided that under the circumstances there was no other choice. They had been giving me 75 mg Demerol with 25mg Vistaril every three hours and had no other places to put the shots except in the back of my legs, and I had not even had surgery yet!

Now to top that off, I have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia, which causes widespread pain and increases the problems with my bowels and kidneys. All the doctors I see here in Hawaii know I smoke. I can't survive if I don't.

My medications at the moment consist of:

  • Effexor 3-75 mg am.
  • Premarin 2.5 mg am
  • Levoxyl 75 mg am
  • Neurontin 100mg t.i.d.
  • Trazodone 50 mg bed
  • Vicodin 5/500 mg extra strength PRN plus all my vitamins.

Doctors I see:

  • Internist/rheumatologist
  • Psychiatrist
  • Acupuncturist

I do physical therapy, stretches, walking, and other light exercises. In spite of all the things I do to try to have a somewhat healthier life, I still have to smoke. I do not use tobacco, alcohol, or any other recreational drugs. I have a very strong faith in God and I do pray for my condition and others like me. I am not tied to the marijuana, because I only smoke two to three puffs at each mealtime. Otherwise, when I eat, I will lose it one way or another, and will receive no nourishment. It also cuts down on the number of times I have to take strong painkillers.

I am truly sorry to be so lengthy, but felt it was necessary in order for you to get a clearer picture of my needs. I wish you success with your book, and hope it truly serves the needs of those who rely so heavily on something that gives us a small measure of relief.