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How Cannabis Made Getting Pain Relief Less Painful

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I had many reasons choosing to choose cannabis to relieve chronic pain from fibromyalgia, psoriatic arthritis, degenerative disc disease, coccydynia, and endometriosis, but there was one reason that I never even considered until I experienced it myself.

As I was nearing the end of my prescription pain pill era, my doctors were under pressure to limit and/reduce the amount of pain medication they prescribed. The result was that chronic patients like myself had to be seen monthly and we were no longer being prescribed the amount we needed. Prior to this my physician was able to write a prescription for several months worth of pain meds at a time.  This meant I only needed to see my doctor a few times a year unless something new presented itself.  For me, a monthly doctor visit to get a prescription was a painful nightmare.  Each visit would physically deplete me. They stole precious time that could have been spent laughing and making memories with family and friends. They would also emotionally drain me.  No one should be brought to tears over asking for an adequate amount of pain relief.

*Disclosure: I am not a medical professional. I am NOT issuing medical advice. I am only sharing my experience. This post includes affiliate links. Meaning that at no additional cost to you, I receive a commission when you make a purchase through my links. The proceeds earned fund the giveaways I host in my Facebook groups.

I knew that medicating with marijuana would have many benefits, but not having to beg to get a smidgen of what I needed was one of the most surprising and empowering ones.  I no longer needed to see a doctor on a monthly basis to request pain medication.  In the state of California, I only need to see a medical marijuana referring physician once a year.  At the time I made the switch, I was paying $30 a month just to see my physician. That was $360 just to have my doctor write a prescription!  My initial MMJ recommendation was $65 and I have renewed each year for just $35!  Who knew I would be saving money too!!!! Fast forward to 2018 when I began getting my recommendation online in the privacy of my own home for only $39!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With my recommendation in hand I am free to get my medication from any dispensary in California.  No more having to worry about which pharmacy takes my insurance.  Instead of being stuck with a pharmacy that knows I can’t go anywhere else and doesn’t care about me as a patient, dispensaries work hard to please their patients.  They offer premium products and run specials on different forms of MMJ all the time.

With my MMJ recommendation I am able to acquire the amount of medication that I need, plus have a surplus for really bad days.  The best part is that MMJ comes in so many different forms which makes micro dosing for daily muscle spasms, nerve pain, and bone pain possible.  It was impossible for me to micro dose with opioids. Can you imagine breaking down a pain pill when you only need a few milligrams?

To top it off, since medicating with MMJ I no longer experience the side effects that I did with pharmaceuticals.  I shudder when I think about how much sicker I would be or how many more prescriptions I would need if I had continued treating my chronic pain with my doctors prescription pad. At the time I decided enough was enough, my doctor was ready to write 10 prescriptions just to combat side effects!!!!!!

Medicating with MMJ has improved my life in so many ways.  My family and I love that I no longer have to exhaust myself both physically and emotionally with monthly doctor visits and having to beg for pain medication. I have both time and energy to enjoy doing things I want to do.  I am living again.  Most importantly, I am learning more about my body.  I am not only able to identify each of my major pain sources, I am discovering what movements or activities set off a chain reaction of pain or angers a particular pain source.

Do you medicate with MMJ?  What benefit surprised you?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Pharmaceutical narcotics, damned if we do, damned if we don’t

Pharmaceutical narcotics, damned if we do, damned if we don’t

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The healthcare providers in America need to decide where they stand in regards to treating patient’s pain with narcotics.  As it stands now, we are damned if we use them and damned if we don’t.

When I first became chronically ill, I never had an issue receiving pharmaceutical narcotics.  In fact my physicians handed them out like they were candy.  They filled the prescription with enough, and sometimes more, pills to be able to follow their suggested prescribed dosage.  Because of allergies and sensitivities I was never able to follow the recommended dosages and always had a surplus of pain medication.  Years later when the government began putting restrictions on how often and how many pills they could prescribe, I was still getting the amount that I needed to survive.  By survive, I don’t mean to insinuate that I was addicted to them; instead I needed what little physical relief they provided to not lose my mind and to function. 

