120 Reasons: Leanne

Leanne_cropped.jpeg

I recently lost my mother due to a blood disorder, MDS. Because of this, any type of virus impacted on her health. She was 72 years old and the treatment was chemo, doctors made it very clear that she would not benefit from chemo and it would be best not to put more stress on her body. My mother was constantly in pain with her arthritis in her knees, hips and shoulder. She was also having tummy problems. Because of her blood disorder any virus could be severe. In the last two months of her life she kept complaining of back pain and was admitted to hospital. The doctors prescribed her with opioids to help with the pain. My mother’s appetite slowly started to decline. She became confused and wasn’t her usual self and also slept most of the time. Whānau were very worried. She then got pneumonia and things started to decline with her health.

Whānau watched a documentary which talked about the cannabis oil and the benefits for the sick and those in pain. Whānau were curious and interested in trying a natural pain relief option that would not make her confused and not hungry. The doctor said no because it’s not legal in NZ but he said he could see our reasoning why we could see oil being a better option. My whānau thought it would have helped her, but can’t be truly sure because she was unable to do so. Slowly my mother deteriorated, not being able to eat and swallow her medication, not enough oxygen to her brain. The doctors couldn’t do anything else for her but to make her pain free until she passes. Three days after their decision she was non responsive, wasn’t able to pass urine. My whānau were very upset as we sat around to comfort her with aroha, and whanaungatanga and until her last breath on the fourth day. I can’t help to think if we could have done more.

If it were legal the cannabis oil would have helped her. It would have given her more of a life. She would have had an appetite, pain relief and been much more happier. That’s why I believe that if it was legal she could have had more time in her lifetime. Maori believe in natural remedies for health. Why is legalising medicinal cannabis not supported in NZ as a bi-cultural country?

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