This has most definitely been the year of the flower in the United States! Just this last election, 2 more states and DC legalized cannabis consumption for those over 21. CBD was given “orphan drug” status by the FDA to treat glioma (http://www.zacks.com/stock/news/145191/insys-therapeutics-cannabidiol-gets-orphan-drug-status), and the government “says” it will stay out of our medical marijuana laws. People are fleeing their home states and becoming “refugees” for this flower, and more citizens are getting fed up with the side effects of their pharma.
Change is never easy, but I can really feel the change in the air! People have been messaging me constantly since I began my journey – people I would have never guessed would be interested! There is a general unrest among patients that I am very happy to see! They are learning, and finally from other patients! (Not that there is anything wrong with the counter culture, but I personally could care less how “high” the strain gets me, I want to know if it will help my neuropathy.) This is exciting shit! (Sorry for the language, but it is truly that exciting!)
So let’s recap my year. In February-Ish, I said “screw it” to opiates. Finding the only ones I can take became SUCH a chore, it wasn’t worth it. Going through withdrawal every month is not an option for me, plus that sucks balls badly. (Yes, I am feeling snarky today – you are warned.) My ultimate goal was to get off the opiates, and see if it helped the disease any at all. You hear so much propaganda from both sides of this issue, and it gets really hard to cut through that cheese. So experiment it was. When this started, I was not sleeping more than 2.5-3 hours a night, and only every other-ish night – with spells up to 7 days. My bottom BP # was almost always 95-115. I weighed quite a bit and was in a size 18. Walking was a weird hobble and could not persist more than 200ft. before I had issue. Last winter I was so tired, I basically hibernated – getting tons of concerned messages from friends and family. Soooooooooooooooo………where am I now?
1. I am not in remission. Just incase you didn’t read that – I AM NOT IN REMISSION OR EVEN CLOSE. I truly don’t want anyone to think that I am miraculously cured.
However, and that is a HUGE however – I can now occasionally actually take advantage of our park systems and go for wooded hobbles lasting some time! Granted, I can’t really do much the next few days – but I am at least back to that point! It is very depressing and degrading to someone so young to be SO VERY NEEDY AND DEPENDENT. Y’all have no idea how HUGE this truly is. I enjoyed Arches National Park and the Grand Canyon some last year! HOLY SHITBALLS! This is the first summer I have been able to exist outside air conditioning in over a decade, and my mental health is so much better. I fade the moment I can’t go outside. Huge.
2. Medications……..ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh the truly evil little bastards we have this amazing love/hate relationship with. The roids, the nauseatingly obnoxious chemos, infusions, shots, and still PILLS! I was on Actemra, zoldipam (Ambien), arava, oxymorphone, oxycodone, gabapentin, lisinopril, and coreg. I was a higher dose opiate because, for me it has to be strong enough to stun Jabba the Hut to work.
Now I take Actemra, tramadol (for sleepiness mostly), and cannabis. Yep – you read that right! We just lowered my infusion almost 200mg as well! (That was due to weight loss though.) I would say this is a FREAKING AMAZING improvement! My RA is now in the mild category, though my damage will keep me in severe forever. Y’all, my RA has never been mild, except a brief period in my teens. If I didn’t have the damage I have, I would be running and have actually TAKEN OVER THE WORLD. Sorry, yes my plan is to take over the world and be known as Supreme Overlord, but was thwarted by these silly autoimmunes. (Joke for those of you with no sense of humor.) This winter has been tough, but not nearly as tough as last winter – and we have had more weather this winter! My issues this winter are germs mostly, and the onset of a snowstorm. Those hurt, but nothing like hurricanes. More like thunderstorms, or pressure changes. Even when those come, there is less humidity here than on a normal day in GA! Snowstorms will cause me to medicate highly and watch documentaries. Last year I actually binge watched several TV series, and multiple seasons at that! Dr. Who, American Horror, “Ancient” anything, and every series History had to offer. This year, I have binge watched an off-grid YouTube series. That is it. I haven’t even made it half way through that!
This winter, I have baked craploads of bread and finally learned how to consistently make effing bread. It was my baking nemesis. Yeast breads befuddled me, but not anymore. My grandbebe and her parents moved here this past November, and I have actually been able to watch her a good bit! Would not have happened last winter, unless the grand liked History channel. My hind quarters were attached to the couch – and this is during my “afraid to get stoned in front of my teens” period. Once that ended though, I improved rapidly.
3. Weight………So rapidly in fact, that I have lost over 60 pounds since last year. OVER 60 DISEASE ENABLING, ARTERY CLOGGING, MOBILITY STEALING, MEDICINE CAUSED POUNDS. Gone. Poof. Wasn’t trying and actually feel like I have eaten worse. Sort of. Grain free, Paleo, and gluten free did not work for me for some odd reason after 7 years, so bread made its way back into our house. This is all organic and homemade though. Hence being able to learn to make it. While I never eat a lot, a bite or two happens. No, I don’t feel guilty, and I feel better – though cause has yet to be determined. Why did I lose weight, and more pressing – HOW did I lose weight with munchies and on cannabis???!! Anyone who has been on opiates, knows they stop your digestive track. Not just slow it – just stop that sucker like an Atlantan on an icy I-285! Your function just abandons that shit and walks home! So naturally, I lost weight when my belly went back to normal. Took roughly 8 months to get back to how it was before the pain meds. Now I am so nauseated as a norm that the cannabis fights the nausea, rather than giving me the munchies. ***Some strains induce munchies like a zombie virus outbreak at Dragon*Con, so beware. Any of the Sweet Tooth and children of her get me…..every time.
So all in all, this has been a pretty flipping awesome year in the autoimmune realm….well, in all realms actually. Going to wrap this up, as I have to make meditation. Ciao bellas. Will write more later.