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American Kratom Association’s Supporter Spotlights

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Week of August 14, 2017

My name is Andy, I’m 45 years old and I was born and raised deep in the heart of the Lone Star State right here in San Antonio, Tx. After a 23 year marriage, I’m now a divorced and exceedingly proud father of two grown children who both attend Texas State University. Currently, my mother and I share a home together as the idea of her being alone at her age is something that doesn’t set particularly well with me. Not that she needs my help mind you, but, considering the fact that we truly enjoy each other’s company and have always been especially close, well, it seemed like the natural progression of things.

I was born with multiple congenital birth anomalies. What that means in plain English, birth defects, and a bunch of them. There is no “diagnosis” or illness or syndrome from what I’ve read in my records, and I have them all the way back to the early ‘70s. Basically, both of my legs were malformed to the point that I lost my left leg at the knee at the age of 2. This occurred due gangrene as the result of an attempted surgery to repair a severely mangled and twisted, from the knee down, club-foot type deformity that was the last of several such attempts during my early years in the hopes that I might be able to walk as a normal child. My right foot was missing digits and the ankle fused, severely limiting range of motion with the tibia and fibula being underdeveloped as well. The right knee also, malformed, striking out at an awkward angle, currently needing replacement with both the anterior and posterior cruciate ligaments and the meniscus having been shredded as a teen. I wear a rigid ankle brace, a knee brace, and of course, a prosthetic left leg. Both hip joints apparently will also need replacing within the next several years as the abuse of carrying and swinging around a prosthetic device for over 40 years along with the impact and trauma associated with it has taken its toll on my hips as well. Let’s move on to the upper-body shall we?

As should be evident by now, most of my major joints are where my problem areas are located, to one degree or another and this includes my shoulders, elbows, and wrists as well. When not using my prosthetic I am forced to use crutches and I can tell you from experience, arms are not meant to be used as legs… especially not over 4 decades. The constant pounding has deteriorated these joints to the point where bearing my own body weight is almost intolerable. Now, if we take all of this and add to it the ruptured and herniated discs in my mid and lower back we finally begin to see the full picture of how and why it is that I am a chronic pain sufferer.

As a legitimate chronic pain patient, official diagnosis being back in 1999, it’s easy to see the how and why of how I became a chronic opiate dependent person. Since 1999 I have been prescribed everything from Vicodin to Fentanyl and everything in between. You name it, I’ve used it… heck, I was probably addicted to it, much as I have been to Fentanyl for the last 10 years. You see, when you have an addictive personality such as myself, it doesn’t take long for a monster addiction to take hold. Nicotine, alcohol, opiates, etc… but my biggest demon was opiates… namely Fentanyl.

I had lived out of state for a couple of years recently and found that, upon returning home, not one pain specialist was willing to take me on as a new patient. It seemed to me that they were more concerned with getting into trouble than they were with helping me, a legitimate chronic pain patient. As the 2nd specialist turned me away, I realized the hell I was about to go through considering the fact I’d been on Fentanyl for a really long time. Thank God I had already discovered Kratom for my depression and anxiety 2 years prior.

My primary care provider and his staff are OUTSTANDING and didn’t miss a beat in bringing me on board, considering I also have temporal lobe seizure disorder, obvious orthopedic problems, sleep apnea, high blood pressure, depression, and anxiety among other issues. My referrals were handled expediently and the transfer home was as painless as possible… that is until my last pain patch ran out on July 10 and the withdrawals began during the afternoon of the 11th. That day was rather uncomfortable to put it mildly, but I was able to grit my teeth and get through it and fall asleep that evening feeling a little nauseous, clammy, chilled, and slightly irritated at the world.

