I was 5 months pregnant and working overtime to care for my patients while also taking care of home remodeling and organizing to prepare for my new baby’s arrival. I was strong, I walked for miles and day and practiced yoga, I ate complete and balanced meals, and I thought I was able to do it all. Until one day I was not! I never thought my body would succumb to a catastrophic injury until I really hurt myself! One day as I carried boxes of office and mail overflow to the storage area in the basement, my back started to pain me. Completing the task was a must in my momma brain, so I kept on organizing and lifting boxes and carrying them down the stairs. That evening my semi sore back turned into a screaming spine. Yes I really did something serious to myself. Pregnancy was a totally new endeavor to me. Adult and elder care was my specialty, and I certainly never thought that I would have to slow down, or not be as physically active simply because I was pregnant.
Knowing that my back was inflamed I made sure to rest and try to recover that night from any damage that I may have brought upon myself. Since I was pregnant, taking Ibuprofen was out of the question due to it’s black box warning for pregnant women. My usual modes of defense were not available for my ailing body, so Tylenol was my only short term at home option, be it a far less superior anti-inflammatory. Days went by and my back began to hurt even more. My posture was really screwed up and my usually strait and strong back had soon become out of alignment and crooked.
Luckily one of the doctors at my pre-natal care clinic was a Doctor of Osteopathy, so he gave me a wonderful adjustment that put me back into alignment. A week later with more weight on my back due to pregnancy, and still working overtime, by back became out of alignment once again. The D.O. then refused to touch me and instead gave me a referral to a spinal specialist that took a month to even be seen. This first time pregnant mother was suffering with an extreme back injury for a month and no one really cared. I felt depressed and hopeless, yet still had to work, walk the dog, take care of house and home because that’s life. I dreamed of having a job where I could actually get short term disability, but unfortunately as a private nurse that was impossible.
Every day I would fall to my knees in extreme pain and slowly get around with the help of a cane. While awaiting to see the specialist, one of my pre-natal docs prescribed me opiates!!! Shock and anger filled me to the core. Why the hell would doctors prescribe toxins to my unborn baby ? Their reasoning was that based upon the research, the only side effect for the baby would be opiate addiction. That reasoning in of in itself totally disgusted me. As a researcher by nature, I found the study they were so carelessly basing their actions upon. The study only followed the babies for one year, and could find no statistically significant detrimental effects to babies whos mothers used prescribed opiated in utero. This was sooooo not kosher with me. What about long term brain development? Opiates work on the neuronal reuptake inhibitors of the brain, and subsequently effect our moods and outlooks and general nature ( I have a BA in Human Services and took many psychology courses). There was no way I was going to risk causing permanent long term brain imbalances and mood disorders to my baby. Finally about three months later one doctor prescribed me prednisone. The research here was much more long term and was found to be safe for babies. It did not cause the baby to be born with an addiction, so I was okay with that. After about a week of prednisone my spine slowly aligned itself back into place. I was much better. Once the MRI finally took place the doctors told me I have degenerative disk disease and bulging disks. My life would subsequently be permanently altered.
Fast forward to two beautiful, healthy, energized children A.J. and Irene, home duties and physical requirements of bending and lifting children became an every day occurrence. My back could no longer keep up with the demands of my new life. As a holistic health educator and practitioner, my approach is one of the least invasive and least toxic possible, which led me to natural herbal therapies for my back problems. Arnica is a great herb for inflammation so I started with a topical salve of Arnica. Unfortunately it barely addressed my pain or alignment issues. Long term opiate therapy was out of the question, as I have seen it’s addictive and toxic effects take a toll on others far too often. As a yoga practitioner , I began to incorporate gentle yet targeted yoga techniques to my every day routine. Thankfully, Yoga was keeping my back and mind strong. Still, I needed something to internally keep the inflammation down, so my back could stay in alignment and or be able to be adjusted back into place when the disks bulged. Hence my journey into the use of medical cannabis.
THC, the main psychoactive component of cannabis, is a superior anti-inflammatory, more so than steroids and aspirin which both pose long term side effects when used in high doses often. Other chemicals in cannabis provide a beautiful harmony of healing effects in the body, and aid in overall health and wellbeing. Cannabis became a viable and non-harming natural therapy that I wanted to learn more about and incorporate into my health care regiment. After reading the research and studies, listening to lectures from cannabis scientists and experts, and reading hundreds of testimonials online on how cannabis is helping people with cancer, chronic illness, addiction and much more, I wanted to explore how cannabis can heal the body even more deeply. I then began reading books on how to use cannabis as medicine authored by scientists and top experts in the field. Researching more deeply into the science of cannabis used as medicine certainly satisfied my scientific and explorative nature into cannabis and health. I also got a certified in “Healing Chronic Illness Naturally With Medical Cannabis” by Uwe Blesching PhD. This was an eye opener for me. Once I got wind of how cannabis can balance the powerful healing system in our bodies called the endocannabinoid system, I was a believer in using Cannabis to aid in the bodies own natural healing process.
As an herbalist and aromatherapist, I used this wisdom to create recipes and techniques using whole plant cannabis medicine. I now have a slew of medical aid options at my disposal. Daily cannabis medicine keeps my back in check, and helps my extreme fatigue and cloudy mind due to my anemia. I have also created a local Cape Cod ” Healing With Cannabis” club where adults 21 plus learn to use cannabis as medicine. In my state of Massachusetts we can legally give away up to an ounce of cannabis, so members of the club can choose to receive and share cannabis medicine free of charge. Through my journey into cannabis research, creating and experimenting with many cannabis preparations, and continually seeking knowledge of the complex cannabis plant, I now have the pleasure of sharing cannabis education with others. It is so rewarding to see people’s lives change for the better with a natural herb that has received such a bad rap in the past.
I have two main missions in my cannabis career-1. To serve the underserved through an amazing non-profit group called “The GreenNurseGroup, and 2. To serve underserved veterans of war through a local Veteran’s Group on Cape Cod. I may not be rich, but giving is the most enriching feeling in the world. I am blessed to be able to help the ill and suffering live with a little more dignity and support when society has let them down.
If you’d like to help our underserved population by donating to the GreenNurseGroup please visit the following link Non-Profit GreenNurseGroup
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Disclaimer: We do not sell cannabis or participate in any illegal cannabis activity. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and do not intend to cure, treat, or prevent illness or disease. Always consult your health care provider when adding an herbal regiment into your health care routine.