Two years ago I was diagnosed Interstitial Cystitis. It is a rare and debilitating chronic illness that affects the bladder walls with symptoms ranging from pelvic pressure and discomfort to severe pain spasms. Picture the walls of your bladder being shredded and covered in lesions. That’s IC in a nutshell.
Very little research has been done on Interstitial Cystitis, and there is currently no cure. Treatment options are strictly preventative and very invasive.
The pain from Interstitial Cystitis is excruciating and can linger for hours on end. Flare-ups are caused by anything from diet, hormone changes, emotional stressors, and for no particular reason at all. My entire life became centered around the fear of having another symptom episode, called a flare-up, and my inability to manage the pain.
I was only given medicines (none of which are for IC) to prevent symptoms. Doctors refused to give me pain medication to manage the pain due to my history of mental illness. I was instead given a prescription for 800mg ibuprofen which did nothing for the pain I was experiencing. I was so frustrated and depressed with no end to the pain in sight.
I decided to start doing some research online to see what other women with IC were doing to manage their symptoms and pain. I was disappointed to see that most of the advice given were preventative measures, but nothing turned up about what could be done for the pain. Finally, I came across an article about a woman who had been able to manage her pain with the CBD rich strain, Charlotte’s Web. Not knowing a thing about CBD I launched myself into more research about the benefits of the lesser known cannabinoid. I couldn’t believe that a substance with immense healing potential like CBD existed, and more shockingly, that it wasn’t being talked about more openly.
In less than 24 hours I got my medical marijuana card and made my first trip to a dispensary. From that day on, I was given my life back. I cannot stress enough how CBD has saved my life and given me the freedom to live pain-free. I have been able to manage my symptoms with confidence that if a flare-up starts, I can quickly take CBD to handle it. Adding CBD and cannabis to my self-care regimen has made a significant difference in my wellness and overall attitude about life.
I’ve often heard that the worst thing that happens to you can be the best thing for you. From being diagnosed with IC to finding cannabis and the community that surrounds it, I find that phrase to hold true. I am passionate about sharing my experience with others who are dealing with chronic pain disorders, and anyone looking for an alternative and viable means of healing. I hope that by sharing my story, I can help fight societal stigmas against cannabis use. Cannabis is an amazing plant with the potential to impact our world in a powerfully positive way.