Cannabis used to treat symptoms of fibromyalgia.
Fibromyalgia … fibro-what? I hear you cry. One of the wonderful “invisible” illnesses that I have been “blessed” with. I’m just your average 26 year old, but with a few added nasties. I have fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, arthritis, an under-active thyroid, mild IBS, moderate depression and have been newly diagnosed with gallstones. Nice little mixture of conditions to deal with.
My usual daily routine consists of waking up in severe pain, popping a hand full of lovely pharmaceuticals and just “getting on with it”. Unfortunately, over a very short space of time, my body has built up a resistance to most pain killers and so they are now rendered useless. The doctor has said the next step for me with regards to relieving pain associated with fibromyalgia is Morphine, which I wouldn’t touch with a 10 foot barge-pole!
On a “bad” day, which seem to occur all too frequently, I’m faced with spinal pain and hip pain which makes it difficult to walk, stiff shoulders and hands (I’m great at dropping things lol), and wonderful “fibro-fog” (where your brain is so frazzled you cannot string a sentence together). On days like these I just feel useless. Basic daily tasks, like dressing yourself, become mammoth chores. I usually find myself just sitting down and feeling ready to give up. Not the best attitude I know, but it’s hard to find positive thoughts when you feel so low.
So today started out just like any other day. I woke up feeling quite stiff, in pain and gearing up for what looked like a “bad” day. I couldn’t just sit down and feel sorry for myself today as I had a meeting to attend, so I soldiered on.
When I finally got in and had sorted myself out I got to the point where I had had enough. My left hip was really painful making walking rather unbearable. On a scale of 1 – 10 where 1 is good and 10 is super severe, I would class it at 7/10. My shoulders were achy and stiff around 4/10 (on a good day they’re only 1/10). The pain in my lower back was up to 5/10 and my hands were really stiff to the point where gripping things was becoming difficult; 6/10.
I decided that enough was enough and that my wonderful pharmaceuticals were not doing what they proclaimed they would do. So, I chose to try the cannabis oil tincture that my partner had procured for me to treat the symptoms of my Fibromyalgia..
I took 5 drops at 3pm when the pain was at it’s highest and decided to keep track of how I was feeling in intervals of 15 minutes. I also thought I would take note of how I was feeling with regards to any possible “high” from the cannabis itself. Now I usually smoke cannabis for pain relief, but my partner has done lots of research into the different ways of taking cannabis and found that apparently ingesting it is supposedly more effective. So I thought I’d give it a go, what’s the worst that could happen! The pain would stay the same!
After 15 minutes I was amazed. My pain had already started to decrease quite dramatically compared to my pharmaceutical alternatives. I didn’t feel “high” as such, just a little spacey, which meant I could still function fully without any problem.
After another 15 minutes (making 3:30pm), my pain had reduced even more and I felt fine. The “spaciness” had worn off and if anything I just felt a little tired, which is nothing unusual for me.
I decided to make the interval a bit longer this time and left it until 4pm before recording anything again. This time the pain was down to a completely manageable level and I was feeling really good.
I topped up again with another 5 drops at 4:30pm and still feel really good. It’s now 7pm and I’m typing this little account with no pain in my hands or shoulders, minimal discomfort in my lower back and manageable pain in my left hip. It’s honestly the best I’ve felt in a long time.
I’m definitely going to keep this trial going, as I’d much prefer taking the cannabis to the pharmaceuticals as there aren’t any nasty side effects, other than the inherent legal issues. It is somewhat ironic how the doctor could legally give me morphine (opiate pharmaceutical) to treat my fibromyalgia, but using a far safer alternative such as cannabis could result in a prison sentence..
Fluoxetine 20mg capsules x30 – Per pack £96, Per year £2304 (two packs per month).
Amitriptyline 10mg tablets x28 – Per pack £86, Per year £1032 (one pack per month).
Tramadol 50mg capsules x30 – Per pack £109, Per year £2616 (two packs per month).
Total yearly cost of £5,952.
This is a personal story from a NORML UK member with fibromyalgia who wishes to remain anonymous.