PA MMJ Patient Story Amy Giardiniere

Hello! My name is Amy and I want to share my story with you in hopes that my experience will help fellow PA Medical Marijuana patients. My current medical condition began in November 2016 and I’ve been fighting it since in every single way possible. I lost my job (which I love) as a professional entertainment and marketing writer because of my illnesses. I moved back in with my parents and my mother has taken on the very difficult role of caretaker. Most of the time I cannot function normally – in fact I don’t have a social life and I am rarely able to leave the house or drive. I am diagnosed with the following: Trigeminal Neuralgia (also known as Suicide Disease), Chronic Fatigue, Chronic Muscle Spasm, Fibromyalgia, Celiac Disease, Chronic Inflammation, Chronic Daily Migraine (I have had a severe headache for over a year straight), Hyperacusis with tinnitus(extreme sensitivity to sound, so much so that my entire family has to eat using paper plates because the high-pitched sound of a dish can trigger a pain flare), light, smell, and taste sensitivity. In short, my entire nervous system is going completely haywire and not functioning properly.

When I have a pain flare, usually in the evenings, the pain starts with my nose (which still hasn’t healed from a surgery to try and fix the nerves in my face) it moves to my temple, forehead, ear – which triggers a full body migraine that engulfs my entire head, face, and body in severe nerve pain matched with muscle spasms and sensory sensitivity. All of this happens within 2 minutes and If I don’t catch it quick enough my pain level will increase to a 10 and require more hospital stays, treatments, and infusions. This is in addition to my daily pain – which sits pretty at a level 3-5. I have not been pain-free for almost 2 years, and let me tell you, I’m shocked that I’m still here and still fighting.

I am one of those patients that even the best doctors in the state are afraid to treat! My medications have failed me and TRUST I have tried everything known to man, just shy of ketamine infusions. With pure honesty and good intentions – I can tell you that the only medication in the entire world of Western Medicine that is able to control my pain and helps me function doing normal things (like making meals, showering, drying my hair, being around people) IS PERCOCET!

Before the PA MMJ program started this year, I had just left another 10-day long hospital stay and I came home on so much medication including 20 mgs of Percocet 3x a day. I understand the opioid crises! I understand that some people with addictive personalities shouldn’t use opioids – but so far, there is nothing available in Western Medicine that can replace opioids. Now, hospitals and ER’s wont use opioids no matter what the situation is, but they have nothing safe to replace it with. BUT GUESS WHAT? I found something to replace my Percocet with…CANNABIS!

There is plenty of research showing that Cannabis in any form including non-psychoactive negates the use of opioids and helps people cut down and replace dosages. My experience with the PA Medical Marijuana program has been one of trial and error, but it’s a necessary process to determine what works well for me, since each patient has a different experience. And because there are a few products that have yet to show up in PA dispensaries (patches and topicals please!).

With that said, here is what works for me and my ever so complicated body. I use Blueberry Live Resin from Cresco Yeltrah in a KandyPen concentrate vape as soon as I feel a flare coming on. This calms down my entire body, sometimes preventing the entire flare! I also use an Indica-dominant hybrid from Cresco Yeltrah called Green Line OG in the afternoons to help prevent any pain flares. I’ve learned I personally can not use a full Sativa because I’ll ask questions for 18 hours strait and it increases my anxiety with racing thoughts (it’s useful to rule out what doesn’t work for you!). Now, to establish a baseline for my daily pain, I use Cresco Yeltrah’s Remedi Balance Tincture with a 1:1 CBD/THC ratio and 2.75mgs each. I use this before bedtime, because my body metabolizes very slowly – it takes longer to kick in, but it also stays in my system longer while intensifying the pain-relieving effects of my Percocet. I also use Charlotte’s Web Everyday Advanced CBD oil at least 60mgs daily and Charlotte’s Web Topical Balm (I cover my face in it and it decreases inflammation and nerve pain). When PA dispensaries have more CDB dominant products – I plan on taking full advantage of my patient status and trying them ALL!

Now, here is the best part of my story. Since I’ve started this regimen I have been able to cut down my daily Percocet dosage by 35 milligrams and still going strong! I am proof that the research studies are scientifically accurate, and that Cannabis assists with decreasing opioid medications, while successfully decreasing pain levels AND HEALING. Not only do the MMJ products I use provide pain relief, but they also work hard to repair the protective sheath around my nerves (that I can see are damaged in my brain on an MRI). I honestly am so grateful for the PA MMJ community and the friends I’ve made. Once I start to feel like a normal person again, I have a long way to go, but at least I no longer feel like NOTHING can help me, I am going to advocate hard for this amazing plant.

Thanks for reading my story, I hope you can find something to relate to and possibly help you on your own cannabis journey.

  • Amy Giardiniere
  • @amyawes0me on Twitter
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  • @amy-awes0me_writes_stuff on Public Instagram