Category Archives: Uncategorized

Kickstarter Project – Up and Running!

Hey Everyone,

I know I already posted today, but I wanted to share two things with you: first of all, I finished Chapter One of my book today. Of course it will need editing but my first draft is finished!

Secondly, my Kickstarter project to raise funding to publish this book was accepted and is now up and running!

Check it out and maybe make a contribution here!

Thanks,

-Nathan

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A New Experiment

Alright, so this might come as a shock to some of you. It has certainly been a surprise to me. You see, back in October of this year my doctor suggested I explore medical marijuana and that he would sign the paperwork for me to get my medical card.

I’ve had it since mid November, but only used it a couple times right after I got it. You see, it was hard for me to find a route of administration that allows me to control the dosage I am getting. It isn’t quite like picking up a prescription in a pharmacy. In a bottle of pills you have a standardized amount of a given substance in each tablet. It’s written on the bottle, and controlled strictly by the FDA. The medical marijuana community is moving that direction, with many of the products sold now laboratory tested and rated at how many milligrams of cannabis extract they contain.

But though that is the trend, there are still many methods of rating potency, and there are times where it is impossible to tell how strong a given item may be.

The simplest way to ingest marijuana is through smoking, of course. It is easy to manage your dosage. You can take one hit, or smoke one joint, or whatever, and know that in general you are getting the same amount of cannabis as you are expecting. And, the duration of action when inhaled through the lungs is much shorter than when ingested orally. That means if you smoke a bit too much, the effects will wear off in a couple hours, but if you eat too much, you’ve pretty much got to ride effect out for the next eight to twelve hours as it metabolizes and is released much more slowly into the bloodstream.

But I can’t smoke. My lungs just cannot handle it. So I have to figure out a way to ingest it that I can standardize so that I can know exactly what I need to eat/drink in order to get the effect I’m looking for.

I’m essentially doing an experiment here that will run for a week or two till I either figure out something that works for me or I can’t, in which case I’d drop the whole thing.

But as I’m also tapering myself off the clonazepam for the first time in quite a while, if I can find a way to use medical marijuana that is effective for me, it should be much easier to stop the anxiety drugs. Also, I’ve found that the only nausea medication that works for me is phenergan, and only in doses so high that they caused me to actually hallucinate for several days in the hospital. So since I do know that medical marijuana is quite helpful for nausea in the right form, it seemed like being able to use it to cover two bases at once for me medically, I decided I wanted to at least try it before I knocked it.

But its only been a couple days since I began this experiment, at this point having consumed almost exclusively edible/drinkable products, slang for which is the rather accurate “medibles” , and I have yet to find something that does what I want it to without a lot of other side effects.

This morning is going pretty well thought. I awoke with a headache that was caused by coughing because I had tried one inhalation from a vaporizer that contained a cannabis concentrate the night before and it had caused me to cough more than I expected. But the effects were the closest to what I’ve been aiming for. I think I’d just need the portable device that allows you to use this same concentrate substance with a very clean very portable pen vaporizer. It just draws oxygen through a heating element, extracting the active components of the concentrate into the hot air that you then inhale. One tiny, tiny puff on one of those would give me the effect I’m looking for without having it last for hours and hours. Because I’m expecting that I would only want to use this type of medicine occassionally, as a spot treatment. If I was having a really bad pain day, or was overly anxious, or had a day where I was incredibly nauseated or was having serious trouble sleeping, I might have cause to ingest a small amount of cannabis. It would certainly free me from the incredibly addictive benzodiazepine drugs like clonazepam and the psychoactive phenergan. I think it would replace any unnatural  sleep aids. Having one thing that would take care of that many things all at once, well I guess it is kind of attractive.

The problem is that I just can’t smoke like most people. My doctor even said “I would rather have you smoke two joints twice a day every day than take pain medication and anxiety medication because they are much worse for you.” But even if I wanted to, it is so hard for me to smoke, and causes terrible headaches and creates chest pain, it isn’t worth it. So if this vaporizer can create something clean enough for me to inhale and therefore control my dosage more accurately, that would be great. If not, and I can’t find a way to ingest it that works, I’m fully prepared to accept that it just isn’t for me. I bet that there are a lot of people who try it for things and have it not really work for them.

