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Plants as Medicine

Tracey Columns

Dear Tracey,

I have lived with a chronic illness for the last twelve years. My life was completely controlled by the debilitating pain I have in my joints. I’d become housebound and lonely. It was so depressing.

I hope you’re sitting down because what I have to tell you may be shocking. My friend suggested I try marijuana. This came right out of the blue. If you saw us on the street you’d think we were a couple of sweet old grannies, which we are. She explained that her doctor suggested she try a drop or two of some tincture for her pain and she has felt so much better.

I probably shouldn’t tell you this but I tried some of her drops for about a week and I actually felt better. I almost cried I was so happy. I didn’t get “high” which was one thing that had me worried. Now I go to her doctor and I have my 215 Medical Marijuana card. There is a really nice dispensary in town and they treat me with so much respect.

But I’m afraid maybe my kids will see me walking in there so I need to tell them about this medicine. I know they’re both happy about how much better I feel but I also know that they have very negative feelings about people who abuse drugs. I used to think marijuana really was a demon drug too. It seemed to ruin so many lives.

But I won’t give it up now. I feel like I am able to live my life again. How do I tell my kids and not have them judge me?

Enjoying Life Again

Dear Reader,

I am so happy to hear that you are “enjoying life again.”  Living with chronic pain can be very depressing. You already know that trying your friend’s ‘medicine‘ wasn’t the best idea, but I understand how pain makes people do things they know they shouldn’t do.   I’m glad your experiment was successful and that you pursued proper medical treatment. Welcome back to your life.

Treating chronic pain is a difficult process, in part because pain has so many different causes. As you well know, in many cases there just aren’t effective medicines for pain management. Or sometimes, an effective medicine provides relief but only at the expense of severe side effects.

While I’m certainly not an expert in this field, for the last few years, I’ve been curious to watch how the use of medical marijuana is evolving in mainstream America. Derivatives from this plant have been used to treat a host of physical health problems, including pain management from cancer and migraines, as well as seizure disorders. Oklahoma    Governor, Mary Fallin recently signed a bill that would allow medical trials of cannabidiol  (CBC) for sick children. (Cannabidiol is a non-psychoactive component of marijuana that appears to possess a variety of therapeutic benefits.) The FDA has also approved other prescription medications derived from the marijuana plant for the treatment of nausea and to improve appetite, common side effects of chemotherapy.

Like you, many people are finding their way to trained physicians who understand the value of properly administered medical marijuana. Because you have this support in place, ask your doctor for additional information to utilize when you speak to anyone about this treatment and its value.

Begin your conversation with your children by pointing out how much better you feel. This will help them keep an open mind. Tell them you are under a doctor’s care and be quick to point out that medical marijuana is drastically different from ‘street” marijuana. Clarify the obvious fact that you are hardly “abusing” drugs. Explain that your prescription is completely legal in California, as well as 22 other states and the District of Columbia. Finally, remind them that their mother is an informed and responsible adult who has found a way to enjoy life again.

I can’t imagine your children will judge you for taking care of yourself but if they do? Keep enjoying your life! I hope that eventually they will educate themselves and be happy that their mother’s pain no longer dictates how she lives her life!

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