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Can CBD oil help with chronic pain?
I can only say that I’ve read many testimonials that indicate CBD oil has helped many suffering from chronic pain. I am one of those it has helped.
I’m Shirley Dawson and I am 64 years old and retired. I am in a wheelchair, have diabetes, degenerative discs in my low back and have lived in daily pain for years. I have suffered from low back pain since I was in my mid-30s. Before then, I lived the life of an athletic person. I played softball and volleyball and coached both sports also. I loved to play racketball and pretty much any sport. I spent my entire 20’s playing or practicing a sport every night of the week and also playing on weekends. I did the diving for a ball and catching it in softball and the diving and rolling in volleyball. Yes, I had scrapes and bruises frequently, but they were gone in just a few days and my body seemed to take everything in stride.
But then, in my 30’s I married, got pregnant and gained weight for the first time in my life. In my 7th month of pregnancy, I began to have low back pain. It was severe, sports were out and pretty much any activity that required bending or lifting. For the first time in my life, I was overweight and in lots of pain.
I gave birth to my daughter by C-section due to scar tissue from a previous surgery to remove a fibroid tumor. I had to carry my pillow around to hold against my tummy for a couple of weeks. I was left with a terrible looking scar down my abdomen. I still had the low back pain even after I recovered from my C-section. The pain was such that I could not hold and carry my infant around very long and I had severe pain when I would lean over to put her in her car seat or crib. I couldn’t exercise and gradually began to gain more and more weight.
That was not all I had going on. My daughter was a poor sleeper and for the first 8 months of her life, I got almost no sleep at night. I returned to my work two months after her birth and I was tired all the time. I remember one day on my way to work thinking “how can someone live with this little sleep? I also found I could no longer wear the contact lens that I had worn since my late teens. My eyes would water constantly and I could hardly hold them open. My doc tried a different brand and they didn’t work either. So I was back to wearing my glasses all the time – bummer!
Another interesting thing happened to my body during this time period. Before my pregnancy, I had never been able to wear a watch because something about my body would stop them after a few days. After my pregnancy, I found that I could now wear a watch without breaking it. I know my body chemistry had changed somehow.
My doc would give me muscle relaxers and send me to PT for my back but nothing seemed to help much. I would get a little better then suddenly the pain would come back full force. This went on for years.
I would find that my body has sensitive spots – that were very tender to the touch. I would ask my husband to rub my shoulders because they hurt but then I could not bear the pressure when he would massage my shoulders. My arms and legs would hurt, like a deep muscular pain but I couldn’t figure out why. If I poked myself, it was a sharp pain.
I was diagnosed with pre-diabetes and then full diabetes in my 40’s and I also had a hysterectomy. Another abdominal scar and I lost my belly button – lol!. These scars didn’t help me in trying to get a healthy core to support my back. I was also diagnosed with a blood condition which made me a stroke risk as I produce too many platelets and they are abnormal. I started a chemo drug daily to suppress my platelet product. I still take that drug every day.
I decided to go to a neurosurgeon about the back pain. After a multitude of tests, including an MRI, the doc said he would have to do rods and screws and plates and with my uncontrolled diabetes and my blood clot risk, he didn’t recommend surgery for me. He said I could end up even worse than I was. I certainly didn’t want that. My pain and the wheelchair was bad enough.
I developed a hernia along the scar line on my abdomen. So I quit trying to do any situps or anything to make that worse. But it grew larger and larger and finally, I decided it had to be fixed. I saw a surgeon about it and he said he would put in some mesh to keep me from getting another one after he removed the very large hernia. I made sure he and my oncolgist talked about my clotting risk before I scheduled surgery. My oncologist had a blood study run on my blood and thought I would be more at risk to bleed than throw a clot. So they agreed I could do the surgery. I stopped my blood thinner and chemo meds and had the surgery done.
After surgery, I was very disorientated and itching all over. I was given large doses of Benadryl for the terrible itching but my disorientation continued. It was discovered that I did have a stroke during or after the surgery. I had no paralysis but I was very confused, could not do math or multi-task and I didn’t drive well – I would run stop signs. Thank God who must have been watching over me because I didn’t kill myself or anyone else.
I had a new doctor now, a neurologist who I saw regularly and who put me on a special blood thinner that would both thin my blood and make my platelets less sticky. I got better over time and a year after the stroke I could do better math and some multi-tasking again. Today I feel back to normal with my math and thinking skills except for when I am extremely exhausted.
Yet More Heath Issues
In the fall of 2014, I had a severe case of vasculitis on my legs and feet that turned into huge ulcers. They hurt a lot, these were diabetic feet and leg ulcers that doses and doses of prednisone were not helping. The pain was bad, even unbearable. The nights were so long and full of pain. I didn’t sleep, I had no pain pills because the docs refused to prescribe them. I saw 4 different docs, a general physical and 3 dermatologists over a 4 month period. The ulcers got worse and bled and oozed requiring bandaging. I had to use a wheelchair to get around. The same chair I am still using. I feared amputation – the great fear of lots of diabetics.
