Cannabis being legal allows me to meet people with years of experience and years of hiding it in order to remain respected in business and in life. After legalization people get a true look at what cannabis users are like. I never really comprehended chronic pain until I was forced to live with it. Naturally when I met Kimemery Ashe I couldn’t help but feel we were destined to be friends.
It was several exchanges on Facebook that I was given the privilege of finally meeting this sweet inspiring lady. Kimmi is happily retired and worked as a nurse most of her life so she’s no stranger to medicine.
It was a pretty day considering it was December when I found myself in a coffee house in Tulsa with Kimmi and a new friend the both of us had met just that day. For someone boasting with personality she sure didn’t have much to store it. She was smaller than me and I stand 5’2” and I’m probably a size 4 depending on the store.
I wasn’t expecting such a small person after seeing how much this lady bakes, I gained five pounds just reading her wall. I am always eager to help patients with the gift of baking as not only am a connoisseur of cannabis I also am a fan of cake.
Christian Nordqvist wrote an article for Medical New Today entitled “Cannabis Does Not Reduce Pain It Makes It More Bearable”
He states in this article, “According to MRI brain imaging scans in this latest study, areas of the brain that interpret pain were not affected significantly when people took THC. It appears that cannabis affects people’s emotional state in a way that makes pain less awful.”
“A desire to wake up one day and just feel normal.”
Along with pain comes the stress. Along with pain comes exhaustion, irritability and most importantly a desire to wake up one day and just feel normal. Unlike other pain sufferers this isn’t a victim story. This is a story of a courageous woman who fought hard against the dying of the light.
I can say this just from the brief few months I’ve known her she smiles even when her eyes don’t. She laughs harder at herself than she would anyone else and she’s always grateful for whatever advice or information we throw her way.
“I’m pretty pleasant, I have a pretty good outlook on life. I get overwhelmed, so I smoke, I’ve been smoking forever.”
This was an observation easily made by those who know her. There’s rarely a serious moment when we talk and even talking about her health.
There’s too many wonderful things to discuss instead of difficulties. There is a level of strength or weakness when talking about struggles. There are two things you gain from telling a sad story: You either gain pity or you get respect, you’re either a victim or you’re a survivor.
With strong survivors like Kimmi being a victim and not obtaining respect is unheard of. When I see tears from a survivor it’s rarely tears of sadness but more so tears of exhaustion. It’s tears of holding everything inside. Being a survivor means you step up and stop depending on others to decide what’s best for your body. It’s clinging to those flashes of light when every part of you just wants to sleep through it all.
“You’re either a victim or a survivor.”
Fibromyalgia is a disorder that causes widespread musculoskeletal pain. Research has suggested that fibromyalgia causes pain sensation to become amplified and largely effecting how the brain processes pain signals.
One of the most difficult things to tackle is pain and there’s a huge fluctuation of pain sufferers looking to cannabis to alleviate the symptoms that come with pain.
This is what Kimmi and many other fibromyalgia patients suffer through daily.
She medicates to deal with the mental effects and has been trying different strains and products. Every new strain she tries she makes a point to write a review which over time have become more and more impressive, “This beauty here is Tangie,” she boasts:
“Just look at her. She has a citrus smell with a hint of skunk you can taste it on the tip of your tongue. She’ll give you a nice head high.
Don’t worry though you’ll have plenty of energy to get things done like cook a big tasty meal because taking care of munchies won’t be enough. This beauty leaves you happy with the world while she works on your pain…”
She typically follows with pricing and where she purchased it. These reviews seem simple enough but over time it becomes a network of people with related illnesses that can save time not trying strains they don’t benefit from.
There are medications but like most of us have learned it doesn’t take long before the dose must be increased, or it stops working all together. One of the things most pain sufferers do is avoid medication until necessary or continually changing them to avoid increasing the dose. It is an entire life adjustment figuring out what you can take at what time, what you can drive on and will it alter your thinking? It’s a balancing act to maintain sanity but really to not become your pain.
When I think about cannabis patients I don’t just think of the stereotype as having my experience my image was that of a seven-year-old. The variations in age groups consuming cannabis is encouraging as I see more and more over fifty plus partaking.
As Kimmi and I discussed with time comes the effects of aging and those effects don’t all need a pill. Most doctors are merely alleviating the effects of time then medicating the effects of the medication. A vicious cycle to which nobody is getting well. I can’t say cannabis can tackle pain in its entirety but as a lot of us who have been researching and consuming, finding the right combination without the help of lab testing has proven to be difficult.
Once mandatory testing is in place having the right potency combined with the right combination of terpenes will work, but with the cannabis industry still in its infancy we must wait to truly have access to what we need to create cannabis-based medicine that work.
Pain is something that I have been working to tackle and I had reservations about being so open about cannabis not helping my chronic pain because I realize there are people who do feel relief. I didn’t want my experience to be the standard as I’ve seen the wonders it has done for my liver.
There are different types of pain and despite what I have read I know what I feel. It was my desire when I was first injured to avoid narcotics at all costs. One reason I can give for why cannabis works for some and not others could be because what most people suffer from is their body’s own ability to fight pain and how it has been replaced by narcotics.
“What we learn through our experiences is nothing short of solid research.”
I haven’t been able to explain this as I have had others argue that I’ve not picked the right strain, or I wasn’t processing it correctly. After visiting other states and trying other products I found one what tackled my pain entirely and it wasn’t simple.
I think of patients like Kimmi and how much more enjoyable waking up every morning would be without hurting. What we learn through our experiences is nothing short of solid research.
We can take our pain and let it take us down or team up like I have with my sweet friend.
— Teresa G