Tag Archives | fibromyalgia

Bad News for Medical Cannabis Users in Lanzarote

I have been a medical cannabis user since 2013, ever since I became aware that there was a cannabis association called “Cannapharmacia” in the nearby town of Playa Honda. Before that, I would never even have considered using cannabis to treat my chronic fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis pain, because I would have had to buy it on the street, meaning you never know what you get and also because it’s expensive and dealers are unreliable.

The wonderful thing about Cannapharmacia is that, as a member (which costs only €20 a year), I can simply go there 7 days a week, get buzzed into the club by the girl at reception, and buy my cannabis products inside. At first I bought the actual weed which, because I don’t smoke, is not the best option for me, but I found that it helps my night time pains so much where ordinary codeine-based painkillers feel just like eating candy, and I would put up with the smoke scratching down my windpipe every night before going to bed. For a short while they had the rather expensive cannabis oil which also did the trick really well, but they stopped selling that.

Then someone started making capsules filled with 15mg, 25mg or 50mg of cannabis, and I found the 25mg ones were the most effective painkillers / sleeping aids out of the lot. However, these are relatively expensive, and in the end I decided to go for the cannabis cookies, which are not only cheap (€4 for 5 biscuits, which includes my 20% discount as a medical user), but eating one 2 hours before bedtime, would send me to sleep without any pain or spasm and tightness in my muscles.

The sad thing is that since last week, Cannapharmacia is CLOSED. 

This is thanks to 3 idiots who decided to pose as owners of the association and tried to change the lock to the front door, and then continued to wreck the interior of the club and assault some of the staff. I do not have all the exact details of this incident, but from my own point of view, this means I am back to square one which I was at before I found Cannapharmacia.

From what I know, there are at least 700 members who are medicinal users like myself who have come to depend on the pills, the cookies or the weed to treat various conditions from cancer to multiple sclerosis and chronic pain, as well as other autoimmune illnesses like lupus erythematosus.

And we have nowhere to go now for our medication. 

Personally, I am thinking of growing my own plants on my balcony again, which I did a couple of years ago with kinda mixed results and a rather small yield. However, there’s no point doing this during our tropical summer heat, because it’ll be too hot for the plants, plus there are too many bugs around. So, right now, this is not an option.

I am hoping that Cannapharmacia can work out a secure system of how to protect its members and staff from b*stards like this, and also hope that the police will be prosecuting these individuals in the manner that they deserve.

As for now, I am going to have to buy some weed from a local cannabis club here in my own town of Puerto del Carmen. Sadly, they do not have any pills or biscuits, and the oil they have costs €100. And the price of their weed is twice as much as at Cannapharmacia! However, when you are desperate for pain relief, you just have to find the money for it somewhere

Below is a video Cannapharmacia posted on their Facebook Page depicting part of the incident (in Spanish).

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Fibro Flare Strikes Again

It´s days like these when I want to pack it all (life) in.  If I thought yesterday was bad, today is so much worse.

Waking up as if a hoof kicked me in each shoulder blade, the pain radiating down both arms and down into the finger joints, is not fun. The burning sensation of the water from the shower hitting my skin was only just about bearable. I can type ok, but that doesn´t take much effort, grip or pressure, although my hands are shaking, my wrists hurt and holding up my arms is a chore and I have to take breaks after typing a few words… Using the wisdom of the Spoon Theory here, out of my 10 spoons a day, I had already used up about 4 by the time it was 10am. 

So, how do I get through days like these without wanting to top myself?

Badly, is the answer.  I always do get through them somehow though. And oh, let me pop a painkiller first!  I am, all in all, a positive kinda person and I live “one day at a time” – which I find is the only way to live when you have an invisible disability / painful chronic illness – and looking at my kitties or seeing the wonderful blue sky out there does distract me from the pain, if only for a while. The “one day at a time” coping technique also helps because I can tell myself “tomorrow is going to be a better day”.  Sometimes it is.  Just not today. 

I try and take as much rest as I can on days like these and try not to overdo things, which is the hardest thing for me cause I love *doing* stuff and I find it hard to just *stop* and do nothing! Problem is also, that you need your hands for just about everything in daily life, and if your wrists and finger joints hurt so much and feel weak and shakey, just holding a cup of coffee can become downright impossible… Anyway, whether I like it or not, I *must* take it easy.  

