Some people think medical marijuana should be outlawed, but little do they know that for some users, marijuana is their most effective medicine. People assume medical marijuana isn’t even useful and a waste, yet medical marijuana is more than that; people medically depend on cannabis daily.
Have you ever heard of a rare disease called erythromelalgia? It’s a rare condition in which people experience severe nerve pain in only their hands and feet. It has also been proven that erythromelalgia increases skin temperature when it flares up, inducing severe redness and swelling.
Individuals are diagnosed with this rare disease after their genes are tested and a mutation is found within their erythromelalgia gene.
About six months ago, I became that individual when I was hospitalized for three months and spent time in the University of Michigan’s pediatric ICU for about two weeks. During that time, I lost around 40 pounds.
After the erythromelalgia flared up, I couldn't walk for about six weeks because of my weight felt painful to carry on my feet.
Every time this chronic disease flares up, I experience an amount of pain I can't even describe to people. The pain doesn’t allow me to sleep.
One time, I was up for four days with no sleep; I was in terrible shape for about two months. Then, my last week in the hospital, I was given a nerve block, an injection that blocks the nerve pain receptors from hitting the brain.
I started to progress, but at a slow rate due to the healing process of damaged nerves. To this day, I still deal with this nerve pain. When I stand on my feet longer than five minutes, I feel like my feet are on fire and I experience an incredible amount of pain.
When I was released from the University of Michigan’s hospital, I was still in bad shape. I would only get one to four hours of sleep per night and even then, I experienced pain all throughout the day.
Then, one day when I was freaking out in pain, my dad handed me a joint he got from his friend, who has a medical marijuana card. When this happened, I was amazed since I never thought my parents would hand me a joint. However, they were willing to do whatever it took to take me out of this pain.
At the same time, I didn’t believe there was a chance that marijuana would work medically and relieve pain. Shockingly, after I smoked it, my anxiety, stress and nerve pain significantly reduced.
Even after I smoked the joint, it was easier for me to walk after I was barely even able to. So, I continued to try this form of medicine as it was doing wonders for me compared to any other medicine I had tried before.
Up to that point, I had taken every single pain killer in the books, none of which worked at all, except for excessive amounts of morphine or dilaudid. Not to mention, I was on every anti-anxiety and nerve pain medicine as well.
Marijuana was the most helpful for pain, anti-anxiety and stress relief. Medical marijuana helped me bear with the recovery process. If I would have never gotten my medical marijuana card, I would be in twice as much pain every day.
I was unable to walk for a while and had lost all my muscle, as if I was an actual skeleton. To recover, I had to learn how to walk again, and it was essential to put on muscle and strengthen my muscles.
The only way I was able to complete a workout was by smoking before, therefore, I was able to handle the pain it caused on my feet and hands.
There is still one more medical benefit I got from marijuana, which is gaining my appetite back. After I got out of the hospital it was hard to eat any food and put on weight.
I came home skinny as could be and it was almost impossible to go a day without stomach pain from eating. What is marijuana famous for? The munchies, which these so called “munchies” help me put on weight and helped me eat without stomach pain.
Caleb Tanner is a guest writer for the Independent Collegian.