Anyway, its going to be a bit of an odd experience because I haven’t really had any cannabis in my system since college up until the last couple of days, and I’m adjusting to the idea of using it as medicine rather than as something you would do socially, or recreationally.

I’m honestly not sure how people will be responding to this post, but I’ve basically decided that if I can’t find a clean, effective, and relatively cheap route of administration that will allow me to standardize my dosage, then this experiment ain’t gonna work.

On the positive side, I slept well last night, and didn’t have to take my anxiety pill last night either. Not a bad result considering I just inhaled a tiny, tiny hit of concentrated cannabis oil and ate half a cookie later in the evening. My brain was still functional, I was hungry, not nauseated, I was a little quieter than normal because I didn’t feel the need to talk constantly to make my point. I felt calm and pretty relaxed. But clearly in the future I need to make sure whatever strain of concentrate that I use is the right type for the effect that I am looking for. Last night, the one I tried was just a bit overpowering for me at 7pm. If it had been like 11pm, it would have been perfect. But if it had been 11am, it wouldn’t have worked at all. So I’ll have to continue to experiment with this, but if in a couple weeks I haven’t figured out a good, balanced way to use marijuana as medicine, I’ll just have to bag it, the way I have with so many other well intentioned “natural” remedies.

Just like this whole concept of the Wellness Quest 2.0, and even the original Wellness Quest – none of us (me, family, friends) knew for certain what the outcome would be, but we knew changes would happen.

So this is one more change that could possibly become a part of the Wellness Quest 2.0. That remains to be seen, however, as so much of this process is day to day, hour to hour, gauging how I am doing physically, mentally, and emotionally.

And at the moment, I feel quite rested, no headache, no stomach ache or nausea…. about as good as can be expected. I am sure grateful for that!

Peace to you all,

-Nathan

PS – I’m certain some of you will have strong opinions about me attempting this experiment. I’ve resolved to be completely honest again with my blog here, so if you have any questions or comments or just plain criticism of my decision please go ahead and voice it!

 

I’m starting this, for real.

So I’m drinking a caffeinated soda right now. That’s a bit unhealthy for me. But I am home from the hospital on very minimal medications, and with all pain medications completely out of my system. I have to wait till tomorrow to exercise much because the line that has been my arm went right up into my heart and if the site were to begin to bleed, it probably wouldn’t stop. But after a day things have usually resolved and I can start lifting weights and running (or walking for starters) again. And I can start my Tai Chi and Karate classes again. I’ve already called in to tell them to expect me soon at my “dojo” though we don’t call it that.

Pretty soon my dad and I will go get some lunch.

But best of all, I’ve really, actually, seriously started my novel. I started it last night, and have been working on it for an hour or so now when I decided to take a quick break to get today’s post started.

Mostly that’s all I have to say, except another “thank you” to my family, friends, and all the medical staff who have worked so hard to get me back to the place where I am now. It’s been a long couple months, and I’m extremely grateful for everything you’ve done for me.

I am, in fact, as my post on facebook today said, “awash in gratitude”.

Also, if you’ve never listed to Florence and The Machine’s song “Shake It Out”, you should. It’ll put you right where I’m at now.

Peace to you,

-Nathan

Wellness Quest 2

I was home, now back in the hospital and have been more out of it than you could believe  But I got some inspiration from my Dad and a Doctor here at Providence decided to shake off the fumes of the last couple months, regroup, and go at again.

I don’t know where that will leave me tomorrow, but I was sure how it would leave me yesterday – still in that cycle of broken dreams and empty rooms where I’ve lived the last sad years.

So now, Begin Wellness Quest 2.0. Not much will be changing except that my posts may feel like the recycle a bit as I slowly find my feet again.

Thank you so much for all the continued support of my family and friends – Even when I couldn’t be there for you, you were there for me, with the grace I aim to return the favor.

So I wanted this post to be a description of who I want to be. I’m going to look past all the obstacles, and focus on the goal, as were – the solution rather than the problem.

First, logistically (because I can see that all else disappears when I take opiate drugs, even if it is supervised in the hospital). This will have to be unwavering, through pain and struggle and, and I must be, overall, doubtless in my certainty.

