Updated: Feb 4, 2021
"I informed my GP who sadly didn’t know anything about cannabis but who remarked that when there was training set up for doctors, she would apply."
My name is Ann Williams.
I was born on 1-11-1942 .
Throughout my life, I have been lucky enough to have had a strong immune system, resulting in very good health. However in April of 2016 after a rare chest infection and a subsequent X-ray, I was diagnosed by my GP with COPD. The diagnosis was later confirmed by a Pulmonary Consultant in Dublin. I was informed, we had “caught it early” and was immediately prescribed an inhaler and nasal spray. That was the start of trips back and forth for yearly and then six monthly check ups. As time went on, I began to struggle more with walking uphill and I found that my energy levels were low and the amount of phlegm was increasing. Going up stairs was becoming difficult leaving me breathless and my sleep suffered . At my 2018 appointment my consultant decided that I should have a bronchoscopy and a biopsy, to make sure “there was nothing else going on” as my spirometry scores were down again, more than he was happy with. At this point I raised the subject of Medical Cannabis, (which I had become aware of for the previous few years.) I was immediately shut down, and told he was not interested in the subject and knew nothing about it. I was sent on my way and told I would have my biopsy results in about ten days. It took almost three months for them to arrive, at which point I was annoyed and disappointed and decided to seek-out another consultant.
I began to learn more about Medical Cannabis and looked at its possibilities. After much thought I decided as a start, to purchase a high quality CBD oil as it was totally legal in Ireland and also readily available. In June 2018 I began taking It and found it relaxing but with no other notable effects. I continued on for the following months trying different types of CBD oils, with varying effects and began to feel that I needed something stronger, which meant of course that I had to buy it on the black market. I was not happy having to do this and it was not a nice feeling for someone who all her life followed the rules, but I had a chronic lung disease and I knew enough to know that as it advanced, it was going to become worse and worse as you gasp for air to breathe.
I was recommended to a supplier and took my first few drops of my Full Extract Cannabis Oil on the 22-12-2018. I administered it sublingually and was very nervous. I lived alone and had to be careful. but I needn’t have worried. Within seconds my breathing improved more than a little. I became more relaxed and could breathe easier. I had been told that the oil was made up of pure CBD and THC ( the illegal part ). All throughout January 2019 my breathing continued to improve. I could walk faster and no longer struggled as much with stairs. My mood lifted and I didn’t have any wheezing in my chest. I stopped using my inhaler also, with no ill effects and stopped taking my high blood pressure medication after learning that taking cannabis would lower my pressure. This was accurate. I informed my GP who sadly didn’t know anything about cannabis but who remarked that when there was training set up for doctors, she would apply. She was pleasantly surprised at how good my lungs sounded and at my request recommended another consultant in Waterford as I was keen to find out what my spirometer score would be.
On January 29th 2019, my new consultant did a thorough examination of my lungs. This was followed by a full spirometer and breathing tests. On my return to my consultant’s room I was told the wonderful news - There was absolutely no sign of any COPD. My breathing tests were above normal with an 88% score. I will never forget his words “Ann, whatever you are doing , keep doing it. You are the first person I have met who has had this condition and who has been able to throw away an inhaler. You don’t need a consultant, primary care is all you need going forward , you no longer have COPD”. This was later confirmed by a clear X-ray. The best news of my life and fear and depression lifted.
Fast forward three months later to April 19, and still feeling wonderful I reverted back to CBD as I was by this time out of the FECO. I set about once again looking for a good quality oil and contracted my origin supplier. This led to a further bottle being sent to me and indeed many further bottles from two separate suppliers, none of which worked and all of course from the black market .By this time September 2019 I was left in no doubt that my COPD had raised its ugly head and had returned. I was devastated and realized I had forgotten a simple rule of thumb, that there is a real danger that stopping FECO would likely bring back the symptoms of the disease you have treated. Sadly true for me. (This has been claimed by many including cancer patients, where tumors have regrown once the oil was stopped.) Since then I have continued to try oils from a variety of strains from several different suppliers to no avail. I have no choice but to keep searching. CBD helps, but sadly not enough.
I am happy to include my story here. It is time for all of us to speak out. There are thousands of us who have had to resort to breaking the law for the sake of our health. Many are charged and arrested for growing one of nature’s plants. More tragic are the numbers who are dying or already dead, for lack of this God given medicine. It has to be decriminalized and be available on prescription like any other medicine. Time that Ireland joined the other countries of the world who have done so with such success. At seventy eight years of age, life is still precious to me and I will continue to fight for the right to live it. I need Medicinal Cannabis to do so.
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