Monday, May 25, 2009


I am Serra. I am the mother of two wonderful boys and for 4 1/2 years now, I have been using marijuana to ease my chronic pelvic pain.

I have considered doing this for some time now. Many people have told me to write down my story. I have never "blogged" before. I need an outlet, and am hopeful that my story can help people who have found themselves in similar situations. This seems to be a convenient one, that is more public than my journals.

I am going to start by laying a foundation of medical history and how I came about smoking marijuana. It all began 7 1/2 years ago, when I suddenly started having extreme and disabling pain in my pelvic area. It all started very sporadic with cramping and sharp pains. I passed it off as very bad PMS cramping.

Then I found out I was pregnant with my youngest son. My husband and I began to grow more and more concerned as the episodes became increasingly more painful and frequent. I ended up in the emergency room, and after a shot of Demoral, an ultrasound, and much poking and prodding, they released me with a prescription for narcotics and the diagnosis of possible mis-carriage in progress.

After the miscarriage never happened, I went forward with choosing an obstetrician. The pain continued, sporadically at first, then grew into a dull ache, accompanied by sharp, disabling pains that would send me to the floor in tears. Numerous hospital and doctor's visits later, I was told that a variety of things could be to blame. Stretching of the round ligaments was finally agreed upon as the most likely cause.

So, with the assurance the pain would stop when my baby was born, an order to rest and refills on narcotics, I was sent home time and time again. I eventually stopped going to the hospital when the pain would begin, and spent the majority of my time in bed with the hopes that it would all be over soon.

After a very long and painful pregnancy, my baby boy was born happy and healthy.
But the pain continued.

About 2 months after my son was born, my OB-GYN suggested that I might have poly-cycstic ovarian syndrome. When that didn't pan out, the possible diagnosis changed to endometriosis...

The doctors visits were all the same, just like with the emergency room. Ultrasound, prescription for narcotics, home again.... I found myself in bed or on the couch 70% of the time, and when I wasn't in bed, I was a walking zombie routinely doing the things that needed to be done, like grocery shopping and doctors appointments. The narcotics made me very loopy.

Then when the pills ran out, and the pain came back, I found myself at the doctor's office again.... just to be sent home again... with yet another prescription. Over and over, changing the type of narcotic once my tolerance was up. You name it, I probably tried it. Darvocet, Percocet, Vicodin, Oxycontin, Coedine,Lortab, Lorcet, Darvon, Roxycodone and even Methadone....

Eventually, the doctor I was seeing became frustrated and told me she didn't know what more to do. I switched doctors just to be told I was a "pill junkie" that was addicted to the pills they continued to prescribe.

So I stopped seeing doctors all together. And I stopped taking all narcotics. I went from being in bed or on the couch 70% of the time, to being there 99% of the time. I gained over 100 lbs, going from 145 to 249 and found myself in a spiraling depression. I started using over the counter sleep aids to help escape from the pain.

After almost two years of just dealing with the pain, not having a life, barely being able to take care of my new baby, and constantly praying for an answer, my best friend walked back into my life.

I hadn't seen him in quite awhile, and when he returned he brought me a gift. A small bud of marijuana. I never really cared much for weed, and had only tried it as as a teenager. What he had brought wasn't much, but enough to get us stoned. And while we sat there reminiscing about old times, I realized that it was as if I had taken a pain pill. I was intoxicated and my pain was absent.

I could tolerate the "high" of marijuana more than the loopy-ness of the narcotics, or the grogginess of the sleeping pills, so I asked my friend if he could procure more for me.

As my tolerance for marijuana grew, I found myself more coherent, and more active. I could smoke until the pain was gone, and quit before the intoxication set in. If I overdosed on accident, I found that just by eating I could correct it and reduce the high.

I decided to return to the doctor. My family doctor ordered CT Scans, blood tests, diagnostic laparoscopies and a colonoscopy. After everything came back normal he decided to send me to a gynecologist again.

This time the GYN said that it wasn't endometriosis but adenomyosis(which is endometriosis on the outer uteran wall) and that almost a sure fire way of stopping the pain would be to preform a hysterectomy.

After much contemplation, and finally deciding that the children I had now needed me more than I needed the ability to have more children, I decided to go through with the operation. So, 11 days before my 23rd birthday, they took my uterus.

6 weeks later, the pain came back. I went back to the doctor and he said he didn't know what to do next. So I gave up on western medicine and my life instead became about pain management.

That was 3 years ago. I have used marijuana practically every day and have finally found a way to live, not just survive. I use marijuana when the pain sets in, until the pain is gone, and avoid intoxication. I found it helps not only with the pain but with the depression and stress of everyday life. I found the motivation and the ability to get out of bed, so I can not just care for my family, but be involved in their lives... even on the days I don't have pain relief. I have lost 100 lbs, and am more active than I have been in years. With marijuana my life feels semi-normal.

I've found the ability to face doctors again, and try yet again to figure out the cause of the pain. I recently had a cystoscopy, where they looked inside my bladder, and they found some bleeding. The biopsies were benign, so next possible diagnosis is Interstitial Cystitis. I continue to pray for answers.

I have also found the truth about marijuana. Or more accurately, the truth about Cannabis.

The truth that Cannabis prohibition is harmful and creates unimaginable and unnecessary suffering for millions of people. The truth that it does have medical value and that it might produce the best medicines on earth, if it were allowed.

And most importantly I found the truth that, without Cannabis, I'd probably still be in bed, unable to care for myself or my family.

Everyday, I give thanks for this miraculous plant.

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