Margaret had just lost his job because of Covid-19 when he ran out of treatment options and the cannabis prescription gave her a faint hope.
“People say cannabis is a last resort, it really was for me,” says Margaret, 39.
“I have few treatment options left. I’m too young to run out of options.”
Margaret was finally diagnosed with Hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (hEDS) at the age of 34 after years of belief that the pain was caused by anxiety and “all in her head.”
“I was relieved to be diagnosed. I was ill for a really long time, but they couldn’t find an explanation,” she says.
“But there aren’t many treatment options for hEDS. Physical therapy is almost the only management offered by the NHS and then a medication to treat a variety of symptoms.
She adds: “I never get tired of the number of medicines I have taken in the last 20 years.”
This condition causes chronic pain and muscle spasms as the muscles try to bring together weak joints.
Formerly an athlete, Margaret’s symptoms became more severe with age, and her degree of activity now varies greatly from day to day.
“Even after living with this for most of my life, I’m somewhat unpredictable how EDS will affect me every day,” she explains.
“I can walk unsupported, but on some days I can’t go far, and on other days I need a cane or crutches. In the worst case, I wish I had a wheelchair.”
Among other conditions, Margaret also has Gastroparesis – The stomach cannot empty food in the usual way – IBS and some food and chemical sensitivity. And her mental health problems, such as anxiety, depression, and PTSD, can be debilitating as well.
“TStriving to manage complex situations is a full-time job, “she says.
Originally from New York, Margaret’s doctor suggested trying cannabis through a state medical program, but didn’t register because he knew he was going to move to the UK, which is still illegal. ..
Having arrived here with her British husband three years ago, risking illegal access to cannabis was never an option for her. In extreme cases, possession of cannabis as an immigrant can result in deportation.
Then, at the beginning of last year’s coronavirus pandemic, she became redundant from her job as a junior solutions architect in the automotive industry. And her symptoms swirled.
“After that, I really had a hard time managing things,” she says.
“My pain got worse, my level of anxiety increased, and my gastroparesis was on fire. Everything was really terrible.”
when Project Twenty21 She applied within a week and accepted her application in the summer as her husband was supporting her to help fund her prescription.
“I could finally try this and see if I could regain my quality of life,” she says.
“But my trip to cannabis has never been so easy.”
Margaret learned that he was intolerant of the MCT oil carriers used in the drugs prescribed through the program and had a hard time finding a strain that would control all of his symptoms.
The CBD flowers were good for her anxiety, but it didn’t relieve her pain, and the Indica strain helped her sleep better, but it wasn’t suitable during the day.
One product increased her joint pain and caused flare while improving her mental health.
“It was definitely frustrating,” says Margaret.
“I think a lot of people will come to Project Twenty 21 in the hope of immediate results, but that’s not my experience.”
However, cannabis led to a significant improvement in her gastroparesis, and Margaret explains that she was able to eat fresh fruits and vegetables without getting sick for the first time in years.
“It was a big win to be able to eat the right food again,” she says.
“Gastroparesis has been in the background for the past 12 years. I had to avoid fresh and raw foods, eat very small meals, and eat liquid foods for months at a time. 5 years I can eat salad for the first time and I will not get sick after 3 days. “
She adds: “That definitely means I can eat healthier foods. Undernourishment has a big impact on me, so it ultimately affects my condition. EDS.. “
Earlier this year, several new cannabis-based drugs were added to Project Twenty21, and six months later, Margaret found the right combination of drugs to better manage his symptoms.
“My mood, baseline pain level, activity level, concentration, sleep quality, digestion are all significantly improved, and gastroparesis is best managed in at least 10 years,” she says. ..
“I really understand the kind of inspiration that many patients experience when they are actually managing their condition with minimal side effects.
“But it took me a lot of time and effort to find the one that suits me. There are so many success stories, but behind each one, find out which strains, strengths, and methods of intake are useful to the individual. There was time spent for. “
PLEA (Involvement in Patient-Driven Access) Patient working group During this time, he has greatly supported Margaret.
She explains:With that peer support, I realized that if something went wrong, I had other options. They were a great group of people to really bounce off ideas and figure out what to try next, they even helped with things like learning how to vaporize. “
She recently advanced their mission on the organization’s governing board after joining when the group was launched earlier this year to ensure that patients have a say in the developing medical cannabis sector. It played a role in helping to make it.
“I’m excited to ensure that a patient-centric industry exists and continue to work towards advocating NHS access,” she says.
“In the field of cannabis, there can be many competing motives, which can really be overwhelming. It’s important to have a group of people around you who share the same goals. It’s you. Gives a safe space to. “
Cannabis patients are often stigmatized by others in society, but Margaret says she even faced backlash from other patients for her personal access to prescriptions.
“I attacked me because people could yell at me and talk about getting a prescription with money,” she says.
“In the field of cannabis, there is a very strong opinion about how patients can access these drugs, but every patient has their own story, It’s really sad when they attack each other.
Margaret adds:It is important for us to work together as we all have the same ultimate goal. It is to give patients access to medical cannabis. “
People with heart concerns warned about cannabis use
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