Moving is never easy. My wife and I spent months researching, planning, and saving to make the move from the Big Apple to the Big Easy – but no matter how we tried to prepare, there always seemed to be something right around the corner, ready to pull the rug out from under us. We finally made it, but instead of relief, I was jumpy, irritable, and having a difficult time celebrating the progress we’d made.
As a life-long Anxiety Babe ™, I’m no stranger to bouts of insomnia, paralyzing executive dysfunction, and trying to push through the racing thoughts of self-doubt on repeat in my head like a skipping LP. Cannabis has long been part of my life helping to stem the tide of negativity crashing around in my brain, allowing me to better prioritize and focus on tasks at hand, so obtaining a medical marijuana recommendation seemed like a natural fit for me.
Running low on energy reserves, I clicked over to the telehealth service, Leafwell. Their mission is to help prospective medical marijuana candidates obtain a recommendation from a medical professional, and to make the process as easy and stress-free as possible.
I’d set aside about 45 minutes to complete the process, starting with the intake form. I honestly had reservations about giving personal medical information over the interwebs, but I felt their intake questionnaire was detailed without being overly invasive. There were also spaces to elaborate on the specifics of an injury or condition, and the option to include pertinent medical records.
Next, I chose the pharmacy/dispensary that would be the most convenient and was prompted to choose an appointment time and my choice of doctor. Not having any knowledge of any of the doctors, I chose the “First Available” option for 1pm the next day. After setting up the date and time, I was redirected to a landing page titled “The Waiting Room” – cute touch, Leafwell. The whole process only took about 20 minutes. Money saving tip: Be sure to use the discount code CANNALA to get $15 off.
Cut to the next day. If you’ve lived with anxiety, you’re probably aware of what happens when you’re waiting for an appointment – but if you don’t, it’s kind of like having an alarm going off in your head starting from the moment you wake up until whatever the thing you scheduled begins. The alarm is a little different for everyone, but it acts as an unrelenting reminder to the afflicted that something different is happening almost any second now, and your brain must be on high alert, ready for the unknown.
Around noon, I received a reminder that the appointment was in an hour, sending me leaping from my chair in startled panic because I’d forgotten I’d turned the volume all the way up on my notifications. At 12:55, I was relieved there was only 5 minutes until my brain would stop alerting me that there were only 5 more minutes left to go.
But 1pm came and went, and my internal banter ramped up accordingly:
1:03 – “Did I enter my number wrong?”
1:05 – “Better turn off the a/c in case it’s too loud over the phone.”
1:08 – “Quick, guzzle all this water so you don’t have dry mouth when talking to the doctor!”
1:14 – “Why is it so hot in here?”
1:32 – “I probably set it up wrong somehow.”
1:40 – “I’m so thirsty, and I have to pee, but I know as soon as I’m in the bathroom my phone’s going to ring, so I’d better just sit here some more…”
I got the call at 1:54, and was so convinced that I’d done something incorrectly, that I didn’t even mention the lateness, thankful to just have the appointment underway. That’s anxiety for you.
The doctor’s inquiries were reminiscent of the form I’d filled out the day before, with a few clarifying questions – mostly regarding other medications – when needed. Things took a left turn when the doctor refused to call in the prescription to the pharmacy of my choice. He impatiently explained I could change the pharmacy any time through my Leafwell account, but insisted I start the process at a location he felt would be better for me and refused to hear anything to the contrary.
I hung up the phone reexamining every word I said during the conversation, wondering where I’d gone wrong, slightly panicked about having to change my plans and figure out how to accommodate for the new pharmacy location.
This isn’t the first time a medical professional has been belittling and dismissive of what I had to say; it’s part of being a woman – particularly a queer woman – seeking medical care. If you are a woman and/or queer, you’ve undoubtedly lived what I’m talking about, and if you’re not, there’s a pretty good likelihood you’re currently thinking something along the lines of “Well, that’s never happened to me, you should learn how to advocate for yourself/find a different doctor/this sounds made up/ *insert garbage opinion about a personal experience I’ve never had here*”, which just goes to show how prevalent this problem really is in our society.
But here’s the difference between this time, and all the other times I’ve been gaslit by the system – Leafwell had my back. While typing up an email about my experience, I received an incoming message informing me that I’d been approved, and a few moments later, I had a text confirming my prescription had been called into the pharmacy that the doctor chose for me. I typed out my experience with measured detail and urgency and was relieved to hear back from a customer service representative within the span of a couple hours. She listened to my experience, took my concerns seriously, apologized for the physician’s behavior, and immediately corrected the pharmacy error.
The forgiving person in me hopes that particular doctor was just having an off-day, and that what I experienced wasn’t typical of them, but I’m so grateful I didn’t have to navigate the experience alone. Leafwell went above and beyond to help make sure I was comfortable and taken care of and worked with my chosen pharmacy – Capitol Wellness Solutions – to confirm my prescription has been received, and they were ready to enter me into their system.
And if you’re in the Baton Rouge area, consider Capitol Wellness Solutions to fill your prescription! Their online ordering and delivery options are ideal for anyone with a busy lifestyle, including insomnia-suffering, thoroughly uprooted Anxiety Queens ™ that stress about making it out to the pharmacy to pick up their prescription.