M.E, myalgic encephalomyelitis, CFS, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Chronic Pain, systemic exertion intolerance disease.
Whatever the medical profession are deciding to label me with this week…it’s a summary of what I have, and what millions of others have.
Over the past two years doctors have thrown all sorts of medication at me. From generic pain relievers, to drugs that alter your minds pain receptors, to antidepressants.
Some may work for a couple of days, then they wear off, having no affect, my body becomes adjusted to the medication rapidly and ups it’s pain game.
As time has gone on, I’ve found my own ways of dealing with it. At first it was to give into the condition and to not do much of anything. Take the pills, lie on the couch, and wallow in the pain, the dizziness, the tiredness, the not being able to sleep properly, the mental fog was not clearing.
Then I started with the sports therapy massages. Even week, I would be tortured, lying on the massage table, having the acid which had built up in my muscles removed. One of the side affects…symptoms, of this condition is that my muscles go straight into anaerobic exercise, working without air essentially. The point of exercising when it is no longer helpful in loosing weight, toning muscles etc. It usually comes with exhaustion after an hour of working out. It happens when I walk up the stairs.
Personally, I think the descriptions of these conditions needs to work, as I’m sure most people with the conditions do. I get particularly annoyed by the depression/anxiety aspects. They talk as if they are another inherent part of the condition, but for me they are a byproduct, a response to my life falling apart.
The only way I know how to deal with this is to make a change. So I started walking, taking the dog to the beach and going for short walks. At first they would leave me broken, unable to move for the rest of the day.
At this point I had pretty much given up on western medicine altogether. They had done nothing for me, except seem to want me to leave as soon as possible. There was nothing they could do they said. Thanks NHS.
I started taking supplements, extra Iron, extra B-vitimins, Ubquinol Q10 actually has had a remarkable affect.
With the persistent walking (I now go every other day for a 20 minute walk) and the vitamins, the carefully constructed life to aleviate too much stress, walking, carrying, standing, life seemed to be getting a little better. But the bad days still way out numbered the good.
Then one day, visiting friends, I was offered weed.
It was like a revelation moment. I’d obviously tried it before, but wasn’t a fan as it made me super sleepy. In that moment I just thought, why not? I’m always sleepy anyway, it might help. Perhaps it was time to try it out after reading all of those posts from America of Medical Marijuana.
I felt amazing. The tension in my body seemed to melt away and the mental fog, turned fuzzy.
With my first try a success, I wanted to try more. But there was a problem, the is no such allowance for Medical Marijuana in Britain, or Ireland. We don’t take street drugs and barely even go out drinking anymore. Where would be get some?
6 months ago, a friend of a friend of ours could get some. For the first time in 2 years I was getting a good nights sleep. Seriously, sleeping soundly throughout the whole night. Not in pain, not tossing, turning, just deep sleep. I felt amazing!
If I’m having a really bad pain day, I’ll perhaps have a week joint in the afternoon, but 95% of the time, I have one strong one before going to bed and my life has completely turned around.
I can socialise, still with caution, but more so than pre-weed. I’m writing. I’ve wrote more blog entries and almost finished the first draft of my novel. I’ve been crafting, even made a skirt. I’ve been baking and cooking on a regular basis. I happily walk our dog and still can cook dinner in the evening.
I still have bad days, I also know that I’m still not at the point where I could go back into academia or even work a normal job, but I have a life now!
The problem with this life, is that it is dependent on acquiring a drug. It can be unreliable, whether it’s the people selling it or a problem with distribution thanks to the laws in place.
As a non-user I always felt that governments were being quite hypocritical in regards to drugs, especially weed. Considering how many people in our world, our country that suffer from alcohol-related illnesses, deaths, family trauma, it seems a bit ridiculous.
Now, as a medical user of marijuana I feel quite angry towards the government and anti-weed campaigners.
Everyone has their own stories, their own reasons for their opinions. I come from a family which has suffered at the hands of alcohol, yet I still have it in my life, surrounded by it wherever I go. Just because some people may have had bad experiences with the drug, doesn’t mean we should all suffer!
Last week or so, there was a weed shortage in our area. None. No weed could be got from anywhere.
After 4 days of intense pain, no sleep, raw nerves and intermittent crying, my partner drove for 7 hours (3.5hr there, then back again) in a day to get me some weed from another friend of a friend.
It took about a week for me to recover, even with the weed, but I did. I now feel like myself again (not myself before the condition but yeah…) But this is the reality of living in a country which has such restrictions on a medical wonder.
I know some people won’t agree with this, and I know there are still so many notions about it as a bad-drug, but with all the research being done, all the cases of chronically ill people being aided by it, it’s time to rethink this plant.
After all, in my position, wouldn’t you?