How I got my life back after 20 years of pain and suffering.

Hi there.. I am a psychiatric nurse. I studied at Napa Valley College and graduated in May of 2000. However, I’m not currently working in a hospital setting, due to my injuries.

AN ACCIDENT WHICH LED TO A DIAGNOSIS: I suffered three injuries over the course of 8 years. I have PTSD, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, bursitis, TMJ, torn disks, ligamentous laxity & degenerative disk disease. The first one was a really bad rafting accident. At the time, we thought we had signed up for an intermediate course (class 4 rapids). However, due to the late rains that Spring, we ran into 5 + class rapids, which are non-runnable. If I would of known the increase in skill level which was needed and the high-risk nature we were walking into that day, (hands down) ..I would of canceled that rafting trip.

I was the only girl on the raft, the rest were marines and firefighters. Anyway, our raft tipped and everyone fell out except our guide. It all happened so incredibly fast. In the blink of an eye, my chin is slamming against the big boulder, beneath large white caps of this rushing river. I’m completely submerged beneath the water, unfortunately with all five guys landing on the back of my neck. Next thing I know, I’m screaming for dear life, rushing down the middle fork of the American River. I’m trying hard to keep my head above water, not to drown… swallowing large amounts of water which is contaminated. It’s freezing cold, hypothermia starts to set in and it’s hard to move my limbs. Finally, I catch up to another raft, they throw me a rope and pull me in.

The next day, I’m bruised from head to toe and sick from swallowing contaminated water. However, I finish out my camping trip with no problem. At the time, I had no nursing experience, otherwise I would of treated myself (at least) or gotten checked out. For example …icing is important to stop further injury. It’s also very important to get treatment during the acute phase of an injury.. rather than wait until you’re chronic. Otherwise, scar tissue sets in and you don’t heal as well.

Three months pass, and I wake up in severe pain. My skull felt like it had a vice grip on it. I get X-rays and an MRI, and it shows my C1 is displaced 3.8 mm. That’s why I was getting migraines and constant pressure headaches. It also caused severe TMJ and collarbone pain. I get a video fluroscopy and it shows I have ligamentous laxity. That’s where your ligaments don’t work properly in holding your neck up. I guess I have a high pain tolerance and I was so young at the time, I didn’t want to give up my dreams of becoming a nurse. So, I kept working and going to school. I ate Excedrin like candy and took Motrin everyday, until it ate the lining of my stomach. I finally had to stop taking it.

THE SITUATION: I have fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome, among other ailments. Fibro is a result of multiple traumas to the body. I’ve had it for 20 years and still don’t understand it completely. I can manage it pretty well. Although, it can be painful and overwhelming at times, if you don’t take care of yourself. Fibro causes widespread pain that makes you feel as though you are wearing a wet suit 10 x too small. It also causes brain fog and fatigue. But, Kratom is very good in relieving all of that.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is a symptom of fibromyalgia. Not everyone will agree with that but I’ve had crippling fatigue as a result of fibro, so I believe that to be true, and that is my personal experience.

Once I became a nurse, I suffered a few altercations with some of the clients. It is the nature of the job, unfortunately. Most everyone who works for state hospitals, are injured. Some of the clients that are developmentally disabled have psychiatric issues also, and as a result.. exhibit aggressive behavior, in which they cannot control. Nursing these folks can be physically demanding. And at Napa State Hospital, you’re on the floor with only an alarm pen. I worked in forensics with the criminally insane. The nurses and techs have no protection, whatsoever; during a take down or beforehand. There is hospital police, however; they are not on the unit and don’t carry any sort of protection – not even a stun gun.. which is beyond my comprehension.

So, I was re-injuring myself time & time again, while dealing with the demands of restraints and seclusion and take downs. I refused to ask for any sort of medication, because I was afraid of the side effects. I started working for Sonoma Developmental Center, which is a long term treatment care facility, state hospital. The pain was finally taking its toll, because that work is so physically demanding – Lot’s of lifting, dressing, and bathing bedridden clients, who are exhibiting aggressive behavior. I definitely re-injured myself there.

CHRONIC PAIN WHILE NURSING: One day, I was administering medication and I forgot to give my patient his seizure meds. He ended up having a grand mal seizure the next day, because of me. I was literally crushed because I am there to help people, not hurt them. That’s when I knew I needed to leave and find a different field to work in. For, in that line of work, you have to be precise. You have to be literally perfect, with excellent critical thinking skills and clearly mine were being affected from the continuous pain I was always in.

So, I left and started my own childcare business and became a medical transcriptionist, mind you this whole time I have never heard of Kratom. It saddens me to know that I could of stayed being a nurse, had I known Kratom was incredibly effective for pain and fatigue. However, I had ZERO knowledge of Kratom. Therefore, I didn’t even have an option to try and see if it could help me. Just like today, same thing for hundreds of millions of Americans who are in the dark about a safe and natural holistic alternative to opioids.. don’t even have the option to choose what’s right for them. Or what they would rather put in their body. I’m not bashing traditional synthetic opioids, however; people should have free access to either, or.

