In 2003, I acquiesced to the chronic pain and debilitating anxiety and depression that I had been experiencing for years and applied for Social Security Disability. Having been a medical assistant, then retrained as a computer programmer; to retreat from the world in physical and mental pain felt like defeat.
The 19 different medication I was taking daily by 2005 only exacerbated those feelings.
Most of the medications were for side effects of other medications, but the physical and psychological diagnoses included: PTSD, Major Depressive Disorder with anxiety, interstitial cystitis with chronic pelvic pain and vulvadynia, IBS, duodenal & esophageal ulcers, chronic nausea from hiatal hernia and vascular pelvic congestion syndrome.
My personal and family history is significant. My paternal grandfather, father and nephew successfully committed suicide.
I am the survivor of multiple childhood sexual traumas, from multiple abusers.
Upon my separation from my husband of 22 years in 2010, and subsequent divorce, I began coping with the reality I had ended up in a sexually and emotionally abusive relationship with my no ex-husband that spanned two decades and had exacerbated the PTSD from my childhood abuse.
I exhausted the pharmacopeia of antidepressants, attempting suicide on each and every one during the years between 1984 and 2009.
In 2002, my physical prescribed fentanyl to attempt to mitigate the large amount of Vicodin she was prescribing.
I had been on and off of Vicodin for different pain, including post-surgical, for over two years then my primary complaint was bladder and general pelvic pain.
From 2002 to 2007, I was on a combination of fentanyl and Vicodin to control chronic pelvic pain due to interstitial cystitis. A myriad of other medications were also prescribed, as well as intra-catheter treatments of a lidocaine mixture twice a week.
Approximately 2007, my physical switched me from fentanyl and Vicodin to fentanyl and Percocet due to damage in my inner ears reducing my hearing ability.
In 2008, Dr. Jane Miller implanted an Interstim device to assist in controlling the urgency and frequency from the interstitial cystitis that was interfering with my sleep patterns.
In 2008, after the implant surgery, I also began using inhaled cannabis to relieve some of the additional pain. From 2007 -2009, my dosage of fentanyl remained constant at 100 mcgs.
In August 2009, I was discharged without notice by the physician that had been prescribing my pain medications and bladder instillation treatments from 2004-2009. Due to my husband’s abusive treatment, I was prevented from being able to detox in a treatment facility and forced to go through withdrawals with limited medical assistance (2 ER visits).
I didn’t realize how bad the PTSD and depression had been until it began to get under control in 2010 & 2011 when I started eating cannabis-based preparations.
In 2009 & 2010, I had multiple studies (brain scans & other testing) on my eyes and brain due to a combination of symptoms I now believe to have been at least partially psychosomatic caused in part by the abuse I had recently sustained.
Due to these tests, there exist many records at the University of Washington Medical Center (neurology & urogynocology), Harborview Eye Center and other medical facilities of my medical conditions before I began using cannabis heavily.
I have now been a cannabis patient for 7 years. I have used cannabis as my SOLE medication for the past 5 years, even denying outpatient pain or muscle relaxing medications when I sustained a compression fracture of T-11 in a 10 foot fall off of a ladder in 2014.
Thank you for your time in reading this, have a blessed day.