'PHighting' Lupus & Pulmenary Hypertension w/ Cannabis [ by Elisa Lipnick ]
Hey everyone this is Boomer, I wanted to share the following story written by my dear friend Elisa. She has been a close friend of mine for over 10 years, and her story is truly inspiring. For years ive worked with her to medicate using THC & CBD cannabis products, in hopes of managing her symptoms better. Friends and Family members with serious conditions is why I do what I do. I believe in the cannabis plant and its healing properties. Its time we make a change.
Being so involved in the cannabis industry, I have people tell me my life inspires them, which is amazing to hear. But i want you to read the story of a beautiful soul who inspires me to help others. I have dedicated my life to cannabis and its benefits to helping mankind and the world. I take this very serious, its life and death to me and many. Elisa is the strongest person i know, and her determination to live and serve others above herself, is amazing. I encourage anyone whos having a hard day, to reevaluate your situation, and be thankful for what you have today. None of us are promised tomorrow. I love your spirit Elisa thank you for sharing your story! #ForeverYoung
"My name is Elisa, and I have Lupus SLE and Pulmonary Hypertension. Lupus is an autoimmune disease, and my immune system is attacking various tissues in my body. For me, it was my joints. I was diagnosed with Lupus in August of 2010, but I had symptoms since I was in high school. I saw my doctor several times, but they could never figure out why I was having the symptoms I was experiencing. I had severe joint pain in my shoulders, and the pain would travel down my arm to my elbow and wrist.
I couldn't take notes in my classes because the pain was so bad. I got used to the pain over the next few years, but after I moved to Southern California from Northern California I noticed a big difference. After two weeks I started to notice extreme fatigue, I was always so tired. I also had more joint pain all over my body, every joint hurt except my ankles and toes. I even had swelling in my elbows.
After seeing a primary doctor, I went in to see if I had arthritis, I was sent to a Rheumatologist. I had blood work done and then the specialist told me I had Lupus. I was 24 at the time, it took 8 years to finally have a diagnosis. Lupus is different for everyone who has it, and there are not many therapies to treat the pain, fatigue, and the list of other symptoms.
After living with my new diagnosis for less than a year and a half, I started noticing some more symptoms I hadn't had before. I started to notice I was severely short of breath with the smallest of tasks like getting dressed. Then I noticed my heart beating very fast. Then I had rapid weight lost. I went from a size 4-6 to a 0!
I emailed my new Rheumatologist, and he quickly responded with several different test he wanted done, and that I could possibly have something called Pulmonary Hypertension. More blood work, chest x-ray, and a CT scan. The results didn't show much, so I went on to meet several Pulmonologists. After about six months and three specialists later I went in for a right heart catherization.
This is a procedure where the surgeon threads a catheter through my veins and arteries to measure the pressure in my pulmonary artery.
I was only under a local anesthetic, so I was awake during this process. I heard the doctor confirm that I had very bad pressure in my pulmonary artery. In July of 2012 I met a new Pulmonologist named, Dr. Allen. I will never forget this day, or Dr. Allen. He looked me in my eyes and told me that I had something called Pulmonary Hypertension, and I was at a class three, borderline four, four is the worst.
He told me I had about 2-3 years to live!
That was a shock. He then told me I wouldn't be able to have children because the risk of me dying was too high. As shocked as I was, I was happy to finally have an answer to what was wrong with me. I could feel my body was dying but had no reason why.
Pulmonary Hypertension is a lung disease that affects the pulmonary artery. The pressures are elevated, a healthy person has a pulmonary pressure of about 14, mine was close to 80 when I was diagnosed. High pressures cause strain on the heart because oxygen is not getting to the heart, and will cause the heart to enlarge, which leads to heart failure.
This is a progressive disease that is fatal. My disease has progressed and I have a Pulmonary pressure of 120! I recently found out I will need a double lung transplant.
I consider myself lucky because I have a wonderful friend who introduced me to medical cannabis. I take A LOT of medication, oral meds, a subcutaneous pump that delivers medicine 24/7, and an infusion I get every four weeks. I don't just deal with symptoms of my diseases, but the side effects of the medicines. I have experienced anything from headaches, nausea, fatigue, joint and body pain to digestive issues. Cannabis has helped so much! Once I tried cannabis, I knew this would be a life time choice of alternative medication for me.
It took me a few years to adjust to my new normal, but with the help of cannabis I have been able to feel so much better. I can sleep, I have less joint pain caused by Lupus. I get flare ups every now and then, but having medical cannabis is so much better for me than taking a steroid like prednisone to ease my pain.
I had to put so much on hold after getting sick. I had to leave my job, and I barely had a social life anymore. I am a designer, I design and make clothing, bikinis, and activewear. When I am in pain, having a flare up, or have fatigue I am not able to do what I love. Cannabis has made my quality of life better!
Getting sick changed my entire life! My "normal" doesn't look like most and being sick has led me to so many wonderful opportunities.
I became a Life Coach after I was told I couldn't do my job anymore. I knew that I still wanted to help people, so for several years I volunteered my coaching skills with the Pulmonary Hypertension Association.
I have met the most amazing, brave, and interesting people from being sick. I have such a diverse network of people with my illnesses, and many others. These people inspire me, and that led me to becoming a spiritual healer. I am training myself to be a healer, a shaman, and getting deeper into my own spirituality.
In the future I hope to have healing circles, and I will include cannabis ceremonies into my practice. I am even trying to grow my own plants! That’s what I love so much about cannabis, it's a plant! I can grow it, hopefully. I'm an Earth sign, and I am energized by the earth, and I have loved playing in the dirt since I was a young girl. I enjoy being in my garden and seeing the life that pops up from the ground. I hope that soon all patients, will have access to medical cannabis. I hear so many stories in my community of others loving cannabis, and how great it makes them feel. I know this plant will change so many lives, and so many others with have an improved quality of life, and that to me, is priceless. "
- Elisa Lipnick
For more on her story be sure to follow her @elisalipnick
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