After struggling through my 20’s, I was finally diagnosed around the age of 30 with Ehlers Danlos Syndrome. EDS is a genetic disease that effects the connective tissue in the body, with symptoms like Joint hypermobility (loose/unstable joints which are prone to frequent dislocations and/or subluxations & hyperextensible joints), joint pain, musculoskeletal pain, chronic fatigue, migraine headaches, digestive issues, along with a multitude of other subsequent symptoms. For the past 10+ years,
I was prescribed an ever growing myriad of opioid medications to try to combat the debilitating pain I was in. Nothing helped, & in fact my pain just seemed to increase year after year. With my doctor’s guidance I slowly reduced & removed all of the opioids I had been taking & am now just over 1 year opioid-free! My pain is pretty much the same as it was when I was taking the opioids, but at the same time, I am feeling much better ...I have less occurrences of brain fog & my quality of life has simply improved! I have now had 2 specialists call me a “victim of big Pharma”. I know my doctors were only trying their best to HELP me, & they did what they were taught to do. It’s wonderful that we’re now learning more about opioids & chronic pain conditions, but that still doesn’t bring back the last 10 years of my life… my child-bearing years.
Over the years, I’ve made other EDS friends that I usually see annually at an international EDS conference. I’ve witnessed noticeable improvements in several people & when I ask them WHAT it is that they are now doing differently, inevitably it is that they live in a state or country where medical cannabis is now approved & available for use! I’ve had so many conversations with people that have my same disease, & whose pain, fatigue, & overall quality of life have improved DRAMATICALLY by introducing medical cannabis into their lives! We all live in this SAME United States of America, & I am only asking for the same access to these medications that I’ve seen so many others benefit from, by simply residing in another State.
Hello my name is Zach Leighter and I am 25 years old. I have been living with Crohn's disease since I was 12 years old. These past 12 years have been full of constant stomach pain, inflamed colon, fatigue and loss of appetite to name a few. Recently my colon became very inflamed resulting in a colostomy surgery.
I have tried multiple biologic drugs administered by IV with no success. I am running out of prescribed "man made" medicines to try. The majority of these biologic drugs have terrible side effects, such as cancer or brain disease, and are extremely hard on your body.
Medical cannabis can help with my damaging inflammation, pain, and loss of appetite without delivering the terrible side effects biologics have. Other Crohn's patients are benefiting tremendously from medical cannabis in their states, I hope our state will follow soon. Having access to medical cannabis will not only change my quality of life, it can help thousands of others in our state.
My name is Diane Larson. My husband and I have five children. Our daughter, Noelle, started experiencing health issues when she was 11. She is 20 now and has been in daily pain for five and a half years. She has been forced to use narcotics most of this time so that she can ease her pain enough to attend school. Watching my daughter endure debilitating pain on a daily basis is horrific. Knowing that there is a natural pain relief option that she is unable to legally try is unbearable. Iowa legislatures need to approve medical cannabis for chronic pain patients this session.
My name is Connie slayton Norgart and I'm 62 years old. I contracted polio at age 6 months and post polio syndrome in 1989. I have more weakening in all my muscles and severe muscle pain. I wore braces while being a nurse for 36 years. I've been on opioids since 1989 with 2 near death experiences due to side effects. I started using cannabis a few years a go for the pain and I have gotten great results. I only take 2-4 pain pills a day compare to eight pills daily. If I could get cannabis on a regular basis I would have no need for the opioids. I have 2 children and 2 grandkids with another on the way! I love to garden camp and spend time with my family. I volunteer at the veterans hospital. I'm far from being a criminal. This medicine really does give pain relief and can do much for many other illnesses. We have the right to manage our healthcare. Please contact your Iowa legislators.
I was born with severe orthopedic issues, having my first reconstructive surgery at age 5. I have had two others, and will have at least two more as things progress.
I have Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome: hypermobility disorder. While I have never known a pain free life, I did not start taking regular pain meds until about two years ago at the age of 50. I think when you're born being accustomed to pain and discomfort, you develop a pretty high pain tolerance.
On the other hand, I have a fairly low tolerance for medication, so, I only take them at night to sleep. If I took them during the day, I wouldn't be able to function.
I'm hoping that sometime in the near future, the state of Iowa (and even the nation) will realize that medical cannabis is a viable alternative to other stronger, addicting and damaging medications.
I have no idea if it would help me, but I should be given the opportunity to find out. There is such a stigma surrounding cannabis, a by-product of decades long "war on drugs". A war that won't be won, no matter how hard we try.
Regardless, there are thousands of people out there who could benefit from medical cannabis. Many, like myself, who have zero interest in the "high", but instead are suffering with a variety of conditions that could be better treated with medical cannabis than the host of pharmaceuticals they have been given over the years.
We are Jon and Donna Custis. We fell in love and were married in 1968. We have two beautiful daughters and four fantastic grandchildren. Donna suffers from a bad hip replacement that has caused her pain for years. She has also had a stroke. Donna has worked as supervisor in an electric motor plant, payroll clerk, and Pharmacy Tech. I am a Vietnam combat veteran who suffers from PTSD, chronic pain, and glaucoma. I spent 24 years in law enforcement and corrections. We both want a comprehensive whole plant cannabis bill passed in Iowa to help treat our health conditions.
Patient & Caregiver Stories
These stories represent real Iowans suffering from complex medical conditions that need access to medical cannabis right here at home.