UPDATE: Support Em’s Med Cannabis Application Fund
I’ve been in unrelenting pain for two years. I’ve suffered through numerous tests and procedures, all with the hopes that a doctor could tell me what’s wrong with my body. Not just 46 different blood tests, but a CT scan, an EEG, an ECG, a heart stress echo, an upper endoscopy, three hydrogen breath tests, and (with my sleep-deprived memory) probably a few more I don’t remember.
Mostly I’ve agreed to be poked and prodded so much because I’m hopeful for answers that could lead to relief and a better quality of life. But there’s also always been a part of me that would be really happy to find out that my current diagnosis—fibromyalgia—is a misdiagnosis. Because I don’t need the baggage that comes with that shit, you know?
I mean, have you ever hoped to be diagnosed with lupus or celiac disease? Plenty of people with fibromyalgia have.
Sometimes the stigma is a result of actual things people have said to me. (That’s not a legit medical condition. You need a new doctor.) And sometimes the stigma is a result of things I’ve heard other patients report, and then I get paranoid that people are thinking those same things about me; they’re just not bold enough to say it out loud. (You’re fine. You’re just looking for pills and attention.)
Regardless, it adds to the stress of dealing with my symptoms.
I’ve tried different therapies, different medicines, and different diets without success. In every case with severe side effects or worsening symptoms. I’ve got a full-time job I’d like to keep. At the very least, I need to be able to maintain.
So I’m unapologetically proclaiming my intention to participate in Illinois’ Medical Cannabis Patient Registry Program. Because, almost unbelievably, fibromyalgia is a qualifying health condition. The process is kind of involved and the application fees are significant. They need $300, proof of residence, a passport-style photo, my fingerprints, probably a kidney. (Oh, and did I mention I’m sick and doing stuff is hard?) So I’ve reached out to a couple of different programs for help navigating the red tape.
I’ll let you know how it goes.