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Intro/My story

Posted by on Apr. 14, 2007 at 3:05 PM
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Hello to all of you!  I thought I would give you a short story to kind of fill you in on where I stand and where I come from.  Feel free to follow suit and introduce yourself and tell us what ya know or what you believe!

My story:
My name is Sarah.  I am 32 years old, a wife, and stay-at-home mother of a 4 year old (home-schooled) boy.  I am also a licensed and nationally certified massage therapist, however, due to the decline of my health, I have been unable to work as a therapist for about six months now.  I struggle on a daily basis with chronic pain as a result of Behcet’s Disease, as well as Fibromyalgia and Migraine Headaches.  I was diagnosed with Migraines at the age of 7, Behcet’s Disease at the age of 21, and Fibromyalgia at 25.  Behcets Disease is a rare autoimmune disease which causes inflammation of blood vessels throughout the body.  The symptoms include, but are not limited to: mouth, genital, and GI ulcerations, skin lesions, headaches, joint pain, fever, and stomach inflammation.  Fibromyalgia is a condition characterized by widespread muscle, tendon, and joint pain, extreme fatigue, sleep disturbances, headaches and facial pain. 

    I have been through a multitude of medications during the course of my life in order to treat these illnesses.  These medications, such as prednisone (which I have been stuck on for 8 years now), come with unpleasant side effects of their own and even some side effects which have been, are, or will be detrimental to my health in the long-term.   Everyone knows the obvious possibility of “addiction” and “tolerance” with pain medication, but there are other unpleasant side effects that come with those medicines (like bowel problems and liver toxicity) that can cause a whole new set of problems!  This does not even address how often those pain medications *don’t* work!   I was previously a resident of California and a legal medical cannabis patient.  This medicine was a miracle to me.  It drastically reduced my pain, enabling me to function at a greater level resulting in less need for pain medication.  It also decreased the nausea caused by my inflamed stomach from Behcets Disease or the nausea and pain caused by an extreme migraine that would normally make me vomit and land in the emergency room.  I was able to have some quality to my life because medical cannabis enabled me to have a higher level of functioning than I normally would be capable of.  In fact, I was able to donate my time and massage therapy skills to benefit other patients.

    Today, I live in Mississippi, a state that has no medical cannabis laws.  Today I suffer.  Today my family suffers.  My health, both physically and mentally, has been on a rapid decline without the help of the one medication that is the least detrimental to me - medical cannabis.  I have lost the ability to work consistently, to romp and play with my son, and I seldom get to do things I enjoy due to the pain I endure.  I live each day with a smile for my son (but in silent agony) and cry each night in the sorrow for what was my life.  Doctors here recognize that I have chronic pain and that I will live with it for the rest of my life.  They don’t want to prescribe pain medicine because they don’t want me to become “addicted” to a drug or destroy my stomach, yet they admit the pain and agony I live with and do not expect it to get any better.   Their only words are “I’m sorry.  I don’t have any advice for you”.  They refer me on to other doctors who are pain specialists who treat me like an addict and tell me to go to the Methadone clinic for relief from my pain.  I’m a mother, not an addict or a junkie.  I do not ever wish to become one.  How can our doctors actually be recommending this?! 


    Medical cannabis is a true medicine that enabled me to be a higher functioning, contributing member of society.  This medicine was the least detrimental to me of any of the possible options out there, however, due to our government, it is still unavailable to me where I live.  That is, unless I want to be a criminal.  I have a 4 year old boy and a husband whom I love very much and they are my life.  I do not want to be a criminal.   I want to live a life of quality and to contribute to my society.  I want to do great things for people and help others with the skills I have.  I want to take the least medication possible with the least side effects to my body.  If medical cannabis allows me to do that, why should our laws make it illegal for my doctor to prescribe it to me?  If our doctors are operating out of fear of our government, are they really able to uphold their Hippocratic oath: “Do No Harm”? 

by on Apr. 14, 2007 at 3:05 PM
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alabamahapywife
by New Member on Jul. 24, 2007 at 4:13 PM
I am very sorry that you are dealing with this.  Personally, I have no chronic medical condition that would benefit.  I do, however, have a more severe case of PMDD.  My periods are agony---  I simply cannot function during those 4 days, mainly b/c of the pain.  Which is not good since I am a stay at home mom.  They have put me on 3 different hormone therapies- none worked, if anything, the side effects made it worse.  Now, they have put me on prescription painkillers.  Which would be fine, if they didn't make me sick to my stomach.  So I have the choice of being in pain ALL day (along with nausea, vomiting, headaches, severe irritability, etc) OR being able to get up, but STILL dealing with the nausea, vomiting & irritability.  I have even began to break them in half to reduce the side effects- but that lessens my pain relief.  Of course, I still run the risk of becoming addicted to these pills.  That worries me, since my family just dealt with someone else's addiction to these very some pills (who, by the way, is better now!!!).   How nice it would be to be able to LEGALLY get some medicine that would decrease my pain (therefore, decrease the need for pain pills),  improve my severe irritability & regulate mood swings, relieve nausea & vomiting, help with the headaches & just give me a generally better life during those 4 days.  I know, 4 days does not seem like much- especially compared to you & others who suffer EVERYDAY with chronic health problems- but 4 days a month, EVERY month, that you cannot even take care of your kids, is hard.  Medicinal cannabis could relieve all kinds of problems- not just for cancer or AIDS or patients with various CHRONIC conditions- but for other problems as well.  I can think of many, many psychiatric conditions that could be treated, eating disorders, PMDD (obviously), even the pain of a broken bone (or anything else that docs would give pain meds for).  If only the gov't would look to the good of the people & not the good of the big tobacco & alcohol businesses & lobbiest.  I hope that I live to see the day when America is controlled by Americans & not these special-interests groups.
TigersMom209
by New Member on Aug. 1, 2008 at 12:41 AM

Hello! Im Jessica and  I live in California. I am fortunate enough to live in a state where medical cannabis is legal and I get to benefit from it.  However I am now pregnant and not taking my medication in the meantime.  I am prescribed cannabis for insomnia, anorexia (cured!), back pain due to multiple car accidents, migraines and restless leg syndrome.  My husband is the Executive Director of the Medical Cannabis Association which is ran out of Oakland, CA.  He opened a medical cannabis dispensary May 2007 and we were raided July 31, 3007 (one year today).  He was on a mission to provide safe, legal access to patients who had to drive hours to the nearest dispensary.  When our home was raided our at the time 2 year old son was traumatized.  He was snatched out of his bed by armed SWAT members.  He was then sat next to me, I was handcuffed and unable to hold and comfort him.  This was also very emotional for me to see him that way.  We are scheduled for our pre-trial hearing on October 28-29.  We are both confident that we did no wrong and never broke any state laws.. yet it was the state that we were raided by.  We are fighting the fight of our lives and won't stop fighting for patient's rights.  This medicine is truely amazing and has changed my life in many ways.  If you would like to know more about us I can send links to news articles and updates from other organizations following our case. 

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