Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Back in the Saddle

So I felt well enough after my little bicycle mishap to get back out there. I was all set, I had a plan, and I was going to pay attention this time when my legs felt like they had enough. I went around one block, uphill, and then down and over to the next. I felt good. I went up that block and felt good enough to finish out to the next on before going back toward my street. I was so proud of myself. I was doing really well. YEAH! Right! A little over halfway up that block, I slowed down to a snail's pace, barely enough to keep the bike up. I could swear I was going up a huge mountain, but of course there aren't any in my neighborhood. No, this was the regular street that goes slightly uphill. Hmmm. Well, I made it. Barely. I really thought I was going to have to stop. I made it to my street where it went downhill again. I was so tired and my legs were so beat you would think I had been biking for hours. Nope. 20 minutes. Apparently that is my limit. I keep wondering when I'll be able to do more; when I'll be able to handle the uphill better. But, you know what? It's okay. If 20 minutes is my limit, then I will do 20 minutes whenever I feel I can go out there. Can't do it if it's too hot out or when I'm having a particularly bad MS day, but so what. I am doing what I can and hopefully my body is benefiting from what little I can do for it. It's all I can do, and I won't stress about it.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Canabis 101

Here's what you can't get from you local street merchant. The scientific information on what it is in marijuana that can help with various symptoms, what types of marijuana are grown for what purposes, and the exact content of what you purchase.

Studies have shown that there are 70 different chemicals in cannabis, called cannabinoids, each having their own unique effect on the body through the nervous system. The two main cannabinoids that are responsible for the effects and  benefits are THC and CBD.

THC--the most well-know chemical in marijuana and the main chemical most people are obsessed with one way or another. This is the chemical that gets you high, so of course this is the only thing most people focus on when they talk about medical marijuana. "Is it really strong?" "You'll be high all day." And other such things are constantly being thrown at me by people who know I am interested. Being high isn't the only thing THC will do for you though. THC helps with stress, pain, and inflammation.

CBD also has anti-inflammatory properties as well as anti-anxiety, anti-nausea, neuroprotective, lowering of blood pressure, and painkilling properties. It works well against convulsions and muscle spasms, and as a great sleep aid. Recent studies have shown success in the treatment of seizures.

Medical marijuana is grown in different categories for different purposes, based on the chemical content. The three main categories are Sativa, Indica, and Hybrid. Sativa is high in THC and low in CBD, and Indica is low in THC and high in CBD. Obviously, hybrid is a mix of both. They have various strands cultivated in various ways, and they tell you the percentage of the chemicals.

New Jersey is not allowing the dispensaries to sell the other forms (pill, lollipops, etc.). I personally find this ludicrous. I mean, people needing it don't have enough problems that they have to force them to smoke the stuff? Well, that's for another post I guess. They are allowed to sell sealed containers of 1/4, 1/2, or 1 oz., on which they put the patient's name and ID number from the official NJ Medical Marijuana program. The ID must be in the users possession while transporting it, and it must be in the original container with that number on it. Patients cannot go outside of NJ with it.

So...after my brief education on these things and hearing that the stuff costs $535 an ounce (ouch!), I decided on 1/4 oz. of something to relieve anxiety and help me sleep.That seemed the best way to start for now. I got what they name "Death Star." I don't know who comes up with the names, but this is not helping our plight to get people to take this seriously as a serious medicine...but I digress. Death Star is 30.58% THC (that's VERY high) and 0.74% CBD (also somewhat high). The effects are relaxing, calming muscle spasms, and providing relief from nerve and muscle pain. They told me it should help me sleep.

After coughing up a lung (okay, maybe that's an exaggeration) with a joint, I tried a pipe. A little better but still harsh. I think it is helping with sleep, but I am still logging and keeping track to make this a real experiment so I can relay the true findings after a while, so I will hold off on blogging the specifics until I am satisfied I have done things true to my science-needy mind. I will say though, I went out and bought a vaporizer (like an e-sig) to save my lungs, so I will be using that for a while. Sorry that I can't provide the joint and pipe findings for everyone, but I like my lungs.

As always...stay tuned...

Monday, June 16, 2014

Listen to Your Body

I was very proud of myself today. I rode my bike further, almost double the distance. Then my body started complaining a little. I was back in front of my house and I could feel that my legs were tired and I was getting thirsty. I decided I could go a little bit more and then stop. Stupid ass that I am, I wasn't listening to my body telling me to stop right then. I told my left leg that the weakness it feels in trying to be the starting peddler indicates that it needs to do just that and then we can go home. Like I said...Stupid Ass. My left leg complied and was able to make it up the height to the pedal so it can start the bike on its way...well, the rest of my body was apparently helping by leaning the bike a little to the left, which I didn't exactly notice caused the handle bars to also lean to the left. So, naturally, the bike went left and I was unable to pull it back. Those of you who have similar balance issues as me will immediately understand...once balance is compromised, there is no getting it back with MS related issues. Down I went. I felt really stupid and hope that no one saw me. I got up, went home, and rested. I can hear my body saying "I told you so" repeatedly. My left thumb is now killing doubt its way of screaming at me for allowing the bike to topple over on top of it. Sigh...hopefully I can ride again tomorrow. I will not ignore my body again.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Just Like Riding a Bike

Because my legs seem to be getting weaker, my doctor suggests excercise. So I wrode a bike today. I haven't been on a bike in over 15 years. It's true what they never forget. You can, however, lose some sense of balance. I swerved a bit...okay, a lot. No big deal though. After a leg cramp, a seat adjustment, and lots of weird wobbling like a first timer, I made it around two blocks near my house. A total of 15-20 minutes. Felt pathetic, but I'm giving myself a steps. I will have to make a habit of it and get better. It felt good but I got tired. I will get better.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

More than Street Value

So I got my approval; passed the backtround check. It cost $200 just to get the card saying I can purchase and carry the stuff. I dont know for sure yet, but from what I understand, it will cost more than it does on the street. Of course it's better, grown for special purposes.

My new pet peeve now is that health insurance won't cover it. I doubt I can even get reimbursed from my FSA, but I'll certainly try. I just don't understand why I can have all kinds of drugs that will make me high, dopey, you name it...steroids, uppers, downers, what have you...but I can't have a simple weed that God gave us to help with what ails us. It's ludicrous! I hope this changes soon. I mean what about people that can't afford it? How long will I be able to afford it?