Could be New Zealand

Medical Cannabis and Cancer, a Call for Compassion.

Below is a story of  a woman who’s husband is now very pro Medicinal Cannabis.  After finding out she was essentially allergic to the usual pain killers, Opiates, (the morphine family of drugs) the doctors were left scratching their heads as to how to help make her comfortable in her fight against the big C.  I am aware of  a single Neuropathic pain patient getting fast tracked for the legal Medical Cannabis product, Sativex after finding out they could not tolerate Opiates, however this woman suffered a few years ago before Sativex was available.   Even now, if a cancer patient was in agony, it is doubtful they could jump through the hoops to get Sativex in time, and who would pay for it? at 1300 per month, most patients couldn’t afford it, and Pharmac/MOH isn’t going to spend potentially tens of thousands of dollars on a patient who is going to die anyway. So what is the solution? a packaged prepared product readily available for prescription… Imagine if a standardized Cannabutter was able to be dispensed and prescribed in the little 5gram tubs you get at hotels etc, or a cheaper alternative to Sativex that could be placed under the tongue for an identical effect?
My wife died in 2011 of metastatic breast cancer, she was 40.  She had all the conventional treatments, chemotherapy, radiotherapy, hormone therapy and surgery.  During this time we discovered she was allergic to morphine. She had 5 operations during this period and doctors tried every pharmaceutical flavour of morphine they had to no avail.  Morphine would make my wife very sick and it did not take the pain away.
In the nearly 5 years we were going through this we kept asking the doctors if there was anything else she could take for the pain and they insisted they were trying everything they could. No one told us cannabis could be used for pain relief.  It got to the point towards the end where we were out of options – conventional medicine had nothing left to offer my wife for her pain.
In desperation I began searching the internet for natural pain relief remedies and that’s when I came across information about cannabis oil. I discussed it with my wife and her GP and my wife decided she would try it.  As her primary care giver this is what I observed during her last days:
She was in alot of pain and very fatigued, she could not get any quality sleep. When she did fall asleep the pain was so bad that it would wake her up 10 – 15 minutes later and this become her cycle.
Being with someone you love as they go through this on an ongoing basis is heart wrenching.  The patient becomes very stressed and unable to relax and there is nothing you can do for them.
When we finally got the cannabis oil and administered it (one capsule a day) there was an tremendous change.  When she fell asleep she would sleep for 2-3 hours before the pain would wake her up again.  No-one could believe it but we all witnessed it.  She became less stressed and was able to relax, she also started to get her appetite back.  Unfortunately she passed away 10 days later.
What I find very difficult to understand is why none of the many doctors, nurses, and specialists we saw in the nearly 5 year period ever mentioned cannabis to us, they all knew my wife did not respond favorably to morphine and I’m fairly certain now that most of them would have known about the potential benefits of cannabis.
My wife was a wonderful person who worked hard and contributed much to our society during her life, she is much loved and is dearly missed by many – medical cannabis should have been an option and I hope in the near future it will be.  Some people are suffering needlessly.

Some of the perils of waitressing

John Key pulling hair has raised the issue of how waiting staff are treated and what they have to put up with.

Jess McAllen is a journalist who has worked for seven years in the ‘hospitality industry’, a job that often has to deal with inhospitable clientele. She recounts some of her experiences at Stuff in Waitressing has its perks, but

At the end of the day, or night, we’d exchange tales over our staff drinks. The finger snappers, ass slappers, arrogant yellers and creepy dwellers: stuff that comes with the territory of bustling around on sub-par pay to serve food and drink.

When our Prime Minister’s dealings with a ponytailed waitress came to light, the response was unanimous: that’s creepy.

Not unanimous, there are some defenders and excusers of Key’s behaviour.

McAllen gives examples of what she and other waiting staff have to deal with.

Only days into your waitressing job does a certain type of man surface. He wears a suit and has a pretty good job. His arm is of the snaking kind; his breath lingers of craft beer. I’m trying not to generalise too much but advertisers, bankers and businessmen were usually the worst.

The men-in-suits table would usually tip well but at the expense of your dignity. They were the ones who slid their hands onto your lower back, who made crude jokes, who left you their number on a receipt.

Perceptions of power plus money and booze can bring out the worst in rudeness with some people (I don’t think that applies to Key).

Waitresses tie their hair up, not only because it’s a health hazard to let it loose but because balancing trays and moving your head around means you can be pulled into a dark vortex when turning suddenly (as I learnt, aged 16, when my hair got stuck in a Burgerfuel milkshake machine).

But tying hair up (a ponytail is tied up hair) doesn’t prevent unwanted attention.

Pity the waitress with long frizzy hair, she’s dubbed Pippy Long Stockings for the night when she tries to plait it and the temptation for customers to tug is double.

So tied hair can be an occupational hazard

To make up for my passive approach, when a rude customer started yelling and I had a couple of tables in my section I’d take a few steps back. The customer would have to really project their obscenities. I’d change my body language to submissive, the rest of the section listening to my profusely apologising while some guy was cussing about his hollandaise dressing.

