Multiple Sclerosis & Sleep Issues: How I Got My “Zzzzzs” Back

Problems with falling asleep and staying asleep haunt many living with MS (and other chronic illnesses.)  Over the years, I have tried numerous sleep aids (both over the counter and prescription strength,) given plenty of herbal remedies a shot and often times resorted to a big stiff drink just before bed in the hopes of getting a decent night’s sleep. 

I have to admit, I was a huge fan of Ambien.  I never experienced any of the sleep walking horror stories that float around the internet.  It worked pretty much text book perfect for me.  I would down a pill about a half hour before bedtime, I would manage to fall asleep about 30 minutes after my head hit the pillow (which in my world is record breaking,) I would sleep for 7.5-8 hours and wake feeling wonderfully rested.  And if, god forbid, one of my kids woke in the middle of the night with a stomach ache or ear-infection, well that was no problem.  I could pop right out of my Ambien-induced stupor and be in Super Mom mode in mere seconds.  It all sounds good, and it was until it began to not work quite as well.  Still no horror stories, I just didn’t always stay asleep and no longer felt well rested in the morning.  

Once the chronic pain arrived, my sleep patterns were, even more, a mess.  I dreaded bedtime because I knew it would take me hours to fall asleep and that more than likely just a few hours is all I would manage to squeak in before the pain became too overwhelming and I would be wide awake again, wishing I could sleep.  I would get into those vicious mind games of thinking about how tired i am going to be, thinking that I really NEED to sleep, panic building as the hours tick by and I am well aware that I am still awake. 

So when I began my MMJ Adventures and began exploring using cannabis for my MS related issues, I was super excited to hear from many that it provides them with a great night of sleep.  I figured since all I am doing is going to bed, I wasn’t so much concerned with whether or not it “messed with my head” (aka made me feel high) but more that it could bring sleep into my nights a bit faster than the usual 2+ hour delay and provide me with a solid evening of rest.

One of the things that I have discovered is just how different each strain can be.  Each one has its own set of “characteristics” that I imagine are somewhat unique to the specific user.  One strain that can help someone feel focused and on track can make someone else feel jittery and scatter brained.  It all has to do with our own bodies and chemistry make-up, but my guess is that it also has to do with each of our own experiences, perspectives, and expectations.  I have given a few different strains auditions to be my sleeping partner and as I mentioned in the past Bubba Kush became my go to for a nighttime strain.  It was the first one that I found that fully relaxed me, put my mind in a peaceful, kind space and allowed me to get a great night’s sleep, waking well rested and ready to start the day.

But, after that first try (Optimum Cartridge; Bubba Kush) I hit a dry spell!  My beloved pot shop The Evergreen Market didn’t have it in stock – in any vape cartridge:(  So I began searching for a replacement sleep strain.  I tried #9lbhammer, #grapeape and #afghanihash. All were “adequate” – they quieted my mind while keeping the pain at bay as I fall asleep.  BUT none of them brought out what I called the “beautiful calm” that Bubba Kush provided.  

As the months went on, and more and more time had elapsed since my first “meeting” with Bubba, I began to wonder if the memory of that “beautiful calm” was all in my head (haha)  Was it really all that I remembered? That much better?  And would I ever find out?

Fast forward to last week, and a visit to The Evergreen Market.  While perusing the glass cabinet displaying all the different company’s vape cartridges and strains, something caught my eye.  Wait?  What?  Were my eyes playing tricks on me?  There in a package/product that I had never seen was #Bubbakush!

My beloved BUBBA!

Come home with me!!!

But alas, it was not quite as simple as grab and go – the new product was IndigoPro (an “Advanced Vapor System”.)  Needless to say I was more than slightly hesitant to invest in yet another vape pen (I’ve purchased a few already, and all still function, so reluctant to spend more money on something that I don’t NEED.) PLUS, it was all “high tech” and “fancy” (to be honest, a bit intimidating).  BUT….it was BUBBA.  And I missed Bubba – or at least what I remembered Bubba was like (something to be said about absence makes the heart grow fonder?)  I really wanted to find out if what I remembered as being something special was that special.  If that feeling of feeling overwhelmingly happy, and content with myself and my life was actually something that could be recreated or if it was just a memory.  

 

Having already established a good level of trust in the folks at Evergreen Market, I take their opinions and advice to heart and so when James (IG BeardedBhomber) told me that this new system was “really good,” I paired that with my NEED for Bubba and decided to bite the bullet and buy the fancy dancy new contraption.  

And all I can say is – I am really, really happy that I listened to James and bought the IndigoPro.  Not only because I have my Bubba back and have found out that my “beautiful calm” is actually a thing and that it can be replicated, but because this vape system is pretty damn amazing.  Although weird to begin with since there is no on/off button, no buttons of any sort, how it works and how well it works is really pretty amazing.  The cartridges are little “nubs” with a magnet on one end, and the mouthpiece on the other.

****(On a side note, I LOVE that they have color coded the tips of these – makes it SO much easier to know what strain I am selecting, Many of the cartridges I have look identical and it nearly impossible to know what strain it is.  I have tried many things to try and keep track – nail polish and Sharpie both rub off, so currently I have them in small baggies with the strain written on the outside to avoid confusion and taking the wrong strain.)****

Back to the vape system itself.  I have no idea how the much-dreaded technology works, but what it provides is a clean, measured and consistent hit each time I inhale.  It does this vibrating thing when you begin to inhale – and what I have learned is that it doesn’t vibrate if the cartridge is empty (or if the oil is on the side of the cartridge as opposed to at the end.)  I mentioned to another employee that often times with my “normal” vape pens/cartridges I can take two similar inhales and one will result in a significant amount of smoke when I exhale and the other will render little to none.  I was informed that these are referred to as “ghost hits.”  Who knew that there was a name for it and that it happens to others?!?!  I always just assume it is just me.  There is still so much to learn!:)  I also really like the small case that the vape system comes in.  It makes storing and organizing the cartridges super easy and very portable.  Although this purchase was made solely to try and reunite with Bubba, I am thoroughly impressed with IndigoPro and I am excited to find out what other strains they have available.

As for my reunion with Bubba – it was/is everything I had hoped for, and more.  It doesn’t take much (especially with the IndigoPro) – just a small puff or two before bed and I am ready to head off to “lala” land.  What I love the most about this particular strain is how it makes me feel.  It turns off all the self-criticism and negative thoughts that float around in my head all the time.  It allows me to look in the mirror and see the me that I remember -and I’m not referring to LOOKING younger, just simply recognizing myself and seeing more than the larger than normal size of my body (thanks to pain medications) and the me I usually see through the fog and pain of the MS.  I allow myself to let go of the disappointments and failures I am sure are going to follow me forever and think of the good.

 

**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 & Sleep Issues: How I Got My “Zzzzzs” Back”

  1. I need to look into that for anxiety and my stomach mostly. Nothing seems to work for nausea and I’ve had it pretty continually for over week now. (No I’m not pregnant) lol I need to barrow my husbands balls and go!

  2. I wish the state of indiana would pass the law already…2- 3 hours worth of sleep takes its toll on me..doctor finally gave me ambian but scared to take it because I have two small kids…nero wouldn’t prescribe they told me to call family doctor…

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