My experience treating myself with medical cannabis is that it was a feat of trial and error which was both expensive and time-consuming, but that’s probably the way it should be. People are not carbon copies of each other and there is no reason to believe that Big Pharma poisons will affect different people the same way although that is the lie we have been told. Similarly, people will respond differently to different cannabis strains, products and dosages and the only way to find something that you know will work for you is to try it. I was advised in the beginning to document my treatment progression to help me figure this out in an organized way but I was too sick and didn’t have the mental, physical or emotional reserves to document anything. The “budtenders” at the cannabis shops played a very minor supportive role by describing the most common uses and effects in alleviating different symptoms but probably their best advice was that “the nose knows.” With regard to whole flower cannabis (bud) you are supposed to inhale the scent of the different strains and the ones that smell the best to you are the ones you should try and obviously the ones that smell offensive to you are best avoided. Contrast that sage and benign advice with that of Big Pharma particularly in the case of Crohn’s and other autoimmune and chronic illnesses where we are advised and expected to take Big Pharma poisons that we know make us feel worse.
In Part I of this series, I described the mind- and body-shattering symptoms of Crohn’s disease, a crippling autoimmune disorder of the digestive tract that also causes systemic effects like joint pain, skin eruptions and fevers. In Part II, I described the horror of Crohn’s treatment which apparently one has to actually experience in order to understand or empathize with. In my experience, which I have seen mirrored in many online support groups for Crohn’s patients, the accepted treatments for Crohn’s are often brutal and offer minimal or no relief. Furthermore, with its toxic Big Pharma poisons, invasive tests and risky surgeries, Crohn’s treatment often causes “side-effects” — including medical trauma — that are as bad as or worse than the disease itself. In both parts, I hope to show how desperate and hopeless a situation I was really in as a seriously chronically ill person who was not responding to conventional treatment. From there, I will let the reader surmise what would have been an appropriate response from friends and family and hope that they are able to provide that considered, appropriate response if one of their own friends or family members fall ill, and to understand that they themselves are unlikely to receive the same considered response under the same conditions and to be prepared. Being let down by the very people who are supposed to be there for you is a devastating blow.
In this Part III, I will describe how I made my escape from the patriarchal capitalistic medical industry that was literally killing me. By poisoning me through toxic Big Pharma medications that didn’t work anyway, or not for long; creating additional medical trauma through invasive tests and painful side effects; and through the benign or willful neglect of an industry that frankly had no idea how to effectively treat my disease and was not legally allowed to prescribe or recommend cannabis despite its known efficacy in treating Crohn’s, my health and well-being were declining at a frightening pace even though I was a compliant patient and was supposedly doing everything right. After 2 years of suffering with only more suffering to look forward to, and no relief in sight, I packed one suitcase and made a reservation at a vacation rental property in a cannabis-friendly state where I had planned to stay for 2 months and heal myself with medical cannabis. 3 years later, I am still here and facing a terrifying and uncertain future as a seriously chronically ill cannabis refugee.