Scribed with permission from one of our GNG patients.
"I want to share my story with you so that you can share it with others in hope that what I have experienced with Cannabis can benefit others. I am a 65 year old female who has a history of chronic pain disease, RSD or Reflexive Sympathetic Dystrophy, OR as it is named now - CRPS or Chronic Regional Pain Syndrome.
I was in good health until 1999 when my care was rear ended and I suffered a bad concussion and my left branchial plexus was severely injured by the seat belt. The seat belt saved my life and I am very grateful to be alive today. The injury seemed to heal as that as the physicians were concerned, but I persisted in agony with unrelenting, burning, crushing pain in my left shoulder and entire upper extremity. Nothing I did relieved the pain. I could not work, sleep, or take care of my family. So after much complaining they sent me to an anesthesiologist who informed me that I have this horrible, rotten disease, that I knew nothing about. Apparently they didn't understand the disease either. I was told that I needed a series of six nerved blocks to help resent my nervous system. There was a chance that the blocks could spread the disease to other parts of my body. By this point I was so desperate I would have tried anything to get some pain relief. I had two nerve blocks, which were extremely painful. The physician tried and botched it. It did not work. The disease spread to both of my legs, which were normal prior to this. I could barely walk, and the pain got worse. I was sent to pain management for the next 18 years.
I have taken almost all of the pain meds prescribed for pain. Oxycontin, oxycodone, fentanyl, and methadone. I suffered for years with serious side effects including: nausea, vertigo, cardiac arrhythmias, hallucinations and confusion. I was a different person. Oxycontin and methadone were the worst. I felt like a guinea pig. I was on methadone for eight years and hated it. I have been taking care of a handicapped husband this whole time and i needed to have something to function. You trust that the physicians know best, but they do not.
I have gone through more pain to get rid of pain. I live in Delaware and the state decided to cut off all pain management patients needs in half. This was the states solution to the drug problem here. Chronic pain patients are treated like we are bad people and addicts. We are monitored closely. My pain clinician wanted to keep increasing the methadone. I tried not to take the increase dose of methadone despite the horrible pain. I was always a thin person, but these drugs messed up my heart and metabolism. I gained weight and felt horrible. In the fall of 2016, I titrated down the amount of methadone I was taking and then went cold turkey. I thought I was dying but I was determined to get off of this stuff. After a week of torture being off of methadone I went back on Morphine Sulfate ER 15mg every 12 hours. My pain was a little more bearable. My present physician told me after the fact that methadone is as addictive as heroin. I NEVER would have taken that drug is I knew this. By the grace of GOD and support from my loving family, I got off of this stuff.
Now that cannabis was legal in my state I got a medical card. There is a lot of stigma around cannabis, and fear from local physicians and hospital here. It is slowly changing. I tried vaping which helped the pain but exacerbated my asthma. I was introduced to cannabis through my brother who knew Sherri and her work in helping to manage patients with chronic pain. I learned about Charlottes Web full spectrum CBD rich hemp oil. We developed a plan together. I take 1/3 dropper in morning, and add a few drops through the day. My usual pain score is 8/10, with 10 being the worst pain and somedays my pain is a 12. Soon after ingesting this oil my pain score went down to a 2/10. I couldn't believe it!! I literally cried for joy! I have no side effects at all. I had forgotten what it felt like to be a normal person. I can function now. This has Transformed my life. IT is life altering. I have my life back after I all these years of agony
When I look back at my life and what I went through I think that my attitude of "your can't help or control what happens to you, but you can control your attitude" and my faith is what kept me fighting and hoping that there was an answer for me in my fight to conquer this bully. I now know the hard way, that I needed to take control of my own health and not let physicians decide what is right for me. God placed me on this earth with a plant with healing properties. Taking the full spectrum hemp oil has greatly improved my quality of life without interfering side effects. I had been taking oxycodone 15m 3-4 times a day daily for breakthrough pain. I don't need it now all the time. For now am still taking the extended release morphine. I never gave up that someday I could quit these opoids. My health degraded significantly with these drugs and now I am getting my health back.
I have been taking full spectrum hemp oil for 2 months now. There is hope. I am extremely grateful to Sherri of the GreenNurse Group for the work, compassion and understanding that she demonstrates. It is my hope that by sharing my story that it can benefit others who are struggling with debilitating illness. There is a better way than those dangerous drugs. We all need to stand up for ourselves and take responsibility for our own health. Yes, we need physician input but we need to have an open mind to cannabis and its amazing benefits. It transformed my life. Again, I thank Sherri for all of her help and support. Full spectrum help oil changed my life for the better.