Second – Also a foundation piece: I want to be honest in every single word that passes my lips, no matter the point, no matter the ears of the recipient, not harsh, undiluted, I’m gonna be brash and in your face. Because I believe each person’s walk on this earth is different, and that we each walk and make our own truth as we live it. But despite that. Blatant falsehood is wrong. No matter the reason, it has returned to me over and over again in the past few months that when I lie in order to put off the consequences of my actions, the just keep adding up till I have to serve the time  anyway. What good reason is there to lie when the people I love don’t lie to me?

Third – The overcoming of obstacles. I feel best when I am put in a situation that I am told I cannot overcome and yet I succeed. Whether the challenge is physical, mental, emotional or spiritual – I will be looking for ways to create and overcome new obstacles and bolster my foundation in other places.

Fourth – I will stop placing artificial obsticles in the way of meaninful employment, and. most importantly, stop putting limitations on my career as a writer. I realize when people ask me now about what I’m working on they get a cross between a volunteer and that’ maybe nice but well, he’s not going anywhere with his life, or even worse just a guy who’s too old to be living with his parents and freeloading. I want to effectively be doing the things that i need to do to be healthy while still being social and finding meaningful employment.

There will be more additions to this and to the other pages soon, I promise. I’m back to the post-a-day schedule.

Thanks again to all my readers who have continued to support me despite my absence the last few months!

Peace to you,

-Nathan

Returning to Schedule

First of all, I would like to apologize to all of you. I made a commitment to post on this blog every day, and up until the last couple weeks I have been faithful to that. But my life has been changing so rapidly that in the past two weeks or so since my sister’s wedding, I have had a hard time keeping up. I’ve also been a bit under the weather, although I saw my pulmonologist yesterday and I think we have things ironed out on that note.

The point is, there has been a lot going on, and while that is no excuse for me not to post (in fact, a lot of the posts that I have begun but not finished or thought of writing but never got to would probably have been really interesting to read), it hopefully will ease the worry of any of my readers who might have been wondering about a potential disintegration of my blog.

Actually, one of the biggest things that has happened is that I’ve received some small employment with an organization called FeelGoodNow, Inc. They are an online social media wellness company started by a couple young women who were friends of mine at the University of Denver. One of them stumbled across The Wellness Quest through Facebook, and realized that I had some unique experience in using social media and blogging as a tool for achieving wellness goals. Plus, with my extensive experience in the health care system and my writing background, I seemed particularly suited to write some content for them in an area they felt they were lacking.

Long story short, I spoke with their content manager/editor/all-around awesome person Gigi Sukin at length and we decided that they would hire me on as a contracted freelancer to write (for now) one piece a week on health care, social media, and general wellness topics.

Essentially, it is a lot like what I do here, on my blog. The difference is that it is less personal, more fact based (I often spend most of my time here on The Wellness Quest contemplating my own opinions), and reaches a wider audience.

The second thing that has happened is that I have moved out of my aunt and uncles home and have been briefly staying with my parents until I could find a place of my own. And I have just gotten confirmation today that the sublet I applied for is mine. The forms have been signed, checks will soon be written, and I will move out of my parents’ place on Sunday morning!

I can’t tell you how excited I am, and the woman in whose home I will be living – it is a small, furnished sublet apartment in a larger home that is currently occupied by one woman, the owner of the home, Keya – shares many of my ideas about wellness, was born in India, and practices Ayurvedic healing for herself, and also never eats anything other than organic produce, keeps foster dogs, has an aviary, and a large fish pond as well as an organic fruit and vegetable garden. In short, she reminds me quite a lot of my aunt Kate, only shorter and Indian!

I think that things will continue to work out well, and my life seems to continue to move forward as  I let new doors open and allow old habits and patterns to be shut off behind me.

However, I want to recommit to all of you – I WILL be posting every day again. So much is going on, it would be a shame for me to not let you all know about it, and most of all it would be a shame for me to not think about it. And part of what has been so fruitful for me about The Wellness Quest (as a blog, not just as the journey) is that it has forced me to think about my actions, my situation, and the way I am behaving on a daily basis.

I don’t want to lose that.

So we’re back to the daily schedule starting today, September 19th!

Hope you all didn’t miss me too much!

Peace to you and yours,

-Nathan

Here are a couple links to the pieces I’ve written for FeelGoodNow if you are interested in reading them:

Speak your Truth: Creating an Individual or Health Business Blog

Making the Connection – Health Care Businesses and Review Sites