Opiod Epidemic

Almost every doctor for every procedure I’ve gone to this past year has prescribed opiods. Very luckily for me, opiods don’t work on me to do anything to the pain, not even intravenously. When I went for my biopsies this last year, I felt every inch of the biopsy needles in spite of having fentynal dripped into my veins. And, frankly, opiods just make me constipated. Even though I had a stack of opiod prescriptions, I had to find something that would help with the pain. Since I had a pretty big drug problem throughout my twenties and into my early thirties, a substance as highly addictive and ineffective as an opiod was not at the top of my list.

More than 115 people in America die every day due to accidental misuse of opiods. That’s one person every twelve minutes. To put it mildly, we have an acute opiod epidemic.

The other thing I had to take into consideration is that with the exception of wine (not organic) and cupcakes, I had tried to eat healthfully and not put chemicals into my body. I haven’t been a fussy eater; I just tried to eat snacks healthier than those loaded with color and chemicals.

What worked for me was the CBD oil. I look for products that are organic, and I look for non-chemical extraction of the CBD from the hemp.

Also, I want to note that the creator of opiods just received a patent for the antidote. Coincidence or diabolical plan?  Don’t let him mess with us any further.

Moisturizer and Other CBD Hemp Oil Products

This post is pretty much about CBD hemp oil experiences. I’ve branched out and am trying different kinds of CBD hemp oil products. I live in Charleston SC. With the heat and humidity we have here, I rarely wear moisturizers or body lotions, even in the winter. They make me feel like I’ve wrapped myself in saran wrap (and not in a fun way) and hopped into the microwave. It’s not pretty.

Now (in the spirit of full disclosure) I’m getting ready to go live with my CBD oil website, and so instead of sticking with one product – CBD extract Proprietary Gold – I want to try everything. Plus, I really need moisturizer: I’m getting old and wrinkly. The Abinoid Moisturizer is rich and thick. The first time I put it on, I really overdid it. A little goes a long way. And it sinks into the skin – even when I put too much on. It has a light fragrance that dissipates after an hour.

With the CBD hemp oil in it, the moisturizer makes my face even happier. Sigh. I think being in the throes of the dog days of summer makes everyone a little crispier, so finding a moisturizer helps. Like it or not, the peak of Hurricane Season is here as well. Even though it’s supposed to be quieter this year than the last two, we can’t always trust that. I keep water, wine, canned goods, and I make sure my laundry is current. If we lose power, it’s gonna be smelly.  I am getting all of the CBD oil into my system that I can.

CBD hemp oil makes me feel lighter, more relaxed, more focused. Well, okay, wine helps with the relaxed part. As a licensed realtor who lives in a state where marijuana is illegal, I have to stay inside the lines. I love working in real estate. Giving it up is not really an option for me, so they know the sound of my footsteps at my local wine store.

Tomorrow I’m going to tell you about my sister’s experience with it. Yes, I’m making everyone try it! Did you know that Henry Ford created the two day weekend? He wanted his employees to buy his cars, so he gave them time off to drive them. Think of me as Henrietta (Granted, I didn’t invent it, but I think you know what I’m saying.): I found this really great thing, and I want everyone to try it! I love to hear what happens when people use it.

Hugs, Y’all!

Suicide

When I read the news of Anthony Bourdain’s suicide, it made me gasp out loud! It’s heartbreaking and scary – how could anyone who seemed to have so much take his own life? Why?

I think that there are things that happen in our lives that make us feel less than. Maybe we had to do things to survive a situation that went against everything we were taught, everything we value, what we want to think of ourselves. Maybe we did something while under the influence of substances that you would take back if you could, but you cannot.  Or maybe things were done to us that we couldn’t control but felt we should have. When I was raped as a teenager, I wanted no one to know. It’s still hard to bring the words out. I don’t want anyone to know the details, I don’t want to answer questions, and I certainly don’t want the pitying looks. It wasn’t my fault – I went to a party with a friend – but when Chrissie Hynde of the Pretenders said that she felt responsible for being raped, I understood. I think most of us feel responsible when something bad happens to us whether that’s true or not.