Around the time that I moved from Arizona to California is when the government starting coming down even harder on doctors who prescribed narcotics to their chronically ill patients.  From this point I went from always having enough pain medication on hand to never having enough.  Not only did I have to practically beg for my pain pills, the physicians never wrote the quantity of the prescription to fit their prescribed dosages.  Every month I had to beg to receive what would equate to two to three weeks of inadequate relief.  After two years of doctors making me feel like an addict who just wanted a fix, I was done begging.  It was at this point that I went med free.  Still needing some type of relief, I soon began medicating with medical marijuana (MMJ). 

One of the things that attracted me to medicating with MMJ was that I would be in control.  Knowing that I would always have enough pain medication and not having to beg for it was freeing.  With MMJ I also have the ability to medicate as little or as much as needed without fear of overdosing.  It would take inhaling or digesting 1,500lbs of marijuana to overdose, yet one could overdose on as little as 16 Oxycodone! If I was suicidal, the opportunity to overdose on Oxycodone would be easy and affordable.  With MMJ I would have to first spend over $24,000 to purchase the amount needed to overdose. Secondly, I would be fast asleep after smoking or digesting just one milligram! The only reason someone overdoses with marijuana in their system is because they mixed it with alcohol, other prescription narcotics, or drugs like heroin or meth. 

After discovering that MMJ was helping me and my conditions more than any pill I had ever been prescribed, I returned to the same doctor that I used to make me beg for pain meds.  The reason I returned was so that we could get down to the root of my lower back pain.  So imagine my surprise, when he offered me a prescription for pain meds!!  In the past, he never offered, he always waited for me to beg and plead.  He was shocked when I refused his prescription; that is until I explained why.  Since he couldn’t deny the decrease of inflammation and relief that I was experiencing, he agreed that MMJ was the best choice for me.  He never gave me grief and in fact became more vigilant and helped to find the source of my pain.  A few months later, I had to switch doctors as this physician wasn’t part of my new plan’s network. 

My new physicians were all informed during our first visits of how I treat my pain.  All were fine with it, even if they didn’t understand it.  Two years later (last week) I found myself with a new dilemma.  My ER visit ended with the attending physician wanting to send me home with pharmaceutical pain meds.  I refused them.  He was adamantly against using MMJ and was insisting that I take his prescription.   He continued to pressure me even after I explained that I can’t take the full dosage of them more than once a day and without breaks of at least two days in-between dosages.  How the heck was that supposed to help me??!!!   Not to mention that I get horrible urinary tract infections from them and they constipate me.  I asked, how would being constipated from his prescription help me when food is already having a hard time moving through me??  All I received in return was a blank stare.  Later that week I was chastised by almost everyone I spoke to within my network for refusing that prescription.  They rudely suggested that there was nothing they could do for me if I wasn’t willing to pop their pills. 

What in the world is going on????!!!!  Although I haven’t taken any prescription pain medication for over four years, I know of many others who still have to beg in order receive adequate relief.  This is shameful and has made us damned if we take them and damned if we don’t.  Do they or do they NOT want us to take them??!!!!!  In order to protect doctors who treat the chronically ill and their patients that need to take pain meds fulltime, California and a handful of other states crafted up a law.  This law will not penalize those doctors and allows their patients to at the very least have access to pain relief medications.  The problem with this law is that the patient’s pain has to be declared “intractable”.  To declare that a patient’s pain is intractable, the physician must declare that there is nothing medically that can be done for that patient’s conditions.  This does not really help the patient, especially if, like in my case, something can be done.  Instead of it providing a way for doctors to prescribe pain relief while helping to get to the root cause, it makes it easy for doctors to give up on finding the real cause and creates a hospice type of service.  Patients that are declared as having intractable pain will be given narcotics, sleeping pills, anxiety medication, and anti-depressants in order to keep them comfortable.  The dosages and the potency will increase as their pain breaks through each level.  I don’t know about you, but if you ask me I say that this sounds a lot like end of life care! My physicians are trying very hard to declare my abdominal pain as intractable and I am fighting that diagnosis tooth and nail.  Just because the adhesions will return, that is not a reason to not grant me the opportunity to give my internal organs some relief.  I am disgusted by how they would rather heavily sedate me for the rest of my life instead doing something that will help, even if for only a few years.  Even more disgusting is that I am willing to bet that if I was the one requesting the pain meds, they would be forcing me to beg and plead for them.

