Every story has a beginning, a why. Mine starts in the sultry Southeast of the United States, Georgia specifically. I was diagnosed with juvenile autoimmune arthritis shortly after moving from Upstate NY. Over the next 26 years, it would morph into several illnesses and even threaten my life. The humidity and unstable weather caused chaotic flares that would last years. Yes I said YEARS. Bones dissolved, organs function compromised, and I am in pain every day. The last 5 years have been some of the most physically challenging of my life. My lungs had perpetual infection, my heart was struggling, and several organs were experiencing fatigue. Last summer, my family moved from Georgia to Colorado to see if the arid climate would help slow my autoimmune arthritis diseases, and prolong my life. YES “arthritis” can kill you. These diseases were seriously out of control and I was truly worried about my mortality. While the change had amazing effects on my: Rheumatoid Arthritis, Lupus, Sjogrens, and Raynauds, it was more difficult to find some of my prescriptions. Stopping these abruptly could cause my heart to fail. Due to kidney damage I have limited options for pain management. Fourty years of autoimmune arthritis disease has ravaged my organs to the point my ONLY options left were narcotics. Sadly, I am allergic to most narcotics – so finding one that works is a HUGE deal.
Taking these medicines is horrible. Like horror movie “I just fell and the killer is right behind me” horrible. They cause hideous side effects and almost always come with a healthy side of ridiculous weight gain. Even more foreboding is the fact that I was on an oxymorphone. Well, while reading the news, I came across a story about a lethal injection. The 2 drugs used were high dose oxymorphone and a sedative like lorazapam. Any one who has autoimmune arthritis diseases knows that insomnia is common. There have been times I have been awake for 7 days straight! Sometimes I took zoldipam which means I was taking the same drugs (much lower dose) that are used to kill someone via lethal injection! Yeah….that was not going to work. I needed another option.
The push to find that other option came, when in both January and February I was unable to get my prescription refilled on time. Because of abusers, the sick were being punished. This past month, I had to drive 60 miles to find the only pharmacy that had my medication, but they only had half. Time to change this. I can’t live with the stress of not knowing whether I will be able to find my scripts on time, and the looming thought of an ER visit when I can’t.
This blog will document my weaning off narcotics and my experiment to see if ganja is a viable replacement to those narcotics. Thankfully I live in a state where even recreational adult use is legal. In the last month, I have done a lot of research and ganga seems to be a promising treatment for many, many things. This will explore those claims. I am out of treatment options – and I know I am not the only one.
My symptoms are: severe pain (broken bone type pain, burning, throbbing, stiff muscles, spasms, dislocated joint pain, and any type of pain imaginable), extreme fatigue, nausea, inflammation, insane insomnia (sometimes no sleep for a week straight), neuropathy, lung dysfunction, tachycardia, prolapse on 2 valves, hypertension, kidney disease from 40 years of harsh medications, and digestive issues.
****DISCLAIMER**** This is my story and experience. Since everyone is different, other people may not experience what I do. Also, what works for me doesn’t mean it will work for someone else. Over 1/3 of all autoimmuners don’t respond to treatments. No, I am not doing this to get high. Functionality is an essential thing. I am a mother of 3, grandmother of 1, active, and college educated.