Interview with Suzannah Rowan, team member in the Hartford, CT office.
-What are the conditions you are currently treating with cannabis?
“I have been using cannabis for a number of them. I have occipital neuralgia, trigeminal neuralgia, zygomatic neuralgia, temporal neuralgia, and facial neuropathy in my peripheral nerves.”
-How long have you been battling these conditions?
“I was diagnosed in 2011. I went through over a year of testing, trialing around 50 medications to try and treat my conditions. I found a physician who developed an experimental surgery to treat the cause of my pain, not just the symptoms. From 2012-2013, I traveled back and forth to Washington D.C. and had 4 surgeries within a few months of each other. With no test available to confirm a diagnosis without surgery, this was by far the biggest risk I have taken in my life. With great success from the surgeries and the ability to treat my daily pain with cannabis, this has allowed me to be able to go back to work and have a normal life again.”
-What was the treatment plan your physicians recommended to you after you were diagnosed?
“They prescribed me most available opioids to treat my pain. In addition to opioids, I was prescribed steroids, anti-depressants, anti-nausea medications, multiple different anti-seizure medications, anti-migraines, well over 50 different pharmaceuticals at the age of 18. On top of the medications I also went through many procedures to control the pain. I had multiple nerve blocks, radio frequency ablation, and acupuncture. I was even suggested to receive a neurostimulator implant which is like a pacemaker for your nerves.”
-Which consumption methods of cannabis do you utilize to treat your condition?
“When I first decided to try cannabis as a treatment, flower was all that was available to me. Dispensaries were not available in Connecticut yet. It was the only thing I had tried that brought me immediate relief. As the medical program developed, I was able to try other options like vape pens and tinctures. Flower and vape pens are how I treat my breakthrough pain now. I utilize tinctures for longer lasting pain management throughout the day.”
-You work for Canna Care Docs as a team member in our Hartford, CT office. What would you say is your favorite aspect of your job with us?
“My favorite aspect of the job is watching a patient come into education extremely nervous, doubting that this is going to work for them, and seeing them walk out full of hope and excited to start their cannabis journey. Sharing my story with patients really helps them see that this is a real option and that they could be a success story too. I enjoy educating on how cannabis can be used to treat so many different conditions, how to consume cannabis, and ensuring that they are comfortable when they start their journey into cannabis medicine. Educating the patients and helping combat mis-information is the most important part of our job. It reminds me of how I felt, hopeless, when I was diagnosed with my conditions and told I would be on opiates for the rest on my life to control the pain. There are other options out there and there is hope. I enjoy getting to be a part of that journey with our patients.”