So I am curious, what has been your experience in regards to obtaining pain medication?  Do you medicate with MMJ or prescription pain meds?  Do you have to beg for your prescriptions?  Does your doctor provide you with an adequate supply?  Have you ever been told “We can’t help you” if you have ever declined their prescriptions? 

The doctors of The United States of America need to start figuring out the root causes to an ever growing list of incurable diseases.  If they don’t the amount of people who will need to rely on either prescription drugs or MMJ will only increase.  In the meantime, they need to respect the patient’s choice and stop treating us poorly whether we choose to take or not take their pain medications. 

Wishing you a day filled with many reasons to smile, including adequate pain relief that you didn’t have to beg for,

The Disabled Diva

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What has happened to our healthcare system?

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This is part of a series of posts chronicling my quest to receive relief from abdominal adhesions.

Click here to read from the beginning 

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When did it become acceptable to not help patients?  When did drugging them become the go to plan?  When did doctors start giving up on patients, just because their condition is not easy or text book?  Why aren’t they willing to give my internal organs a break? Why are they willing to allow my condition to shorten my life, when they can do something to prolong it? These are just some of the questions that are swirling through my head after experiencing one of the most emotionally and physically draining weeks of my life.

I have stayed quiet online since arriving at the ER on Monday afternoon.  The events that took place in the ER as well as the rest of my week that consisted of online messaging and phone calls with my network’s member services, doctors, and nurses, caused my head to spin.  In addition to an increase of pain and newer symptoms, I was dealt one blow after another.

Going to the ER was both a mistake and a blessing.  The mistake was expecting them to help.  They didn’t want to help and made that very clear.  Instead all they wanted to do was provide pain medication.  They didn’t care that I was (and still am unable to) eat any solid food without severe pain.  I can clearly feel the area in which my general surgeon, DR T. and I believe to be where adhesions are causing a kink in my digestive system.  When I eat solid foods, everything becomes lodged in that area and I feel like I have a watermelon stuck inside my intestines.  The pain is a little less when I eat softer foods, more like having a cantaloupe lodged inside of me.  Even smoothies induce pain, but instead of feeling like there’s a watermelon or cantaloupe inside of my intestines, it feels more like a peach.  No matter which level of pain I experience, none of them are ideal.  They also indicate that there is something wrong.  Instead of continuing to search for what was increasing my pain and creating an inability to eat without pain, the ER doctor gave up after running one useless test.  His answer was to send me home with heavy duty pain meds in which I refused.  Those of you, who have been long time followers, know that I treat my other chronic conditions and pain with medical marijuana.  I understand that not everybody has that option, nor is it the right choice for every patient, but it is the best option for me.  Surprisingly, most of the doctors and nurses that I have seen in the past four years have been nothing but respectful of my choice.  That is until now.  This physician was adamantly anti-marijuana and he didn’t hide his opinion of it.  I left the ER with the same pain as I arrived with and was still unable to eat without pain.  Wait a minute, where’s the blessing in this visit you ask?  Before going to bed, I messaged both my primary and general surgeon to let them know that I went to the ER because the pain and my symptoms had increased and changed.  Because of this progression and the ER being of no help, I inquired about the specialty surgeon’s referral.  It was time to fast track our plan of ruling out other issues.  Did my doctors jump into action or offer assistance?  Was that the blessing?  Read on…..

