A Positive TESTimony

Anthony, 31, is a single father of two from Richmond, Texas. He was born with a clubbed foot and during his life he had numerous surgeries and years of physical therapy to correct the foot. In May 2016, at the age of 28, Anthony and his doctors decided that if he was going to have any quality of life that it was time to amputate his leg.

The other day I sat down with Anthony to discuss his life since the amputation and how CBD has helped heal him, both physically and mentally, since the surgery.

Anthony, what type of amputation did you have? Ertl, it is a below the knee operation where the surgeon takes a piece of bone and creates a bone bridge between the tibia and fibula.

With this Ertl amputation do you think you are better off in comparison to other amputees? How so? By far. It allows me to be more weight bearing, which in return allows more impact with almost no pain.

Source: Taylor, Benjamin C. and Attila Poka. “Osteomyoplastic Transtibial Amputation: The Ertl Technique.” The Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons 24 4 (2016): 259-65 .

We have all heard of phantom limb syndrome, when the body still remembers the feel of the amputated body part, but what we don’t really hear about are the phantom pains associated with the syndrome. The Mayo Clinic notes that the pain can be described as, “shooting, stabbing, cramping, pins and needles, crushing, throbbing, or burning.” Can you please describe what a phantom pain feels like for you? There’s 2 types of phantom episodes. One is “phantom sensation” where I pretty much always feel my foot. The other is “phantom pain” and this is the one everyone associates as a generic term. The pains I have experienced so far have been minor electrical zaps/nail thru the toe feelings that are intense, but not constant, foot being crushed in a vice grip, feels like my foot is being slowly ripped off, broken bones (sometimes several at a time) or just that itch you can’t scratch that will drive you mad. It all really depends really.

What did your doctors prescribe to treat phantom pains? Narcotics and Gabapentin.

But you didn’t like the prescriptions because they didn’t grant you true relief, how so? Did you find anything to bring you relief? I had this surgery to free my life, I didn’t want to spend the rest of my life tied down on pills. They never actually helped. In fact, they made my whole situation worse. Finally one day I decided I wanted to do it on my own, not knowing what I was in store for. I lost total control of all my phantom pains and actually started to lose my shit. That’s when I decided to try cannabis.

You started treating with cannabis and found relief? How did cannabis help? Yes. I took one dose of cannabis and was instantly better. When I say better, I mean I was 100% better.

Other than what you just said, did you notice any other changes within yourself that you attribute to your use of cannabis? Since that day I have never taken a single prescription pill for anything. Every single doctor I speak with has been floored that I don’t even take Tylenol for my leg. I have noticed a complete difference in my life.

Recently you switched to CBD. Why did you make the switch? I made the switch because I saw what a difference it was making in my sister’s life. I watched my sister change overnight from someone who wasn’t able to get out of bed most days because she was so sick from her autoimmune disease to someone who barely seemed sick at all. She’s still fighting a battle but her quality of life is so much better. After seeing that, I had to see what it would do for me.

Have you noticed any other positive changes through your use of CBD? My body feels so much cleaner without putting that poison [prescriptions] into it anymore. I wake up everyday before the sun comes up fully energized and ready for the day.

If you had one thing to tell others who are like you, amputee’s battling phantom pains, what would you say? I would say to throw out the poison and actually get your life back.

What brand of CBD do you use and why? Green Compass Global, like my prosthetics, its all about the quality.

You can buy Green Compass Global CBD HERE.

Sources:
https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/phantom-pain/symptoms-causes/syc-20376272

Let’s talk about hard things!

It is going to take me a minute to get to my point so hang in there, there’s gonna be period talk first but not like gross-gross period talk.

I have ALWAYS been one to discuss my flow because I feel like it is something that SHOULD be discussed – it is natural. I mean, half of the world experiences a menstrual cycle at some point. However, what we don’t realize is that so many women are NOT experiencing “normal” cycles. Also, with my medical history, more people have investigated my uterus than I can actually count so any “shame” I would have about it flew out the window years ago.

I have had PROBLEMS ever since Aunt Flo first made her initial stop to visit me back when I was 11.

Side note, I started my flow on my grandmother’s watch and that alone was the worst thing ever.

