What is Autoimmune Disease? A Radical Proposal.

In the last 6 years spent researching my autoimmune disease and others, I have learned that what is known as autoimmune disease is not well understood by capitalistic patriarchal medicine.  Just saying those words puts a shiver down my spine because since when does capitalism and patriarchy tell the truth about anything, especially anything that regular people could use to better understand their world and their station, and especially any information that regular people, especially women, could potentially use to better their own lives?  They say they don’t understand the cause of autoimmune disease, and that that’s why they also can’t seem to find a cure; they also can’t offer any advice for what to avoid that may potentially cause or trigger it, things you shouldn’t be exposed to, conditions you should never endure, but “stopping doing” or “not doing” or “avoiding doing” is anti-capitalist and anti-consumerist at base.  Of course they would never tell us what to avoid doing so that we were never struck down by a crippling incurable progressive disease, and definitely not one that’s so, so profitable.

Whether they know or not really isn’t my point or my concern since there’s nothing we can do to find out if they don’t want us to, but it does make room, I think, to think outside the box and consider more radical possibilities when in fact all possibilities remain on the table.  Big Pharma and Big Medicine playing dumb or being dumb opens doors to radical theorizing about the possible origins and causes of our diseases because we know we need to start from the beginning.  Anymore, I just naturally assume everything we “know” and don’t know about disease is a lie.  And in the case of autoimmune disease, Big Medicine likes to say that it’s a dysfunction or misfiring of the immune system — that “for some reason” the immune response “mistakes” healthy and native tissue for diseased tissue or pathogens and starts erroneously attacking it with white blood cells, fever, inflammation and the like, in order to kill it.

In the case of Crohn’s disease, “something” is indeed seriously damaging if not killing my tissues and this has been demonstrated on scopes where I have been found to be housing countless aphthous ulcers in my small intestine and ileum as well as chronic inflammation (as far as I know there is no necrosis, and I assume I would know if there were).  But I think the claim that my or anyone’s immune system, which have evolved over millenia and seem to have been successful to date have made a mistake carries a large burden of proof, and so far I have not seen the proof.  And particularly in the case of women, who comprise the majority of autoimmune disease patients, and where capitalistic patriarchal medicine has long assumed that female bodies were defective and “doing ‘body’ wrong” as compared to men and male bodies, the suggestion that it is our female bodies which are defective and mistaken is absolutely suspect.

Continue reading “What is Autoimmune Disease? A Radical Proposal.”

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“Addiction” is Only Relevant to Recreational Use. If You Can’t Stop Taking it Anyway, Who Cares?

After about a year of costly trial and error in trying to find which medical marijuana products and dosages worked for me to treat the unrelenting pain, symptoms and damage of my Crohn’s disease, I finally found a cannabis product that kept me at a comfortable level of medication 24 hours a day — transdermal patches.  Some people only need a half a patch and can leave it on for 48 hours and stay comfortable but I found that I needed 2 full patches, and I will change them every 24 hours if I am feeling ill, or leave them on for 48 hours when I am feeling relatively well.  These are very low dose and very expensive per milligram compared to other products like edibles and vape, but I have found that this delivery method works the best for me especially with regard to gut spasms and urgency where I no longer feel tied to the bathroom and can mostly take care of what I need to in a day.  The low dose does not make me feel stoned either, just physically and mentally comfortable and not constantly reminded of my pain and not constantly monitoring my condition and having to think about medicating, worrying about getting “too low” where my pain and symptoms came back with a vengeance and then not worrying about getting “too high” where I was incapacitated from the medicine.

When I discovered the patches, I felt like I had finally gotten my life back although as a chronically ill person with an incurable and progressive disease, I never really feel “well” as a well person would define that, and I have not felt like “myself” in 6 years.  And now that I have been using the patches for about 2 years I have noticed that I cannot comfortably come completely “down” from them without my symptoms returning immediately — if I let it go longer than 24 hours when I am sick, or longer than 48 hours when I am feeling relatively well, I know it.  I begin feeling run down, feverish, have a weird full-body sensation of extreme physical and mental irritability which I can best describe as a combination of humming/vibrating and crunchy/scratchy, I have sleep disturbances and insomnia, and my gut symptoms return including deeply aggravating gurgling and bubbling, nausea, bloating, heartburn, terrifying esophageal spasms for which many people visit the emergency room of hospitals every year because it feels like you are dying and can be mistaken for heart attack symptoms, gut spasms, bogginess, pain, urgency, and diarrhea.

