27 May 2015

Med update: three weeks in

I’ve been using the medical marijuana for about three weeks now, so I figured it was time for an update.

First and foremost: I sleep like a normal person. I take my nightly dose (a pinch of 1:13 vaped in my second-hand-purchased-via-Kijiji-Arizer-Solo,  plus a few mL of Green Dragon tincture) about an hour before I want to go to sleep, and I … get tired. I start yawning. I go to bed and put my story on, and I know I am asleep in about 30 minutes because I put a timer on my story and I rarely hear it turn off. I can wake up in the night and get a glass of milk or something and go back to bed and go back to sleep. And remember it all in the morning. Very cool.

My daytime energy is improved: I have been using 4:10 in the daytime, vaped once in the morning and once in the afternoon, plus edibles occasionally … still not sure where the edibles fit in the grand scheme of things, but I think they help keep blood levels at an even keel, so I should probably plan to make more. I can do stuff, and take a break, and do a bit more, and take another break … and I don’t feel bad about taking breaks yet I have more get up and go than I did before. This could also be partly attributed to the weather, I always do much better in summer. The big test will be to see how this works in the dark of winter!

I don’t feel impaired at all – no dizziness, wooziness, or weird sensations.

The chest pains are still breaking through: I’ve just ordered some 9:9, I may need the higher THC in the daytime to ease those pains. It’s not too uncomfortable, but it is a signal that I’m not quite at the level of relief I need.

The vaporizer is still taking a bit of getting used to, as I’ve never smoked so I’m not quite as adept as some might be at having irritants in my lungs. I do think I’ve found the settings that work well for me: I heat it to about 4 or 5, then inhale gently, with the corners of my mouth not sealed tight to the tube so that I also get room air. This dilutes the vapour a little bit, and lets me still breathe in slowly and deeply … hold, then exhale. There is a little odour if you are right next to me, but it dissipates as soon as I’m done. It leaves no smell in the house or anything, so it’s not like puffing on a joint and having that stale smoke smell hang around on everything afterwards. When I start to cough, I know I’m done – pull the glass mouthpiece out, dump the browned herb into a container and save it for making Sleepy Dragon tincture. Already vaped material has higher concentrations of CBD remaining, and is worth tincturing … so that’ll be the next adventure. I may try a coconut oil extraction and see how that goes.

I haven’t used Prazosin or Sublinox or Temazepam since starting the marijuana with a couple of exceptions: I used Temazepam one night when I was still awake after a couple of hours, and I used Prazosin when I was away this past weekend because vaping wasn’t convenient. I had forgotten, however, that I’ve been off it for over two weeks – my blood pressure tanked pretty intensely, as apparently I’m not as adapted to it anymore! I’d taken it at night and in the morning my BP was still only 105/74, though I perked up again by afternoon. Mental note: just because you used to be accustomed to something, taking a couple of weeks off can change that!

I’m still taking the Sertraline daily, I have no ill effects from it and keeping the Mean Girls at bay in my head is important. I may try to go off of it if I have another solid winter of feeling well, but getting adapted to it required six weeks of feeling rotten so I don’t want to stop taking it just for the summer and find that come fall I need it again. Better to wait and see how the winter goes, I think.
PTSD is no fun. I still have trouble concentrating and remembering things. I do best with mindless activity like watering the lawn or planting things or moving straw a bit at a time rather than doing paperwork or anything that needs a lot of thought. However, the marijuana is helping to ramp down the constant jitteriness that I live with, and is doing so without any noticeable negative effects. I don’t have a constant case of the munchies – in fact, I still have to pay attention to the time and remember to eat. I can still enjoy a glass of wine – but I don’t need three of them to get to sleep at night. In fact, I don’t need a glass of wine at all, which is a very significant benefit. I sleep what feels like a normal kind of sleep, not the utterly unconscious (though restful) black out of the Sublinox, nor the gradually woozier warm fuzziness of the opiates. I still need 9-11 hours of sleep to feel like I can function well, but that is just my new reality, and I’m mostly okay with that.

I suppose, if you think about the classic stoner hippie image of the laid back, hang ten, take it easy sort of dude and overlay that on the constantly vigilant, over achieving, never resting PTSD sufferer … you end up with something that is much closer to a comfortable happy medium.

I’m grateful, that’s for sure.

I see my psychiatrist tomorrow, should be an interesting conversation.

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