Well, the months of December and January have been a crazy, blurry whirlwind of events! I watched my daughter graduate from Northern Arizona University (another teacher in the family), I survived the holidays, attended Soul Service Sunday with MutherlyLuv for our debut and…I relocated to a healthier environment.
Yes, I have moved out of the house I was living in with my fiance, step son and roommates. I love my fiance and our blended family, but currently we both are not healthy and it is aggravating my Crohn’s. In fact, I have been on low dose steroids since mid November (of course in conjunction with my Cannabis) to keep me out of the hospital and off my one biologic left, the one for when I am on my deathbed again.
I have Crohn’s and he is an alcoholic (self-acknowledged/ identified). Our environment is not one I can heal in. I am sad it has come to this, but I want to be healthy (and I want a healthy partner).
It’s time to take back control.
After being sick for over a decade, continually 2 steps forward, 3 steps back, I feel strong enough to make 2019 MY year; My year to get healthy and take MY life back (as best I can with my infamous buddy Crohn’s always riding shotgun).
December rolls around and I am holding on; still underweight, but not dropping anymore. I took advantage of After Thanksgiving Day sales and got new pants…from the kids section, sad but true. I won’t share the size, its sad and hard to find jeans for a 44 year old woman in the little girls department that don’t look like jeans for a 9 year old, aaaaannnnd I am gonna leave that there, but no, I don’t like sparkly purple butterflies all over my butt.
Road-tripping, Crohn’s style.
So, when the time came to watch my daughter graduate (now that I had pants that fit), I was excited and nervous! Its a 2 hour drive from Phoenix to Flagstaff. We got an Airbnb so we could stay the night, have a place to make food and more than one bathroom and drove home the next day.
I worked to create a flexible game plan (similar to what I did for SSS that I describe in detail below), and I was able to pull the trip off without too many issues, the restaurant I had planned on getting food at after graduation had just closed down. Trying to come up with a plan B with my dietary needs is always a challenge, but luckily there is a Sprouts grocery store in town so I was able to find something to eat.
Otherwise the game plan worked out and the trip was a success!
This month, Brandy (my doobie sister) and I debuted Mutherlyluv Cannaguides at Sunday Soul Service (SSS). Soul Service Sunday was a free yoga event here in Phoenix put on by Cannakula and Medicated Mavens.
SSS was for both medical patients and non-patients. There was an area to get messages, reiki (my favorite Reiki guy was there-Joe from Hyr Vibration), reflexology and more. There were vendors and an area for patients to medicate. The yoga session was an hour long with about 200 people!
The overall feel of SSS was a great sense of community with happy people, who share a goal of being healthy.
Before SSS I was reeeeally nervous. I was nervous to talk to people, nervous about eating and being so far away from the comfort and safety of my bathroom, nervous to do yoga with nearly 200 people…my mind races with the “will there be’s” and “what if’s”. What is the bathroom situation? Will there be stalls (not much privacy) or individual (line outside waiting, don’t take too long) bathroom? Will I be able to get to the bathroom when I need? What if I am talking to someone and need to dash to the toilet? What if I need a toilet during the yoga session? How far will I have to walk from the car to the event?…the list goes on and on.
To manage my nervousness and keep my body from revolting against me, I worked with Brandy and we medicated and game planned. I altered my usual morning routine, including eating earlier than normal and sticking to foods I knew would be safe. I practiced/ rehearsed what I would say to people over and over again out loud to myself. And, I game planned for the what if’s with Brandy, like what if I am in the middle of talking with someone and need to make a dash for the toilet? Knowing that I had a game plan and my friends with their support at SSS helped calm my nerves…along with copious amounts of cannabis!
While setting up for SSS I scoped the area like 007, but shorter (I originally had typed sexier here, but, let’s be real, Bond is pretty damn sexy) of course. I was able to game plan for some of the what if’s better; like the bathroom situation and the yoga area. After surveying the place/ toilet situation, I felt comfortable enough to snack a bit so I did not need to starve myself for the entire day. I was able to medicate as needed in the patient area…byop or there were free bongs and dabs. As the event started and I began talking to people my nerves continued to ease/ relax/ calm down.
