I have been wanting to write about this for awhile now, but I’ve been not-as-great-as-I’d-like-to-be with updating this site. I’ve been really tired, and in more pain than I’d like, so I’ve been focusing my energies elsewhere. Other than, you know, being too sick, things are good. I love California, and my husband loves his job (and California). We have a friend staying with us, and that’s been fun (and where my energy goes instead of the internet).
When I first arrived here, I sought out a medical marijuana card. I’d heard about the benefits of medical cannabis with chronic pain (fibromyalgia and spinal cord damage), and wanted to try it, since I wasn’t having any luck controlling my pain with Flexeril (I had relief for a short while, but it stopped). I was also nervous taking Vicodin regularly for my back. I’ll talk a little about the process, in case you’re curious, and then about how it’s helping me.
I called MediCann, and set up an appointment. I brought identifying documentation and recent medical records to a very nice doctor, who was more respectful and kind to me in half an hour than I experienced with my previous GP in nearly 3 years with him. It was mind-boggling. We talked about all my conditions and symptoms, and he reassured me that patients like me have a lot of luck with cannabis. He even offered suggestions for finding a regular GP (it was easier for me to get in to a MediCann doctor than it was to find a GP, although the GP I found is just amazing).
I was given paperwork that was effective immediately. After looking up dispensaries, I found one nearby, and checked it out. The dispensary staff were kinder than the staff of most pharmacies I’ve visited. (I can honestly say the California medical cannabis community is made up of some really kind and caring people!) They helped me pick out medicine, and the whole experience was rather surreal.
Later, at home… relief. Not perfection, by any standard, but such a huge amount of relief. The knife-like pains (or cramping burning pain, or however fibro is behaving that day) relax and melt away, not completely, but pretty far. The tingling pins and needles quieted down. Best of all, the only side effects might be the urge to cook dinner an hour early (oh, yeah, and I can cook dinner with less pain and more energy for after dinner!), or possibly a nap. Nothing long-term, and nothing damaging. And of course, my mood improves. I can’t really feel guilty about the resulting euphoria, considering how sad and upsetting it can be living with chronic pain.
Also, I sleep very well when I medicate, which has its own benefits for symptoms of fibromyalgia.
Cannabis may not be the best option for all fibromyalgia patients, and only you and your doctor can determine if you should try, only in areas where it’s legal, but for me, it’s really made a world of difference. I’m more productive because I’m in less pain, and while I’m still unable to work, I can take better care of myself, my family, and our home.
Disclaimer: I truly believe that cannabis should be legal everywhere, at the very least for medical reasons, but ideally for everyone. Used recreationally, it’s no different than an after-work cocktail, and alcohol is legal for adults to use and abuse as they wish. Used medicinally, it’s safer than plenty of over-the-counter treatments, and much safer than prescription drugs. No one’s died from overuse of cannabis. This site is a great recap of the history of marijuana prohibition, and is a good read if you’re interested in the history of marijuana, or cannabis. Also, NORML has a good overview and introduction to the medical use of cannabis.