Thursday, September 8, 2016

My Kratom Story

800px-Kratom_leafAdrian Smith-Madden
September 6, 2016

I have joined the fight to save Kratom. I was addicted to Narcotic pain medications for almost 30 years. During that time I lost so much, including my beloved husband. I became a totally different person. I used to be happy, carefree and outgoing. As my arthritis pain, heel spurs, migraine pain, Pseudo gout. and Fibromyalgia got worse I was given higher and higher doses of different drugs to combat the pain and depression that went with it. At one point I was on 80 mg. Morphine 3 times a day along with 10 mg Percocet 8 times a day. I lost interest in almost every aspect of living. Let me say this right now, I never ever abused those drugs. I only took them as prescribed. But I was still addicted and they took over my life. I would fall asleep at wrong moments including while driving my car. I am a smoker and I almost burned my home down several times when I fell asleep while smoking. My floors had/ and have cigarette burns all over them. I burned holes in almost every piece of clothing I owned. I stopped wanting to go places and be around people because I just didn't have the energy to mingle and think. The sad and typical part of these drugs is that they stopped fighting my pain. The pain got worse and worse making my need for higher and higher doses due to the rebound effect. In the early 2000's I had to have both of my knees replaced. The surgeons worried that they would not be able to control my added pain, as I was already on maximum doses of pain meds. It soon became impossible for me to work any longer as I could not stand on my feet for more than 5 to 10 minutes at a time. I used to walk 10 to 15 miles a day, now I can barely walk around a store without pain.

Frequently I would find that the amount of pills in my bottles was lower than I thought I should have. As I said, I only took exactly what I was supposed to, and frequently didn't take the full amount on any given day. So I should have had pills left over at the end of the month. Finally I realized that I was losing them to family members who had become addicted. It was then that I made the difficult decision to stop! They were no longer helping me, in fact I was worse than ever. And now I found that I had family that was stealing from me. Enough! It was a frightening proposition as I had no way of knowing what my true pain levels would be. It had been many years since I had been without Narcotic pain meds. But on the 15th of August, 2014 I took my last pill. I began the detox journey with no help from my doctor. I had begged him for help to get off the drugs, and he ignored me. It seemed to me that he would prescribe all the drugs one could want but to get off of them, you are on your own.

The detox process was a living hell. I was freezing cold constantly. I had a runny nose and sneezed for weeks. I had diarrhea for weeks. My skin was flushed bright red. The nights were the worst. My skin crawled and I couldn't lie still. I knew what the term "Kicking the Habit" meant. My legs were in constant motion. Finally one of my family members brought me some marijuana to smoke. I would smoke a tiny bit just before bed. It was the only way I was able to get any sleep. It took me a full 2 months and then some to get the narcotics and the addiction out of my body. I vowed then to never go back on them, no matter how bad my pain got. What I did find was that my pain was not nearly as bad as I thought it would be. The swelling in my legs went away, and I was able to function on an almost normal level. However there were days when my pain was again unbearable.

My grand daughter and my daughter kept telling me to take Kratom. Not knowing what it was, I was hesitant. I tried to read up on it but found "Horror Stories" about it. Of course they were written by FDA, and other government agencies. Then I found the REAL stories about how it was helping so many people. I finally decided to try it. I was having a horrible pain day and my grand daughter gave me a 1/2 tsp in some water. Within 30 minutes my pain was GONE! I had not felt that good in months, maybe years. And I did not feel "High" like when smoking pot. Right then I decided to buy some. I have never regretted it. Kratom has totally changed my life. I no longer suffer from insomnia, forgetful spells, brain fog, dizziness, swelling, depression, or any of the other horrible things I had with narcotic pain meds. For me Kratom has truly been a life saver. I don't know how I would handle the intense pain without it. On the narcotics I was barely able to take care of my tiny little home. Now I manage my home, and my parents entire property which includes mowing 3 acres and cleaning their home. I am just one person in this fight to keep Kratom legal, but I matter as much as the next person. I do not want to spend the rest of my life in debilitating pain, no will I ever go back to narcotics to control that pain. We must stop this ban on Kratom which does so much good for so many people.

Adrian Smith-Madden is a guest contributor to 

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