Tuesday morning, I called member services in order to ensure that my physicians saw my messages.  I needed to see someone.  That afternoon, a nurse from the general surgeon’s office left a message saying that no referrals were going to be made because my tests so far had not shown a reason for my pain!!!!!  Hello!!!!!!!!??????  We expected them to have negative results because they were conditions that we were ruling out!!!!!  The whole point of them, according to the general surgeon was to rule out everything possible so we could get clearance for an exploratory surgery which is the only way to discover adhesions and the mess that they are creating.  I was livid. Tears began to fill my eyes, but it was her next comment that caused them to pour down my face.  “Your pain is intractable, (meaning there is nothing that can be medically done for it), and you should go to pain management for pain medication.  And since you refused pain medication at the ER, I don’t know what you want us to do.”  Doesn’t know what I want????!!!!! I thought it was very clear what I wanted.  I want the problem found and dealt with.  I am 99.9% sure that the cause is adhesions.  And how dare they right me off by saying all they can do is keep me comfortable by drugging me when cleaning them up with surgery WILL help, even if only temporarily???!!!!!  It has been 8 years since my last surgery to clean up my abdominal spider web.  Within months the ripping from my sidewall returned and I endured it, because that pain was never 24/7.  I didn’t complain or request help until they started causing pain and problems with my bowels without relief.

I immediately called member services and requested to see my general surgeon ASAP.  I needed to know what happened to change our planned course of action.  I was told that the soonest appointment was in three weeks.  Without any other suggestions of whom I could see or talk to, besides going back to the ER, I hung up on her and broke down.  What kind of nightmare was I living????  Not one to give up without a fight I altered my plan to get the help I desperately needed.  Thankfully I have all of my past medical records.  I was upset and my eyes were puffy and swollen from crying.  I couldn’t find my records and decided that I needed to medicate heavier than normal, go to bed, and wait to look for them with a fresh pair of eyes in the morning.

Sure enough my records were just where I thought they were, I just couldn’t see them with the mental state that I had been in the night before.  Going through them to pull out the most pertinent records that not only show my history with adhesions, but that would show my doctors that I have reasons to believe I know what is going on inside my abdomen, I found something interesting.  In all my years not one physician ever mentioned my having endometriosis.  They always spoke of my adhesions, but that is all they called them.  Anytime I inquired about how they came about, I was told they were caused by surgical scarring.  Well to my surprise, something stood out as I looked through my records; I was diagnosed with endometriosis in 2008. I sent the surgical findings of four of the six surgeries I had regarding adhesions, to the general surgeon and my primary.  I asked how could they deny what is happening to my body based on my records. 

The next day, my primary responded and said that he was putting me in contact with a nurse advocate.  Later that afternoon I received a message from her stating that she didn’t understand the problem because there was a referral for the gynecological specialist.  Minutes later, she messaged me again saying that she was wrong, there wasn’t a referral after all and that she would be calling me in the morning.

This nurse is an angel.  Without her detective skills and willingness to search for answers I wouldn’t have an ounce of hope left in me.  She discovered that my general surgeon DID put the referral through, but that the head of gynecology REFUSED it.  This was the blessing.  If I hadn’t gone to the ER, I would have no idea that the plan that Dr. T and I had agreed to was no longer happening.  She also found out why he hadn’t replied to the message with the records.  It was still unopened in his email box because he was on vacation.  She then explained my options.

1.       Go to pain management.  Seeing how I medicate on my chart and that I had refused pain meds earlier in the week, she politely asked, “Is it safe to assume that pain management is not an option you would wish to try?”  She was right. 

2.       Get a second surgical opinion.  I agreed to this option.  Dr. T may not be willing to fight for my life, but maybe another surgeon would be.  I have an appointment set for Tuesday the 4th.

3.       Self-refer myself to the gynecology department.  I also agreed to this.  I have an appointment to see an OBGYN who specializes in pelvic pain this Wednesday.  My hope and prayer is that this physician is no stranger to adhesions and the damage that they can do.  Most of all I pray he will be willing to fight for me.

In addition to those appointments I also have a colonoscopy that had been scheduled weeks ago this Thursday.  Part of me wanted to cancel it, but I know it needs to be done whether it shows anything or not.  If they find nothing it rules out more GI issues.  If they do find something, then they prove me wrong, but will know how to treat me.  What I am hoping they will see is this: I hope that the area that is presumed to being squeezed by adhesions will be obvious.  If the adhesions have a tight enough hold, the scope should prayerfully see a narrowing in my colon.  To be honest, I don’t care which outcome comes to pass, just as long as it leads the way to my obtaining real help and not being told that all I can look forward to is a life filled with heavy drugs. If my condition doesn’t kill me the drugs will.

