When I first decided I was going to use alternative health methods to work on taking back my health, it was while I was weaning off of the 16 pharmaceutical medications that I had been on for two plus years. When I say I was on 16 medications, I want to point out that many of them were heavy-duty medications including percocet and morphine for pain, gabapentin for neurological symptoms, prednisone for inflammation, valium and xanax for anxiety, cymbalta for depression, and many more. I started with medicine to specifically treat the diseases that I had, and then more and more were added because of the resultant symptoms of being on those medications such as severe anxiety and depression. Also, I am specifically mentioning these 7, because many people are familiar with these medications. The medicines I was on for psoriatic arthritis, heart disease, and myasthenia gravis, people may not be that familiar with. The medicines I mention here also are well-known to be difficult to come off of. When weaning off of all of these medications, each one has withdrawal symptoms. Some are physical, some are psychological, and some are both physical and psychological.
So, I had come off of all of these 7, plus 3 more, one after another over about a 3 month period. I experienced withdrawal symptoms that were difficult and frightening at times. But I was determined that I needed to see how my body could function without all of this medicine in it. I had done a lot of reading, and I learned that my body could learn to heal itself under the right conditions. I am not recommending this for anyone else, I am simply telling my story.
Additionally, I decided I was going to do this after several doctors told me that I could not come off of any of the medicines I was on. I made this very personal and independent choice anyway. I did this because I believed that when I was placed on so much medicine it was to treat the acute phase of a disease that they thought I might die from. But now it was 2 years later, and I was still here on the planet. Since I had lived, I didn’t want to just exist on medication. I wanted to get better, and I wanted to live well. If I was going to live well, I couldn’t be bulldozed on all that medication.
It was in the middle of this withdrawal process that I began to investigate medical marijuana. I learned that this one medicine, could decrease anxiety and depression, decrease pain, decrease inflammation, and decrease neurological symptoms including eye problems and neuropathy issues. This one medicine could do all of the things that the 7 medications I listed earlier were supposed to be doing. Except, it wouldn’t have all of the awful side effects that these other medications had. And it is good for the body. I thought, sign me up! Then I began to have some other thoughts. I thought about the fact that I hadn’t used marijuana since a little recreational use earlier in my life. I thought about all of the stigma attached to its use. I thought about the smoking aspect of it. I had smoked tobacco on and off in my life, did I really want to start smoking anything again?
As I thought about the stigma, I had to do some soul-searching. Could I live with the fact that people were going to make assumptions about me as a marijuana user, even if it was for medical purposes? I answered yes to that question. Then, when I investigated how you use medical marijuana, I soon found out that you don’t have to smoke it. You can vaporize it, use it in a tincture, or even cook it into food. This was sounding better and better. I also realized that it would help me through the rest of the withdrawal process. That would be a relief after months of dealing with the symptoms myself with the help of a close friend. It hadn’t been easy.
The next step was to investigate how to become a legal medical marijuana user. This took a lot of digging to find out what to do. I lived in MA, a state where it is legal for medicinal use, and yet no one seemed to know how to become legal. My doctor said he didn’t prescribe it, and would never prescribe it because the clinic he works at is partially federally funded. I kept digging. I really thought this could help me, and I wanted to try it. I finally found an independent clinic that I could go to, be examined by a physician, and obtain a legal card. I had to pay out of my pocket to obtain this, $220. After receiving my legal card, I then learned that there was no where that I could go to, to obtain the medical marijuana. The clinic that I obtained the card at couldn’t give me a referral anywhere. There were no dispensaries open. By word of mouth I found a legal caregiver. This person came to my home, and reviewed my symptoms. He then brought me samples to try. I then chose what strains I wanted to use together with him, and again, had to pay out of my pocket to obtain the medication. The only other option was to grow it myself. This was no option for me with my medical conditions. The relationship with the caregiver, and his true caring and desire to help me really struck me. It was like having your family physician come to the house. He soon got to know my situation and my family, and became an integral part of my recovery process. He still is today.
While a costly endeavor, medical marijuana saved me from the horrible withdrawal symptoms of pharmaceutical medications. It also treated the symptoms of my illnesses, immediately decreased my pain, inflammation, and anxiety. In short, medical marijuana was key in starting to really take back my health, move more easily and allowing me to start to exercise. It works with my body and is not toxic in any way. I prefer to use tincture, cannabis oil, and cook it into my food, but I do some smoking as well. I am now only on two medications. Insulin for my diabetes, and medical marijuana. It is my hope that very soon I will be able to come off of the insulin too, because I have lost 51 pounds from practicing good nutrition, not bogging my body down with a lot of medications and from exercising 4x per week. The strains of medical marijuana I use, do not make me hungry or sedate me during the day. They actually help to energize me and keep me going. I do have some strains that I can use at night if I have trouble sleeping. It is nice to be able to make those decisions for myself and use what I need to at the time.
If you have medical problems, do not rule out use of medical marijuana out of fear or what others will think if it is legal in your state. It might just be the treatment option that saves you from physical ailments and helps you to move forward. I know it did for me.
I am committed to forwarding the legalization of medical marijuana across the United States. All people should have access to all treatment options. I want everyone to have their health in their own hands.
Take back your health America.
Wendy Love Edge
http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/take-prescription-drug?source=c.em&r_by=11354194. Please sign our petition to take the prescription drug advertisements off of television