Wednesday, 3 September 2014

I Got Stoned and I Missed It

Three weeks ago, my g.p. wrote me a prescription for medical cannabis. I had great hopes for this medication, because it is the last option on the list of suggestions my rheumatologist has made in order to combat my fibromyalgia. Believe me, I have tried everything: Elavil, Lyrica (which made my eyeballs vibrate from side to side like some kind of fucking cartoon character), Cymbalta, Prozac--most of them seratonin-uptake inhibitors designed to convince my brain that THERE'S NOTHING WRONG, STOP HURTING ALREADY. Medical cannabis--called Nabilon--was my last option, if I hoped to get off the 800+ mgs of naproxen and the 1000+ mgs of codeine I was taking every day. The pain of my stupid fibromyalgia has meant that I am not able to draw a bow or fence or even use the stairs (comfortably) for the better part of a year. This makes it hard to lose weight, yo.

A part of me was also fairly trepidatious, however. There aren't a lot of studies on the effects of marijuana (and no, I don't buy it as a "cure" for cancer), especially as it interacts with other medications. As it turns out, I was right to be wary. Maybe the dose was too high (*snigger*), but man, I was wasted for two entire weeks. In the first week alone, I was sent home from work twice because I simply could not function. I was dizzy and faint and mostly just sat around gazing at my navel. I was too impaired to drive or cook or clean, and often lost my train of thought in the middle of a sentence. 

I was also prone to odd outbursts, such as the time I randomly yelled out, "Pork loin! Pork loin!" during a staff meeting.

I will confess that it had an interesting effect on my thought processes. My brain on pot had a specific idea of what was significant--sometimes imperative--to share with the world. Yet, somewhere between my brain and my mouth, the translation was most often lost. For example, the Fragrant Missus is a cautious and competent (if slow) motorist. She very likely did not need to know, as I looked in the side view mirror, that "That car--is closer than it appears." What seemed to be perfectly reasonable, even important, one moment, ended up sounding completely stunned when it emerged from my piehole.

Possibly, the significance of my remark got swallowed in my all-consuming hunger. I was strving all the time. If it wasn't nailed down, if it needed no preparation, it was going in my face. All of it. I was like a fucking Hoover. No wonder when I get on the scale, I look down and see my phone number.

And when I wasn't stuffing my face or making pithy observations about the world around me, I was just kind of sitting around. My brain was like a big, fat bumblebee, buzzing lazily from thought to thought, getting a little insight here, some wisdom there, some humour over here.

And oh, God, the humour. Everything was so fucking funny. Especially the Fragrant Missus. Specifically, I remember going to a yarn shop with her to pick up needle felting supplies. One of the staff members had knit a baby sweater to hang in the shop door to indicate whether the store was open or closed. As we pulled up, the Fragrant Missus said, "The little sweater says open."

Well, I lost my shit. Apparently, this was the funniest goddamned thing that had ever been uttered in the history of humankind, because I laughed so long and so hard, I was physically incapacitated. We had to wait for the hysterics to end before I could get myself out of the car. And this was just one example. I'm sure it got old for her pretty quick, because it wasn't funny just the once. I laughed about that comment for DAYS.

Yet, despite the occasional hilarity, it didn't feel nice. I mostly felt numb and dislocated, detached. And it did absolutely nothing for my pain levels. So I discontinued use. 

Luckily, at the same time, my rheumatologist put me on injections of methotrexate. These injections are self-administered, which is fucked up. I understand that Type I diabetics do this all the time, but I'm having a little trouble adjusting. It is, after all, highly counter-intuitive to stick oneself with a sharp object, especially when the sharp object involves chemotherapy medication that inhibits cell division, which often results in GI upset, hair loss and/or seizures. 

However, since starting the injections (taken with Plaquin, an antimalarial that could result in plaque building up on my corneas, resulting in blindness), there has been a marked decrease in my physical pain. For the past week, I take my pain medication once in the morning, typically do not have to take it again all day and, especially later in the morning when I've limbered up, no longer walk with a limp. Oh, there's still some stiffness in my right knee (due to sero-negative rheumatoid arthritis) and my stride is slightly abbreviated, but I'm starting to think that we've turned the corner. So far, my only side effects include grogginess and some po'po' (short for "poor, poor bum", how my brother-in-law describes diarrhea), so I haven't yet had to ask myself if being spastic is worth being pain free.

Of course, the question must also be asked if anyone would notice.

But for those of you who were curious about the pot--it might work for some, but it certainly didn't work for me. Mostly, I felt that I got stoned and missed out on two weeks of my own life.

So there you go. Drugs, drugs, drugs--some are good, some are bad.