As my readers may’ve seen or sensed from the recent comments and content on this blog, I have become disillusioned with the CRE writing project and may decide not to continue writing about my experience as a Crohn’s patient trying to survive outside the Western medical system that was not helping me and was only making me worse. As far as I can tell, this project has not inspired any additional writing or critical thinking on this subject, my posts have not been widely shared or inspired much interesting feedback, and this work has not opened up any additional opportunities for me in the way of writing or activism. Of course, those were not the reasons I started this blog in the first place but they are to be considered when looking into the future of this project and whether it is in my or anyone’s best interest that it continue.
My original intent in starting this project nearly one year ago was to document my experiences as a seriously ill woman for whom conventional medical treatments were not working including the social, financial and health-related fallout of this system that seems designed to control and punish sick people while we carry the blame and shame for Western medicine’s failures and even its lies. At times my health and financial situation have been so precarious that I actually believed (and still do believe) that I am going to die here, alone and in the middle nowhere, and I wanted the truth about what happened to me to be known or at least knowable by those who would wonder what the hell could’ve possibly happened that led to that sad and lonely end.
Through this project I have documented how, as strong and intelligent as I was, and regardless of how much I prioritized and activated toward my own health and wellbeing, one woman is simply no match for this hideous system of Western capitalism and patriarchy and how and why that is. I documented every step of this horrible journey including Western medicine’s early failures to treat my pain and symptoms, how prohibition and regulation of medical cannabis drove my search for relief 1000 miles away from my partner, my family and my profession, and how corporate propaganda serving both Western medical and cannabis interests misled me (and others) to believe that I could cure myself of an incurable, progressive disease.
Ultimately, all of this has led me to where I am now: still sick and extremely vulnerable, having spent my entire life’s accumulations in pursuit of effective treatment and where my friends and family now believe that my life is falling apart because of my obstinate noncompliance with Big Medicine and “reefer madness” and not because Crohn’s disease is a dangerous, debilitating, incurable and progressive disease that predictably and consistently robs people of their money, their independence, their dignity and their very lives regardless of how and even whether they attempt to treat it. Over the past 6 years treating first with Western medicine and then with medical cannabis and reflecting on my experiences, and after a year spent writing about it, I now believe that Crohn’s disease is a terminal illness where I have to medicate constantly in order to eat.
This collection of articles comprising the CRE blog documents the reality of all of this and stands in opposition to the propaganda about Western medicine and medical cannabis generally and of Crohn’s disease specifically where seriously ill people are given false hope and ultimately blamed when our incurable illness predictably is not cured and where our progressive pain, symptoms and disability predictably get worse, and not better, over time. And I, as an individual woman, have been unable to change these fundamental truths about my illness and about my existence as a female-bodied person under capitalism and patriarchy. Thanks to feminist gaslighting though, I foolishly believed otherwise and that somehow I would be able to wrest back control over my health and my life against all the odds and against all evidence. This has been a rude awakening for me and has left me broken and terrified with little to no hope for my future.
So that is where I am now and I do not know where I will go from here. I had hoped this whole time that somehow, maybe through the care and concern of others (and maybe not) I would manage to get myself into a sustainable living situation. For me, that means that I will continue to manage my pain and retain my dignity indefinitely as a seriously ill person who is not likely to get better. The reality is that there is probably no way I will be able to do that, and that reality has caused me endless terror and grief. However, what even is “sustainable” under the current system and how many of us live sustainably whether we are sick or well? How many women are safe and secure financially and materially under any circumstance?
Despite my best efforts, I wasn’t ever able to reliably control my outcomes when I was (relatively) well so there is even less chance I will be able to do that now that I am seriously chronically ill. Just because I stubbornly believed otherwise, and had to believe otherwise to retain my alleged “sanity” doesn’t mean it was ever true and it very obviously was never true was it? For now, I am starting to recognize and process the apparent fact that everything I am experiencing, including progressive pain and symptoms; aggregating side effects from medications; abuse and neglect by Western and alternative medical systems; rejection by and unconcern of family and friends; hopeless poverty, social isolation and crippling despair; suicidal ideation and/or attempts and completed suicide; even early and current Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) symptoms — all of it — is part of the Crohn’s experience. And as a sick person and especially as a sick female there will be little or nothing I can do to mitigate this experience for myself or for anyone.
Any support including donations I can muster now are probably not going to get me into a sustainable situation since that really does not exist. Donations including from my Patrons will simply buy me time until the inevitable arrives, or until I get the miracle I have atheist-prayed for since I’ve been so seriously ill. So thank you, Patrons, for buying me some time, which I am spending with my beautiful cats in a gorgeous geographical area, treating my pain and symptoms with medical cannabis, and (for now) thinking and writing about what this all means. I do think this has been a worthwhile project and I have been pleased with the content if not the outcome which seems to have been, basically, for naught. We really appreciate your support.
Please feel free to contact me through my Patreon page or consider becoming a Patron if you have used or enjoyed my work. Thank you for reading.