Stuff I won´t be able to do today: 

  • Washing up
  • Shopping (domestic, not pleasure)
  • Driving
  • Hoovering (I find this hard even on good days, but also, I hate it, hehe!)
  • Cycling, or any exercise for that matter!
  • Other stuff I can´t think of now, but sure I´ll find later! 

So that´s all gotta be done tomorrow – if the bloody shops are open, that is, cause it´s Sunday!

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Soul-Destroying Fatigue

Passed out for not one, not two, but THREE hours from 1 – 4pm! I´m so lucky I don´t have a “proper” full-time job. With these episodes of soul-destroying fatigue I really wouldn´t cope too well…

Mind you, I do remember even back in the office in London, my last job there before 2004, I used to regularly fall asleep a couple of times a day, right there at my desk, with my head falling forward as my fingers were still typing away. This used to happen around 11am – 12 noon and then again at about 3 – 4pm almost every day. I just could not keep awake.

I used to escape to the toilet for a few minutes, walk up and down the stairs, go outside for some fresh air (or have a cigarette when I was still a smoker), make myself a coffee, trying to wake myself – but it was very difficult, and nothing really worked. My voice and thinking also become so sluggish, but I somehow muddled my way through each day. However, I was always surprised that this did not happen to other people in the office?

In retrospect, I of course now know that the fatigue is a symptom of fibromyalgia (and rheumatoid arthritis), but try and explain to your boss when he wants something and it takes you twice the time because you become double slow when it happens…. :(


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Dry Hot Weather and Fibromyalgia / Rheumatoid Arthritis

We have been having a heatwave in the Canary Islands since last weekend until Wednesday of this week, and in particular Lanzarote and Fuerteventura were hit with temperatures of over 40C degrees (105F).

My body transformed into a state of joy during that time. I almost felt like I could fly and even went swimming one day, something I usually do not do without my small bodyboard that I have to use because of shoulder pain and weakness after just a few seconds of moving my arms in the water. Of course, it has been proven over and over again, that dry heat (the humidity was down to 20%) is extremely beneficial to illnesses like fibromyalgia and all types of arthritis, but I do not remember having *six* days in a row of being in almost no pain and with seemingly boundless energy. I felt like a “normal”, healthy person, for a change.  

But then, heatwaves never last, and long remissions of these “invisible disabilities” (especially fibro) don´t either, sadly.

Today, the delayed shock to my system of the temperature suddenly being 15 degrees lower again yesterday, has brought me back into the painful reality that I am *not* a “normal”, healthy person after all.

Waking up with a tension headache this morning spreading into my neck and upper back wasn´t the worst of it, but the realisation that a couple of hours after getting up the wrist, shoulder and hip pain wasn´t going to shift, and didn´t shift after a couple of painkillers (Nolotil) either. And wondering for how long it was going to stay this bad this time. 

Don´t get me wrong, I am extremely grateful that the Universe has granted me a whopping 6 days of feeling amazing, and 95% of the time I am a positive person and try to see the positive in any situation.  

However, when each time you open or close a door, walk some stairs, put on or take off your clothes, carry very light shopping and clean out the cat litterbox – any tiny chore really – you are reminded of pain and weakness in your limbs, it´s so damn difficult to stay positive….

The Canary Islands are an autonomous community of Spain, but are situated quite far from the Spanish mainland off the West Coast of Africa.

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Aloe Cooling Gel for Fibromyalgia Pains

I have tried probably dozens of different creams, gels and sprays over the years as painkilling agents for muscle pain stemming from fibromyalgia.  From natural remedies to “medicine” prescribed by my GP (i.e. Ibuprofen gel), none of them have actually helped much.

So I am rather surprised and pleased that I have finally found one that actually works for me! It´s not even an expensive one and produced by a local company here in the Canary Islands (Tenerife).

I bought the Errezil Aloe Vera Muscle Cooling Gel a few weeks ago and, luckily, haven´t had the need to try it out until today when I woke in the morning with a stabbing pain in my left triceps on any movement and not being able to lift the arm. I have applied it 3 times today and although it does wear off 1-2 hours later, the relief is amazing.  The cold sensation felt on the skin and deeper down is very pleasant and, more importantly, it numbs the pain in an effective way. It is marketed as an aloe vera gel – my guess would be that it is because what tourists love to buy and take back home from the Canary Islands – but the actual pain relieving ingredient is arnica.

We all know that different fibro meds/remedies work differently for everyone with this condition, but if you, like myself, haven´t found a topical cream or gel that works for you yet, then I would recommend trying this one out.

Direct Link to this gel on the Aloe Errezil Website
Aloe Errezil Website

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