What frustrates and saddens me the most is unlike my other conditions, which are also painful, this particular problem could end my life.  Adhesions could do more than strangle, twist, and pull my internal organs.  They could grow through them or rip them.  Not only that, but how long can a person’s body go on when they have to wait 24-48 hours after eating a “small” meal (more like a few bites of food), to be able to eat again without increasing their pain beyond the level the prior meal caused?   The worst is being told that there is nothing they can do, when there clearly is.  Exploratory surgery is the only way they are ever going to find out what is going on.  Never in all my years have one of my cysts or any adhesions and the trouble they were causing ever discovered from a test or scan of any kind.  Is my provider willing to risk my life just because their tests aren’t explaining my pain?  I guess we’ll find out.

It has been a long time since I experienced such an emotionally dark week.  I cried and continue to cry every day.  Some days I sob and others I just allow tears to flow down my cheeks.  I am taking life day by day and will figure out how to continue to do what I love no matter how bad my condition gets.  This means that you will see posts about me visiting Disneyland.  Just remember that my going to the park doesn’t mean I am better or healed, it means I just really wanted and needed some Disney Therapy.  As for the pain, I will learn to live with a higher pain level, as I have done time and time again.  Until I am able to find a physician to help, I will continue to find ways to make sure my body is getting the nutrients it needs to live.  I will also continue to cling to my faith and draw comfort in the fact that I am still alive.  I will continue to make adjustments.  I tearfully accepted that I wouldn’t be able to join my family and friends at a conference this weekend.  Part of me wondered if I should have pushed through the pain and fatigue.  However, my pain and exhaustion level proved that I made the right decision. 

My mask has cracked.  I can no longer pretend that I am fine or that I am not afraid.  Thankfully I can also see the joy and good in my life.  So don’t let my tears and sometimes dark thoughts be mistaken as signs of giving up.  Not only do I refuse to give up, I also refuse to give my conditions permission to keep me from living a full and meaningful life, no matter how long or short it may be. 

Here’s to hoping my next update will have some better news!!!

Wishing that even during your darkest days, you are able to find even the slightest sliver of joy,

The Disabled Diva

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The Fay Farm Healing CBD Hemp Lotion ~My Review

The Fay Farm Healing CBD Hemp Lotion

 

A little over three years ago I made the decision to ditch pharmaceutical methods for treating my chronic conditions and began treating them naturally.  The first step was to wean my body off of the prescription medications and detox.  Once my body was free from those toxins I began medicating with Medical Marijuana.  Within weeks I experienced significant improvement from my Psoriatic Arthritis and Fibromyalgia symptoms.  At that point I was only medicating with edibles or by smoking a joint.  Later I discovered topical Medical Marijuana products which helped greatly reduce muscle and nerve pain.  Unfortunately, those topical MMJ products all have a strong marijuana scent.  While I like the smell of marijuana, I didn’t like smelling like I had just smoked a joint while out in public.  Thanks to The Fay Farm and their Healing CBD Hemp Lotion, I experience relief without smelling like I have been hanging out with Tommy Chong.

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Before I share the type of relief this lotion provides my body with, I want to tell you a little about this company and their products.  The Fay Farm is dedicated to creating quality natural body care products and crafts their products with all natural, organically-sourced materials!  Along with the Healing CBD Hemp Lotion they  also have an extensive line of natural shea body butters and their highly acclaimed Healing Hemp Salve, which is an excellent natural treatment for Psoriasis, Eczema, Ichthyosis, Contact Dermatitis, itching skin, burn care and bug bites. Warming Muscle Rub has been used for the relief of sore muscles, rheumatoid arthritis, cluster headaches, migraines, and as a pre- and post-workout balm.  None of their products contain parabens, alcohol, mineral oil, or phthalates.  They also list all of the ingredients for each product on their website, which is awesome for people like me that have many allergies and sensitivities not just to medications but to natural ingredients as well.