It’s fine (and important) to complain about food or service when justified but in a supposedly civil society it can be done civilly.

There’s no profession quite as disempowering as serving people food and drink. Wait staff often have 5 to 10 tables in their area that they are looking after and have timed food and drink orders precisely. When you’re carrying four plates, remembering two drink orders from separate tables because you can’t write it down on your note pad and someone starts clicking their fingers at you like you’re a dog, things get flustered.

A friend would collect numbers given to her on receipts, and hand them out to men asking for her number.

That could be interesting, but it could be occupationally hazardous. Pissing off arseholes could have repercussions if they are regular customers.

My creepiest customer was Charlie. He never pulled my hair but he would follow me around, knowing  and knew it caused me great discomfort – which seemed to double the fun. He came in every afternoon for a round of beers with a bunch of middle-aged men. He’d come up and talk to me while I was punching orders in the till. He’d go past all other staff to be served by me.

One time he asked: “do I scare you?” as the manager told him to leave me alone.

From then on he would repeatedly ask me that question, despite his friends telling him to leave it. When I saw him outside of work at a train station I felt petrified as he followed me onto Queen Street.

That’s very creepy. I hope one of Charlie’s friends reads this article and shows it to him. Perhaps there will be a few members of families with Charlies in them who read it and ask questions.

You get a social fix. When you’re in the zone, balancing trays, drinks and banter you feel like a comedian doing a great set – connecting on a high level with the audience like some jedi waiter. You can get lost in the job. Other days it’s miserable – hell on earth.

Anyone can have a bad day. It’s not nice when it’s others who deliberately make it a bad day.

“If you remember all four of our names by the end of dinner we’ll tip $50,” said one group of men over their $100 starter..

“Take a photo with us and we’ll give you $30,” declared a man downing whiskey during an All Blacks game at a Eden Park bar.

“I’ll give you ten dollars for everything you do right but take ten dollars of for everything you do wrong,” said another.

I wonder if men like that treat prostitutes the same. It wouldn’t be surprising if they were that sort of clientèle.

Drunk men grab your ass, touch your back, hug you. The tugging of a ponytail was usually brief and never long enough for fear but sparked annoyance and a sense of not owning myself.

My friend who waitressed for a catering company said her worst experience was when a guy at an awards evening tried to pull her top down as she leaned forward to pick up his plate.

Some of the worst arseholes are drunk leering touching grabbing arseholes.

Other friends have caught men trying to take pictures of them on their cellphones, have had men firmly plant their hand on their lower back while taking orders, been asked if they have piercings “down there”.

In their day jobs most of them probably manage to maintain professional relationships. In their social lives they reveal their personalities, albeit lubricate with booze.

As for being called babe, baby, honey and the ever common “girl”, it’s part of parcel of the job.

Offensive, demeaning.

If you’re the customer that repeatedly tugs a waitresses hair, smacks your hand on the bar, yells out ‘hey, hey, oi, you’ the bartender or waitress will certainly look – but only to know who to serve last. When you run the country, that’s a different story.

Yes, a different story. See Key “didn’t deliberately intend” to abuse power.

How should one mark ANZAC Day?

‘Akaroa’ at Kiwiblog:

How should one mark ANZAC Day?

Get up in the pre-dawn hours and stand with others at dawn to ‘Remember Them”?

Or, at home, silently and quietly reflect on the sacrifices made, the pointlessness of it all and how it all seems to go on and on.?

I don’t know. I’ll probably get blitzed for saying this, but I sometimes feel a bit put off by public gatherings and dawn services. To me, they always seem a bit contrived and orchestrated instead of being personal, private memorials.

And I’ve been to a few dawn ceremonies here and there – and adjourned to the RSA afterwards to have a glass of ‘gunfire’ followed by a few jars.

In Singapore we stood in Kranji Cemetery amongst the graves of the fallen POWs.

In Bangkok we stood at the cemetery embracing those who died on the Railway of Death.

But I guess the best way to honour those who fell would be to make sure nothing like it ever happens again.

But that’s a vain hope, IMHO.

(Pretty reflective time, ANZAC Day, eh?)

Yep, each to their own.

It shouldn’t be a vain hope – we should be bloody determined to avoid wide scale man-made disasters, and that includes getting sucked into them by other countries in other parts of the world.

Unfortunately sometimes not fighting at all is an extremely risky option, as the ISIS threat demonstrates.


An excellent comment from Alan Wilkinson:

If ANZAC day is to be politicised it should be to identify, remember and never repeat the human beliefs, misconceptions and mistakes that made WW1 an utter and awful disaster for humanity before, during and after.

To remember bravery, courage, loyalty and terrible loss is fine, but that should go along with recognising gross destructive stupidity from top leadership down to the ordinary women who sent white feathers to those who objected to joining the insanity it was.

Sums things up well.

We remember them

We will remember in our own ways.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

– For The Fallen, Laurence Binyon

– “The Last Post” ANZAC anthem by Band of the Royal Regiment of New Zealand Artillery.

