Cost, delays, red tape can make it hard to get help
Over-the-counter pain medication had become an enemy for Chris Breyfogle before the Marine veteran met Dr. Justin Davis.
The 1,600 milligrams of ibuprofen he took daily led to Barrett’s esophagus, a condition in which the esophagus lining thins, and diverticulosis, a condition that causes small, bulging pouches to develop in the digestive tract.
The alcohol Breyfole used to numb the memories of two combat tours in Iraq made everything worse.
In March, Breyfogle, like more than 2 million other Americans, decided that he was tired of waiting for answers and made the decision to seek medical cannabis to provide relief from years of pain caused by his grocery list of medical disorders.
“I have lived with chronic pain, PTSD and anxiety for quite some time,” Breyfogle said. “And I’ve medicated with alcohol. I’ve medicated with a never-ending litany of NSAIDS and other pills that have, frankly, destroyed my body.”
It took Breyfogle hours of Google searching, he said, to find a doctor in Gainesville that could help.
The Florida Department of Health lists 20 doctors in Alachua County who are qualified to order medical cannabis for their patients, but they aren’t necessarily easy to find. And, of those, only 12 are accepting new patients.
“It’s not like you Google ‘medical marijuana doctor’ and they just pop out at you,” he joked.
Florida Marijuana Doctors, Davis’ private practice, is the one Breyfogle felt most comfortable trusting.
It wasn’t an easy decision to seek the help, but he said he knew it had to be done.
“I had to come to a decision that, OK, I am now on these medications because I was on all of these other medications. This is a problem. This is something that we need to look at. I literally had to have a conversation with myself because there