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The product that I was given to try is the Healing CBD Hemp Lotion.  This product is made with organic ingredients: Purified water, hemp oil, grape seed oil, apricot kernel oil, emulsifying wax, stearic acid, argan oil, 200 mg. CBD oil, burdock, calendula, chamomile, chickweed, comfrey, licorice, nettle, plantain, St. john’s wort, essential oils, gluconolactone and sodium benzoate (certified organic preservative).     The purpose of this product is to provide relief for neuropathy, and other nerve pain. It is also effective relief for eczema, psoriasis, contact dermatitis, and other auto-immune skin disorders, and soothes burns, bug bites, athlete’s foot, ringworm, and dry, damaged skin.

I am one of the lucky people who don’t suffer from many skin outbreaks from my Psoriatic Arthritis.  With that said, because I didn’t have any outbreaks during this time of testing I can’t comment on how it helps in regards to that.  However, I do experience extreme muscle, joint, and nerve pain on a daily basis.  Another issue I have is with the side of my left hand and the sides of my feet.  The muscles in those areas react terribly to bone pain by seizing up.  They become stiff and the pain is so bad that it feels like I broke my hand or foot.  I lose use of my hand and feet when this occurs.  The muscles around my sacrum do the same thing.

Wondering how it worked?  This product is amazing!!!! And just so you know, I am not saying this because I received this product for free.  I truly love and believe in this product.  I will begin with my sacrum.  I began by rubbing the lotion in that area every morning and evening.  The intensity of my pain decreased greatly within 5 minutes of application! But a reduction in pain wasn’t the only perk, my muscles also began relaxing.  After a few days I began to notice some popping of joints in my lower back. The last time I experienced so much popping was during my last full body massage. This was happening because my muscles were finally relaxing enough to let go of my spine.  Because of this I have also experienced a reduction in nerve pain that normally stems from my back.

 

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I awoke one morning with the side of my left hand so angry that it caused me to lose use of my pinky and ring finger.  This happens more often in the summer months as extreme heat exasperates my condition, so I was thrilled to be able to test this during our first blistering heatwave.  I rubbed some lotion into my hand and the results blew me away.  Like my sacrum, I experienced a reduction in pain within minutes.  I also regained function of my hand, pinky, and ring fingers in that time!  Within minutes I went from not being able to pick up or hold my phone and not being able to type to being able to do whatever I wanted with that hand.  But the best part was how long the relief lasted.  My hand was pain-free for the entire day!  I didn’t have to reapply the lotion until the next morning.  After applying it to my hand every morning for an entire week, I found myself not needing to use the lotion every day.  A few weeks later and I only need to apply it to my hand two or three times a week.    My experience with my feet has been the same as what I experienced with my hand.  In addition to that I have had a nerve pinched in my left ankle for the past two months.  No matter what I tried, I could never get my muscles to release it.  After a week of using this lotion, my muscles finally set that nerve free!!!

So how does it work with nerve pain?  I have permanent nerve damage in my upper left thigh because a surgeon accidently sliced a set of nerves between my pelvis and left thigh.  The pain is constant and maddening.  In the past I have used a THC oil to help keep from losing my mind.  Most of the time that product would reduce the pain some, but sometimes it would make my leg tingle which at times was just as annoying as the straight up nerve pain.  Prepared to experience the same results I rubbed the Healing CBD Hemp Lotion into the area.  To my delight, there was no tingling, just relief!!!

While I already knew the benefits of medicating with marijuana, I had never tried a CBD only product.   This product is not a “band aid’, it provides more than superficial temporary relief, it provides healing!!   I truly believe that with prolonged use, I will experience more improvements.  The wonderful thing about a CBD product versus a THC product is that the CBD one does not contain the psychoactive cannabinoids that the THC does.  What does that mean for you?  It means that it doesn’t matter if you live in a state or area that hasn’t legalized marijuana for medicinal use for you to be able to purchase and use it.  Anyone and everyone can benefit from this fabulous product!

I highly recommend this product to anyone who suffers from muscle, joint, or nerve pain.  I plan purchasing more bottles of this spectacular lotion and the salve form for when I am on the go!

Wishing you a day filled with gentle hugs and many reasons to smile!

The Disabled Diva

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