The war memorial I attended every year as a child.

I haven’t been to an ANZAC service since my childhood. I remember in my own way.

Both my grandfathers served in France in the First World War. One was shot in the chest, the other got a medal on his chest. So many could have got either. Or both.

I sometimes think I was lucky my grandfathers survived the war, and then I realise that many of those who died never had the chance to have children or grandchildren. Both my parents were born after the war so if either of my grandfathers hadn’t survived I would never have been.

I can remember.

3 News promoting terrorism

3 News just re-broadcast some dick calling for would be terrorists to attack in New Zealand tomorrow. So they increased the audience from 2 on Youtube to 200,000 around the country. Unbelievably irresponsible.

@danylmc @ShakingStick “Mark Taylor’s video was taken down by YouTube soon after 3 News approached the Prime Minister about it.”

Herald and Whale Oil defend Glucina

NZ Herald and Cameron Slater are unusual allies their support of Rachel Glucina and her handling of the waitress at the centre of John Key’s hair pulling.

And they are fairly lonely in trying to defend what looks like some very shoddy journalism, something Slater usually hammers the Herald for – in this case journalist connections seem to take precedence over consistency.

The Herald had a torrid day on social media yesterday, battered by their handling of the hair pulling issue in Waitress: ‘I felt NZ should know’ where via PR consultant and Herald gossip columnist Rachel Glucina they dump heavily on the waitress.

This had been promoted by editor Shayne Currie:

Exclusive: In tomorrow’s , meet the waitress at the centre of – and she explains why she went public

Attention was given to the blurred lines between the roles of ‘PR consultant’ and ‘Herald reporter’. There was strong criticism on social media and by other journalists, including suggestions it warranted a Press Council complaint.

Brent Edwards from Radio New Zealand tweeted:

@nzherald have confirmed a breach of journalistic standards in What will it do next?

More in ‘Strong stuff': the media’s role in #ponytailgate

The Herald went onto a somersault mode of damage control.

Herald statement

Shayne Currie, Editor of NZ Herald has released a statement on how the story was reported:

That’s at the bottom of Waitress: ‘I felt NZ should know’ .

Except that the currently published statement is apparently the fourth and significantly edited version as the Herald desperately and obviously too quickly tried to stem the criticism.

Despite all this Whale Oil seems to be trying to paint the best possible picture of the Herald coverage and Glucina.

Whale Oil’s Face of the Day

While Cameron Slater frequently and strongly criticises the Herald he seems to still have some friendly journalists. Or thinks he does. He has teamed up with Glucina on stories in the past.

“Just a bit of fun” – buffoon or arsehole?

John Key has apparently repeated claiming the hair pulling was “just a bit of fun” (reported on the Paul Henry Show).

He has already been quoted saying it was “horsing around”, an unfortunate description of pony tail pulling.

At Kiwiblog, where there has been a lot of excuse making for Key’s behaviour, Weihana suggested:

Seems more buffoon-ish than arsehole-ish.

One of Key’s traits is being a bit buffoonish, and some find it endearing.

The problem here is that one person’s buffoon can be another person’s arsehole.

It’s not uncommon for bullies to claim they are just having a bit of fun, just horsing around, just being a buffoon. However the targets of their attention may think otherwise, and often do.

The victim of Key’s hair pulling has made it clear she didn’t think it was fun.

And buffoons who persist can become arseholes to those on the receiving end.

This is something that Key hasn’t yet shown he understands. And neither apparently do his defenders.

I think this is something Key has to address. If he does he could repair some of the damage. If he doesn’t the damage could and probably will deepen.

Many people are ‘weirded out” by what Key seems to have a habit of doing. If they remain weirded out then Key’s chances of being kicked out by voters will grow.

Some people say this issue will quickly fade away. It will, partially. But there’s a very good chance it will be a nail or two in National’s last term coffin.

McCready meddling

‘Serial litigant’ Graham McCready is again trying to meddle in things that really aren’t his business. When I heard Martyn Bradbury was involved in the hair pulling revelations I groaned. McCready jumping on the attention seeking bandwagon is uber-groan territory.

Newstalk ZB report:

Private prosecutor Graham McCready is now filing a complaint with the Human Rights Commission, and plans to take it to court, claiming it was sexual harassment.

“This incident is too important,” McCready said, “too much in the public interest for that not to happen.”

“It could distress her but we’ll deal with that as we go along.”

Too important for whom?

Too bad if it distresses ‘her’, this looks all about an opportunist attention seeker.

Taking it to the Human Rights Commission would be highly ironic considering how McCready seems to be ignoring the victim’s rights and is promoting his own interests.

Claiming it was sexual harassment seems out of order to me. The incidents happened in a very public place, with his wife present. I don’t see any sexual connotations.

McCready’s meddling is likely to do far more harm than good, especially to the victim of the hair pulling. It loks like selfish grandstanding and an attempt at a political hit job.

McCready is making a circus out of something that has already blown up far more than is warranted.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 4,003 other followers