How One Mama Refused Not to Roar and Chose Cannabis to Help Her do it.
By: Kristy Crocetto
December 6th, 2019
Growing up I wasn't sure if I wanted a baby. My childhood was very difficult as I am a survivor of childhood abuse. Truthfully, I didn’t think I'd ever be whole enough to bring a baby into this world. I asked myself if anyone would want me for a Mom, me with my broken body and scrambled brain. How could I ever take care of someone else when it takes so much out of me just to wake up in the morning?
At the age of 22 my challenging childhood developed into something else entirely. I started to feel aches in my joints. I had expensive orthotics made, which helped at first. Physical therapy offered some relief and I was prescribed a steady dose of Non-steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) that did little to nothing to ease my pain.
Things continued to get worse. I was unable to go grocery shopping, exercise or travel because the pain was too great. Sitting or standing for long periods of time at my job became excruciating and relationships started to become strained. I felt alone and I was incredibly depressed.
I spent 7 years in and out of doctor’s offices, all the while receiving mis-diagnoses and taking far too many NSAIDs that would eventually cause damage to my stomach and liver. Finally, after much self-advocacy and seemingly endless tests and scans, I was officially diagnosed with Fibromyalgia Syndrome, a disorder characterized by chronic widespread pain and fatigue.
Those with chronic illness know that the day you're finally diagnosed feels incredible.
You finally feel heard, relieved, optimistic- there are treatments and surely things will get better. Unfortunately, as I would come to learn, there is no cure for Fibromyalgia and the treatment options leave a lot to be desired.
To complicate things further, it is likely that my childhood trauma is the cause of my pain.
Similar to the way Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) can reshape brain processing after a traumatic event, Fibromyalgia results in abnormal processing of pain signals.
The pain served, and continues to serve, as a constant reminder of the trauma that I have experienced.
After 7 years of daily pain, I brought in the New Year with my husband by smoking a joint, something I had infrequently done in college. I try not to be a hyperbolic in my words; but truly, this joint changed my life.
The absence of pain was striking, almost sobering. It had been so long since I had been pain-free that I started to cry. I cried for the worst moments, the missed opportunities, but also because I was so happy to finally find some relief!
When medical marijuana became legal in Pennsylvania, I was one of the first in line to get a card.
I have been micro dosing tinctures, using lotions, and generally attempting to achieve the most relief without experiencing a constant high during the day. It has been difficult finding a balance, but I feel pretty good most days. Still, when it came time for family planning, I was concerned I wouldn’t be able to handle motherhood.
I was certain I could love my child. I have a great capacity for love, but I wasn’t sure how present I could be. There are still some weekends I spend entirely in bed and nothing helps the pain but rest. In 2016, with the encouragement of my incredible husband and family, and with medical marijuana to help me manage my pain and trauma, I decided to fully participate in my life- I decided to have a baby!
Pregnancy wasn't easy physically and, because I had to stop taking cannabis, I had to rely on meditation and Tylenol to get me through. It was worth it, however, for the incredible experience of life growing inside of me. It is hard to explain the pride and confidence that comes with being pregnant, but I've never felt stronger than I did during those 9 months.
Of all the chances I've taken in life, having my son has been the most rewarding. I could never have imagined the healing that he would bring me- the love, the trust, the strength, the joy. Being a Mom with a chronic illness is hard, I still have good and bad days, but I manage them with my medicine and support from friends and family.
I have never felt so capable of handling the hard days and I have cannabis to thank.
Follow more of Kristy's painful yet wondrous journey on her Instagram.
Kristy is the co-tamer of two cats, two dogs, and a little lion cub with ASD. She's a cannabis advocate and feminist whose favorite color is leopard print.
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