“It’s My Body”
August 20, 2012
It was the “burning to the bone” and “knives in my back” pain that provoked me to call my friend to get me some medical marijuana last night. I just went through a week of incredible stress—physical, mental and emotional—and the pain in my back is excruciating.
It is amazing how marijuana takes the edge off pain and gives me relief. Sure, there are pain medications like Vicodin or Percocet available, but I personally choose not to go that route since narcotics are addicting, cause constipation, and mess up my head and mental clarity.
Having advanced Multiple Sclerosis causes me to have pain from many factors:
*stressed body parts
I use a wheelchair, so the long hours of sitting intensify these problems. During the past week, out-of-state family came to visit and stayed at my house. Even though they pitched in to help, I was out of my daily regime of intermittent resting and exercising.
The stress from so much confusion/activity under my roof intensified my muscles to tighten, posture/spasticity to worsen, depression and moodiness to set in.
My usual relaxation techniques of deep breathing and Yoga did not de-stress me this past week. Then the barometer dropped and the rains came, increasing the pain even more. There’s no way to escape Mother Nature. If any doctor or researcher tells me that rain, barometric pressure swings and humidity coupled with heat does not affect a person’s multiple sclerosis, I say “bull crap.” I know my body and I know how I feel.
Pain is transmitted by nerves, and pain from nerve damage is different from the other types of pain. It doesn’t originate from muscles or bones, but from the central nervous system as nerve pathways are damaged by the MS lesions. This pain has been described as burning, aching, or stabbing. Sometimes there are prickly or itching sensations. Sometimes sensations get “mixed up”, where pain can be caused by the clothing that is worn. People who have had shingles can relate to this kind of pain.
After over thirty years of living with MS, I’ve accumulated a lot of nerve damage. When pain occurs from nerve damage, forget the aspirin or Ben-gay or any other over-the-counter meds. It just doesn’t work. Often, a couple of shots of scotch or ice packs will deaden the pain for me, but not always.
Chronic pain interferes with life physically and emotionally. Not only is pain depressing; it causes one to become agitated affecting concentration, memory, and being civil to people.
I tried medical marijuana before, and it definitely takes the edge off the pain for me. I’m not a regular user; I use it when all else fails. The way I see it, I’d rather take a few puffs of a joint than take a boatload of pain killers or alcohol.
Personally, I don’t care if it is illegal. The voters here in Arizona said “Yes!” to medical marijuana at the last election. But the state is fighting the path to go forward with it because it is illegal at the federal level. And the haggling will go on and on because government really doesn’t want to legalize it. But they will turn the cheek the other way to the dangers of texting or using cell phones while driving in this state. Or do nothing about the abuse of prescriptions for narcotics by doctors. How stupid is that?
So I have joined the underground. There are ways to get it and hide it. I have shed my good-girl image and doing what I have to do. If the cops want to arrest me over a joint, then that’s a chance I will take. But they have to catch me first and I am pretty clever.
I’m getting relief in the privacy of my home and not bothering anybody.
It’s my body and it’s my choice.