I have tried so many different treatment options and therapies to help try to manage and maintain my mental health and chronic pain disorders. I have been on the medication roller coaster ride for nearly 20 years already, and I am only in my early 30’s! There was a lot that led up to me finally deciding to try medical marijuana. I put a lot of thought and effort into making this decision. It was by no means a spur of the moment thing.
When it comes to pharmaceutical medications, I feel like I have tried more than I really probably should have. I have had meds supercharge me into renal failure, I have had meds that caused me to be in excruciating physical pain to the point where walking was almost impossible and coupled with 20 pounds of bloat. I’ve taken meds that have made my symptoms worse instead of better. For me, I tend to have bad reactions or horrible side effects that are more on the uncommon side of things when it comes to medications.
It’s no wonder that I get excited about starting a new med and a week or two has gone by without having any negative reactions. But what I have had to learn was that just because I didn’t experience any bad side effects doesn’t necessarily mean that the medication in question will actually benefit me in any way either.
I am currently on more than 10 different medications for various reasons. I feel like sometimes the meds cause more harm than good. But that doesn’t mean that I am just going to stop taking them cold-turkey.
After speaking with my primary care physician about my overall health on numerous occasions, my doctor and I came up with a game plan for me to go for my medical marijuana card. The only downfall, is that in my home state the appointments to get the medical card are not covered by insurance and is, for many places, cash only.
The doctor I saw to find out if I qualify for the medical marijuana card said that I am an excellent candidate for the medical card. I had five qualifying conditions that ranged from fibromyalgia to PTSD and anxiety. In the end, I was approved and got my card in the mail shortly after.
My First Week Trying Medical Marijuana
I didn’t get my medical card with very high expectations that anything was actually going to change for me. I didn’t expect a cure all, but I was hoping to find some relief from my chronic pain and mental health conditions.
My anxiety sometimes gets so bad that I will have a panic attack when others are driving, especially if the driver plans on getting on the highway. Even on two different anti-anxiety medications, they have done absolutely nothing to help my panic attacks in cars.
But a week after starting various medical marijuana products I was amazed at the progress I had made in such a short period of time. The panic attacks that I had been experiencing in cars for over three years now suddenly eased up to the point where I don’t mind getting into a car anymore, even if the driver will be merging onto the highway! This is a huge accomplishment for me!
When it comes to my physical pain, I have also noticed that my pain levels are much more tolerable than before as well too! The medical marijuana doesn’t totally get rid of the pain, but it definitely makes it more manageable. And I deal with chronic pain on a daily basis pretty much between the chronic back pain, the chronic pain syndrome, and the fibromyalgia. Any relief from pain is welcomed.
There are other areas of my life that medical marijuana have also seemed to improve such as my frequent nausea!
So far, I have only noticed one adverse reaction, which could be something else entirely, but I have noticed that my legs twitch more at night than they used to within the past week. It’s almost like someone shoved bolts of lightening through my legs at night. But if that is literally my only complaint so far, I am amazed! Especially given my history and experiences with trying anything that can be labeled as a medication.
Perhaps going in this with low expectations have helped a bit but, in general, I am very pleased with the results that I am seeing so far and it’s only been about one week!
Samantha is the author of "My Bipolar Mind: You're not alone," she is also a freelance writer, blogger, and mental health advocate who runs and manages her own mental health blog MyBipolarMind.com.