How CBD Has Helped Me Manage My Chronic Pain
I often joke with my loved ones that if I woke up and spent a day pain-free I would think I was dead. I turn 36 in July and I haven’t ever spent a day pain-free. I’ve spent days in varying degrees of pain but I’ve never been pain-free. And in recent years the addition of fibromyalgia and arthritis have added to the list, and suspected hEDS (hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos syndrome) is there too. Chronic pain is a daily part of my life. Learning how to manage it, along with having Asperger’s, C-PTSD, anxiety and depression has become another.
I can’t take the medications that would be prescribed for the chronic pain conditions. I metabolize most pain relief too quickly, I have a genetic predisposition towards addiction and the side effects that come with other medications that can be prescribed would cause issues with the antidepressants I take for my C-PTSD. So I have little choice available.
With my doctor’s consent, I started using CBD balm last November when the lidocaine patches stopped working. The balm gave me relief but I would have had to bathe in it constantly to achieve a steady level of relief, and cost-wise that was impractical. A small lip balm-sized tub costs me £10. I worked out I’d be spending £100 a month minimum on the balm and when you’re on disability, that’s impractical.
So I researched and I spoke to others using CBD. The drops helped some but not others, people advising that it took a while to build up in your system and that for some it just made them queasy. A few people suggested vaping. I was wary because I’ve smoked in the past but there seemed to be fewer side effects and everyone I spoke to who vapes had extolled the virtues.
With a vape pen kindly given to me by a friend, a ton of research of different brands and strengths and my PayPal account to hand, I clicked a few buttons on the internet and ordered CBD oil vape juice. I should probably point out at this point that in the U.K. we can’t get the CBD containing THC so mine is literally just the CBD.
It took a few days for the vape juice to arrive and I was apprehensive at best, but the balm had helped and I needed something, anything to help me get to the stage where I could function enough to spend some time out of bed again. And the company I chose is eco-friendly, uses recycled plastic in their vape bottles, is reducing their carbon footprint and the ingredients on their bottles are exactly what’s in the vape juice with no hidden extras.
The low dose definitely took the edge off the pain, and I noticed it had a pleasant side effect of reducing my anxiety slightly too. I wasn’t completely satisfied with the results though, so I decided to up the dose.
The upwards titration increased the relief of both my pain and anxiety and so after discussion with my GP we agreed I should try a higher dose, and can go even higher if necessary. This is when I started to get my life back. And it’s where I currently am, although I plan to start a higher dose next week, I’ve been at the same dose since December.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m still in pain, and I’m still anxious. I still wouldn’t be able to hold down a job, I still spend days unable to do much at all, but I can do that from the couch now rather than my bed. And the days I’m not feeling like I’ve been hit by a freight train constantly I’m able to tackle small amounts of housework without falling over and collapsing with pain and exhaustion. My concentration levels are improved, and the negative side effects are reduced.
I’m not going to lie and say that CBD has cured me. It hasn’t. But it’s made a huge difference in my daily life. I’m not as angry anymore. I’m not a weepy mess. My GP, sister and I all agree that it’s allowing me to be a more “me” version of me than the pain allows me to be. I feel like I’ve found something that gives me back a part of who I was before the pain levels increased.
I’m looking forward to upping the CBD levels in the next couple of weeks. And while it’s not a cure, it’s definitely been a miracle for me. Just seeing a glimmer of the old me has boosted my confidence and my self-esteem.
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