Zen

Bliss

Mind floats downstream

Void of thought or worry

Detached, yet acutely aware

Body, prone and uncoiled

Surrenders to gravity

Melting into itself

Light as air

Heavy as lead

Random debris

Floating in the periphery

Becomes conscious thought

Alive, vibrant and textured

Is fondled, savored, consumed

Then jettisoned

Body centered

Limbs extended

Palms flat

Floating in the stillness

The music of breathing

The one audible sound

Inhale…..exhale

Inhale…..exhale

Inhale…..exhale

Perfect stillness

Stark simplicity

No anxieties

No sadness

An empty vessel

Fortifies itself

For the new dawn

B&W Photo Challenge – Day 7

BW Final

Last day of the photo challenge. When Grace nominated me last week, my initial thought was, “Oh, great! Here’s something else I have to do.” You see, I can’t say no to Grace.  Her personality shines through in her writing: Unabashed, funny, engaging, self-effacing, free-thinking, and honest to a fault. If you ever need cheering up, check out her blog. I guarantee you there is something there that will make you laugh and, as she likes to say, smh.

The Rules: I’m not going to repeat them again. If you want to see them, refer to my last post. I think one of the rules for these things going forward should be that you don’t have to repeat them each and every time you post. Talk about a buzz kill.

So for my last great act of defiance relating to this challenge, I am going to open this up to anyone who wants to play. I’ve tried to identify people whose blogs I follow, and who haven’t been tagged by anyone else, but that isn’t possible in a seven day stretch. So Walt, Jay-Lyn, Caz, Jeannette, YouTwoHearts, the MS Lab Rat, and anyone else who I may have missed that follows this blog, have at it.

 

B&W Photo Challenge – Day 6

B&W6

 

I was nominated by Grace, blogger extraordinaire who isn’t afraid to write about anything, and who wanted to see the world through my lens.

The challenge’s rules are to post a black and white photo of something representative of your world (no people) without comment for seven consecutive days, and invite someone new each day to participate.

Today’s nominee is Alex, a fearless little dynamo who is determined to not let MS rule her world. Alex attacks life with a zeal and determination I admire. While she might like to portray a don’t screw with me persona, deep down I think she’s a softie, and I think this post on her MS with MS Alex blog proves it.

B&W Photo Challenge Day 5

BW7

I was nominated by Grace, blogger extraordinaire who isn’t afraid to write about anything, and who wanted to see the world through my lens.

The challenge’s rules are to post a black and white photo of something representative of your world (no people) without comment for seven consecutive days, and invite someone new each day to participate.

Today’s nominee is Wendi. Her blog, Simply Chronically Ill it is a mixture of prose and poetry, and her posts are meaningful, wistful, brief and direct. Check her out when you get a chance.

 

 

Oz Fest

free

When I visited the MMJ dispensary for the first time, the choices were staggering. There was stuff you could smoke, stuff you could apply topically, stuff you could inhale, drops and wafers you placed under your tongue. There were edibles ranging from cookies to gummy bears to honey. Each item had a specific THC content, presumably designed to target specific pain or anxiety levels.

After making my selection, I wandered over to the front desk to study the “menu” of items more closely, and it was like reading a foreign language. Everything was sorted by category (edibles, oils, etc.), but the actual terminology is what was so foreign. I presume that with time I’ll understand most of it, but for now I am a complete greenhorn, and wish I had asked if they had paper copies I could take home to study.

Before I arrived, the only thing I was sure about was that I was approved for 2.5 oz. of product each month. After one visit, I’ve only scratched the surface of product knowledge except for one thing: based on what I selected, 2.5 oz. is a hell of a lot of product to consume in one month.

All of the available choices, and their degrees of potency (buzz factor) made this a difficult decision. Part of me would have loved to go retro and bring an actual 2.5oz bag of agriculture home, just to see how it compares with what I remembered from back in the old days. In reality smoking the stuff was a never a consideration because it isn’t something you can do discreetly, and the aroma is unique and lingers, to say the least. The last thing I wanted to do is smoke pot in front of Shodan, or have him ask what that smell is.

Edibles and stuff that I could rub into my skin was not high on my list either. For one, it takes longer for the medicinal benefit of these products to take effect, and I could envision Shodan, who is a sneak when it comes to candy, finding a stash of gummy somethings and chowing down, so scratch that off the list. Honey didn’t appeal to me either because I thought that could get messy. Plus I know I would not want to waste a drop, and have you ever been able to get every last drop of honey out of its container?

