Posted in Archive, february 2021

Cancard UK; Fantastic leap for Chronic Conditions in 2021

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What is Cancard UK?

The Cancard UK is a fantastic leap forwards for pain patients and people with qualifying* chronic conditions in the UK. Essentially it is a card issued by Cancard LTD to its membership that provides evidence to the Police that the holder has a qualifying medical condition for which medical cannabis may be prescribed. This card indicates to the the police that the holder is therefore in possession of cannabis for medical reasons and that that they should confident in using discretion when they encounter a Cancard holder providing they are in possession of small quantities.

*You can find a list of qualifying conditions of their site, upon application you be asked to either provide a summary of care or have your GP sign to prove that you meet application criteria.

Why is the Cancard necessary?

Currently there is a short list of qualifying conditions for that entitle you to a private prescription of cannabis in the UK. However these are extremely expensive; An initial appointment* costs around £150, a follow up appointment which is required every couple of month £65, each prescription at least £30 per month. *Pricing examples taken from The Medical Cannabis Clinics.

For most people these prices are just not affordable, especially not long term. However it is known, and more evidence is coming out in support of this, that for certain conditions cannabis can provide significant relief, reduce pain, and help manage symptoms.

Does this make it legal?

No the law has not changed, however all police forces in the UK have been briefed on the the card. It has been co-designed and is backed by senior members of the police force, and guidance has been issued by them stressing that officers should feel confident in using their discretion in cases of possession when the holder is also in possession of a Cancard. It does, however, prove that you are legally entitled to a cannabis prescription which is a huge step forwards.

Cancard UK

If you are interested and want to know more I would highly recommend spending some time on their website and also on their social media. Not only can you apply for the card through the site which is an easy process, but it is also full of great resources such guides to self medication, how to handle being stopped by the police, the different components in cannabis and how each one affects different conditions such as epilepsy, spasms, pain etc. The Cancard UK is a great tool to utilise as well, one of the most recent videos was a tutorial demonstrating how to make it into a oil, which for those who prefer not to smoke is a very handy guide.

Next Steps

Currently the card does not cover growing your own plant at home, and pharmacies are still not selling to card holders. However, they are working on expanding so that growing is covered and therefore reduces the risks taken by the user.

Posted in Archive, August 2017

Chronic Lyme Disease – An Open Letter to the BBC

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Dear BBC

Today you published the article ‘Matt Dawson: I had to have heart surgery after a tick bite’. At first I was thrilled, it is always uplifting to see articles highlighting this condition being shared by the mainstream media. However as I eagerly absorbed each sentence , I could feel my heart sinking further in my chest. In fact I’m pretty sure it dropped straight out of me and into the flat below under the weight of my disappointment! You could have taken this opportunity to really highlight the world wide issue when it comes to diagnosing and treating Lyme and Chronic Lyme Disease. The fact that you didn’t leap at this opportunity is beyond me. What happened to the BBC being at the forefront of reporting, challenging the establishment, pushing boundaries?

You even went as far as mentioning that if Lyme goes untreated it can go on to attack and cause ‘debilitating neurological problems’. This was your perfect opening to delve into the devastating condition that is Chronic Lyme; you could have examined how the tests for Lyme disease are extremely inaccurate and false negatives are a frequent occurrence; you could have investigated how NICE guidelines have left the few doctors who are up to date enough with the research in the area to believe in Chronic Lyme, unable to treat their patients without risking their medical licence. You could have mentioned how, if you are in the unfortunate situation of having to fundraise money to pay for your treatment, you are looking at a minimum of £10,000 for private medical bills and that there is no guarantee that you will be cured. You could have investigated how many people that are given the early treatment are actually, years later, successfully cured.

I was bitten by a tick at the age of 6, at the age of 22 I was diagnosed with Chronic Neurological Lyme Disease. Almost 3 years on and I am still fighting. Last year I was informed by neurologists that they were 99% certain I had MS, but then my MRI came back clean, when I brought up Lyme my case was swept under the carpet. Sufferers are abandoned, left to battle their own way through the system, made to feel like a fraud whilst their lives and their health fall apart. Unlike your report suggests, it’s not as easy as walking into a hospital and stating you have Lyme and hoping for treatment. It feels like a life sentence.

I am living that life sentence.

 

Posted in Archive, August 2013

Todays Hospital Appointment.

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This morning my mother and I travelled to Warwickshire to see an Infectious Disease Specialist who supposedly (according to his secretary) treats Chronic Lyme Disease. I left the appointment with extremely mixed feelings. On one hand I was rather disappointed and on the other hand I was satisfied with what he has said he shall do.

At the start of my appointment he made it rather clear that he did not  really believe in chronic lyme and thought that ongoing lyme could be cured with a 4 week course of antibiotics. He also thought Lyme Disease could cure itself…I have not heard or read about this.  After hearing about my life medical history and an examination he informed us that he was certain that I had had Lyme Disease for a few years but did not think that I still had it. However he said that I at least deserved to have testing done. Therefore he is going to write to my GP and have my GP arrange for me to have an IGM (that may be wrong) blood test and a lumbar puncture for PCP testing to see if there is any lyme in me. Lyme disease testing is inaccurate at the best of times and the fact that I am on antibiotics for Lyme Disease at the moment means that the antibodies shall be suppressed meaning a negative result is more likely. I expressed my concerns to the doctor, who admitted this could happen. However I am very happy he is going to ask for these tests to be arranged.

He was a lovely guy, however I am unsure how I feel about it all. I am going to go ahead with the tests. If they come back negative then I shall book myself into the Breakspear hospital and go through this all again. One big positive out of this appointment is that he confirmed our suspicions that I did have Lyme. That there, in my eyes, is the reason I have Dystonia. My neurologist admitted that they know that Lyme disease can cause Dystonia. It gives me some peace of mind to know that there is a reason behind it all. Now I just have to wait for the NHS to arrange these tests.

Today was just a slightly wobbly stepping stone to future treatment. One way or another I will get to where I need to be.