by Linda Yelvington of Missouri:
Scoliosis, Chronic Pain
Linda lives outside of Joplin, Missouri.
Linda has been active in the movement for legalization for many years; since the 70’s. “It just doesn’t make since for it to be illegal – for something that is essentially harmless.”
Linda has Scoliosis. She was treated for it with a Milwaukee Brace when she was a teenager. That experience alone brought on depression.
She had her hip replaced when she was sixteen following a car accident. She also has degenerative problems in both wrists that make it difficult to work with a cane when her “bad hip” is aggravating her. She also has degenerative disc disease.
Hydrocodone, Darvon, Darvocet, Vicodin, she has run the gamete of pain killers. Such has also been the case with anti-depressants. She began taking Zoloft following the passing of her father. She has also been on Xanax.
There came a point in her life when she realized that the doctors were just “shoving more and more opiates at me – whatever they could prescribe, and it wasn’t helping – and cannabis did”.
Linda’s many debilitating illnesses make everyday life difficult for her. When pharmaceuticals would fall short of relieving her symptoms, cannabis would give her the relief she needed. “It works as a mood elevator, it provides relief from stress. With it, sometimes I don’t need to take the pain pills at all.”
But even during the times when pharmaceuticals are needed, cannabis helps relieve the side effects they cause. “The Hydrocodone makes me nauseous… I would prefer to just use the cannabis. I have to use cannabis if I use pain medicine, or I won’t be able to eat.”
“It’s a shame that I am being prescribed addictive drugs (opiates) rather than allowing me to medicate with something non-addictive (cannabis).”
What side effects does she experience from cannabis? It increases her appetite (a good thing since she tends to be anorexic) and it makes her sleepy sometimes (again, good since she often has trouble sleeping).
“When I would come home from working long hours, and I would hurt all over, and I was too tired to fix something to eat…it was too painful, I would smoke a little cannabis and my appetite would return. I would fix something to eat and I could sleep instead of being in pain. So the side effects from cannabis are good side effects.”