Those are the things that we hide, those things that strip us of our humanity, because we are certain that if anyone finds those demons we’ve hidden down deep in our souls, they will certainly leave us. I cannot imagine telling anyone some of the things I’ve had to do just to save my own life, and I’ve spent thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours in therapy. I’ve attended just about every kind of Twelve Step group created. Some things it would seem are just better left unsaid, unknown, as if the denial makes them disappear.

Or we have been struggling with suicide – I know I have – and we think we have it contained until one day it just sneaks up on us. There are no defensive wounds when they find our bodies.

Choose your confidante carefully, but choose someone. Don’t ever give up. If it’s troubling you, try to survive until you can get help. Every day I am grateful to God that we have the president we do. He is making some harsh things acceptable, so they can be brought out into the Light and be cured. Please don’t think that you are alone. Everyone is struggling with something. My hope is that we can bring our demons into the room and banish them together.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

1-800-273-8255

I post this because anyone who would wait for your call understands. Please reach out to them. Also know that I used the Domestic Violence Hotline, and they saved my life. I don’t post anything lightly.

Day 4 – In the Middle

All of the news that is telling us that we are being chemoed to death is amazing! For me, there was a lot of social stigma around my diagnosis. I thought people would judge me because I had it. I had been socialized to believe that if I was cheerful, positive, and didn’t have and/or suppress anger, I would never get cancer. What a load of manure!

This is what I am learning: More people are getting cancer every day. More options for treatment that are just as effective, if not more, than chemo. Chemotherapy actually takes people to the edge of death and then drags them back to life – hopefully. Now we see on CNN that Canada’s cancer treatment is less expensive and has a better survival rate than ours.

Just this week it was announced that 70% – seventy percent!! – of women with breast cancer don’t need chemo. There is now a test that can determine the genetic marker to know what kind of breast cancer it is. (Please don’t hold me to the scientific terms. You can get that from the actual article https://www.cnn.com/2018/06/03/health/breast-cancer-recurrence-chemo-study/index.html. I am merely a survivor).

I’ve spent my life being afraid of cancer. When people see my bald head, many of them give me the head tilt and sympathy look. But I don’t think cancer is as scary as it once was. And from my experience, medical science doesn’t have all the answers – or even the right ones!

Still feeling energetic and focused. I only took one Tylenol today. The supplements I’m taking to support my body to bring it back from chemo and allow it to heal the cancer are working: All of my blood tests came back perfectly normal – right smack dab in the middle of the range of normal. I’m so happy some part of me is!

Day 3 of CBD Oil

A dear and longtime friend of mine has Parkinson’s. Over the next week or two, she will be starting on CBD oil. I will chronicle her journey as much as I can without being in her skin. She was diagnosed about a year ago, has tried natural cures, and finally began the medication. It has helped a lot, but she is having other issues now.

We all have to die, and I know that unless we commit suicide – something that I’ve considered at different points in my life and declined – we don’t have a choice over how. My friend has always been health conscious. It got to the point where she counted the leaves of lettuce she ate, she was in such control. Stunning to me was that she was diagnosed with Parkinson’s when I was the one who had done all the drugs, drinking, and partying when I was in my twenties; I was the one who could eat a Big Mac standing over the kitchen sink and believed I had dined. We both supported – and still do – organic farming and healthy eating, but I mixed my in with chili dogs and full fat, full gluten chocolate chip cookies.

I remember about twenty years ago when she had hurt herself, been confined to couch rest with a pretty serious injury, and then a few weeks later went to a dance workshop and danced twelve hours a day for a whole week. She wasn’t a dancer by profession, she just liked to dance.

Today I visited her, and she struggled to walk. She has my deepest admiration. It cannot be easy to watch your world shrink to your easy chair with the occasional outing when you at one time united countries. She was responsible for bringing several of her friends from different countries together socially. International museums resulted.

My mother always told us that if you took your troubles down to the market place, you would end up buying them back. For me, she was right. I have cancer, and I have pain,  but for now, I have mobility and clarity. No one gets out alive, as the old saying goes. When I hit my sixties, I knew that I would die. I prayed I wouldn’t live until 95 like my aunt did. She said it was boring and lonely and she missed my uncle. But getting cancer is forcing me to live like there’s no tomorrow, forcing me to choose to create the life that I want. Many of us don’t get that chance ever.

