Greetings from Niagara Falls, Ontario.
My name is Michael Blais. My father’s heritage was French, but I was born and raised in an Anglophone Niagara Falls prior to the conception of official bilingualism. Pronounced in English, my last name is Blaze, as in fire. Perhaps it might not surprise you that I was tagged with the nickname of Blazer at an early age.
The “Blazer” references to cannabis are not obscure!
Blazing one with Blazer… snicker. I was introduced to cannabis as a teenager working at a museum in Niagara Falls during the “groovy” seventies. I was a monster, my student wage job to dress up like the wolfman and act like a mannequin while perched in the driver’s seat of a 1937 Rolls Royce. Admittedly, it was my drug of recreational choice prior to enlisting with the Canadian Armed Forces in 1977.
After that, I learned how to drink and drink hard, which was not necessarily a good thing!
My interests in cannabis were renewed after sustaining two serious spinal injuries through service, the first while serving with The Royal Canadian Regiment during a UN peacekeeping tour to Cyprus in the mid-eighties, the second after medical remuster at the conclusion of the 1st Gulf War while serving a 4-year NATO posting to then West Germany. Both incidents were physically debilitating, the first dictating air evacuation to Canada, the second resulting with a failed surgery in Europe by a German (civilian) neurosurgeon. Disabled, I was ultimately medically released from the Canadian Forces in 1993.
Thirty years later, I suffer from perpetual severe/acute spinal (L2-3-4) pain and consequential neuropathic pain radiating through my legs where it seemingly detonates within shanks, ankles, feet and toes. Quite unpleasant! During the past decade, these “issues” became increasingly worse, restricting physical movement, virtually consigning me to my home or the interior of our summer trailer for a majority of time. Veterans Affairs has provided a mobility scooter and various walking aids which are essential to my well being.
I have (like you, I hope) have always been a good soldier/patient when it comes to respecting my doctor’s wishes. During military service, I dutifully took every pharmaceutical various Medical Officer’s provided to counter the consequences of a failed surgery. NSAIDS gifted me two Gastrointestinal bleeds, negating the use of a medication. Motrin I found to be effective for anti-inflammatory relief. Decades of opiates followed, often at varying strengths which altered my personality. Often, long term maximum dosage prescribing of these medications were the catalyst to significant mental duress.
Approaching sixty, I became increasingly despondent, frustrated of the regimen of eating meds every four to six hours, increasingly aware of increasing dependency and the consequential side effects the opiates were imparting on my psych, my quality of life and yes, the quality of life of my family. I realize now I was often negative, wallowing in pain, easy to anger, prone to bouts of depression induced silence or victim to one of a myriad of side effects Big Pharma so kindly labels on the side of the containers with the provision, of course, of the word may.
It felt that at one point of time through my life it seemed each and every adverse “mays” were or had already manifested.
Observing the positive results many seriously physically and mentally traumatized veterans of the Afghanistan War were experiencing once Veterans Affairs Canada provided them with medical cannabis, I approached my GP requesting a prescription. He is a great doctor but as many physicians at that time, was adverse to cannabis. It was only after sending me to the “forlorn hope“ surgeon at Sunnybrook in Toronto that he consented once the surgical team declared no surgical hope could be accorded.
Opiate use within the first year was reduced by a quarter and virtually eliminated the use of oxy-contin variants! The lower dosage, combined with the relief medical cannabis provided at the neuropathic and musculature level, proved to be more effective and equally important, and dispelled the opiate’s vicious collateral demons.
Through years of trial and error, I have discovered which strains of cannabis are effective for the levels of pain I am experiencing at any given moment. I have also discovered which strains of cannabis, regardless of their THC potency, which do not! I have, during the journey, recognized and identified which THC or CBD percentages I require and have learned a regime of both CBD and THC provided the best quality of life.
I AM not a Stoner.
I am not an addict!
I am a Canadian veteran who has been seriously disabled through service to this great nation and through God’s grace, has discovered medical cannabis in a vital alternative to opiates and/or the anti-psychotic pharmaceuticals often prescribed to counter symptoms of mental duress inherent with a permanent disability.
Not that it matters. Pain is pain. Disabled is disabled, regardless whether one is a veteran or not.
Blazer’s Budz is a multi-leveled platform, one primarily dedicated to demonstrating the positive effects medical cannabis has borne on physically and/or mentally traumatized veterans with the hope of introducing medical cannabis as a viable alternative to harshly addictive pharmaceuticals to the civilian community. I understand all too well the pain is incessant for many, including myself. I understand that for many there are no surgical alternatives or effective treatments. Many have given up hope after enduring every option available… yet the pain persists, growing ever stronger unless benumbed by powerful, soul destroying opiates.
Have you been consigned to an existence wherein your quality of life is dictated by the levels of pain and consequential pharmaceutical “buzz “you are experiencing at any given time?
Are you sick and tired of eating a dozen pills every day just to function?
Are you sick and tired of the mind numbing consequences these dangerously addictive medications impart?
Is it time to take control over your destiny?
I have! I have, and through the inclusion of medical cannabis into my treatment plan, have managed to take control over my destiny as best as I am able. I have weaned myself away from opiates to the point wherein the destructive side effects do not manifest. I no longer require medications commonly prescribed to counter depression or to assist me sleep more than two hours at a time. I feel so much better being able to control pain issues through micro dosing with a vaporizer. The opiate brain fog that wasted decades of my life has been dispelled. I am aware, have found a love of volunteering time in a realm wherein I, a seriously disabled person, can meaningfully contribute to our collective existence.
I hope to be your guide on a journey to a better life and with the assistance of my friends at Apollo Cannabis Clinics, direct you to an alternative that will, not may, improve the quality of your life by quantum dimensions despite the restrictions of your disability.
Blazer’s Budz, while somewhat veterans centric, is open to all.
Be safe. Be well.
Blazer aka Michael L Blais CD .