Heya Florida voters: this November, please vote Yes on #2. With a little over a month to go, help spread the word.
I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia three years ago. I'd been working to diagnose irregular pains - often as sharp as a broken finger, debilitating as a migraine (only one major one so far, thank christ), and at one point resulting in a misdiagnosis of cardiac arrhythmia - throughout my body for over a decade.
Honestly, the diagnosis was a godsend. All it meant was that my pain was real, but I wasn't damaged. I could - and continue to - work with that.
My brain's fine, save where I process pain. I wake up feeling like the average person who's going to bed after running a marathon; I go to bed feeling like I've run two marathons (three, this past Saturday, as I completed the Bubble Run 5k in 40:21). You build a tolerance to it, but it's still always a present and persistent pain, a deep soreness that radiates from the bones, through the muscles, and at worst, like the edge of a serrated knife dragged along the flesh. There's a loss of sleep, and with that, focus, fogginess, and discombobulation. Because there's less sleep, the body never heals, causing it to hurt. Because you hurt, you can't sleep.
You see the loop, here.
This is not without flare-ups - when the body reaches a point where all tactile input is dialed up to eleven. During these flares, something as simple as a brush with rabbit fur feels like being dragged along a sandy beach at forty miles an hour wherever you make contact. The soft touch of a lover feels like a sharp stab with a flathead screwdriver. As I learn to manage myself, these flares only occur 1-2 times a month. They don't keep me down for long, and they - as yet - have no impact my professional life. Still, from what I've researched and read, I can only imagine how much worse it can be for so, so very many.
'Yes On #2' would present an awesome treatment option for people living with fibromyalgia. The current treatments often involve combo drugs, taken at regular intervals, for pain and mobility management, with an enhancement if these conditions seem to be causing any emotional, mood, or mental disorders. These drugs become a lifelong solution, whether through addiction, or SSRI/SNRI reliance. To this point I've worked with my doctors to develop a sleep routine, identify diet restrictions, and create a physical activity and wellness regimen to manage my discomfort, all without the need for pharmaceuticals which may present or manifest psychological issues that do not exist.
Yes, I've tried cannabis as a treatment with the guidance of my rheumatologist, and yes: it alleviated symptoms during the heaviest parts of a flare. But the bureaucratic channels are thick and deep in Florida, restricting access to both physician and patient.
There are ways that marijuana is not the be-all, end-all treatment that the pop press makes it out to be. It should still be controlled and regulated, with access restricted to developing teenagers. But, the medical options it presents for further research and utilization is worth exploring.
That's why I'm voting yes on #2.