For those that have followed my progress in one way or another, you likely know that in researching my disease, I stumbled onto information that pointed to pathogenic infection as the primary underlying cause behind not only my RA/RD, but (possibly) many other autoimmune disease as well. I had been well trained by western medicine, that the only way to get better, is to take pharmaceutical drugs, made in a lab. But, I’m here to say, that except for a brief but uncomfortable stint with Celebrex, I have not used pharma drugs, and I have managed to stay ok. And sometimes, like now, better than ok.
Now, I’m not going to say that my journey has been all sunshine and butterflies, because it has not. I’ve spent a lot of money trying different supplements. And, some have helped, and some not as much. There have been ups and there have been downs. And, there have been ups…and well, you get the picture…
It’s been a long and brutal journey for me (and my family), and I never quite know what’s around the corner. But, through the ups and downs, I am proud to say that I’ve kept my treatments natural. Have I always eaten a perfect, natural diet? Please! No, I have not. But at the same time, I have managed to abstain from taking any pharmaceutical drugs that are known to carry harmful side effects. When I see ‘New and worsening cancers’ as a side effect, I choose to ‘Just say no’.
Even if you are attacking it successfully (ie, seeing improvement), chronic illness can be like riding a never ending roller coaster. I’ve been really sick. And…then I’ve been better. I’ve felt really close to normal sometimes. And, then I’ve returned to a place where I remember that I am not just fighting a cold. It’s something much more than that…Something ‘insidious’. This disease has brought me back to the reality of its ‘insidious’ nature, time and time again. Problem is, I’m stubborn. Sometimes, for me, it takes a few times to really stick. It still hasn’t stuck. But, I’m sure the disease will keep trying. That’s the nature of these types of diseases. And, that’s why many of us shudder when we feel like we are heading back into the throes of our illness after a period of relief. Completely and utterly…Insidious.
What do I believe brings us to into these diseased states?
Remission? Or, just a high point in my illness?
The truth about Medical Marijuana
I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again. Marijuana (Cannabis), when used responsibly, is medicine. When I first began researching my illness, I found an immense amount of information stating that cannabis, especially in the form of Cannabis oil or Rick Simpson Oil, has been used to successfully treat RA and other autoimmune type disease, as well as cancer. And, although it remains illegal in my state, my worsening symptoms and the ongoing fear of permanent disability, made the risks of trying it seem far less important than the reality of the damage and pain that my disease was causing me. And, that was one of the best decisions (I feel) that I have made during my journey with RA. Because, you see, cannabis oil (for me) has not only alleviated my pain, over time. But, I feel it has also been highly curative.
And, believe it or not, this is nothing new. Before cannabis prohibition, doctors frequently prescribed cannabis for numerous ailments. Personally, I no longer believe that it was outlawed to protect us, but for other reasons that were driven by politics and money. Now, at least 30 states have some form of medical marijuana program and 8 others have approved use and possession by anyone over 21. So, as Bob Dylan said, ‘The times they are a changin’. They are just changing very slowly.
Now, there is no one thing that can treat diseases like RA. But, cannabis, I have found, is a heavy hitter when it comes to safe, gentle effective treatment of these types of diseases. After using one form of cannabis or another for more than a year and a half, I am healthier and now completely pain free. And…because I have come to a point where I feel healthy and pain free, I have even been able to stop its use altogether (for nearly a month at the time of this writing), without any type of withdrawals or signs of addiction. But…they tell us it is addictive?? Maybe it can be in some circumstances where it has been highly abused, I don’t really know. My experience, however, was different.
And then there’s the ‘Gateway drug’ theory that has been disproven time and time again. Well, I’m here to say that that part is completely true! It is a gateway…to better sleep and an increased state of health. See, they were right all along! But seriously, never, ever while using cannabis in any form did I ever have any desire to do anything stronger or different. I’ve always theorized that the only reason it could ever be considered a gateway drug is due to the unscrupulous people that users have been forced to be around simply because of it’s illegality.
In other words, a user goes to his ‘guy’ to purchase cannabis. But, that ‘guy’ is not upstanding and tries to push meth, heroin cocaine etc. to this person, who never would have been exposed to the other drugs, had they not had to resort to purchasing underground from this moron. People in states where it is legal are able to purchase from safe, legal, licensed dispensaries that are forced to ensure that the product is free from pesticides and contaminants. And in these states, the ‘guy’ eventually has to go find a real job. Additionally, the ‘guy’ never paid any taxes. Legal cannabis has brought millions of dollars in tax money that has been used for schools, scholarships, etc.