I considered the drops that go under your tongue, but passed on that too, but don’t remember why. I gave serious consideration to a wafer type thing that dissolves under your tongue, but passed because they didn’t have a version I could take during the daylight hours (weekends only or after work) that would not impact me cognitively. The only version they had in stock had a higher THC content, which for me meant it could only be taken at night. I was also a little spooked about how strong these might be when the pharmacist suggested I start by cutting them in quarters and take them in that quantity until I was comfortable with the dosage. I can see myself revisiting this option in the future once I become more familiar with what I can tolerate, because of all the options, this is the most discreet.

My selection was the CBD oils that go into a small, cylindrical container called a “slim,” that isn’t quite the length of a number 2 pencil but is similar in width. I have two slims, one for the daylight hours (less THC) and one for night time (more THC). The containers these slims come in are marked AM and PM.

The top of each slim has a small hole in it, and, interestingly enough, the bottom of the slim shines red when you are inhaling what is inside. This process looks a lot like vaping. You place the end of the slim with the hole in it, after you remove a plastic cap of course,  into your mouth, wrap your lips tightly around it and inhale, sucking the contents into your lungs. Then you hold it for as long as you can (as least that’s what I do) before exhaling. Sometimes a little vapor emerges when you exhale, which might mean you’ve taken too much, but it is nothing like the swirling cloud you see with the electronic cigarettes. It is barely noticeable, in fact, like a fine thin mist, and it works pretty quickly.

I chose an AM and PM version because I wanted something that would address the restless leg issue and general anxiety during the day without feeling incapacitated, and something stronger at night to address the leg issue plus whatever aches and pains I am dealing with. So far it has worked like a charm.

Each container has less than half an ounce of oil in it, and the pharmacist estimated that each would provide thirty hits, which if true would last an entire month. I guess we’ll find out if the doses I give myself are correct by how soon I have to replace either slim. I did the math, and I can get three sets of these each month if I had to and still not surpass my allowance.

As far as sticker shock is concerned, there wasn’t any, which might have been the most surprising development. My out of pocket expense is higher for most of the MS meds I have and am currently taking than what I paid for both slims.

The daytime slim takes the edge off without feeling drugged. The only sensation I experience is a warm, relaxed feeling, and it definitely has calmed the leg. The nighttime version, the one with more THC, does give a body and head buzz, but it is not sloppy or heavy. I’m sure I could get supremely stoned if I took several hits instead of one, but that was never my intent.

The PM version does not impact my ability to have a conversation or function physically. Having said that, if I’m laying in bed, or watching the Red Sox on my 65 inch flat screen (headphones on, of course) on my recliner, I can really feel my body and mind completely relax. It’s almost like I’m floating on a cloud both physically and mentally. It’s quite nice!

My leg has not twitched AT ALL since I started taking the stuff. I haven’t experienced any foot or toe cramps either. Nothing prevents me from falling asleep, and I have not been waking up as often during the night. I’m asleep until the alarm beckons, and feel very fresh and rested when I get out of bed.

I believe my overall temperament has been better, but K would be a better judge of that. I feel less stressed, and am definitely in a don’t worry-be happy mode when the sun goes down.  In case you are curious, the phenomenon you might know as “the munchies” does not exist.

I’ve always believed in the medicinal value of marijuana, and my brief experience with it has strengthened that conviction. I am sure that anyone who is dealing with PTSD, high anxiety, pain of any kind or has gastrointestinal issues that qualify for its use would benefit from it. I strongly encourage anyone that lives in a state that permits this medicine for specific conditions to see their doctors, and ask them to file the paperwork necessary to get them on the program.

For now, I the only regret I have about this endeavor is that I waited so long to take the plunge.

B&W Photo Challenge Day 4

BW5

I’m feeling lazy today, so if you want to know the rules and how I got roped into this, look here.

Today’s nominee is Karyn, a no-bullshit kind of gal who authors KC Place . I know Karyn is into photography from previous posts, and therefore assume she’ll take to this like a duck to water. But she is also experiencing some trying times, as you can tell from the link I provided, and this is my way of sending the love and good vibes she deserves. Hopefully, you will to.

Stay strong KC!

B&W Challenge Day 3

BW3

I was invited by Grace, who I think I might start calling One in A Million Grace, given her propensity for experiencing things most of us never will (see her last spam folder post) , to participate in the challenge.

The rules are simple: post a black and white photo that does not involve people and has something to do with your life for seven days without comment. Then invite a person each day to come along for the ride.

Today’s nominee is Damn Girl, Get your Shit Together. I’m embarrassed to admit I don’t know the author’s name, but I am nominating her for two reasons. The first that a lot of what she writes is quirky and funny,  which I enjoy immensely. The other reason is that I haven’t heard or seen anything from her in almost a month.

Hey girl, are you out there?