Lyme Disease by Cynkay Morningstar

I am a 44-year-old divorced woman with two children ages 22 and 24.  I have recreationally used cannabis off and on for the past 30 years.  Until about 5 years ago I was very active, hiking, bike riding, and dancing.  I have a Master's degree and am all but dissertation for my PhD in psychology. 

For a while I was going on several extended backpacking trips per year, and it was on one of these trips that something happened that has brought me to writing this story.  I was bitten by a deer tick and contracted Lyme Disease.  Unfortunately, I was one of those people who donít notice the tick bite and never get a rash.  My symptoms came on gradually, and it took about 5 years until I became so disabled that I was no longer able to work.  At first I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome, and it wasn't until this past summer that my doctor and I came to the Lyme diagnosis.  My symptoms include chronic pain, terrible fatigue, brain fog, disorientation, insomnia, confusion, memory loss, heart palpitations, and neurological dysfunction, along with many others that come and go.  Fortunately, I live in a fairly liberal part of California and there is a local doctor who works specifically with medical marijuana patients, so I have been "legal" for the past few years.

I find that marijuana helps me in many ways.  It alleviates my pain and often gives me the energy to do the simple things that most people take for granted, such as going to a movie or for a walk in the park.  It helps my sleep to be more regular and keeps my nervous system on a more even keel, reducing anxiety and depression.  When I feel too sick to fix myself food, it stimulates my appetite so that I have more inclination to eat.  I find that just a couple of puffs off my vaporizer 2 or 3 times per week is enough to allow me to have a quality of life that I know would be impossible if it weren't for this medicine.  It helps with the nausea that I often experience from the high doses of antibiotics that I take to treat the Lyme bacteria, and makes my herx (die-off) reactions much more tolerable.  I am able to keep pain medication to a minimum and avoid the side effects that NSAIDS and opiates cause.  All in all, I know that my quality of life is much greater than it would be without my medicine.