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Managing Pain: How One of Ours Does it

By Op-ed Blogger, Quinton Charles & Hannah Laing

Posted August 23rd, 2021

Are you living in pain?

We at Green Wellness Life are aware that a lot of our customers (and a lot of people in general!) live with daily pain. We also know how isolating it can be to be in a room full of people living their lives without having to constantly manage their pain levels. One of our staff members, Hannah Laing, is 19 years old.  She was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis at 15 and Fibromyalgia at 18. The following interview is an attempt to offer insight into how Hannah and many others function while living in pain.

Interview

Quinton:

So Hannah, tell us a little about the pain that you deal with.

Hannah:

Living with Fibromyalgia means enduring unpredictable pain flares. Some days are manageable, while others leave me unable to even get out of bed. On those worst days, the pain is so severe that I can’t summon the energy to function. Occasionally, my body shuts down entirely, and I sleep for twenty to thirty hours straight, regardless of my efforts to stay awake. Coping with these challenges as a young person is incredibly tough. The mental toll of constant pain took me by surprise; I felt like I was losing my mind. Despite appearing healthy, doctors often dismissed my concerns due to my age.

Q:

I can’t imagine how difficult that is. Was it always this bad?

H:

No, I didn’t even know I was sick until I went to a hematologist with my mother for a routine test. I have a black belt so I always assumed all of my pain and bruising was from fighting. Once I stopped sparring, the bruising and the pain wouldn’t cease. After that, I started to experience more and more symptoms, including regular vomiting episodes and occasionally losing my vision. This eventually led to my Fibromyalgia diagnosis and I began evaluating treatment options.

Q:

I’m not exactly clear on what Fibromyalgia and Rheumatoid Arthritis are and what they entail. Could you give me a summary?

H:

Sure; I had no idea what they were either. RA is an autoimmune disorder that manifests as swelling in my muscles and joints. Fibro, on the other hand, is a neurological disorder so it affects pretty much everything. That means I look like a Dalmatian with lovely little purplish spots and when I get a cold, I am down for the count.

Q:

This sounds pretty limiting, living with this. How do you manage it? I know that it will sometimes mean that you can’t get to work or school, but how do you deal with it when it isn’t too severe? At what levels of pain are you able to function? Do you have anything that you find helps? Tips?

H:

Managing my pain involves a comprehensive approach. I changed my diet, exercise routine, and supplements. Eliminating meat and gluten boosted my energy and reduced swelling and nausea. Regular yoga helps maintain and improve mobility. Taking Entourage Wholeflower CBD Microcaps has significantly improved my quality of life. Previously, CBD products didn’t alleviate my pain, but those containing CBDa work well for me. CBD’s effects vary for each individual. Finding the right fit has allowed me to reduce or eliminate some medications, under my doctor’s guidance. Less reliance on prescription painkillers enables a more holistic focus on my health.

Q:

You mentioned a few things there in addition to the CBD, like diet and exercise. Can you tell me a little bit more about how you use these to help with your RA and fibro?

H:

When I was diagnosed with RA, Dr. Voelpel emphasized the crucial role of diet in health. She explained how RA originates in the gut, with specific enzymes indicating its presence. Managing my health meant prioritizing gut healing, which required eliminating certain foods, like Olive Garden breadsticks. It’s been almost 4 years since I’ve had them, and the sacrifice is worth it. Recently, I accidentally consumed gluten and experienced severe bloating and discomfort. It’s astonishing how food choices impact symptom management versus succumbing to them.

Q:

I’m sure that a lot of people are unaware of how much their diet affects their health. I had no idea that RA was in the gut. What about your aches and pains? Have you tried any CBD topicals before? I have and I’ve found them to be pretty helpful when I’m sore from the gym or from having slept in an awkward position.

H:

I have tried many topicals. I like taking CBD internally to try and regulate my flares, but topicals are great on a rainy day when my body is a little extra fussy. I like the Pure Ratios patches a lot because they are easy to apply and I can receive several days of relief without having to reapply every 2-4 hours. It is pretty inconvenient to have to rub a paste all over when you’re in pain in the middle of a lecture or at work. Although, when I do want to rub something into my neck (slipping disks suck), I always grab the Medterra Rapid Cooling Cream. It’s pretty awesome.

Q:

I’m glad to hear that you’re managing it. Obviously, CBD isn’t a cure, and you still deal with pain daily, but it’s good to know that you’re powering through it and that CBD, regulating your diet, and exercise are helping you in this endeavor. As always, we love having you on our team and are so glad that you can bring your knowledge and story to others who struggle with similar ailments.

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