By Lee Parker
In the deep dark depths of the night, I have always found my mind has more of a tendency to “come out and play.” Night time is usually a quiet time in the house. It’s a time that I find I am often alone with my thoughts. I know that I am not alone in this regard. Many med patients that I know, suffer from pain that keeps them awake. Sometimes this pain is physical, other times it might just come in the form of the mental anguish that the patient is facing regarding how to live with their ailments.
For me, last night was different. For me, I finally asked myself, “at what point have I had enough of this?” The answer was simple, I had “had enough” of the pain, worry, struggles, etc. along time ago. At this point in my life, I was just going through the motions. Trying to get by. I had been really struggling with… well… coming to terms with my health and how it change my life, percep- tions and way of living.
Up until about 4 years ago, I was a successful teacher with one of the largest school boards in the world. I loved my job. To a large extent, it really shaped my identity. I was a teacher for 10 years and worked with children formally since I was 17 years old. I was also fairly conservative and didn’t really smoke cannabis. Like the few remaining Canadian’s who didn’t smoke pot myself, I had tried it before (high school )… inhaled… and didn’t care if any- one else smoked as it wasn’t any of my business. Anyway, like I was saying, 4 years ago things changed.
To give an account of my various diagnosis and the details of each, would fill a novel easily. I have lived with insulin dependent diabetes for 20 years. In the past 4 years, I have been diagnosed with sever peripheral neuropathy in my feet and hands, gastroparesis, crohn’s disease, ulcers and IBD. Although this laundry list of medical issues may seem like a lot, it has been the “reinvention” of myself that has been the most difficult thing that I have faced.
been many things in my life and have played some
interesting roles. Of them all, the role of father and hus- band have been the most important. It’s been a long process, but when the “fit hit’s the shan,” so to speak, you really realize what is important in life. But, the question remains. What is my role in this “new life” of mine? Where do I fit in?
A few years ago, I walked into the Treating Yourself med- ical marijuana expo in Toronto, which changed my life. In a nut shell, it really opened my eyes to the possibilities of medical marijuana and how it could be used to help my conditions. I felt like a walking drug company at the time as I was taking many, many prescription pills which were not effective for many of my medical issues. Since then, medical marijuana has helped me to feel a lot better, get some sleep, hold food down and get out of bed and do things with my children. The fact that people use it to get high doesn’t bother me at all, but to be clear… I use it to bring myself back to a place where I can function.
At the beginning of this piece I wrote, “at what point have I had enough of this?” What I was referring to was that feeling of helplessness from feeling a loss of direction. At any rate, this medical user has had enough!!! On behalf of all the medical users who are asking… “What more is out there?” I want to pick up the gauntlet and take the challenge of finding out! I want to test products, I want to write, I want to inform… and I want to feel useful again. After years of thinking about it, it is time for me to take the plunge.
Consider this article as a resume in a sense. I am going to submit this piece to a list of each of the top marijuana magazines in the world and see where the universe takes me. I want to take my stories, thoughts and opinions and see if they can help inform and entertain others.
Lee Parker Your friendly neighbourhood medical user.