The diabetic nerve pain (neuropathy) was like electricity running from my feet all up my legs. I prayed at night for God to bring me home. I even considered suiciding a few of those long painful nights. But I would never do that to my family. Then I was referred to a wound center and Thank God for that, the doctor prescribed even more prednisone and then started debriding the wounds regularly. This was very painful but I was a pro at pain by then – the doc was surprised I could handle the debriding as well as I did – he said I was one tough lady. But the truth was I had learned to take a great deal of pain and he gave me hydrocodone pills to take before coming to my appointments. The wounds started healing and 3 months later I was released and left only with scars on my legs and feet.
So that’s me at 64. I’m still in a wheelchair. I still have those bad discs in my low back, a bad hip and sciatic pain that runs down my left hip to my knee that can be excruciating and I can’t straighten that leg completely out due to the pain. My fibromyalgia (actually diagnosed by a rheumatologist who prescribed tramadol and Cymbalta for me for the pain) continues to give me lots of pain. In fact, the pain this last year had gotten so bad I rarely slept more than 2-3 hours at night. Naturally, I was tired all the time. Plus the meds I take, almost all have the side effect of fatigue. (Metformin, Neurontin, Hydroxyurea, and 3 different insulins). I’ve tried physical therapy this year, increasing my doses of Tramadol and extra strength Tylenol and hot jetted tub baths and stretching. While the PT helped my range of motion quite a bit, the pain was still there. I go to a chiropractor weekly and sometimes it seems to help a little.
One month ago
Then one month ago I was in a bad flare-up of pain, I hurt so much I never slept because there was no position I could get in either my bed or my recliner that was the least bit comfortable. I was praying for relief and posting on my facebook page for my friends to pray. In fact, I prayed for God to fix me or just go ahead and take me home as I was useless in my life here. Life was just one big pain. When my husband would ask me something, I could not concentrate because of the pain I was in. I couldn’t sit at my computer or anywhere very long. I would get in my walk-in tub and have jetted baths several times a day, hoping to relax my muscles so I could sleep for a little while. I started increasing my doses of Tramadol and took as much extra strength Tylenol as they allow in a day. I found some pain pills left over from dental work and took them. But nothing lasted very long.
I found a box of hemp/CBD oil I had ordered months ago but wasn’t sure if I should take it because I thought it was like “weed” and would give me a high. I opened that box and the bottle of CBD oil and took 15 drops that morning, evening and the next morning. On day 2, I went to sit in my recliner and realized that it didn’t hurt and also, I could stretch my left leg out with no pain. I was shocked. I sat there for a few minutes and then thought to myself “MY PAIN IS GONE”. I could feel no pain at all in my body. It was years and years since I had felt this way. I was totally amazed. I continued to use the oil drops and purchased a few different brands to try. I found CTFO Health 300mg CBD oil drops (you can sign up as a customer free and get wholesale pricing) and they seem to work better for me. While it does wear off and sometimes my pain does return, I take more drops and wait and soon feel better (within 30 minutes). I feel like I have a new life. That I am not defined by my pain anymore. I think clearer than I have in years and I’m sleeping better. I rarely have the sciatic nerve pain down my leg as I did before, so I can sit for longer periods of time.
While I’m still in my wheelchair, I can stand up more to reach my kitchen cabinets and I’m using my walker more (when I only have a few steps to go – like to the car or even into a restaurant that I can park near the door.) I’m hoping that I will be able to strengthen my leg muscles again and walk more and I plan on starting swim exercise again now that I can get to the pool once more.
CBD Oil Research
I’ve started research hemp and CBD oil and I’m finding that while FDA is really not recommending it for specific conditions, there is lots of anecdotal evidence that it helps many people.
I worked for the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) for 33 years and of course, I went to the FDA.gov website to start my research. I came across this Article from August 3, 2018, which states:
Another important consideration is the need to identify a method to consistently provide a given dose of a drug. When the Institute of Medicine (IOM) reviewed the clinical use of marijuana, it identified the problems associated with obtaining consistent dosing using smoked products and recommended that clinical trials involving marijuana should be conducted with the goal of developing safe, alternative delivery systems:
“If there is any future for marijuana as a medicine, it lies in its isolated components, the cannabinoids, and their synthetic derivatives. Isolated cannabinoids will provide more reliable effects than crude plant mixtures. Therefore, the purpose of clinical trials of smoked marijuana would not be to develop marijuana as a licensed drug but rather to serve as a first step toward the development of nonsmoked rapid-onset cannabinoid delivery systems.” read the full article here.
Since I discovered the benefits of CBD, life has improved, the pain returns sometimes, but its not as severe and I have something I can take for it, which gives me hope.
I welcome your questions and comments, please leave yours below.
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