Melissa Vincent recognizes that medicinal cannabis allows her to reconnect with her real self and family
"My oldest daughter said she had lost her mother," says Melissa Vincent, her voice cracking.
For years, the mother who stayed at home would lie down in bed, losing contact with her family, her friends and even with herself every time she spent the day. Vincent could not walk; It hurt to be touched, and to touch. She could not play with her six-year-old daughter and could not support her eight-month-old daughter.
Pain a common symptom of fibromyalgia
Vincent suffers from fibromyalgia, a condition that affects the central nervous system and commonly causes widespread pain. There is no cure, only management.
In Canada, only two percent of the population has the disease, but disproportionately affects women, who represent between 80 and 90 percent of the people who suffer from it. Currently there is no specific treatment for fibromyalgia, only things can be done to relieve symptoms and several different pain medications.
Vincent had tried many medications, but "nothing was working". At that time, she was seeing two doctors: her family doctor and a pain specialist. He also had a herniated disc and a pinched nerve in his right arm.
But the mother of two children from Caledon, Ontario, who was used to living a very active and social lifestyle, was not used to living in a bed.
After years of different medications such as Gabapentin, Percocet and lorazepam for more than 10 years, a pain specialist referred her to a nearby Aleafia Health location. She saw Dr. Michael Verbora, a Toronto doctor who is currently the medical director of Aleafia Health.
Vincent had his first visit in February 2015, and began his cannabis trip with a small dose of medical marijuana. It started with a 0.5 g / day dose of less than 10 percent THC, and now it takes 2.0 g daily from 15 percent to 30 percent THC.
Vincent had used cannabis a few times before, but says that among her group of friends, she was designated by the rules: "It was against the law!" She says.
Cannabis is the only medication standing.
When Vincent began his new treatments, the old parts of himself began to resurface, and the pain he had felt for so long remained. "Little by little I stopped taking all my other medications, and now I only use cannabis," he says.
It took about three months to eliminate the other medications, she says. Now, she takes cannabis in three forms: oil, usually in tea or brownies; herbal (either vape or joint); and topical (which applies to your joints).
By the end of 2018, Statistics Canada noted that among the 15 percent of Canadians surveyed who reported current cannabis use, approximately four percent used cannabis for medical purposes only and another four percent reported using it for medical reasons. and not medical. Most medical users consume cannabis daily to help with pain.
"It was an incredible trip, I recovered my life," says Vincent. "I had no quality of life." With a weight of 300 pounds, which made it difficult to get out of bed, he lost contact with friends and family and could not play with his children.
But soon, while continuing to treat his symptoms with cannabis, he could walk again. With the use of two canes, she was standing again. With practice, she went down to a cane. And then, in the summer of 2018, she was able to lower that cane forever.
Vincent can now ski, do yoga, ride a bicycle. His daughter, who felt that she had lost her mother, told Vincent that she had recovered her mother, and that "she missed him". Now, she says she can go skiing with her children, currently 11 and 4 years old, and sit on the sidelines in their soccer games like the other parents.
Although your routine varies from day to day, depending on your pain level, a 10-minute THC vaping session gives you about an hour of relief, smoking a joint provides approximately four hours and edible for eight to 12 hours. She also makes a drop of oil under her tongue before going to bed. "I had not slept in years," she says. "But I slept very well last night!"
Using cannabis the best decision you could have made.
Vincent says that consuming medicinal cannabis was the best thing he has done for both her and her family. However, the decision to use cannabis did not come without hesitation. "There were all these negative stigmas that accompanied him," she says. But when she started using it, for her, "I realized that it was all just talking, I became more active, I lost weight, my life totally took the opposite turn from what people [in her life] The thought would pass. "
At first they were apprehensive, but that restlessness disappeared when they saw how good Vincent was. "What I do is take my medication and I can wash my clothes, I can take care of my children, I can clean my house," she says.
She reports that her doctor at the cannabis clinic was surprised to see how it changed while continuing to use cannabis, and was happy to see that it worked so effectively. The only thing you will not do after taking your medication is to drive.
Being open with their children was important.
Having two children, Vincent has told them about his medication. "I had to be very honest with them. I say, "Mom is going to go out and take her medicine," because for me it's medicine. "Since she explained that she needs medicine, her children support her a lot.
She smokes outside the house, not around them. Her youngest daughter knows that her mother takes medication, but not what she seems; her oldest daughter knows what she looks like, and she has seen her vaporizer. Both the cannabis and the vaporizer remain locked and out of the reach of their children.
There was some internal pressure that Vincent had to overcome when she first medicated with cannabis, and finally learned not to be ashamed to use it. For those who are thinking about dealing with medicinal cannabis, she says that a change in mentality may be necessary. "You have to want it, you have to want to try something different," he emphasizes. "I think people should know that there is something that works that is not an opioid," he says.
"I have a better quality of life. I have my family back. I have my friends back. I have my life back, "she says." I do not see myself in a different way. I just see myself as healthy. "
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