“To conquer fear is the beginning of wisdom”, Bertrand Russell
I believe that those of us with central sensitization, that is, fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue , or to call it by another name -“post traumatic stress disorder”, all suffer from chronic anxiety/ fear. These terms are , in my view, interchangeable. They can keep us imprisoned without recourse and in a state of hopelessness. In fact, the US Department of Health and Human Services has developed a new name which can even be part of our repertoire, that is, “Systemic Exertion Intolerance Disorder”. In short, more diagnostic criteria are available for health professionals who are interested in tagging us. It is true that we have little energy along with our other challenges, but are we just a collection of symptoms?
For almost a decade now I have been writing about how those of us with these conditions ( read: condition) have options regarding a better quality of life. Yet, in spite of my preaching I find myself, like others, often recounting yet another symptom of central sensitization almost ignoring the gestalt. Note for example the hundreds of comments or ‘hits’ I have on the two most popular blogs of 1) itching and 2) tingling and numbness of arms. One would never have imagined that these two symptoms would be so problematic! Yet, those of us who suffer from specific symptoms focus on them often to the exclusion of what can be done to improve our daily lives.
“Make the most of the hemp seed, sow it everywhere”, George Washington
I’m not very humble when I say that I believe my book will one day be a steppingstone toward a greater understanding about why certain types of people are more prone to fibromyalgia. Furthermore, I haven’t read any books which outline all of the various theories regarding the cause of this condition such as mine has. Hearing the voices of others who suffer daily can help the reader know that s/he is not alone in the day- to- day struggles. I give details of various treatment modalities and I believe the book to be a valuable source of information about not only cause but what can be helpful in living with the daily challenges of this dis-ease. Yet, surprisingly, in spite of this comprehensive review and analysis I had never explored whether or not marijuana (Cannibas Sativa) as prescribed by a physician could be useful for pain control. In fact, even now I have mixed feelings about the issues surrounding fibromyalgia and marijuana use even though I believe that cannibas is very helpful for several other medical conditions, in particular following chemotherapy.
In the February,2008 issue of Journal of Pain it was reported that 40 patients were part of a study at the University of Manitoba in which a control and an experimental group were given either a placebo or Nabilone, (brand name Cesamet) a pain drug based on marijuana’s active ingredient. The results indicated that after one month there was significantly less pain and a better quality of life for those who took Nabilone.