Now, like anything, cannabis might not be for everyone. But, for me, it eased my pain, gave me wonderful, all night sleep, and slowly, but surely, helped to alleviate my symptoms. All of this without a single harsh side effect. So, even if you do not agree with cannabis, please give those that want to use it as a tool against their disease the opportunity to see if it can help them as much as it can help me. It’s time for the age of misinformation about the risks and benefits of cannabis, to come to an end. I’m not sure how I’ll fare by not using it. But, given it’s current legal status, weighed against the fact that I am doing much, much better at the moment, I regretfully am choosing to currently refrain from it’s use. Were I as sick today as I was a year and a half ago, I would do it all over in an instant.
Learn more about my cannabis oil experience here: https://healing-naturally.org/2017/04/13/cannabis-oil-for-rheumatoid-arthritis/
Blood work from 10/21/16
Just to show how my bloodwork results improved within the first several months of treatment
- CRP (An indicator of overall inflammation or infection) levels have dropped from 12.9 in mid-July to 1.1.
- ESR (Another indicator of inflammation or infection) dropped from 26 in April to 6.
- Vitamin D stores have risen from 15 to 92. To me, this says that the bacteria is no longer dysregulating my vitamin D. Before my last blood work, I had already been supplementing for well more than a month and it was still low, but my outward signs of infection were still pretty prevalent at that time as well.
- TSH is still dysregulated. BUT, my thyroid is now, once again, producing T3 and T4. My functional med doctor explained this to me by saying that my Pituitary gland is still having to yell (work harder) at my Thyroid to get my it to produce T3 and T4. But, the Thyroid is actually working now (listening).
Some really important things to keep in mind as you begin treating yourself naturally
- There is hope for you! I know you feel like you are lost to a life of discomfort and disability. But…there is hope!
- It seems to me that diet changes alone might be able to lessen symptoms. But, I know far too many people who have extreme health diets, and still have these types of diseases. So, although I’m not saying an extremely healthy diet is bad, I don’t feel like it is as effective as supplementing with some of the amazing natural medicines that can’t be found in our normal diets. I think we need both. A little better diet combined with natural supplements.
- Even using all of the best supplements, recovery from these diseases takes months and months, if not years. My progress was always so slow that sometimes it seemed I was standing still. I think these diseases so radically affect our entire bodies, that it takes time to recover and rebuild.
- There are ups and downs. I literally had times where I started crying, because I would have a return of symptoms after feeling previously a little better. I finally began to understand that sometimes the result of healing, or bacterial die-off, causes symptoms to temporarily worsen. And, that if I just hung in there, things would be a little better tomorrow. And…they were.
- If it makes you feel worse, it might just be making you better. I’ve read thousands of supplement reviews and invariably see the 1 star review that says something like ‘Made me feel awful. I’ll never use this again!’. Just because taking a supplement makes you feel worse, doesn’t mean it was the actual supplement itself that ‘caused‘ the discomfort. It is likely that a healthy person, taking the same supplement, would have no adverse reactions. Why? because for them, there are no toxins in their bodies created by the die-off of the bacteria that was killed by the supplement. If it makes you feel drastically worse, back off for a day or so and then resume at a lower dose, building back up to a full dose when you can.
- If you are like me, as you start getting better, without pharmaceutical drugs, your belief in the traditional healthcare system will be shaken. And, you’ll wonder why your doctor doesn’t know about these things. In fact, you’ll begin to question a lot of things about our country’s healthcare.
- For what it’s worth, I cannot isolate any negative side effects from the treatment course that I have taken. None.
- These diseases can cause brain fog, depression and even anger and despair. Hang in there! With treatment, these undeniable psychological symptoms will subside. At least this was the case for me. I now feel clear headed and no longer fight with daily depression.
- It only stands to reason that the longer you have been sick, the longer it will take to recover. And, unfortunately, some disease damage, like joint disfigurement, may never go away. However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t live an otherwise healthy life!
- And lastly…Many of the people that you tell about how you have treated yourself naturally, without pharma drugs, will plain and simple question whether or not you’ve gone off the deep end. Even though they see that you are doing better and recovering, they still will not release their hold on their belief in traditional medicine. In my case, I’ve learned to be very choosey about who I give full disclosure to. I have grown to have such a strong empathy for those with serious disease that I want to tell everyone that I see. But, unfortunately, it just does not work that way…yet.
