Multiple Symptoms

By Lorie

Hello, my name is Lorie and I'd like to share a story about my use of marihuana and the relief that I get from smoking it and about what I truly believe is responsible for my good quality of life today.

When I was born, I had a kind of cluster of abnormal vessels and veins underneath my brain. These are called arterial venous malformations, or AVMs. Over the years they developed blisters or aneurysms which under stress got weaker and weaker as time went by. In my case, they got so weak they burst, causing a severe stroke when I was 26 years old. Because of these aneurysms I was given a less than 15% chance of survival. My family was counseled and prepared in the event that I did not pull through the surgery. They said that if I survived I'd probably suffer permanent brain damage.

Well, that's not the case, because you see I'm still here. I had to learn how to walk all over again, and I did lose my speech and eyesight for a while. But my mind never left.

Now I walk and talk fairly well and my eyesight is normal with glasses. But I do suffer permanent nerve damage on the entire right side of my body. I live with chronic pain from my neck down to my buttocks and I sometimes suffer the most excruciating migraine a person could imagine. My equilibrium is so off that I haven't a very good sense of balance. Because of this I stagger when I walk, so I sometimes have to concentrate on each step I take to make sure I don't walk into a wall or something. When I'm lying down and look up to talk to somebody, there is so much pressure behind my eyes that it makes me nauseous and dizzy. Or if I want to watch TV, I have to sit up and watch because when I lie down there are two of anything I look at.

When I was discharged from hospital, my doctor prescribed many medications to be taken several times a day. I took pills for pain (Vicodin, codeine, Feldene), and pills for stress and to help my muscles relax (Valium and Flexeril). Valium plus Elavil were prescribed for sleep and I took phenobarbital to prevent seizures. Now to be honest, I have to say that all of these medications did exactly as they were intend to do. I was on cloud 9 all the time. No pain and no stress. At bedtime I would pop a pill so I could sleep. Well, after a while that 1 pill turned into 3 or 4 pills. As did the Vicodin, the codeine, and the Flexeril. I wasn't taking them just for pain or sleep or nervousness. I was dependent on these pharmaceutical medications.

Marihuana helped me overcome that dependency. I was smoking it occasionally at the time and I continued to smoke it as I gradually tapered off. After a while I quit taking pharmaceutical medications altogether.

I now use only marihuana. When my head starts hurting, I use a liquid marihuana tincture. Because of the nerve damage I suffer, it's sometimes difficult to control where my feet are going when I walk, and my right hand is pretty much useless because it shakes uncontrollably when I start to use it. I find that when I smoke a couple of puffs of a joint, I can relax enough to control my feet and legs and my hand doesn't shake quite so badly. I have better control over my whole body. At bedtime, instead of taking sleeping pills, I like to eat a nice marihuana brownie with a glass of milk. Believe me, I sleep like a baby.

I feel as if not only was I given a second chance at life itself, but I was also given the choice of commercial drugs versus marihuana. I chose marihuana. Marihuana relieves all my symptoms without the addiction and side effects of prescribed pills. I now live a good quality of life.

Thank you and God bless.