Speak up! It is your health, I think Jeff is lucky - he appears to have figured out early, how to do what is best for his body.. too many of us don't 'get that' until much later and too much damage done.
I started using cannabis in grade 9.
Then for the next few years I was your average 'rebellious' pothead teenager, or so I thought. Also around the beginning of high school I began having a lot of issues with my tummy. Okay, that is an understatement; SHIT was bad and getting worse! After telling my family doctor three times that I was often in pain and getting bouts of bloody diarrhea, he decided I should see a specialist.
My first appointment with the specialist I was told I probably had crohn’s disease.
After a bunch of tests no person should have to go though, it was confirmed I had a severe case of crohn’s. The next couple years I did a lot of research and tried many different medications to control my symptoms.
Around the time I was diagnosed with crohn’s, marijuana for medical issues seemed to be in the news more, I saw AIDS and cancer patients getting relief from many of the same symptoms I was suffering from. After googling ‘marijuana & crohns’, I found Michelle Rainey (R.I.P). Her website really inspired me to view the cannabis I had been smoking for years as the medicine it truly is. I realized for many years I had been mainly smoking it before eating or when I felt 'crappy' and would conserve it better than most teens.
After that realization I spoke to my family doctor on many occasions and three gastrointestinal specialists about the Health Canada medical marijuana access program (MMAR), they all had similar opinions that cannabis has no medical value for my condition.
How could I be denied the only thing that brings some relief from terrible symptoms caused by this nasty disease? I did eventually find a specialist who at the time was only seeing patients in similar situations to sign their MMAR paperwork. Then after two years of 'monitored' use my family doctor finally agreed with me enough to start signing my yearly renewals. Even with my MMAR I still don’t have reasonable access to medicine.
I am glad to have a doctor that will sign, but he still doesn’t understand that I need much more than 3 grams per day to be able to make strong enough extracts to effectively control my disease, and then the issue of MMAR not allowing those extracts. Until very recently I have not been able to grow myself because I rent and can’t find a grower wanting to grow for a small prescription. As of right now (03/03) I am waiting on my first production license(PPL), but I am stuck trying to decide if it’s worth setting up a grow now because Health Canada is taking away PPL’s on April 2014. Unfortunately, right now cannabis is the only thing keeping me able to work, yet a large portion my income is going to cannabis.
The main symptoms I treat with cannabis are abdominal cramping, nausea, diarrhea and low appetite. There has been many times where cramping and diarrhea have been so extremely painful, and then just a couple of puffs will sooth my stomach to the point I am able to eat and continue living. In addition to the symptoms cannabis helps, I also find it very useful in minimizing some of the side effects of many prescription drugs I have been on. When I was on Remicade, I would get extremely stiff and sore joints and muscles after every injection for about 2-3 days, cannabis would help reduce the pain to get me though those days. At the end of last year I decided to stop taking Remicade because it was only giving me a couple weeks of partial relief every two months, and has way too many potential side effects that I am terrified of. Although I may not be in complete remission yet, my disease is fairly well controlled with cannabis alone. I am now taking a small dose of RSO every night, and use medibles during the day and vaporize or smoke for immediate relief as needed.
Recently after meeting a few cannabis activists that were touring from the west coast, I felt driven to get more involved. Now I am helping to arrange more cannabis friendly events and protests around my hometown, Kitchener. My dream is to one day be more involved in medical cannabis by owning or working for a local compassion club or vapor cafe. I am constantly meeting many great people in the ‘cannabis community’ and I am genuinely proud to be involved in it. I hope one day everyone who needs cannabis has access to it.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crohn's_disease -General info about Crohn’s disease
http://www.michellerainey.com/ > Michelle Rainey’s website