What happens now?
Well, who the heck knows, really? Insidious…remember? I have reduced some of the supplements that I am taking. But, basically, I feel like I need to keep trudging ahead, as usual. I might be at the start of a week long, month long or year long remission or maybe something more. Who really knows! The way these diseases go, I could wake up in severe pain tomorrow morning. I really don’t know! What I do know though, is that I am fighting the good fight! And, I’m doing it as naturally as possible, which has truly paid dividends by giving me better overall health! So, if you are taking the pharmaceutical route, and that is working for you…ok. But, if you are unhappy with your current path, there are other options. My journey has, at the least, proven that.
Update from 10-22-17
It’s now been a few months since I stopped taking the cannabis oil and a month and a half since I stopped taking all forms of THC (Vaping and infused coconut oil). I had no problems stopping or remaining that way. I have not gone critically backwards, so far, by not taking any form of THC. But, I do feel like I stopped too soon and notice a little more hip stiffness at times as well as some lingering (minor) foot pain issues. Neither symptom is there all the time. But, it is definitely more frequent than it was while I was using some form of cannabis.
Steady, all night sleep has become more elusive. And, at times I have had some rather uncontrollable depression (Meaning that it felt like it came from the disease and not from things in life that I was dealing with). Normally, when I would have depression, cannabis would pull me right out of it, sometimes in minutes. Working through the depression that this disease can bring was difficult without it, for sure. I do believe that at some point I want to return to treating myself with cannabis as I felt like my body was more easily able to maintain a normal, healthy state than it does without it.
As far as feeling like I am ‘sick’ or feeling like I have an active infection, I no longer do. I feel like I have made outstanding progress. I do, absolutely and without doubt, feel like the combination of Cannabis and cannabis oil, Antibacterials, antivirals and biofilm disruptors has not just made me feel better, but has been healing and even curative. Am I completely cured at this point? In short, I don’t think so. I feel like the pathogen(s) that have caused my illness are still inside me, just waiting for the opportunity to grow and thrive again. But, again I have come a long, long way!
So, with almost 2 years of being chronically ill with an ‘autoimmune’ disease, I have formed some strong opinions. In short, let’s wake up people! Tell your congressmen and women that cannabis is a medicine and that we should all be able to have access to it. It should be available to everyone, in every state, not just for those that fit under stringent state medical marijuana qualifications.
I am proof that it is medicine and should not be listed as a schedule 1 drug that has ‘no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse’. I have experienced the medically curative properties of marijuana. I was not led to other drugs, in fact it even helped to moderate my alcohol use. And, when I felt like it was time to stop (at least for a while) I simply stopped.
Let’s stop the bold faced, reefer madness driven lies and let cannabis begin to heal our very broken country. The truth is out in the open now and it’s time end the charade. At this point, keeping cannabis illegal is, I feel,… a crime against humanity.
Update from 12-6-17
Unless something crazy happens, this will be the last update I make to this post. I have, as of about a month ago, returned to using cannabis as I came to the realization that my foot nerve pain, depression, sleep issues, hip discomfort and other nagging maladies were faring better while I was using it regularly.
Since returning to using cannabis for my RA, I have felt better overall, and have not suffered from the debilitating depression or nightly insomnia, like I did after I stopped using it. My foot issues have been way, way better, as well. In fact, after I stopped using cannabis, the nerves and joints in my feet were causing increasing amounts of discomfort, especially after sitting for a while. This discomfort is now, again, 85% better. I still get some kind of nerve discomfort at different times. But, this occurs so much less now that I almost completely forget about it through most of my day.
I’m really glad, actually, that I stopped using cannabis for a couple of months because it allowed me to really quantify just how much cannabis was helping me. I feel healthier and happier now and feel like I am back to my old self. I do not regret my period of cessation. But, at the same time, I know now that my best course, by far, is to continue treating myself with cannabis. I will follow up this post, very soon, with a post about my experiences (good and bad) as someone who has treated themselves illegally with cannabis. Until then, if you are sick like I was but afraid to try cannabis as a treatment for disease, I hope that I have helped to convince you that cannabis is not the Devil’s lettuce as it has been portrayed. But, when used responsibly, can be healing, curative medicine.