Health

Patient Voice: Abbey-“I’ve been masking with cannabis for most of my life.”

Abbey Hughes has been self-medication for cannabis since she was a teenager, but her life still makes sense after she was recently diagnosed with ADHD and found to have autism at the age of 32. I will.

“At school, every teacher will say,’Abby does a great job, but she needs to stop becoming a perfectionist.’ I always pay attention to the details and everything needs to be uniform and color coded.

“I collected perforated stones and spent my 21st birthday at a train station in Stockholm,” Abbey recalls.

“I was always a little different gear in this strange little world, but no one noticed.”

After she was diagnosed with ADHD at the age of 32 this year, these little personality traits are now beginning to make sense for Abbey – and only a few weeks later she was found to have autism.

As a teenager, she was diagnosed with depression and anxiety and prescribed medications and treatments to control her symptoms, but now she is beginning to see her life in a different way. lens.

“I was told that I had anxiety and depression, and I was absorbed in CBT therapy and realized that I was taking various medications, but I found that I had ADHD that was not actually diagnosed.” She continues.

“No one saw it because I wasn’t a hyperactive little boy. About what these invisible conditions are and how they actually affect you. We need to change our perspective. “

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder affects millions of children around the world, but bOy 2 times or more You can be diagnosed as much as a girl.

According to the Childmind Institute, women tend to be older than men at the time of diagnosis. This is because the symptoms are often different from those of men and are less common.

Coexistence conditions such as Depression and anxiety It can also cause complications and delay diagnosis.

Abby has long believed that it was cannabis that “helped her deal”, which may be the reason her symptoms were able to get under the radar.

“I’ve been using cannabis almost every day since I was 14,” she says.

“It’s only now that I’ve noticed to the extent that it helped me embark on the world. It really helped me deal with work and social situations-one day I was in the life and soul of the party. Yes, others just don’t want to talk to anyone. “

She adds: “I’ve always relied on it, but I didn’t realize it was my medicine until a while later. I’ve actually masked it with cannabis for years and years. I’m looking at it through a brand new lens. “

Cannabis grown in Abbey’s family was known as “Nanny Carroll’s Herbal Tea.”

“My naan was always using cannabis. I knew it wasn’t allowed like alcohol or cigarettes, but I didn’t think it was an illegal drug. It’s my naan. It was something special. ‘tea’.. It was never on our face, but it was never hidden from us either.

“After being diagnosed with anxiety and depression and realizing that it helped, I started using cannabis as a teenager, but I didn’t have a routine or suitable medication., Only used in social situations. “

But as she grew up and her health became more complex, cannabis also began to provide physical relief.

When Abby went to her doctor about the debilitating pain she experienced during her period (which could last up to 10 weeks), she was told it was just “menstrual pain” and implants to prevent them. Given Just at the age of 15..

“I didn’t want to tell my mom in case she thought so. for “Contraception,” she remembers.

She inserted the coil when she was finally diagnosed with endometriosis in 2012. This describes her as “the worst thing that has ever happened.”

“I had to get it in a few weeks. Now I have a sloping pelvis and I’ve found it super mobile. Nobody wanders there It shouldn’t have been, but for years no one picked it up. “

Doctors provided medications such as amitriptyline, gabapentinoid, and fentanyl patches, but she couldn’t control the pain and she continued to consume cannabis illegally. I went to Amsterdam and found a strain that seems to be good for endometriosis.

By the time Abbey was referred to a rheumatologist, a few people said her symptoms sounded like Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS).

She was first diagnosed with fibromyalgia and hypermobility, and then with EDS. Expert Center in London in 2017.

EDS is a group of conditions that affect the connective tissue that supports the skin, tendons, ligaments, blood vessels, internal organs, and bones.

It can affect people in different ways, and in all parts of the body – for some people the condition is relatively mild, but for others their symptoms can be helpless. there is.

Abbey tells her a gastroenterologist and a cardiologist who discovers an intestinal problem Postural tachycardia syndrome (PoTS) – This explains why she has been fainting for years and doesn’t know why.

