Jessica, 44

Small Intestine TumorsThree years ago, Jessica started to not feel well.  She was experiencing a lot of abdominal pain and nausea.  A tumor had formed in her small intestine.  It took a while to diagnose and find as tumors rarely grow in the small intestine being that’s it’s predominantly cartilage and it requires Endoscopic ultrasounds and scopes to detect.  The symptoms it causes include weight loss, bleeding if it becomes ulcerated, nausea and possible bowel obstruction.  It took four scopes and surgery and 8 months to locate the tumor and remove it.

During her ordeal, Jessica was finding herself riddled with anxiety and was subsequently diagnosed with depression and Fibromyalgia.  Anti depressants and Ativan were added to her already existing regimen of Morphine and Tramacet (an opioid analgesic combining acetaminophen and Tramadol) prescriptions.

One of the many negative side effects of opiates is stomach and bowel issues.  Jessica was finding herself in even more abdominal pain as the medication swelled her abdomen with painful gas and bloating.  “I looked 9 months pregnant.”  She didn’t want more morphine, it was just compounding the problem.

One day, seeing Jessica in pain and misery, her father (who happened to be recovering from esophageal cancer- stay tuned for his story) and aunt brought her some cannabis to try.

It helped.

Cannabis strains
Indica vs. Sativa vs. Hybrid

Not only did she find it helped her abdominal pain, she found she could eat and sleep far better and didn’t experience the exhaustion and fatigue she had when she was taking pills.  She approached her doctor who was in support of Jessica using cannabis to treat her bowel pain.  Her husband, also a cannabis user now, supported her fully.  She got her prescription and she was on her way to feeling better.

A pleasant side effect of cannabis for Jessica has been how it’s improved her overall mood and reduced her anxiety.  She happily reports she only takes her antidepressant daily now.  She was able to get off of Ativan, Morphine and Tramacet replacing all 3 medications with simple Sativa strains from an online cannabis dispensary.  “I was using a local compassion care program but it was just too expensive.”  Jessica tells me.

Sativa Strains

Jessica has been smoking cannabis for about three years now.  She’s feeling a lot better, the tumor was removed and was determined to be benign.

“I prefer cannabis because it’s natural and doesn’t have the (awful) side effects or the (ugly) addiction side that many pharmaceuticals have.  It’s consistent and doesn’t make me sleepy”  Jessica says about Sativa dominant strains.

Jessica, her husband and fully grown son all use cannabis for pain and anxiety.  “We love the Leafly app, it breaks down all the strains and how you can expect it to make you feel, it’s really helpful”  

On the impending Legalization, Jessica says “They should leave the (already existing) dispensaries alone.  Most of these people have been around cannabis for a long time, they have experience and extensive knowledge and just a better understanding on how it works.”

“Cannabis is just an amazing substitute for so many drugs out there.”

Jessica currently resides in Russell, Manitoba with her husband and daughter.

Check out other great Patient Stories like Jay-Anne

If you are using cannabis to treat pain or illness, you can contact me through the comments section or through the contact tab.  I’d love to hear and share your story.

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~Sam

 

Images/Resources

Small IntestineTumors  

http://www.brighamandwomens.org/Departments_and_Services/surgery/general-and-gastrointestinal-surgery/colorectal-and-intestines-disorders/small-intestine-tumors.aspx?sub=4

Strains Guide  https://www.highsnobiety.com/2016/04/20/marijuana-strains-guide/

Cannabis Sativa Strains  http://www.marijuanaconnections.com/2010/03/sativa-colorado-marijuana-connection.html

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