Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Because I got high




The thing about using cannabis as a form of medicine is that, unlike something prescribed by a doctor, you have no idea of the dosage you should take. Over time, anyone experienced in this drug knows roughly how much to smoke in any one go, but of course that varies wildly according to individual tolerance, the strength and quality of the particular cannabis used and the desired effect of that particular strain, some sedating, some more uplifting. Throughout the years I've noticed that cannabis tends to have a different effect on me than it does to my friends who use it purely socially. It tends to take me longer to reach a point where I'm stoned, and I'm able to consume far more overall if I so choose. It's so noticeable that one friend claims to judge the quality of any given smoke by what it does to me. If I get so hugely floppy that I can't stand, aided by my laughing at myself til I fall over anyway, then that's good weed.

With no regulation or quality control indicating strength it's easy to get it slightly wrong. Which would be how I realised, only moments into today's death walk that I was in fact completely and totally fucked. What I'd judged a sufficient amount to provide pain control but no more, was in fact enough to make me wasted. The kind of stoned that involves that mysterious, almost involuntary giggling. At anything and everything.

I imagine I make quite the sight at the best of times staggering along these death walks. I know I must do because it's rare I can get through one without someone stopping and asking if I need help. Usually sprightly old ladies who speed past me then turn round. This afternoon I was staggering like a loose limbed, drunk, porn star. After a world record attempt for shagging the most men in one session ever.

Ehlers Danlos Syndrome is hugely affected by hormones most noteably oestrogen and progesterone which rise and fall during a woman's menstrual cycle. Oestrogen tends to have a stabilising effect on collagen, but progestogens loosen it. Consequently at the times in the menstrual cycle that progesterone exceeds oestrogen females notice increased joint hypermobility and associated symptoms such as clumsiness and poor proprioception. It's worse in those who's hypermobility is caused by their collagen structure as opposed to caused by abnormalities in the actual joint structure itself. I have marked laxity at the best of times, but around the time of the month that I ovulate and in the run up to my period this is hugely increased.

Saturday should have given me warning I was going to be laxer than normal, but of course I ignored it. As usual. I wanted something from the cupboard under the sink. Simple enough but my proprioception was so off I smacked my head on the sink. Forwards and down. I was at least 6 inches out. And not a man's six inches. Red, on the other end of the phone said all she heard was that hollow thunk you get when bone hits inanimate object and an 'ow, fuck!' Immediately followed by a huge crash as I knocked the washing up over. She did raise the idea of concussion at the time, but I poo-poohed it. Until waking up from where I'd passed out on the sofa in a shivering heap. Then I conceded she could be on to something.

Today as I was walking I realised that I was so lax that each side of my pelvis was happily doing its own thing. Whilst a multi directional pelvis makes me a wow in the bedroom, it does little for my ability to stay upright. Throw the wrong amount of cannabis into the equation and not only am I having a spack attack, I'm finding the idea incredibly funny. I kept bursting into fits of giggles, worsened by my stoned minds ability to visualise how I must look to other people making me giggle even more.

The highlight was the horrifying moment the police community patrol car coming towards me slowed down so much I thought they were going to stop and how I was so blatantly stoned I would be able to do nothing but giggle. Which of course set me off again. Luckily the police have far better things to do that investigate a small, staggering, swaying, stoned person giggling like a fool on the side of the road in the middle of the afternoon.

I now have another two weeks of this to look forward to.

14 comments:

Slip said...

Very mean of your friends to use you as quality control.

Jim said...

I had to read that twice before I understood it :-)

Casdok said...

Good job the police had better things to do!

having my cake said...

Im afraid Im one of those innocents who has never, knowingly, smoked weed but I do know that giggly feeling, having spent a couple of hours in a room with loads of people who were...

LceeL said...

It doesn't help, certainly, that cannabis will make certain of your internal muscles just go limp. But I did not know about hormones and their effect. That is good information, which is so hard to come by, anyway.

Marla said...

That sounds painfully miserable. I hope you are feeling better soon.

steph said...

Very interesting, BG

I never realised that hormones affect EDS but it certainly makes sense and explains a lot.

In reality, this means you must spend half your life (2 weeks in every month) waiting for oestrogen to kick-in so that you can move comfortably. Bloody hell!

Let's Kill Saturday Night said...

And this is why cannabis should be legalised for medical reasons. The dosage could be controlled.

Semaj Mahgih said...

Careful - they'll come for you.

kingmagic said...

Lil Sis...if you don't stop talking about "womens plumbing" and "horizontal jogging" and smoking "wacky baccy" then I,m going to tell our mam!

Take it easy sis...Big Bro xx

BenefitScroungingScum said...

Slip: It's a tough job....

Jim: It was a bit on the rambly side;)

Cas: It was!

Cake: Fun side effect!

Lou: I didn't know that about internal muscles? As for good info, the stuff about hormone is (as far as I know) common knowledge amongst the UK specialists at the least

Marla: Ty. I was definitely too busy laughing to be miserable though x

Steph: Hormones have perhaps the most impact of anything on us eds'ers. As for reality, some months are better than others, and I'm so used to the increased floppiness that it's not a big issue unless I get a joint stuck out for a long time. Pregnancy makes a big impact too cos of all the changes then (might answer a few q's for you!)

Let's kill saturday night: Exactly. And then some!

Semaj: Don't tell anyone, but the photo is downloaded from google images!

Big bro: I always take your advice seriously;) x

Roland Hulme said...

That was a riot to read - probably not as much fun to actually live through it! hope your noggin is feeling better.

BenefitScroungingScum said...

Roland: I'm glad you enjoyed it!

BubbleGirl said...

In Canada we don't get nearly as much HELPFUL information on EDS. Here you have to fight for years to be recognised as being disabled because of it, and as such, I work a full time job.

The most informative tip I've been given aside from "don't dislocate your joints" is that the non-dominant side is generally affected more than the dominant side in EDSers.