Malta Independent

Not even your own family can understand your pain


He said that gaining medical advice on how to treat his pain with marijuana has also helped greatly for him. He added that more people need to be aware of the benefits of such medication, especially people who suffer from constant pain and wish to continue their career, family and life in general.

The main issue with my disease is explaining to my employees what I am suffering from

Andrew* suffers from Chron’s disease (an inflammato­ry bowel disease), where from time to time he would suffer from intense flare-ups in his bowels. He too, expressed that medical marijuana has settled and treated the pain brought about by the disease. He explained that with the help of CBD, he could control the pain and be able to have an appetite to eat, which due to the severe pain of the flare-ups he would not eat for weeks. “You feel very weak; I was on an elemental diet to help treat my inflammati­on for a good two weeks.”

Apart from the medical marijuana, Andrew also goes to the hospital to get regular check-ups and also takes an injection himself. He explained that the marijuana has helped him overcome his disease and that he is able to get out of bed and continue with his daily life. Although he feels comfortabl­e taking his medication out in public, he vaporizes the CBD before going out, because he does not feel very comfortabl­e knowing people might judge him.

“Of course, having Chron’s disease brings up certain challenges, like what kind of work I can do, since at times I feel fatigue or I need to excuse myself often to go to the bathroom. My employee needs to take these things into considerat­ion and not everyone might accept this.”

He explained that not everyone understand­s what he suffers from, and he also faces daily challenges in society, such as the lack of clean public toilet facilities on the island.

One interviewe­e explained that they mainly face difficulty explaining their condition and pain to employees, out of fear that they would think that they are making up excuses or are lazy.

When asked to describe how to tackle the stigma of suffering from chronic pain, one interviewe­e explained that it is not something so easy to tackle. “Your own family cannot understand what you are feeling, so feel alone. Having a label to what you feel it can help a bit, but if your own family cannot relate to you, how will outsiders even begin to understand?”

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