Prescription painkillers nearly took my life.
I never took more than the prescribed doses, even when in writhing, groaning agony.
I have a progressive and incurable neuromuscular disease, which I’ve been living with for the past
50 years, as well as Central Pain Sensitisation. (Pain levels in the ‘severe’/‘extreme’ range mostly,
and never less than 6/10.)
The opioid painkiller I was prescribed about ten years ago (after trials of virtually everything else
available) was a disaster for me - brief periods of brain-fogging, partial pain-relief between
“breakouts” of ‘’withdrawal symptoms’’ and overwhelmingly fierce pain.
I was shocked when the leading pain specialist at the Regional Pain Service clinic I attended in
2015 said “Oh, we’ve known for years that opioid painkillers often make chronic pain worse”! (And
there were so many other terrible, disabling, and further socially isolating “side effects”…)
I put myself through a whole year of unadulterated hell a few years ago, (chosen afresh every
single day, many times a day), ‘counting down’ the alternative opioid I’d been prescribed (-
hopefully making it easier to quit altogether). Reducing the dose by a miniscule amount every three weeks or so, still meant enduring daily bouts of savage “withdrawal symptoms”.
I learned what a cop-out it is for medical websites to describe ‘withdrawal symptoms’ in terms of
variations on a theme of “uncomfortable” - many people with first-hand experience have testified to Tramadol being very much more punishing to get off than lots of ‘hard drugs’.
I have chosen to live with constant, insistent, mind-jagging pain rather than take any sort of
prescribed drug, now, because I cannot bear the dreadful “side effects” or the see-saw of tortuous
‘withdrawal symptoms'. (Even on the maximum dose of Tramadol, there were more ‘pain hours’
I am tired of grim endurance. I am so very tired of this relentless, hijacking pain. I am a teacher by
vocation - school and music mostly - and have done all sorts of other jobs along the way - played
piano in a pub, cooked for a shearing gang, worked with intellectually disabled adults doing music,
art and drama therapy, worked as a support person for a group of women bereaved by suicide and at a cancer care centre, as well as bringing up my son on my own. It’s been a hell of a road…
I’ve been reading research for years about the uses of medicinal cannabis, and after my appalling
experiences on legal prescription drugs (Tramadol was not the only one which caused major havoc and extreme suffering) I am desperate to try medicinal cannabis to see if it might reduce the extremity of my daily suffering, and finally allow me to construct a bearable and manageable life for myself for a few years before my time is up.
At present it is far beyond my financial reach.
Vote ‘YES’ so that people like me can have access to affordable medicinal cannabis.