By Jennifer Sage, Guest columnist
I'm on Day 5 of a withdrawal from all of my pain and anxiety meds at the moment this is written.
I just took my morning kratom about 30 minutes ago, assisted to the kitchen with my cane, and right now I can not only walk without the cane, but have zero effects of withdrawal. A very slight headache in the first few days, on and off, but that's it.
I would like to mention I'm 35, a multiple sclerosis sufferer, and a prescribed pain med patient for 7 years. I took off my fentanyl patch on Day 1. Haven't touched a hydrocodone since Day 1. Haven't taken anything other than a tapering dose of clonazepam every other day due to the deathly dangers of stopping that cold turkey.
This plant is a miracle. I've gone through the worst of withdrawals from meds that I couldn't function on to a happy, peaceful, pain-free existence without the use of any of them.
I'm a single mom, an author of 7 published novels, a finance industry employee, and I suffered immensely every day, some days even with the meds. I have wonderful doctors and I don't believe the healthcare system has let me down because they were doing all they could to keep me as productive as possible.
I took nearly a year off work 2 years ago because the MS was unmanageable. I only wish I had known about kratom sooner.
Am I going to be a felon now because I can't live in pain and I refuse to go back to that madness of life that kept me sick instead of healing me? A felon for taking a leaf that Mother Earth provided to do this very thing?
I understand the need for regulation. Put an age limit on it. Get the junk out of the smoke shops that real users of kratom don’t use. Go into the forums and you'll see that true users of this plant are buying high quality powders that we mix in water or juice and take it like we would our very dangerous pills.
My 10-year old daughter just got her mom back. If you need her testimony of what life was like before kratom and after, I'm sure she would be happy to share with you. Kratom doesn't get you high. It's self-regulating. If you take too much (which I haven't, but I hear it can happen), you just get nauseous.
I've had days where I took 80-100 mg of hydrocodone on top of my fentanyl patch and was still in bed crying. I wanted to take 100 mg more just to stop hurting. But THAT would've killed me.
They've urged me to go on oxycodone and other more powerful drugs, but I get deathly ill when I take them. This is my choice. This plant that has no abuse potential, NONE, has in 5 days changed my life.
I will always be dependent on something to ease my pain. I choose kratom to be dependent on so that I can live my days without pain, and without the fog and stress of consistently wondering when my next meds can be taken. I would give my daughter this herb over the toxic pills for children once there's more research. There are no negative effects, but there are thousands of positive ones.
DEA, your war on drugs is with the meth labs and heroin that riddle our streets. Maybe if so much manpower wasn't being spent on this peaceful, harmless plant, a 10-year old girl in New Mexico would still be alive. Meth killed her and her mother. And you're going to put kratom in the same category?
It is our right to have a voice in this country, and you are trying to take ours away. Listen to the stories. We aren't trying to get high. We're trying to live our lives.
Jennifer Sage is an internationally acclaimed fantasy romance author, mother, advocate for healthy living, active hiker and, more recently, a user of kratom. Jennifer’s most recent book is The Last Valkyrie. You can learn more about her by clicking here.
Pain News Network invites other readers to share their stories with us. Send them to: editor@PainNewsNetwork.org.
The information in this column should not be considered as professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It is for informational purposes only and represents the author’s opinions alone. It does not inherently express or reflect the views, opinions and/or positions of Pain News Network.