Day 3 of CBD oil was uneventful otherwise. I tried one of the lymph machines, and it’s just made the sides of my thighs ache. This will be published in the morning, but it’s night now and time for a glass of wine! Make it a great day, and I will talk with you later.

CBD…The Experiment Continues

This morning I did cbd oil and included the supplements that my practitioner gave me. Since I’m not sure what is fighting cancer and what is fighting pain, and I need to be productive, I’m taking everything. I will do the cbd alone in a week or two.

I do know this: When I take the cbd oil, I am more energetic, focused, and productive. For me, it’s good for about 8 hours, so I take it on getting out of bed. In the afternoon when I lag, I take a 15 minute nap (I am, indeed, a power napper. It’s a talent!). When I wake up, I take another cbd so I can have a productive evening. Both a schedule and being productive make me feel normal. At the age of 6 I started pushing a lawn mower to make my own money and having stopped working since. The cbd oil helps me do what I want and need to do.

And it doesn’t interact adversely with my wine at the end of the day. I’ve been taking acetaminophen with wine to sleep, and all of the warnings say that it’s better to refrain from alcohol with acetaminophen. Now I don’t have to worry about that. Very important because I schedule my life: Coffee in the morning before anything; cbd oil; chocolate in the afternoon; cbd oil; wine after everything. It’s good to be organized, don’t you think?

Letting My Hair Grow Back

It’s gonna be hard growing my hair back! Two reasons: 1. About three weeks into the growth, I start to look like a porcupine. A white porcupine with dark and white stubble, but I look like I’m still bald where the white hair is. Not a good look. At this point, I am shaving weekly.

When I started losing my hair and was looking at wigs, the ladies at the wig shop told me I needed to keep about 1/4 to 1/2 inch of hair, or the wigs and hats would itch. Obediently I let them cut my hair, then put my chemo hat on and went out into the world, praying I didn’t have to take that sucker off in public. I looked raggedy! And those little hats screamed ‘Cancer!’ to me. I was miserable, hot, and itchy.

The best thing to happen to me about my hair is that the wig I ordered didn’t fit. My cheekbones are high (Czech blood). I had to decide: people looking at me comfortable vs. ME feeling comfortable. We know by my profile picture who won. I put my chemo hat back on to cover my stubble and left the wig shop to consult my resident expert: my neighbor Roger. He has been shaving his head for decades and makes sure I wear a hat in the sun when he sees me (I keep a hat in the car just in case I see him first!).

He plopped me into his car and took me to the local barber shop to get clipped. There I also met Walter, the man in front of me during our wait for the barber. Walter said he comes back every three week for a buzz. I wish! My hair grows fast. My reality is that I start looking skanky at the end of every shaving week.

Through lots of conversations with bald friends and strangers, I learned that I didn’t have to pay $20 a week to get my head trimmed. My neighbor and new bald friends coached me through shaving my head myself. I tried razors geared toward men, toward women (is there really a difference other than color and the fact that anything for a woman is more expensive?), soap, shaving cream. I worried about cutting myself and having to wear a bandaid, so I couldn’t get a close enough shave. Now I’m using an electric razor. My neighbor says the best way to go is a six-bladed manual razor, but that sounds like danger to me. I’ll have to screw my courage up for that one!

The second reason is that I like the attention. No one went out of their way to talk to me like people do now. Even babies! Babies claim me as one of their own. They talk to me like they expect me to understand. Yesterday at a coffee shop with one of my friends, we met a baby. My friend is cute, friendly, and has shoulder-length hair. We both talked to the baby, but when the baby looked at my friend, nothing. When the baby looked at me, she smiled and talked and drooled. It happened several times. It’s a hoot!

People stop me to talk to me, follow me around. It’s amazing! So in addition to looking scraggly, when I grow my hair back, I’ll just have hair again. Not many people look like I do right now. Most people assume it wasn’t a choice and want to offer me support. That part’s lovely. I guess I can wait until fall and decide!