Abbey underwent major surgery in 2019.

“They basically saved me because they helped me understand what was happening in my body,” she says...

“There were so many different things, but one thing that was common to all of my symptoms was that he was helped by cannabis.”

At the time, Abbey was working as an operations manager for the NHS in complex departments such as weight loss surgery, hereditary metabolic diseases, and neurology, managing one of Europe’s largest osteosarcomas at one point. Department..

After dropping out of a creative media degree a year later, she says she got a job at the “pure chance” of 21 and moved from band 3 to management. “Make im

Proof in managing the waiting list. “

“They gave me a chance, but I don’t know how I did it,” she says.

“At one point, I and seven of us ran Europe’s largest osteosarcoma center and reported directly to the CEO.

“I covered everything, but ironically, I was frowning. Drugs, Opium, forever. “

Abbey eventually broke down and became redundant from her role while on the major waiting list. Orthopedics, herself.

“I lost my entire career because I got sick and didn’t know why,” she says.

In February 2019, she underwent invasive treatment. It included cutting into her hip socket in three places Like her femur And she has metalwork embedded in her legs.

The doctor warned her that it would take 10 times longer to recover due to PoTS.

“By the third day, the other three right I was really frustrated as I stood up and walked, “she says.

“I talked to the nurse and started drinking THC oil made by a friend. The next day I walked as well as climbed three stairs. The nurse helped me how it was. I was able to see if it made me continue to use the oil. “

Losing her job meant she was finally able to be honest about her cannabis consumption.

“I was doing a little Advocacy Around cannabis and I talked carefully to the NHS people and asked about the endogenous cannabinoid system. as if I didn’t know anything about it. I finally came out and became patient and able to be honest about it. The law changed, but I still couldn’t afford to get a prescription. “

As of 2020, Abbey currently has a medical cannabis prescription. This describes her as a “life-changing person.”

That same year, she helped launch the Patient-Led Engagement for Access (PLEA) with a group of other patient advocates to challenge inequality in accessing narcotics at the NHS.

“Now I’m prescribing it, I’m in a better place. I’m tramadol, amitriptyline, Dihydrocodeine, Diazepam – – Dozens of different medicines. They were all replaced with CBD oil and two THC flowers. That’s all I take. “

“It was a game changer, I can get up in the morning and be productive.”

A few weeks ago she shared a video with her, a friend, and the co-founder of PLEA. Lucy Stafford A 3-mile roller blade along the Brighton coast.

“With a continuous source of dosing, I was able to go out and use the roller blades as part of my recovery.

PLEA has celebrated many important achievements, including its first hosting since its launch just a year ago. Medical Cannabis Awareness Week November 2020.

PLEA’s Patient Working Group, the hub of the organization, gives patients a say and Their experience is at the heart of the development of the UK sector.

“PLEA is completely independent and run by volunteers. It is built by patients for them because they need to focus and expand in this area,” says Abby.

“We don’t have holidays. Every day we get messages from patients, scholars want to talk to us, and journalists are in touch. This is really grateful, but it’s non-stop. ..

As chair and outreach director – alongside many other hats she wears – Project Twenty21 Patient access consultant and co-founder of Plant Ed Collective – it’s easy to take it for granted that Abbey himself is a patient.

“People look at me with roller blades and I think I’m fine, but I’m not. Sometimes I do roller blades, but sometimes I need a stick to walk.

“I am also a patient and it was cannabis that could do all this,” Abbey adds.

“And I find it useful to have ADHD.”

In our Patient Voices series, we share the stories of members of PLEA’s Patient Working Group.

Read the meaning of medical cannabis EP, Gillian, Margaret And Jonathan

For more information Click here for PLEA Patient Working Group &visit pleacommunity.org.uk For more resources

Patient Voice: Abbey-“I’ve been masking with cannabis for most of my life.”

Source link Patient Voice: Abbey-“I’ve been masking with cannabis for most of my life.”

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