High Expectations – Part 2

It took a lot of convincing before I really tried cannabis. My boyfriend had been using it to treat his psoriatic arthritis for years and I still remember my first joint here in Toronto. I was in so much pain that I couldn’t stand or move to the point where I also couldn’t even undress myself… You can try picturing my boyfriend painfully trying to take my VERY skinny jeans off my really long legs (I’m 6 feet tall)!!! That’s when he said he would “roll me something” and I remember taking a few puffs of his precisely-rolled joint and I could move again. I couldn’t believe it. I even remember dancing in the living room out of joy. It was like my brain knew that I was in pain, but my body couldn’t feel it. The metaphor I use to explain it is that I know and I can see that I have pain, but that it’s in the corner of the room.

Image: Sean Berrigan

 

I was able to obtain my medicinal marijuana license (formely MMPR) last year and I’ve been getting my cannabis through a licensed producer here in Canada ever since. The process is fairly easy if you have a doctor that can advocate for you and believes in the medicinal aspects of the plant, but also if you advocate for yourself. I’ve learned over the years that you have to do your own research and that finding a doctor with whom you can have a relationship is key. When I asked my family physician about medical cannabis, she never treated it like a drug, but rather a medication that could help alleviate my symptoms. I believe that every patient has the right to have access to medical marijuana as a treatment and I think that this information needs to be communicated by healthcare professionals. It’s really sad to know that there are still ingrained negative connotations surrounding marijuana and that because a lot of doctors still do not believe in its’ medical properties. It’s an old-school way of thought and patients are unnececssaryily suffering because of it. As a doctor, if there was something out there that could alleviate your patient’s pain; wouldn’t you want to try? I mean, why aren’t we spending money on research when it is clear that marijuana’s medicinal properties do exist? And why are our tax-payers’ dollars going towards busting dispensaries even amidst talks of possible legalization in Canada? These are just some of the questions I ask myself on a daily basis because it really has made an impact on me. I’m trying to be conscious and watch documentaries and inform myself as much as I can, but it’s mind-boggling to me why we’re not doing something about it and quicker!  

There is no other medication that can alleviate my pain as fast as cannabis can. And I’m on so much medication right now I loose track sometimes. I can take up to 20 different pills a day and that might not sound like a lot, but it is to me. It’s been quite a roller-coaster with trying to determine what works for me and what doesn’t and sometimes I have to take more medication to counter-effect the side effect of another (it’s pretty crazy)! I used medicinal marijuana on a daily basis and for different ailments. I’ve actually found a strain that gets rids of my nerve pain completely and that can help with my mood. No other medication has ever done that for me. I can pump 900mg of Gabapentin (nerve pain medication) 3 times a day and that still doesn’t help me… I smoke half a joint and it’s like an aura going through my veins; plus it’s more of a body high and I can still function. Although my back pain remains, my nerve pain almost disappears and my legs are left bathing in a sweet buzzing sensation. It’s just the moment that counts. The moment when, for one minute, you realize that you haven’t felt nerve pain in a minute (haha). I know that everybody is different and that’s why there are so many strains that have yet to be discovered, but if people only knew! If they only knew how cannabis helps me and I wish it could help them too.

Because I need to use a cane and because my own body is trying to protect me from pain, the muscles in my back aren’t necessarily doing what they should be doing and so, other muscles are affected. That means, my shoulders, hips, knees, heels and wrists also hurt. I have seen A LOT of doctors and specialists and so I have countless appointments every week. I am followed by a chiropractor, an osteopath, a physiotherapist, pain specialists and many more. I have to do daily exercises, but tasks at home are very difficult. I have a lot of difficulty with cleaning, cooking or walking my dog. I am rarely hungry and marijuana has also helped me regain an appetite. I also used to cook a lot, but my anxiety even prevents me from doing so sometimes, or my back will be in too much pain for me to stand for too long. It’s very hard for me to loose that because just the thought of all those steps gives me anxiety. I’m trying to adjust to a new way of life and it isn’t always easy. I need a lot of help, and I need to learn how to live with a disability, on top of trying to accept it. I’m trying to adjust to a new way of life and it isn’t always easy. I need a lot of help, and I need to learn how to live with a disability, on top of trying to accept it.  I’m trying to adjust to a new way of life and it isn’t always easy.