I used to miss school all the time because my period was a monster but back then the doctors were quick to dismiss my issues as “dramatics.” I will never forget the 3rd doctor I was taken to see and she said to me, “Honey, you need to suck it up. We all have pain. You are costing your parents money.” I remember being so deflated because I could not accept that this amount of pain and the basically never ending cycle was what I was going to experience the rest of my reproductive life. Thankfully my mom took up the battle for me- she wasn’t going to stop until we had REAL answers.

My teenage years were pretty awful and I was so depressed and in a lot of pain. I was taking birth control that was so strong I had morning sickness. My classmates made me feel like I was a misfit for missing so much school due to being “sick” (because back then you couldn’t tell people that you had a period from Hell as that would be inappropriate to discuss). And, so, for years my parents had me on all the “typical” antidepressants such as, Paxil, Zoloft, and Effexor to help me “adjust” to my fate.

My 20’s were spent trying to get control of my now surgically diagnosed Endometriosis and PCOS. I was blessed to have one child and then suffered miscarriage after miscarriage and underwent unsuccessful fertility treatment twice.

Looking back now I feel like EVERYTHING is related in one way or another. I believe my Endometriosis, PCOS, Infertility, Miscarriages and Autoimmune Disease are all connected. In fact, we know Endometriosis and Autoimmune Diseases are both based in inflammation. However, that is a post for another day.

My Endometriosis is largely “under control” in comparison to how it used to be. I have had many scrapings, D&C’s, and ablations and I have just learned to deal with the pain. I have found some relief when using CBD both topically and orally as opposed to abusing Advil and Tramadol. My PCOS is always going to be a struggle – especially with weight.

My periods, on the other hand, are still fucking awful and I will paint no picture to the contrary. In fact, the only picture one could invoke would be a crime scene. You know, I use to get so mad at the inspirational messages on my pads, “Have a happy period.” Have a happy period?! TF are you talking about pad? I am bleeding like someone severed my femoral artery while my uterus has my soul in a death grip during a lightening storm inside my body and I still have to do everything I am supposed to do in a day. Fuck you and your “happy” periods, just let me be in my misery. I would almost rather have my pad tell me a fun fact like a Snapple cap or give me a a tip on how to get blood out of my good undies because my period showed up early (btw, hydrogen peroxide works great).

You see, a period like the above is NOT NORMAL but to someone who has Endometriosis- I just hit the nail on the head!

And here it is, the point behind this post!

We need to talk about hard things.

Ladies People, don’t take things at face value. If you feel something is wrong seek clarity and if you feel like a diagnosis is wrong, get a second test done or see a new doctor. For the most part, I believe that doctors do genuinely want to help most of the time BUT a lot of them rely on text books and if you don’t fit a text book (i.e., an 11 year old girl with severe endometriosis or a 34 year old female that shows symptoms for a very rare autoimmune disease that doesn’t typically hit until the late 50’s) the doctors are going to be baffled because a lot of doctors have to operate within the guidelines of their license and the medical boards that they answer to.

I don’t do these posts because I like the attention. In fact, I often want to sign off of the internet for days until the posts blow over because it is hard to put it all out there. I don’t think it will ever get easier for me. But I will tell you this, the more I post about the hard things the more people come to me and say, “This is me too- because of your posts I saw a doctor and I am feeling so much better now” or “I have RA and wanted to take less of my medications and my doctor approved your CBD and I am feeling SO MUCH BETTER.”

Why not be real with each other? And now I am about to sound like the hippie I am, be real with each other and through that truth we can help each other. I can tell you I read and relate to the real posts on social media way more than I do the perfectly edited IG picture of someone sitting on a windowsill pretending to read Wurthering Heights.

Don’t get me wrong, I love a good photo but I love real talk and being authentic. That’s why this blog is called UnSocially Acceptable because I want to talk about the things that are largely considered to be unacceptable in a social gathering or on social media… natural things that should be talked about so we can all know that we are not alone. So many people struggle. I struggle every day and I would love to hear that someone relates to me, there truly is strength in numbers. I really do believe that.

Y’all, the internet was invented for 2 reasons:

  • 1- to share hilarious and adorable animal videos; and,
  • 2- to connect with others.

It is my goal to make my connections mean something. As I get older I find that the most valuable commodity is time and I want everyone I know and love and all the people I will eventually know and love to have it in spades.

Thank you for reading, Trina