I have been a nurse for almost 20 years, and this is the story of how cannabis saved my life.

In 2010, I fell seriously ill — for reasons that doctors were unable to understand, I began to experience excruciating pain, which hampered my mobility and caused intense mental distress. Their response was to prescribe a pill for every symptom I exhibited, and it didn’t take long for me to tire of the toll they were taking on me. Soon, I was barely surviving. I became so desperate that I was willing to move 2,000 miles from where I was born in hopes of finding something that would save my life. Today, I’m sharing this journey because I want people who are experiencing similar mental and physical pain to believe a better, healthier future is possible.

My Introduction to Prescription Drugs

I’d been in pain for a long, long time before I had my first surgery. This one was to remove my gallbladder. During the procedure, they found a large tumor on my liver that they deemed inoperable. It was an estrogen- and blood-filled mass, most likely caused by years of taking the birth control pill, which I’d used to regulate my intense menstrual cycle. Needless to say, this was an unexpected side effect.

A few weeks after the operation, I woke up and my entire body was puffy. The pain in my right side had only worsened, and the nausea was more unbearable than ever.

By this point, I was prescribed more than ten pharmaceutical medications, including Vicodin and morphine. I was only 29 years old and my life had become defined by when to take my next pill. Internally, I felt like a toxic waste dump. Because of chronic, unidentified pain in my right side, I’d been prescribed opiates and narcotics, which made me nauseous, and I also began having chronic headaches. To combat these side effects I was then prescribed various antiemetics, including Zofran and Phenergan. For the headaches, I was given prescription-strength, anti-inflammatory drugs like Relafen and Vioxx.

Then I had more tests done, after which it was decided that maybe I was having some sort of internal spasms, so doctors prescribed me antispasmodics, Robaxin and Baclofen. The anxiety that came with my lack of knowledge about what was wrong with me caused me to watch the clock to take my next Valium or Xanax. But the antianxiety meds felt like they increased my anxiety, and that led to depression from never feeling stable.

To deal with this issue, Celexa was prescribed first, followed by Zoloft, neither of which made me feel any better. I felt like I was slowly losing my mind — I just wanted to feel better.

Discovering Cannabis: An Alternative to Prescription Drugs

After exhausting all my other options, I began using cannabis by illegally obtaining it in Florida. I quickly realized that as soon as I consumed it via smoking, my nausea disappeared. As a nurse, this floored me, because I was on two prescriptions for nausea and yet this plant made the awful feelings fade faster than any pill I had ever been given.

Before long, I realized I was going to die if I didn’t make a drastic change. All those pills were changing who

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Original article written by our CEO, published on CannabisMD.