Before I made the transition to needing an accessible parking permit or accessible bathrooms, I never really paid attention to the challenges people with disabilities face daily and I now feel terrible because I actually need a handle bar to get on/off the toilet. I have faced challenges as a disabled person and I have even noticed a difference in the way people look at you and treat you. A lot of them are really nice and understanding, but sometimes, it’s the complete opposite. When that happens, I am able to say something or to tell them off because I have the strength whereas so many others might not find the voice. Speaking out for me is extremely important because I believe every human should be treated equally. There have been instances where I have been made fun of or even disrespected because of both my physical and mental illnesses, and that means that there are times when I’m hurting A LOT more, because that cuts way deeper. It also doesn’t help that airlines and some insurance companies still today disregard mental illnesses, especially in 2016.

More on the how marijuana help my mental illness next time. In the meantime, If you would like to share your story like me, email me at vmerc074@gmail.com  or via Instagram @fallforvee and let’s talk about it! I would love to get to know you and to end the stigma, one woman at a time! On top of that, you get some sweet photos of you medicating in your own way!

 

Cheers!

 

Vee

 

P.S. I just wanted to dedicate this to my amazing boyfriend who helped me discover medicinal marijuana and who is always there for me, no matter what. Thanks to my family for helping me stay strong, to Tokyo Smoke for allowing me to share my story on their platforms and to my best friend Katlyn, who has inspired me to write in order to heal.

   

Image: Sean Berrigan

Because I need to use a cane and because my own body is trying to protect me from pain, the muscles in my back aren’t necessarily doing what they should be doing and so, other muscles are affected. That means, my shoulders, hips, knees, heels and wrists also hurt. I have seen A LOT of doctors and specialists and so I have countless appointments every week. I am followed by a chiropractor, an osteopath, a physiotherapist, pain specialists and many more. I have to do daily exercises, but tasks at home are very difficult. I have a lot of difficulty with cleaning, cooking or walking my dog. I am rarely hungry and marijuana has also helped me regain an appetite. I also used to cook a lot, but my anxiety even prevents me from doing so sometimes, or my back will be in too much pain for me to stand for too long. It’s very hard for me to loose that because just the thought of all those steps gives me anxiety. I’m trying to adjust to a new way of life and it isn’t always easy. I need a lot of help, and I need to learn how to live with a disability, on top of trying to accept it. I’m trying to adjust to a new way of life and it isn’t always easy. I need a lot of help, and I need to learn how to live with a disability, on top of trying to accept it.  I’m trying to adjust to a new way of life and it isn’t always easy.

Before I made the transition to needing an accessible parking permit or accessible bathrooms, I never really paid attention to the challenges people with disabilities face daily and I now feel terrible because I actually need a handle bar to get on/off the toilet. I have faced challenges as a disabled person and I have even noticed a difference in the way people look at you and treat you. A lot of them are really nice and understanding, but sometimes, it’s the complete opposite. When that happens, I am able to say something or to tell them off because I have the strength whereas so many others might not find the voice. Speaking out for me is extremely important because I believe every human should be treated equally. There have been instances where I have been made fun of or even disrespected because of both my physical and mental illnesses, and that means that there are times when I’m hurting A LOT more, because that cuts way deeper. It also doesn’t help that airlines and some insurance companies still today disregard mental illnesses, especially in 2016.

Image: Sean Berrigan

More on the how marijuana help my mental illness next time. In the meantime, If you would like to share your story like me, email me at vmerc074@gmail.com  or via Instagram @fallforvee and let’s talk about it! I would love to get to know you and to end the stigma, one woman at a time! On top of that, you get some sweet photos of you medicating in your own way!

Cheers!

Vee

P.S. I just wanted to dedicate this to my amazing boyfriend who helped me discover medicinal marijuana and who is always there for me, no matter what. Thanks to my family for helping me stay strong, to Tokyo Smoke for allowing me to share my story on their platforms and to my best friend Katlyn, who has inspired me to write in order to heal.

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