When the pain is so bad that you don’t want to live, something has to give. You will do almost anything for relief.
Fibromyalgia is characterized as wide-spread pain in the body with defined trigger points, the fibro ‘fog’ aka brain drain and 614 other symptoms, including back pain and spine deterioration.
It’s not fun and I’m almost telling the truth about the number of symptoms. In fact, the newest research includes some additional symptoms: pelvic pain, urinary problems including incontinence and painful urination. Fibro takes otherwise normal aches and pains and exacerbates their intensity ten-fold.
Treatments include drugs designed for diabetic nerve pain, depression, muscle relaxers, over the counter analgesics and opiates. Many of these medicines have terrible side effects and aren’t really specific to fibromyalgia.
Opiates are not the preferred method of treatment, but they helped me. Taking only one-third of the recommended dose, it still took the edge off. I tried recommended supplements. I then tried fibro-specific nutrients and diet spending hundreds of dollars along the way. After nothing worked, I went with marijuana.
I worried greatly. What kind of mother would I be if I smoked marijuana? What would people think? Reckless hippie? Uncaring and irresponsible? Had the proverbial cheese finally slipped off Deb’s cracker?
So, why did I? Because it works — in minutes — and there are specific strains of cannabis that are ‘designed’ to affect the body (CBD) more than your head (THC). Any mix of the two is called a Hybrid. So, now what? Especially when you don’t need or want to get stoned. I’m still a mom!
These days, there are enough articles, YouTube videos and special reports (see Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s CNN special series called, “Weed”) available where one can gain tremendous knowledge about cannabis. Just be sure the sources are legitimate. The companies that sell cannabis seeds have numerous strains broken down by their percentage of CBD, THC, other important components of the plant and strains for specific medical conditions and symptoms.
There are about 15 strains of cannabis that are highly recommended for fibromyalgia and back pain. One in particular has captured my attention. It’s called Harlequin Tsunami or its fun name, Harley Sue. With very high CBD levels and very low THC, it costs about $100 for seven seeds. Yikes! Where once this strain was unpopular for its low THC level, now with medical marijuana gaining in popularity, it has demand and value. Other strains like Northern Lights and White Widow are also recommended.
In the 23 states where medical marijuana is legal, the dispensaries will help the patient with the best strain for the pain. My state, New York State does not have fibromyalgia listed as one of the approved conditions. No, our pain hasn’t affected any decision makers just yet.
Many doctors are still afraid of the stigma attached to marijuana. Even though one of the most prominent universities and teaching hospitals is right in my hometown, their affiliated doctors are not signing on to be authorized prescribers of cannabis. There is a new dispensary just down the road. While we can’t get medical marijuana through them, we can “pick our poison” from any pharmaceuticals the doctor may choose for us.
We all know why.
What marijuana does for my body pain, with a high percentage of CBD and just a peppering of THC, is nothing short of amazing. The severe pain is minimized in minutes. Plus, there is no drug or alcohol hangover feeling afterward — and it takes very little marijuana to ease this horrible pain. I tend to use a dry herb vaporizer or a bong (smoke on the water) more than smoking a joint or a bowl.
Here’s the thing: I was so afraid to go this route. It was suggested to me many times and I always said no. It took a friend of mine, who is older than myself (she’s in her 60s, I’m in my 50s) to bring it to me and say, “Here. Just smoke it, doll! You’re in so much pain and it hurts my heart to see you like this!”
I’m so glad I did.
Within minutes, my pain was gone. And I could still function like a normal human being. I was not stoned nor was I any more goofy than usual. But, it’s still illegal here for recreational use and oh, for fibro pain.
Someone I know quite well offered to grow one of the marijuana strains that is good for fibromyalgia and back pain. Then, they delivered it to me. Such wonderful friends I have and they know the pain with which I have dealt.
I was a responsible widow with a special needs young adult child.
I still am.
Want to learn more? Check these stories out: