In the last 3+ years in my search for relief and healing of my Crohn’s disease with medical cannabis, I have also tried more supplements than I can probably remember or count. In addition to possibly every cannabis product and delivery method available, I have tried various multivitamins, minerals, digestive enzymes and other products including chaga, shilajit, Himalayan pink salt, blackstrap molasses, powdered fruit and vegetable juice capsules, colloidal silver, melatonin, bee pollen, Manuka honey, lecithin, probiotics, and fermented organic foods including miso, raw Kombucha, raw apple cider vinegar and raw saeurkraut and fermented vegetables, all at significant out-of-pocket cost which have left me destitute. I didn’t care if I spent every last dime I had on finding an alternative treatment that worked because as an un- and undertreated Crohn’s patient, my pain and symptoms were not responding to conventional care and the relentless agony of my raging autoimmune and digestive disease had become unbearable. I was willing to try anything and everything if I thought it held any promise to heal me, or so I thought.
For 3 years of trial and error on medical cannabis and supplements, and 2 years of conventional treatment before that, I had been willing to try anything, absolutely anything if I thought there was any chance that I would finally “get better” and be able to return to my previous life, or to any life at all and this appears to be common amongst Crohn’s patients specifically. I once read about a Crohn’s sufferer who was willing to try a “fecal transplant” but he misunderstood the directions (and the concept) and ended up drinking the infusion instead of inserting it rectally and I knew exactly how he felt — Crohn’s patients will literally drink someone else’s shit if they think they might find relief from their suffering. That’s how unimaginably hellish Crohn’s disease is. In my own case, my last attempt at conventional treatment was to agree to take immunity-decimating infusions that would’ve left me susceptible to opportunistic infections, cancer and death (my attempt was thwarted when the doctors prescribing the treatment fired me once I was accepted for Medicaid which was probably a good thing and left me no choice but to move across the country to seek healing with medical cannabis).
The last and final supplement I tried was colostrum and I ordered it from Amazon without even fully knowing what it was, just that it was a “natural” supplement that some people on the internet said had helped them with their ailments and that the relief was immediate and substantial. But once I started using the colostrum and the more I researched it and figured out what it really was, something inside of me said “enough.”
Colostrum, for those who don’t know, is the first milk of a lactating mammal and is intended for her newborn, in the case of most commercial colostrum supplements, the first milk of a lactating cow meant for her newborn calf. My first clue that there was something dodgy about it was that colostrum supplements are not available in an organic version; what I realize now is that organic farmers probably know better than to deprive their calves of colostrum and therefore refuse to sell it. In my case it wasn’t a panacea, and I now know that nothing is a panacea for Crohn’s which is an incurable, progressive disease notoriously resistant to conventional or alternative care, including medical cannabis although that has helped greatly. If taking colostrum once would have cured me, I might not have regretted taking it even knowing what it was and that probably would’ve been my own moral failing in the face of looming homelessness as a chronically ill woman with no familial or other reliable means of support — I absolutely needed to get better and start working or at least functioning again if I had any hope of surviving this shitshow known as end-stage capitalism and patriarchy, morality (I guess?) be damned.
But as a seriously ill Crohn’s patient, in order to get any lasting relief at all from colostrum or anything, I now know that I will need to take it for the rest of my life. And I decided that I was unwilling to purchase or use colostrum again not because I and my health specifically are not worth stealing a newborn mammal’s first milk, but because I do not think any human is worth that and that it therefore simply should not be done. Human beings, and human life, simply are not worth wreaking that much damage and havoc on other living things and living systems, and what’s more, I do not see how anyone could expect to heal physically, mentally or otherwise while exacting such a cost on the natural world in which we live. And in that vein I had to seriously consider the question: are we what we eat, drink and breathe? And on what and how many levels does this assimilation occur? I tend to think that yes, we are what we consume, and that this operates on every level including psychic/spiritual if there even is such a thing and I think there probably is.
Consuming terror, torture, deprivation, pollution, or any flavor or manifestation of deliberate harm cannot possibly be expected to make us well, and at any rate the claim that it does or even that it could seems to be an extreme claim that would normally require extreme proof — in this case, there is no such proof asked for or provided. The baseless assumptions of the efficacy of these necrophilic treatments abound, where that road is in fact littered with the dead and dying bodies of sick people perhaps particularly autoimmune patients whose diseases are notoriously unresponsive to conventional care which often makes them worse and causes iatrogenic illness and disease up to and including death.
And thanks to corporate cannabis interests and state regulation there is a necrophilic context to even medical cannabis which has been “tested” on dogs by feeding them large amounts of cannabis-infused chocolate and the dogs died from the chocolate. Cannabis, being non-toxic at any dose and having a historical presence that predates capitalism and patriarchy at least has some redeeming qualities and is widely known to be effective for a variety of ailments, especially when compared to the efficacy of conventional treatments many of which are known to kill you, but now we must consider what else does it likely do, or what did it once do that it no longer can? Surely modern cannabis bears little relation to its ancestors. And even relatively benign bovine colostrum, perhaps especially once I realized what it was and how it was obtained, is surely a sickening brew that cannot reasonably be expected to be anything except what it is — something that belongs to someone or something else, that was never intended for me, and something that would only be thinkable from within capitalism and patriarchy (and agriculture) in the first place.
In sum, capitalism and patriarchy is not a health-producing culture on its best day, and our consumer products including medical goods and services produced by a globally destructive corporate conglomerate are no longer merely a reflection of that necrophilia but today are also a large part of its cause. So as a practical matter, where there is little or no hope of necrophilic treatments making us well again, what are seriously chronically ill people realistically expected to do to find relief? I do not know the answer to that, but I think in this context the euthanasia conversation is extremely relevant where the chronically ill have little hope of getting better and where conventional treatments often make us worse, and where even supposedly benign “natural” supplements like colostrum are deeply rooted in a culture of torture, deprivation and death.
Beyond suicide — assisted or otherwise — is there any other way to reliably escape the ravages of disease which are only made worse by the ravages of a death-dealing necrophilic culture, especially for women who are our culture’s primary resources and targets? I think radical elemental feminist Mary Daly’s concept of the Background may be the only place chronically ill women can find relief from our multiple and overlapping layers of suffering, but without resources, escaping the worst that capitalism and patriarchy have to offer by living on the boundary of it seems impossible. Of course, relying on capitalism and patriarchy to fund Background boundary-living seems fundamentally contradictory. And between impossible and fundamentally contradictory, I rather have to choose the impossible. Don’t I?
It is from this place that I am attempting to move forward, in the only way that seems possible for me now as a seriously chronically ill woman with no money, no credit, no eligibility for benefits and little ability to earn. And although this was not the original intent of this post, I suppose I may as well offer people the opportunity to help me achieve the impossible. If you would like to and are able, please consider donating to my Patreon page here.
BTW I am nowhere near healthy enough to ride my bike to and from the grocery store, which is what I was attempting in photos #2 and #3 above. These pics were taken as I laid in someone’s driveway waiting for a cab to pick me up and take me the rest of the way. I have a long way to go before I will be able to do this successfully, if I am ever able to do it at all. But for now, I have decided that I want to try.