This user story may contain triggers for some readers, so please take care and be mindful of yourself throughout. Even so, like so many of you who have been through or are currently going through your own health journey, this particular story is still so important to share.
Debbie was like any of us. She had a family, friends and just so happened to need surgery to correct some issues with her arms.
After the surgery though, she began experiencing unimaginable burning pain in her right arm, which had been much worse than the left arm had been. After going back and forth for two months to her surgeon, they decided that the most likely reason for this pain may have been due to a nerve that had become trapped during surgery, and so she was sent to a neurosurgeon to figure out what step could be taken.
Surgery was recommended, but as Debbie remembers it, she was given just three possible outcomes from her neurosurgeon:
“1) They find the trapped nerve, release it and I'm pain free, 2) find nothing and I'm back to where I am, or 3) opening up my arm could make it worse.”
But without many other options for her and with a desperate need to stop the pain that continued unabated, Debbie decided to go ahead with another surgery to see whether they could do anything to stop the pain.
Unfortunately, the surgery that would see Debbie have a ganglion block placed in her neck, did not help with the pain at all. So, her next step saw her buy an expensive machine machine that cost her $2,000 USD.
“It had leads on it which I attached to my head which sent impulses to the brain to say ‘it's not in pain’.”
But even after this costly investment, there was no perceivable influence on the pain she experienced constantly.
Debbie began feeling helpless with her situation. Having to constantly battle through the persistent pain had deteriorated her mental health. So she was prescribed painkillers as well as antidepressants to help with the depression she had developed as a consequence of her worsening health.
Just twelve months later, Debbie was back in surgery, but this time for a hysterectomy. Just over a year and a half after that, she was back in hospital for a prolapsed bowel. Unbelievably, Debbie was again in hospital a year later to have a sling put in for bladder support. The years, full to the brim with surgery after surgery, painkillers and depression topped off with a persistent lingering pain, all came to a head when Debbie was diagnosed with fibromyalgia.
Fibromyalgia is a condition that causes pain all over the body with symptoms ranging through:
- increased sensitivity to pain
- fatigue (extreme tiredness)
- muscle stiffness
- difficulty sleeping
- problems with mental processes (known as "fibro-fog") – such as problems with memory and concentration
- irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) – a digestive condition that causes stomach pain and bloating
It is a condition that as of yet does not have any known causes, but in many cases the condition appears to be triggered by emotional or physical stress. With all these surgeries and emotional stress that Debbie had gone through, it was no wonder she was given this most recent diagnosis in a string of so many before it.
Debbie was at the lowest point she had ever been. The pain and the increasing amount of health problems were beginning to weigh too heavily on her. She didn’t want to continue anymore.
“One day, I woke up and I had had enough. I took all my pills, and just wanted to sleep and not deal with pain.”
Debbie only remembers waking up in the emergency room. Shortly after she was transferred to a psychiatric ward to monitor her mental health, but it seemed her mental health would only go to suffer further by what she witnessed in the public mental health ward. She was terrified by what she saw there. Luckily, her husband managed to move her into a private hospital where she stayed for three months.
During this period Debbie went through sessions of cognitive therapy, but found that she had to remain on the painkillers and antidepressant medication that she’d become reliant on from years of using them to help her sleep.
In 2017, she happened to meet a woman also living with fibromyalgia. She was Debbie’s masseuse, and she told her about how CBD had helped her with her own problems with fibromyalgia.
“I was skeptical at first, but after a while I was open to finding more about it. I researched, signed up to a social on line group in the States called ‘CBD and fibromyalgia’ and was blown away by so many positive stories of how CBD helped them.”
Debbie was guided in the direction of the Endoca 3000 mg Hemp Extract Decarb Paste and says that it has worked wonders for her. Though the pain is not completely gone, she has found that it has relaxed her enough to be able to ‘sit’ in her pain, rather than reach straight for her prescription painkillers.
Incredibly, Debbie has been able to get off her antidepressant medication also and has ceased taking Lyrica - a heavy neurological pain medication, also used as an antispasmodic - and other opioid medications. Just recently, Debbie was even able to get completely off Benzodiazepine, slowly reducing the amount s down from 30 mg a night to just 3.5 mg, and now none at all.
“It's not been easy cutting down on this benzo… I have tried in the past and only lasted one night. CBD has helped me get this far - I am eternally grateful.”
Debbie has changed her life; from trying to end her life at her lowest point to being the hopeful and balanced person she is today. While practicing yoga and listening to her body had a calming effect on both her body and mind, she praises CBD as the catalyst that allowed her to see past her health issues and continue working to improve her quality of life.
If you or someone you know have had experiences using CBD for any medical conditions or diseases, and if you would like to share your story with the CBD community, please don’t hesitate to contact our Community Manager, Claire, at firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to hearing your story, so that we can continue shedding light on all the possibilities of cannabis and CBD.