Hazel, 64
Tallahassee

– 4 months on medical cannabis
– Chronic Pain, TMJ
– Previously treated with Tylenol, Codeine, Vicodin, Neurontin

I have been self-employed as a freelance editor, proofreader, and translator (German/English) for many US publishers since Dec. 1985. I’ve been married for over 30 years, and my husband and I care for 10 cats and 2 dogs, all rescues and seniors, and most with special needs. We like to eat out and travel, and once I began to experience extreme, unending pain, we had to stop doing both. In Sept. 2016 I developed severe bilateral earaches. The stabbing, shooting, burning pain spread. My temples, around and under my eyes, my cheekbones, my mouth, my gums, my teeth, my jaw, in and behind my ears were affected.

I’d been diagnosed with TMJD, but the pain was far greater than that, moved all over my face, was bilateral. It felt as though ice picks were being shoved into my ears and as though knives were working themselves out from my gums. My cheekbones and the roof of my mouth were on fire. The pain traveled rapidly all over my face, in no particular order. Finally a neurologist at the Cleveland Clinic, Weston, FL, diagnosed me with atypical facial pain, a neurological condition that has no cure.

Previously, my dentist, oral surgeon, and pcp prescribed Tylenol plus codeine, a muscle relaxer, Vicodin; none even touched the pain. The neurologist prescribed Neurontin, which didn’t help the pain and left me in a fog. I only slept a few hours, then excruciating pain woke me, and I was awake for the rest of the night. I could barely work and thought I’d have to give up my business. I couldn’t even take my dog for walks. I couldn’t drive.

I decided to give medical marijuana a chance since drugs didn’t work and only left me in a fog and staggering about. I saw Dr. Dorn, who was wonderfully understanding, knowledgeable, and sympathetic. As soon as I got my MM card, I went to a Surterra dispensary. The employees were SO knowledgeable, helpful, and caring, and they helped me find a type of tincture oil and vape pen (Calm) that they thought might be of most use. MM gave me back my life.

When I am in pain, I take 0.5 ml tincture oil (Dr. Dorn started me on 0.1 ml and suggested I work my way up until I found a dosage that worked; he suggested 12.0 ml as the most I should take per day, and I’ve never had to take that much) and two 3-second puffs of the vape pen. The latter works quickly, within 10-15 minutes, and the tincture oil normally keeps me pain free for 4-7 hours or longer.

People worry about MM “getting them high” but it has never had that effect on me. I can do my work again–it requires lots of concentration–and perform activities of daily living without being in such agony that I can’t do anything. Because Surterra’s tincture oil is expensive ($260 per vial), I thought I’d try another dispensary, Trulieve. I purchased oil with the same ratio of CBD to THC (12.5:1) as the SurTerra oil for about $75. The employees weren’t knowledgeable or helpful, and I was unimpressed by them–and their oil did NOTHING for my pain, so I went back to Surterra immediately.

I am disgusted that MM is illegal in some states. I wish Congress had the guts to legalize it. Alcohol is an enormous danger; marijuana is not. To put marijuana in the same category of cocaine; to say it’s an “entry-level drug” is absurd. If it weren’t for Surterra products, I simply do not know what I would do. I know I wouldn’t be working, going out with my husband and friends, driving, leading a normal life. I carry my vape pen with me everywhere, in case I have breakthrough pain. I cannot begin to tell you how grateful I am to MM for giving me back my life.