By Mia Maysack, PNN Columnist
I've lived most of my life with an ongoing migraine -- often trapped in a hazy brain fog induced by prescription medication.
Suggestions of all kinds of alternatives have been made to me, including cannabis. But it wasn't until my very first headache cluster – which lasted 54 straight days -- that I gave in and the medicinal use of this miracle drug saved my life.
At that point, I hadn't slept in an inhumane amount of time, wasn't able to work, participate in life, or keep food and drink down. Then a friend literally begged me to "take a hit."
Call me a square, but I didn’t take a sip of alcohol until my 21st birthday and had never used marijuana or had the desire to. What did I have to lose?
I had tried everything else. My arms were still bruised from IV's at the ER. So with absolutely no more craps to give, I lit up. And almost instantaneously felt better.
I spent a lot of time battling shame for breaking the law and the stigma of marijuana use. But I've evolved to accept my truth. Marijuana is not a gateway drug, unless a person makes the choice to escalate their substance use. No treatment option is meant to be approached as a cure, nor should it be a crutch.
Marijuana can be ingested in multiple ways, there are countless strains and products without the THC itself -- although that's the key element that eases my ailments. It helps me combat nausea, cultivate an appetite, gives a slight boost in morale, and get quality rest.
Cannabis works for me about half the time. But that goes deeper than a glass half empty or half full. It's a matter of having a resemblance of a life or not.
There have been no overdoses or deaths reported from this natural plant. Over two dozen states, as well as our nation's capital, have adapted to the reality that it can be used as medicine. It has saved and made A LOT of money, lowered criminal activity and rescued many others aside from myself.
If someone had told me one day I'd be writing about marijuana for the world to see, I wouldn't have believed them. But my public, unapologetic declaration is that cannabis provided a glimmer of hope during my darkest hour. I share this not to promote it or advise anyone else, but because I want to raise awareness and demonstrate the courage to step out of your comfort zone.
I've wounded relationships over this stuff, because not everyone can wrap their minds around it. I've also gotten in a bite sized amount of trouble over it -- munchie pun fully intended. It’s not for everyone but there are good reasons ill patients are being granted access to it. There’s research to support marijuana being helpful in attacking the opioid crisis, both for those struggling with addiction as well as those who are prescription dependent.
How a person chooses to conduct themselves is a matter of free will. It has nothing to do with whether a CBD oil extract or pot brownie helps them get out of bed in the morning. It’s a matter of self-accountability and self-care. Cannabis saved my life.
Mia Maysack lives with chronic migraine, cluster headaches and fibromyalgia. Mia is the founder of Keepin’ Our Heads Up, a Facebook advocacy and support group, and Peace & Love, a wellness and life coaching practice for the chronically ill.
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.