How My Diagnosis of Arthritis Changed My Opinion On Marijuana

July 18, 2018

 

From drug free to applying topically, eating, and lighting up medicinal cannabis. 

 

If you asked me less than 4 years ago my thoughts on marijuana they wouldn't be the same as they are today. I was not into it at all, then my opinion drastically changed, just like my life did. 

 

After being diagnosed with a triple whammy of arthritis I now rely on marijuana as a much needed pain and side effect relief. It helps with depression and anxiety that also come with my chronic illness. To me that is a super drug! Not a cure, but relief

 

It really helps take the edge off having so many types of chronic invisible pain. 

 

 From a young age I was adamant on never touching drugs in my life. At least nonprescription drugs. I don't like smoking and quite a few of the "pot heads" I met over the years really put me off on the drug. I grew up around chain smokers and I remember when you could smoke in restaurants. I brag to this day I have never smoked a cigarette. I know, people look at me with all my tattoos and make assumptions. Nope, never smoked a cigarette, never touched drugs and now that I don't drink that surprises some until I tell them why - chronic illness. 

 

 

Have I ever been uncomfortable around someone who smoked marijuana? No, absolutely no. I can't say so much for alcohol or other drugs. I didn't like being high at first because I didn't like feeling like I was out of my own control however the more I experimented and built my tolerance up I haven't looked back. 

 

Marijuana is about to become legal in Canada this year, for a reason. I don't understand why some treat marijuana as a class A drug. 

 

Exposure To Drugs

 

 

Being a big fan of extreme music I have been exposed to enough drugs throughout my life. I've seen the effect it has on someone physically and emotionally. I've felt their need for drugs overcome their morals. Many of my favorite musicians lost their lives to drugs and alcohol. My father lost his art gallery in the 1970s to cocaine. 

 

Why did I never do drugs? I guess I just knew the consequences can be way worse than a fun time. I did not want to ever risk becoming addicted so I thought best to just never touch them. Being exposed to downtown Vancouver's reputation for drugs was also a big eye opener for me at a young age.

 

 

While I don't drink anymore, I do occasionally get recreational high on marijuana for entertainment as a way to replace alcohol at some social events. Or at home. 

When I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis I decided to give up alcohol, for my health even though I wasn't reaching the maximum amount of drinks per week even. With my health it wasn't making me feel good at all and the effects of it lasted longer than any enjoyment from it.  In some ways, marijuana replaced alcohol for me. It also helped cheer me up when more than half of my friends stopped calling me because my life changed so drastically. Marijuana has brought me in new friends, often being a thing I can relate to just about the most random people - the need for medicinal marijuana. 

 

I did not think twice about taking the hefty pharmaceuticals that my rheumatologist was prescribing me. I understood their purpose to help prevent me from becoming crippled. I didn't want to have to take them as much as I didn't want Rheumatoid Arthritis, my new pal that was never going to go away. 

 

In the past three years I have been on numerous medications for multiple chronic illnesses and what comes along with it. Including methotrexate, plaquenil, dicloflenac, humira, sulfasalazine, orencia, and actemra

 

 I've had many adverse side effects including: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, extreme lack of appetite, vertigo, stomach bleeding, headaches, night sweats, itching, anger, intense depression and suicidal thoughts. 

 

Marijuana has been the only thing that has helped me through almost all of these.

 

No, the side effects of marijuana are not always perfect. I don't like how it interferes more with my fatigue and sometimes I don't like feeling high, depends on what I am doing. I don't like how it makes me more forgetful than I already am and I didn't like the weight gain from the munchies at first. These were concerns of mine before when people recommended I try marijuana. Originally I didn't believe in the medicinal properties of marijuana. I kinda thought it was just hippie talk. I was wrong. 

 

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