Of course, I had already had all of these symptoms, including the weird irritability crunchy/scratchy/vibrating thing just from the Crohn’s and well before I ever tried medical cannabis.  I have researched the effects of “cannabis addiction” and withdrawal, which seem to be a thing although being merely extremely uncomfortable it’s nothing like the dangerous and potentially deadly effects of opioid and opiate withdrawal, and the symptoms of cannabis withdrawal seem to mirror the symptoms of Crohn’s more or less exactly.  So when I “come down” from my medication, am I having symptoms of cannabis withdrawal or Crohn’s?  And if I am “dependent” on and can’t stop taking the cannabis anyway because as a person with a dangerous inflammatory bowel disease I will need to take anti-inflammatory or other medication for the rest of my life to avoid a dangerous flare, and cannabis is a powerful anti-inflammatory, does it even matter if I am “addicted” to or dependent on the cannabis at this point?  If I can’t stop taking it anyway, who cares?

Continue reading ““Addiction” is Only Relevant to Recreational Use. If You Can’t Stop Taking it Anyway, Who Cares?”

“The Cannabis” is the Only Reason I Can Tolerate This. Another Family Member’s Response.

You are totally wrong about Crohn’s survivors.  The real survivors have real families and real jobs and real lives.  You need to up your game.

This was my mother’s response — remember her?  She’s a nurse.  She was responding to me telling her — a nurse — that Crohn’s disease is incurable and progressive, and that if she thought that my treatment with medical cannabis was a failure because I wasn’t cured, she wasn’t thinking things through.  A nurse, a fucking nurse, not only has no idea that an incurable and progressive disease is both incurable and progressive, she disbelieves me when I tell her, and she has obviously never even bothered looking it up.  Here is the first result when you ask Google “Is Crohn’s disease progressive?”

Stages of Crohn’s Disease

Crohn’s disease is marked by inflammation of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. The inflammation can appear anywhere in the GI tract from the mouth to the anus. People with the disease often experience ups and downs in symptoms. They may even experience periods of remission. However, Crohn’s is a progressive disease that starts with mild symptoms and gradually gets worse. The stages of Crohn’s range from mild to moderate to severe. The earlier you treat and manage Crohn’s, the more likely you’ll reduce your risk for developing severe symptoms.

That was from Healthline but it’s also on other sites as well, like this offering from a peer-reviewed medical journal:

Crohn’s disease (CD) is a progressive disease that is subdivided into three phenotypes: inflammatory, stricturing and penetrating. At diagnosis, most CD patients have inflammatory disease. However, the natural history of CD is one of progression over time to structural complications of the gastrointestinal tract (strictures and fistulae) requiring hospitalizations and surgeries.

And this from the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation, a well-known Crohn’s and colitis charity (whatever the hell “charity” means in that context.  They fund medical research) when asked whether Crohn’s is incurable:

Known collectively as inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis affect more than 1.6 million Americans. That’s one in every 200 Americans living with one of these debilitating, medically incurable diseases that attack the digestive system.

Continue reading ““The Cannabis” is the Only Reason I Can Tolerate This. Another Family Member’s Response.”

A Family Member’s Response.

After reading your email, I just don’t see how your “treatment” has led you any where but down and out.  Your list of food and supplements are far more expensive than any working person can buy on a daily basis.

You haven’t seen a “traditional” doctor for 3 yrs or more.  And I’m not a supporter of anyone using weed as a treatment.  It will NOT help anyone seeking a cure, it may dull the pain…..but I’m not sure on that one either.  In the end you are still sick.

Now you need to do the work to get you back into the normal medical system and work with in that system for your future well fare.  Your way has not come to a workable end for you.  It has depleted and used up all of your time, talents and income. It’s taken you 3 years for it to come to this, now change course and bring yourself back to the surface.

My sister recently suggested that I send out an email blast to my mom’s side of the family to tell them what’s going on and to ask for help.  Since I have started flaring the last month or so, probably due to my increasingly poor diet and the stress of my situation and looming homelessness due to having expended all my personal resources on out-of-state lodging and treatment with medical cannabis, she thought I needed to ask for help buying supplements to boost my health and recover my energy and temporary assistance with living expenses.  From there, I don’t know what she had in mind except that without health and energy, there is no way I would be able to do anything and I very shortly will need to make a change as I will be unable to continue paying rent in a cannabis legal state.

For 2 days I received no replies whatsoever to my correspondence.  Today, this came.  This is from my mom’s sister, who is usually the spokesperson of the family so I assume this is their collective response.  I have not responded yet, and I may never, because what is there to say?  Let’s take it bit by bit.

Continue reading “A Family Member’s Response.”

Terri Strange Reviews Cannabis Refugee, Esq.

Please check out radical feminist Terri Strange’s review of Cannabis Refugee, Esq.  Thanks to Terri and her subscribers for visiting and supporting this project!  As Terri mentions, I do have a Patreon and am holding a pledge drive for May 1 donations, please see more about that here.  All pledges made between now and April 30 will be charged to your cards on or around May 1.  Pledges made after April 30 but before May 31 will be charged on or around June 1 and so on.  This is a critical time for me as I am at the end of my personal resources to deal with this issue.  All donations will go toward my medication and living expenses as I try to maintain the hard-won gains I have made in my health thanks to my 3 years of treatment with medical cannabis, and as I try to find a way to survive with this horrible illness alone, a thousand miles away from friends and family who are unable or unwilling to help.

