Monday, August 21, 2017

Changing The Quality of MY LIFE....

It's happened. I've done it. **Not alone; I'm grateful for the help of Twin Cities Pain Clinic for their guidance. I'm also grateful to have HAD the option of all the pain medication, and other medications made available to me over the course of the past 20 years... But the truth is, there are MANY negative side effects from any lab generated drugs that we put into our systems. I did the best I could with the options available to me at the time. I was unable to even get through a day without help. Surgery didn't "erase" my back problems. They're still with me. But, having been approved to use medical cannabis for the pain, I've also taken that chance to rid myself completely of the pharmaceuticals. 
In late March 2017, I filled my first order for medical cannabis. I now take capsules 3x daily that contain THC and CBD mixed in coconut oil, in a veggie cap. I also use cannabis oil in a vape pen for breakthrough pain. I used this in combination with the pain meds I was already taking. (The first month, having a combo of Rx meds, plus cannabis, was the most pain relief I've felt in 15 years.) 
I still wanted, no, needed, to get off of the opiates. That's been a concern for me since the first prescription was ever written. {thought process: Since I have a degenerative disease, I know my pain will be progressive, I'll likely be relying on pain meds long term, since it doesn't seem even surgery is a 'magic' solution for me.} I just don't want that life. Bring on the medical cannabis...
In May, my morphine-sulf medication, which was taken twice daily for long term pain relief, was cut back slowly, to avoid withdrawal symptoms, which can be a giant hurdle for weaning. I can happily say that I experienced nothing that was especially evident. I just followed directions, and in the 30 day period, my RX was cut back until I was able to stop them. Next step: Percoset. This was for break through pain, intended to fill the gaps that the morphine did not reach. What's ironic is that I have not had a pain free day, even WITH the meds. My body had simply become tolerant to the meds, so I was experiencing less 'relief' from pain as the months ticked by. I continued to tell my family physician that they weren't "effective" for the past several years. She repeatedly reminded me that I WAS getting relief, that without the medication, my pain would have been much greater. We also had discussed many times that I would not be willing to increase dosage, due to the fear I've had regarding addiction. After using them safely, and exactly as prescribed for so long, I can safely say I didn't have an addiction problem. My body was, of course, dependent on the presence of said medications. I would experience a withdrawal upon their termination, but that's a far cry from addiction. I'm thankful for having a non-addictive experience. That's a whole other box of shit storm I would not like to experience in this lifetime. 
The next 2 months were focused on weaning the Percoset from my system, slowly, so as to minimize withdrawal symptoms. Success! I took my last dose on July 28th. There was MUCH fear surrounding this date; unfounded fear, thankfully. Chronic pain is VERY scary. There are days when my chronic illness means I use all of my energy to just "be", and there's nothing left over to enjoy the day. It's been a lonely and depressing journey. One that takes place largely on a hamster wheel. I can try any coping trick, but it doesn't change the fact that I'll be waking up tomorrow with the same damned illness, no matter how "hopeful" I've been. I have yet to be able to "wish it away"... It's my life, though. It's still worth something. 
I've been off all RX meds since July 28th. I'm using medical cannabis and essential oils to manage my own health since then. I still have pain. It's not going to disappear. But, I'm proud to say that I've been able to cope with it using the weed and oils. And I'm KILLIN' IT! Although I have moderate pain on a bad day, I'm still strong in my conviction that I can do it WITHOUT going back to relying on pills made in the lab. 
I'm now completely obsessed with replacing chemical- soaked products with essential oils and natural, hand made products. I'm feeling and seeing the change. My mind has been more 'clear' over the past year. My skin reflects the changes. My hair, my nails, you name it. I suspect this change was what drove me to cut the meds as well. The ability to legally use cannabis was a gift I received this year by mere coincidence. Happy coincidence. 
Enough. I've boasted about my rock star status enough for one day. I'll be back soon to strut my stuff. 
I'm stronger than I ever imagined I could be. I fight like a girl.