Going back to nursing, I was commuting two hours a day, working 16 hour shifts back to back and earning my degree. During this time, I was in a lot of pain, Some years later, I finally said yes to morphine. I hated that medication because it made my fatigue worse. Kratom doesn’t do that. After years of being on morphine, I decided to look up holistic alternatives to opioids. So, I googled in the search bar, opioid alternatives and Kratom popped up. I started doing research and ordered some, tried it and it has changed my life ever since.

PROS & CONS: By the way, I was never cut off or denied any medications. Also, I was always responsible when taking them. I’m not going to lie and say those medications didn’t relieve my pain because they did. HOWEVER, they have such negative side effects such as drowsiness and increased fatigue, for me personally.. and is why I can honestly say that I choose plants over pills, hands down. I would rather take Kratom than synthetic opioids. It manages my pain better, it lasts longer with better effectiveness and zero risk for respiratory depression and no deadly withdrawals ~ all while increasing my energy, focus, and mental clarity.

SIDE EFFECTS: Kratom doesn’t cause any sort of cognitive impairment or intoxication. Kratom relieves my pain with minimal side effects. The only negative side effect, if you can even call it that is you have to drink the reccomended daily amount of water or else you can get a headache and dehydration can set in. But, that’s it for me.

There are so many positives to Kratom. In my opinion, from a pain patient’s point of view, the pros far outweigh the cons. The biggest pro about pure leaf Kratom is that it doesn’t cause respiratory depression. It is a atypical agonist, which only partially binds or attaches to the mu-receptors. Therefore, Kratom is low-risk for addiction with zero risk of respiratory depression. Kratom may have opioid-like effects, however; it’s not deadly or harmful like traditional opioids. Yes, some people experience withdrawals, however; they are not harmful and by far weaker than methadone, suboxone, or FDA approved opioids.

Kratom is helping people to quit heroin. That is significant. It’s helping people with alcoholism. Kratom is known to have some degree of addiction and withdrawal effects, although it’s nowhere near the amount for heroin and morphine addictions, and time and time again, science proves that Kratom is vastly SAFER.

ADDICTION VERSUS DEPENDENCE: Many people do not understand that addiction and dependence are two entirely separate conditions. For example, big difference between someone who is psychologically addicted to a substance or feeling, as opposed to someone who is taking something to relieve their pain, therefore; becomes physiologically dependent. Two completely different states/conditions.

WITHDRAWALS: Everyone is different. Myself personally, I have never craved Kratom. However, I do take small doses at a time and I take breaks each month. I also take Suthe CBD whole flower water fluid, along with Ashwagandha, which is a tremendous help for PTSD and generalized aniety, in my experience.

Some days, I can take 3-4 doses while other days, I can take 1-2 doses without experiencing any sort of withdrawal. If I go longer, I may experience low-energy but nothing like a withdrawal someone might experience from morphine.

ARE YOU NEW TO KRATOM: My advice before selecting a vendor is do your research. The American Kratom Association has a list of reputable vendors on their site, where you can select from. It’s important to pick vendors who manufacture, using good practice and present that featured logo on their tested product.

The American Kratom Association is doing phenomenal work in keeping Kratom legal. Mac Haddow, Senior Fellow On Public Policy works tirelessly, attending every single hearing and conference regarding bans and threats; putting out fires everywhere while we grassroots advocates fight the media everyday on social platforms. We gotta keep trying to counteract the misconceptions surrounding Kratom.

THE KRATOM CONSUMER PROTECTION ACT: The AKA is introducing the KCPA in states across this country and is now working towards enactment on the federal level, which is desperately needed. It will establish safety guidlines, age restriction and protection.

For example, I got arrested of suspicion of DUI for simply mentioning I took 1/2 tsp of Kratom, 12 hours prior. Kratom is not illegal in my state of California, so that was completely inappropriate.. not to mention traumatic for my son and I. Law enforcement has the wrong idea about our plant. I was arrested, handcuffed and detained for four hours, due to lies and misconceptions surrounding this plant. I was treated in an unfair and unjustly manner, along with my poor son ~ all because of LIES and PROPAGANDA being spread throughout the media. I’m always saying DECRIMINALIZE KRATOM because its exactly the dilemma in which I face every single day, after that horrible night.

The FDA and DEA along with Big Pharma want to ban Kratom because they can’t profit from this herbal supplement. Personally, I would like to see it in dispensaries and vitamin shops. I definitely do not want to see Kratom be scheduled, require a prescription, or put behind a pharmacy counter. I would rather see it remain a dietary supplement, where Americans continue to have free access to it and take freely as they wish.

There are hundreds of testimonies I’ve seen where people state they are quitting heroin because of Kratom. Over 15 million Americans consume Kratom. There is a large portion of pain patients who would rather take Kratom, but what is disgraceful is that the FDA demonizes Kratom and hides the fact that it is a SAFE alternative to medications, such as morphine, Oxy, and Fentanyl.

Americans deserve to know that there is another option for pain treatment such as Kratom – to at least have the option. I’m not against traditional opioids, if they are taken responsibly. I took them responsibly for 20 years. Decriminalize Nature. Decriminalize Kratom.

My son and I, with our chug Trixie. 🐾

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