Oh crap. I forgot what I was going to write. I hate it when that happens…
I use marijuana- legally- it is prescribed to me. I have several chronic pain conditions that require pain management and marijuana works for me better than many (and by many I mean MANY) presciption pharmaceuticals I have tried in the past to manage pain conditions like Fibromyalgia. Fibro as we so often call it because who has the damn time to say Fi-Bro-My-al-Gia whenever anyone asks- bears many symptoms. I have incessant pain in my neck. Pain that prevents me from looking down for any extended period of time without searing pain that reaches up through my skull and out my ass- literally my tail bone so yeah, my ass and leaves me bedridden for a period of time. Fibro also causes my speech to slur, my muscles in my legs and back to contract so bad I vibrate. My fiancée often rubs my legs therapeutically to help release the tension and spasms that sometimes prevent me from walking without a cane or just plain walking. I also suffer from osteo arthritis in the majority of my joints. These are the days I don’t take stairs. I have endometriosis, an endocrine system disorder that results in many cysts to form around my reproductive area, spreading out towards my vital organs. In my case, I have cysts around my ovaries, uterus, bladder and bowel. This causes inflammation and cramping, nausea, IBS, and my personal favorite- vomiting. I was also diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome which goes hand in hand with Fibro. I have degenerative disc disease and scoliosis, basically, my back and spine are a mess. In additional to all that, I have had a lifelong battle with depression and crippling anxiety and was recently diagnosed with PTSD. I have no support from my family, despite having four parents. I have few people I call friends, but they’re fantastic friends and I would not change them for anything.
I at one point had trusted many (many) doctors with helping to control or at least manage my shit-storm of symptoms when I found myself being basically poisoned. I was taking SOO many medications for sleep, anxiety, depression, arthritis, endometriosis, fibromyalgia. “Try these antiflammatories”, “try these medications”, “try these anti depressants”, not realizing they were destroying my liver in the process and making me massively overweight. I decided to take a different approach and tried cannabis at the age of 27 for the first time. It took my pain away, it took away my nausea, I felt better. Through a lengthy process of research, at this point I studied Nutrition and Wellness and despite not becoming certified in the end I learned a lot and it opened a lot of doors for me in nutrition and fitness. I lost 125 pounds, was teaching classes at a local fitness club, worked for a fitness chain and then had to leave due to surgery and illness.
My illnesses have since stripped away my ability to work a proper job. It has taken away my independence, my money as I cannot work which means I am poor. My self esteem, and self worth. I have lost family, many friends and I am divorced. I have at many times felt completely hopeless, trying to make ends meet, trying to feed myself.
I now live with my fiancée and I don’t know what I’d do without her.
Oh well surly you must qualify for disability then?
Not so fast. I must first meet humpteen thousand qualifications first. What they don’t tell you is that most people are denied several times prior to being accepted- so in the mean time… They don’t tell you that they will also look at your partner’s income and although it’s not a well paying job by any means, it BARELY keeps a roof over our heads, and we live in a tiny, 140 year old, poorly maintained apartment in a sketchy neighbourhood- basic food (nothing fancy like a bunch of fresh produce and fancy meat cuts)- Internet and phone service but it will be too much as I’ve had applied with two other prior partners in the past. They also don’t tell you that in order to qualify you have to see and have documents from specialists of all kinds, psychiatrists, your GP- and currently I have none of these- since moving to New Brunswick. The doctor situation is astonishing here, meaning- there is NO ONE accepting new patients. You also have to write a novel explaining your symptoms, your medications, everything you have done and tried AND prove that is also “Severe and Prolonged” and affects your ability to work and apparently that despite everything I have mentioned to you I did not qualify. Then you can appeal- takes up to a year. Then you have to wait another 6 mos or a year to re- apply. It’s a nightmare for someone with chronic illness. It’s not as definitive as say cancer, or being paralyzed. It’s a struggle.
We love each other, but we struggle. Just with finances.
The point I’m trying to make despite my digressions, was that I use medical marijuana. I chose this option over opiates. That’s a whole different discussion there but we all know that it can be useful in short term situations, but for chronic pain, with no end in sight, opiates do not work and can easily become physically addictive. I have witnessed this first hand with friends and family. It’s not for me.
Marijuana is the only thing that relieves the majority of my symptoms, it may not be for everyone, as everyone is unique, but it works for me. It helps me to relieve physical symptoms, which allow me to at least do housework, cook, walk my dog engage with my partner and sleep well. The only side effects I get are sometimes the munchies, thirst, the giggles, and I often say things like “Alright, alright, alright” in my best Matthew McConaghy voice.
It also sometimes allows me to be creative and write. It helps my thought process my brain is often full of “Fibro fog”. This is the place where simple sentences, cognition and general conversation can be a challenge.
I’m not alone, many Fibro patients are beginning to try cannabis products. It comes in many forms now. You can smoke it, vape it, eat it, drink it, take it via flower or bud, capsule, oil, dabs, shatter, you can even rub it on your skin and bath in it. The best part is that NO ONE has ever died from marijuana. You can’t even overdose on it. By overdose I mean die unless medical intervention comes in.
It even elevates my mood. I’ve been known to dance in my kitchen to music at times.
The government keeps it illegal. This is also a topic for another day but when you research it and if it’s something you think you’d like to try, always research it first, research it at length before you approach your doctor, bring articles if you must, I had to in order to finally get my point across after a few years of asking. But yes when you research it, you may understand the “politics” behind marijuana. I’ll post a few links to some great articles below.
Another side effect is that sometimes you start out writing a humour piece and end up writing a pro marijuana legalization piece because you initially forgot what you were going to say.
Contact your doctor today and tell them they suck.
Live Humbly, Be Charitiable, Live Graciously.
Articles of Interest
Journal of American Medicine: http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=2338266
Web MD: http://www.webmd.com/pain-management/news/20100830/marijuana-relieves-chronic-pain-research-show
Medical Jane: https://www.medicaljane.com/2014/06/13/chronic-pain-and-the-theraputic-benefits-of-medical-cannabis/
“3d Pain Relief Concept Illustration Design” by David Castillo Dominici Xourtesy of freedigitalphotos.net
Types of Medical Cannabis: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medical_cannabis
“Marijuana: Safer than Peanuts” http://medicalcannabiscultivation.com/medical-marijuana-card/
“Pills Bottle With The Prescription On White Background” Courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net