Multiple Sclerosis & Cannabis: My MMJ Adventure Continues

I had an interview for a job today!!! Whether or not this particular opportunity pans out, I am just excited about finding my place in the cannabis industry. After being laid off at the end of 2015 my chronic pain got so severe that I really believed that I would never be able to hold a job outside the home again. BUT the relief I have found with cannabis has been life altering and I feel as if I am LIVING life again and not just existing and trying to survive through each day! I finally have something to be passionate about!

I guess I am going to have to break it to the kids that momma has become a “pot pusher”!!!

It’s hard to believe that we are entertaining into the last stretch of summer – it always goes way too fast.  This year, in particular, I have enjoyed everything that we have done (camping, fishing, more camping, a trip to Martha’s Vineyard) and I am very aware of the fact that I have cannabis to thank for these amazing experiences – because that is exactly what I did….experience things again, instead of just going through the motions.

 

When I first walked into my local dispensary (The Evergreen Market) nine months ago, I was skeptial and nervous.  Skeptical that I would find someone that could assist me with my medical needs (since we are a recreational state, I figured it would be filled with people looking to get stoned.)  Nervous because I felt that cannabis was my last chance of finding relief from the pain.  I had tried a shit ton of drugs prescribed by my doctors.  I found some relief with each new drug I tried, but eventually, their effectiveness would diminish, which meant either taking MORE or finding a different medicine.  Eventually, nothing helped, and  I had resorted to drinking every night to try and dampen the pain, even just slightly to make it through all my “grown-upping” and motherly duties.  I had a full melt down one night – telling Shawn that I thought I had a drinking problem.  His response was “you don’t have a drinking problem, you have a pain problem.”  I couldn’t see it at the time because I was too far down in the ditch of the pain and depression – but he was absolutely right!  Now that marijuana is helping, drinking has once again become something that I do occasionally – in moderation – instead of the constant, nightly attempt at balancing between lessening the pain and not consuming too much and getting drunk.  I didn’t drink to get drunk – just to numb the pain, because it did work.  I could find myself bordering on a full “10” on the pain scale come 4 in the afternoon, as I was facing making dinner, tackling the laundry and cleaning up the kitchen and a glass of wine or a beer would almost instantly bring the pain down to a more manageable 6 or 7, but I would have to continue drinking to keep the pain at bay.  I would wake up every morning dehydrated and feeling the fog of the previous evening’s drinks lingering in my mind.  This on top of the usual MS bullshit that is ever present – it was a vicious cycle of trying to survive the pain, and then dealing with the negative implications that come with chronic drinking.

The most significant differences between my self-medicating with alcohol and using cannabis have been:

  1. I am able to medicate at the start of my day and have control over how much I need depending on my pain level. No matter how bad the pain was, I never resorted to drinking during the day.  I would wait until I knew for a fact that I was done with any and all obligations and commitments for the day – that I was home for the night, before pouring myself a drink.  I never once had a drink and got behind the wheel and to drive.  Irrelevant of how bad the pain was, that was a risk I would never take – but it meant that my access to pain relief was extremely limited; only in the evenings and only when I KNEW that I wouldn’t have to drive anywhere.
  2. I have found strains that help with the pain, but don’t mess with my mind at all – which means that I can have the morning puff or two and not have any reservations about getting in the car and heading out for the day.  I have learned that I can medicate throughout the day, and be a fully functioning and contributing member of society.
  3. I was embarrassed about my drinking, I didn’t want to drink every night, but it was the only way I could make it through.  Contrary to this, I am excited about my cannabis use – it has been a good thing for me and my body and that change in attitude has put me in a better place.  Going from being ashamed to being proud of the steps I am taking to improve my life definitely puts me in a much better place mentally.
  4. I am finding that I am thinking about my body much more.  When the pain was a constant companion, and then I put on the weight (thanks to one lovely prescription drug) and I faced each day with the sluggishness that came from the drinking, my mind seemed to shut down in regards to thinking about any and all functions of the body.  It hurt too much, I was full of shit, puffy and constantly in a fog.  None of which were things I wanted to think about – so I just ignored them, and my body.  I am slowly beginning to feel good about myself again.  I have started to pay attention to my bodies reaction to the different things I eat, recognizing when I am overdoing it and stopping myself for a break, and again enjoying getting exercise and stretching my body.  These are things I didn’t do for too long.

I am learning to trust cannabis.  I am no longer afraid of getting something that will “mess me up” after one or two puffs – because that has been a lingering concern for me, that one day I will try something that will bring back the feelings of paranoia and panic that I attribute to my few earlier episodes with marijuana.  It’s not to say that there aren’t strains/products that would, but I have learned enough about the different types of plants (Sativa and Indica) and have tried enough strains and products to make educated decisions. I have learned to ask questions and ask for recommendations or suggestions.  It is a work in progress – but “work” that is so well worth it!

I had the opportunity to do a follow-up interview with Ian Jessop over at Cannabis Health Radio 

CLICK HERE to listen

Episode 195

USING CANNABIS TO TREAT HER MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS HAS BEEN LIFE ALTERING

 

and HERE to listen to part one:

Episode 73

SHE’S EXPERIMENTING WITH CANNABIS FOR HER MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS

 

Having given it a listen, I had a few follow up thoughts.  When I say “life altering” I don’t mean that there was some HUGE change over night – or that the pain is gone – but instead it has been small changes, little by little, day by day, I feel better and I feel that for the first time I might have the upper hand.

“Using cannabis, I feel as if I have some control over the pain, and how it is going to affect my life and what I do.   Living with a disease that is so random and unpredictable, the idea of having control over ANYTHING is an awesome change. These small increments add up to all the positive things I see in my life and future now.”

 

**This is my personal blog and all opinions are my own.  I am not a doctor, nor do I play one here on my blog. The content here is for informational and entertainment purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of medical professionals.  Be sure to contact your doctor before trying any new medications/vitamins/supplements, physical activities or therapies **

 

 

 

 

7 Replies to “Multiple Sclerosis & Cannabis: My MMJ Adventure Continues”

  1. Always enjoy your stories! I’m WA resident, legal state. also have MS pain, my Neurologist says YES to cannabis for my pain. Awesome doctor. What strain do find most helpful during the day? I like Bubba Kush for night-time, but haven’t yet found something right for my day-time. Thanks for any guidance you can give. Susan

    1. Susan I am in WA too. (Seattle area). I love Super Skunk and hybrid Girl Scout cookie for day. Trying to find sativa that doesn’t make me paranoid. So far like great white shark and maybe jack herer. Still on fence on that one:)

    2. Susan, I found that lavender is my go to strain for everything. Pain, fatigue, insomnia, blood pressure and more. I tried white lavender because not many carry lavender, it also worked great, but lavender def. A Wonder strain.

  2. I live in Mississippi. I bought the cbd/thc drops when I was in Colorado. So, when I came back to Mississippi and had to go and do my labs at the doctor, of course I knew what would show up. So I go to my doctor appointment and the doctor comes in. She says, well first of all, you say you have a hard time remembering. Your test was positive for thc. That causes memory problems. You shouldn’t be using this at all bc it’s illegal. I can’t tell you how or not to self medicate bc that’s your choice, but it is illegal. So you should NOT do it. So, am I back to hurting all of the time again? Bc doctors DO NOT like helping those who really need it for pain.

    1. :(. Sorry to hear that Kim! I can imagine it is more than a big frustrating:(. Hopefully more and more doctors will get on board with recommending cannabis to patients. There is actually a new start up website coming soon that is going to try and help patients find doctors in their area that are open to MMJ.

would LOVE to know what you think...