As Terri also mentions, I am also interested in getting this material up on YouTube to potentially reach a greater audience.  If anyone is able and willing to make that happen, please contact myself and/or Terri.  Terri is an experienced vidder and vlogger and is willing to offer technical assistance to anyone interested in creating videos out of this material on my behalf.  Thanks for reading and supporting this project.

–Cannabis Refugee, Esq.

Advertising vs. Reality. Crohn’s Drug Commercials are Big Pharma Propaganda, People! It’s Not Real!

Big Mac (Real vs. Advertised)
It’s been awhile since I ate a fast food hamburger, but as I recall, it was even flatter, (somehow) both wetter and drier, and even more repulsively englobulated than the one on the right.  Englobulated, it’s a real word because I say it is!  Because everything anyone ever says about anything has to be true and people (and multi-billion dollar for-profit corporations) never make shit up to create a mental picture or steer the conversation and they definitely never lie.

Thank you RA Warrior for addressing the vast discrepancy between depictions of patient suffering in Big Pharma advertisements and what actual real patients actually experience in real life with their diseases and when taking Big Pharma drugs to treat our serious chronic illnesses.  RA Warrior blogs about rheumatoid arthritis which is an autoimmune disease like Crohn’s is: both are systemic autoimmune diseases that cause body-wide inflammation and symptoms including organ and eye damage, and RA causes particularly notable joint damage while Crohn’s causes particularly notable gastrointestinal damage.  Notice I said damage, not just “symptoms.”

While RA sufferers are progressively crippled from damage to and deterioration of the large and small joints in the body, and have other systemic issues as well like organ and eye damage and just feeling like crap all the time from head to toe, because systemic, Crohn’s patients are progressively crippled from damage to the GI tract including ulcers and erosions, fistulas, adhesions, perforations, and partial and total obstructions and have systemic effects on organs and eyes and feel like crap everywhere all the time too.  Yay!  And while most patients eventually figure out from painful, exhausting and crazy-making experience that the most prevalent (or only) cultural conversation about their disease isn’t true, most healthy people seem to have no idea and never learn what these diseases are really like, how much havoc they wreak on the body as a whole including organs and joints, and that they are both incurable and progressive.  That means that chronic, incurable and progressive diseases like RA and Crohn’s never get better and they only get worse despite the fantasy of effortless healing and full, glorious recovery being pushed by the global Big Pharma propaganda campaign hawking expensive and gravely dangerous poisons to unsuspecting and desperate patients and their families.

Continue reading “Advertising vs. Reality. Crohn’s Drug Commercials are Big Pharma Propaganda, People! It’s Not Real!”

How Much More Can My Heart Break? Testing Crohn’s Drugs on Animals & Does Radiation Cause Crohn’s?

When I was first diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, a confounding incurable and largely untreatable autoimmune disease, my treating doctor spoke to me in code.  He strongly suggested that I use my intelligence and research skills as an attorney to “research the treatments available” to me and at the time I didn’t understand what he meant.  Why couldn’t he just tell me about the treatments available for my condition himself?  I have since concluded that he was telling me that nothing in his arsenal was going to help me and that if I was going to be saved from a lifetime of medical and bodily horrors I would have to save myself.  I have now spent going on 6 years researching my condition and available treatments and I now believe that he was leading me towards discovering medical cannabis; I have indeed found profound pain relief and significant healing with medical cannabis, supplements and organic and fermented and organic foods, where I never found any relief at all from Western medical treatments that were only making me worse.

But in researching my condition and available treatments I have also exposed myself to countless “studies” in peer-reviewed medical journals describing horrific medical trials on animals where the animals were deliberately induced with what I now know is probably one of if not the most painful and debilitating conditions imaginable, inflammatory bowel disease.  And where Crohn’s treatments are largely ineffective for most Crohn’s patients anyway, and certainly do not reliably work long-term and can even make people sicker through various iatrogenic illnesses and injuries, I have to ask what is the point of all of this animal suffering in furtherance of an impotent Crohn’s Big Pharma arsenal that doesn’t even work?  Why is it so hard to find Crohn’s patients and other seriously ill people complaining about what is being done in research laboratories (animal incarceration facilities, and torture and death chambers) all over the world supposedly in our names and to benefit us?  And what is the effect on seriously ill people — on our conditions and on our bodies, minds, hearts and souls — where we know this is being done and we aren’t offered a reasonable opt-out of the necrophilic Western medical machine that perpetrates these horrors and doesn’t ask us or care what we think about it?

Continue reading “How Much More Can My Heart Break? Testing Crohn’s Drugs on Animals & Does Radiation Cause Crohn’s?”