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Sonja: Neuropathic Pain

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“I am forced to illegally treat my illness. Despite being a legitimate chronic pain patient, my State would rather me treat my pain with addictive opiates than a harmless plant.”

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My name is Sonja and in 2009 I was diagnosed with an especially severe case of shingles. Three years later, in 2012, I began having excruciating neuropathic pain and was subsequently diagnosed with post-herpetic neuralgia.

Over the course of 3 years I was prescribed anticonvulsants (prescribed off label for pain relief), antidepressants for pain relief, rx NSAIDs, opiates (which caused physical dependency not to mention hyperalgesia, i.e. my pain worsened) as well as both high does of Neurontin and Lyrica (both of which left me with brain fog, aphasia and tremors as side effects).

I had smoked cannabis recreationally in high school and college but my best friend was a cannabis advocate. I began smoking to treat my pain, despite being married to a law enforcement officer. Not only does it effectively treat my pain, it also has made it possible to give up my benzodiazepine, Klonopin, medication that I had been taking for 7 years for my 3 anxiety and panic disorders (not to mention helping me sleep despite having PTSD and night terrors…no more Trazodone!).

I smoke very small amounts, preferring to smoke out of a small bowl (just a couple puffs in the AM, then again midday and in the evening). I prefer Sativa strains because I suffer from an autoimmune illness that causes chronic fatigue, so I need the energy. “Jack Herer” is the coup de gras strain for me (perfect for pain relief AND energy) but many times I have to settle for a hybrid Kush strain. But Sour Diesel is another fave. Keeps my pain at bay and allows me to run after two busy teenaged girls (mom duty).

“I am forced to illegally treat my illness. Despite being a legitimate chronic pain patient, my State would rather me treat my pain with addictive opiates than a harmless plant”.

I am a patient, not a criminal. But that’s not how the state of North Carolina sees it…

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