Maxine, a grandmother, ordained minister and Buffalo resident, has never been the same since she was injured on the job in 1995. On that fateful day, she was working with mentally and physically challenged individuals when a participant became combatant and flipped Maxine over. When Maxine came crashing to the ground, the resulting muscle damage caused swelling that displaced spinal disks. After months of rest, physical therapy and other treatments, doctors recommended surgery.
She says of the surgical procedure, “All the nerves in my body were pulled apart and put back together.” As a result she suffers constant neuropathic pain throughout the right side of her body. She says, “I wouldn’t wish this upon anyone, I wouldn’t wish it upon my worst enemy.”
The medications that she is prescribed cause her nausea, itching, forgetfulness, imbalance and compromised brain function. She worries about becoming addicted to her prescribed pain medication, oxycodone, a powerful opiate. According to Maxine, “My doctors say they can’t do anything for me.”
Maxine knows that medical marijuana would help her manage her pain, the nausea she experience from her medications, and her insomnia without the significant side-effects of her current medications. However, Maxine will not use medical marijuana as long as it remains illegal. It is for this reason that she advocates for safe access to medical marijuana, a medicine that is vital to seriously debilitated New Yorkers like herself.