Hi! My name is Nicole. I am a T1D, have been for 31.5 years. I have a myriad of health issues in addition to my T1D, such as: Peripheral Neuropathy, Endometriosis, IBS with Chronic Constipation, an Overlarge Bladder (I can’t remember the medical term for this, but I can basically hold and pee out over 44 oz of urine at once), Hypoglycemia Unawareness, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, slight Insulin Resistance, Insomnia, and I recently was diagnosed with a small amount of Retinopathy in my left eye. I am prescribed Humalog insulin that I administer via a Medtronic insulin pump that I’ve been on for about 6 years now. I was recently prescribed Metformin to treat the insulin resistance (which I thought was strange since it’s always been a predominately T2D meddication). I am prescribed Lyrica to treat my peripheral neuropathy. I am prescribed TriNessa and Spironolactone to treat the PCOS. I used to take Bethanechol (sp?) to treat the bladder issue, but I cannot afford to see every doctor I need to see so my appointments are centered around priority versus need. I was prescribed Linzess to treat my IBS, but the same conflict that I spoke of in the last sentence applies here as well. I take Temazepam to treat my insomnia, even though it doesn’t work as well as I’d like especially if I’m stressed out. (The doctor wants me to have a sleep study done, but usually excellent Aetna PPO plan wants me to pay $300 out of pocket for the study and an additional $50 copay to the sleep doctor to get this accomplished. I just plain don’t have it.) My eye doctor said the retinopathy he found in my left eye in September is so small that it’ll heal on its own in a few months and he doesn’t feel like he needs to treat it.
With all of that said, I do not live in a state that allows any legal form of cannabis. However, I have been a cannabis user since the age of 16. I am now 37. I have conducted, if you will, a “study” for the last 17 years and I can tell you this: cannabis is useful for me in treating the nasty, yuck feeling you get when your blood glucose is elevated. Over the years I have also observed that if I test my blood, get a reading that is hyperglycemic, bolus with insulin to correct it, and then just wait for it to come down, I will be waiting a long time. Often, for me, as long as 4-5 hours for it to come back down to my target range (90-130). But when I do all the same and also add in the use of cannabis, I not only feel better physically and can function more normally versus laying down for sometimes half a day until my glucose comes down, but my glucose comes down faster than just insulin alone. Don’t get me wrong, I do not mean to imply that cannabis brings me from the brink of possible DKA to possible hypoglycemic shock in a short time frame. Not at all. It does, however, bring my glucose down faster without making me bottom out. I have, as a teenager, overindulged in chocolate after my use of cannabis and paid the price for it later via my glucose reading, but it never sent me to the hospital with DKA or any other malady. The issue of whether or not overindulgence is possible with cannabis that has THC is no different to me than the possibility of overindulgence at Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, Fourth of July, one’s birthday, etc. To me, it is simply a matter of willpower, as well as the particular strain of cannabis one has used plays a large part in the presence of the “munchies” or not.
Am I a drug addict? Absolutely not. I am a wife, a mother (no, I don’t partake in front of my children), and a college student. I just graduated with my Associate’s degree this past summer and I am now working on my Bachelor’s degree in Museum Studies, History, and Geography. I am a Phi Theta Kappa inductee/member (an international honor society), I have been on the President’s honor roll every semester, and I currently have a 3.7 GPA. (It was a 4.0, but I didn’t do as well as I’d have liked in my Physics course last semester.) I am an intelligent, motivated, hard-working disabled woman who simply functions and feels better after using a little cannabis daily. I’m certainly not giving Cheech and Chong a run for their money!
With all of that presented, I truly hope that breakthroughs in the benefit of cannabis on other diseases/maladies than cancer can be undoubtedly scientifically proven so that all of us could reap the benefit. Good Lord, I just heard on the news last night that the pharmaceutical industry is now looking into the health benefit of the use of psychedelics (mushrooms) and Ecstasy to treat many different maladies, including smoking cessation. They decided to do this after the results of some study that had been done. (I was in the middle of something and didn’t catch what the was performed on or for.) But…seriously?! It’s 2016 and Big Pharma sees the potential benefit of psychedelics and ecstasy, but everyone is still all firmly ensconced in the reefer madness propaganda? Isn’t there something wrong with that picture? I sure think there is!