During my surveillance while setting up, I found a spot for the yoga class near the back and near the door for quick escape if needed, so I was able to do the hour-long yoga session with nearly 200 people! And as it turns out, thanks to all my planning and prepping…I did not need a quick escape during the yoga session! I completed the entire hour! Thank you to cannabis, a game plan and the support of my friends!
Thank you to cannabis, a game plan and the support of my friends!
After SSS, I was totally wiped out! SSS was a looooonnnnnggggg day for me, especially coming on the tail of my daughter’s graduation and graduation celebration…however, the day was a totally awesome day and worth every bit it took to recover from it. At the end of the day I was exhausted, fatigued and knew I had pushed myself, but I was also so proud of my accomplishment! I was able to medicate before heading home (I was not driving) and I finally got to eat again on the ride home…once I was about 15/20min from my toilet, um I mean home lol. I spent the following couple days on the couch resting as much as possible, along with medicating and making sure to stick to really gently/ safe foods.
Up next was the holidays, for us it is Christmas. Between our 2 families we have several family celebrations over several days… That’s a maddening bit of chaos naturally, but toss in a chronic illness and bowel issues, and now it’s a party!
Each get together requires its own game plan of what to eat and when, along with the bathroom situations. The gatherings are all at various homes so that helps, especially if the host doesn’t mind me hiding in their master bathroom when needed, ha!
I also ask and scope out a spot to medicate.
Not everyone is comfortable with my medicine,
especially the parents when the kids are around, so I work to be respectful…and of course educate when opportunities arise.
Just a couple days after Christmas, I relocated. Knowing this was coming added to the stress and sadness of the holidays…and aggravating my issues, my crohn’s. My health started declining in late September/ early October.
Once again an emotionally sad, stressful ongoing situation set off my crohn’s. By early October, things were pretty bad. I was having abdominal pain, mucus in my stool, nauseous and my weight was the lowest it had been since 2015 when I was told I was dying and started Humira. At this time my doctors and my counselor were asking me to consider Cimzia, the one biologic that I have left, the one we were saving for when/ if I landed on my deathbed again.
I’m not dead yet.
Ultimately I realized the only thing in this life that you can control is yourself
Obviously things were really bad at this point and something had to change.
This was all too familiar. My doctors and I decided to try steroids first while I worked on trying to create a healthier environment to stop this downward slide. Ultimately I realized the only thing in this life that you can control is yourself, so my only option left was to relocate. I spent A LOT of time in the bathroom, so I had a lot of time to plan and cry/ be sad about my relocation…I am still sad, however I am excited to get healthy and see where this year takes me!
I have spent the month of January settling in to my new environment, creating a new living space that includes an area for my daily yoga, meditation and reading. For my mental health, I have been continuing my counseling, and have started attending Al-anon meetings, and of course using cannabis.
My favorite cannabis strain right now being Roseberry; a 1:1 THC:CBD that leaves me feeling good but mentally clear and focused. For my physical health, I am continuing to use cannabis in various forms. Recently, I have started sharing my moms medibles before bed and I am sleeping better; due to my dietary restrictions edibles aren’t something I can do often or easily, unless I make my own, so this has been a change for me.
But what’s the REALLY BIG News here?
I’m about to try something new and shake things up a bit.
I am in the process of making my own RSO and plan to do the full Rick Simpson Protocol starting Feb. 1.
I read Mike Wise’s story and have been inspired to complete the full Rick Simpson Protocol. In addition to the RSO, I will also be doing weekly reiki with my friend Joe of Hyr Vibrations and yoga nidra with my friend Jennifer Miles of Cannakula for 5 weeks starting Feb.1.
I will be monitoring my progress too using biofeedback with my naturopathic doctor at various points during the 90 day protocol, and each month I’ll post my results, any changes and what we notice in my health.
I am incredibly excited and can’t wait to see how this effects me. If my journey inspires you and/or you have questions, please reach out.
These last two months have been challenging, some of the most emotional and physical stress I have had on my body in a long time. Cannabis has not only helped me maintain my physical health, but my mind as well. During those really low points while I was very sad, frustrated and angry, Cannabis helped me to remain calm, think things through and manage my emotions a bit easier.
If you find yourself in a situation, or it’s a daily struggle for you, and keeping your emotions in check, staying calm and relaxed is hard for you, then cannabis might be able to help you along with that. If you’d like to talk about it more, we’d love to help you learn.