Wednesday July 12, 2017 I awoke to what can only be described as hell on earth. There is no other way to put into words what it is to be in full blown narcotic, opiate withdrawals. I’m not some street level drug user or junkie who can’t get his fix, I’m a legitimate chronic pain sufferer of nearly 2 decades who was handed an addiction by someone in a white coat that I was supposed to be able to trust with my life… LITERALLY. To say I was sick is the understatement of the year! I immediately called my primary care provider to see if I could get in to see them right away in order to have the withdrawal symptoms documented as well as to ask for any advice as to his recommendations. How should I proceed in dealing with the outwardly obvious withdrawals? Two hours later my mother and I were in the examination room with my provider.

After the first few minutes the conversation regarding the main reason begins in earnest as to why I am there. He explains to both of us exactly what we have to look forward to over the coming week or so and that it is going to be far from pleasant, for BOTH of us. Upon clarification, it becomes clear that this is beyond his scope of expertise and his final recommendation is as follows… For my mother to make the decision as to whether or not I should be taken to the emergency based on my behavior and/or overall wellbeing, as I would be incapable of making such a decision for myself, due to the withdrawal symptoms. In his medical opinion, I should be taken, by ambulance, straight to the hospital from the office immediately. Needless to say, my poor mother was destroyed. It was if her heart had been ripped from her chest and handed to her while still beating… she had no idea the depth of the situation other than what is on the news about the opioid crisis in America.

We left the office with both of us in tears, not sure of what to do, not sure whether to head straight to the nearest hospital, head home, or to just sit in the car and cry. Eventually I was able to compose myself well enough to make the decision to head home and see if all the stories and testimonials I’d read over the last 2 years about Kratom being useful in helping folks like myself kick their opiate addiction were true. Arriving home just a short time later I ran into the house and immediately proceeded to throw up. Thank goodness I’d had the foresight to have prepared myself a few days’ worth of Kratom capsules beforehand, as I had assumed that I’d be in no condition to do so once the withdrawals hit with full force. I made myself as comfortable as possible and mom, being the angel that she is, helped in any way that she could. Lying in bed drenched in a cold sweat, nauseous, and hating the world I somehow managed to choke down 10 of the 00 size capsules which is roughly equal to 5 grams of raw powder and proceeded to wait for what seemed like an eternity.

And then it happened. I swore it was my mind playing tricks on me, that I wanted it so bad that it was simply a placebo effect. Either way though, it worked! My withdrawal symptoms began to fade away… within 30 minutes I’d say my symptoms were reduced by at least 80%. Later that night I took another 5 grams and was able to fall asleep. Granted, this was not the best night’s sleep I’ve ever had, far from it, as I awoke at approximately 6 a.m. with the worst withdrawal symptoms I’ve ever experienced. This was now Thursday morning, I hadn’t had any medication since Monday and I hadn’t taken any Kratom since the night before. So yes, both my mom and myself were ready to call 911 for an ambulance ride to the nearest hospital.

This would be THEE test however. If Kratom really was going to help me through this, this would be the proof, so to speak. My pain levels were through the roof, I was shaking, nauseous, drenched in a cold sweat, alternating between being too hot and too cold, going from being full of anger and rage to crying and depressed and apologizing to mom for having put the whole family through the last two decades of this torture. I couldn’t believe that this was the point that I found myself at. Here I was at one of the lowest points in my life, an addict, going through withdrawals, suffering as a result of my own actions and decisions, and worse yet, putting my mother through all of this. I felt lower than low, wishing I could go back to 1999 and start this journey all over again and tell that doctor to take that prescription pad and shove it.

Do you believe in miracles? I do! If you don’t, I think you’re a fool. I am walking, talking proof that they do happen and my mother and my doctor and my medical records are my witnesses thereto. That morning I took 5 grams of Kratom while in full opiate withdrawals with my mom sitting there watching me suffer. Within 30 minutes the change was PROFOUND. Not only were my symptoms gone, I actually felt GOOD and have been using it daily as needed. Both my mom and I cried in each other’s arms that day for what seemed like hours. I made the decision that very same morning that I am done with the roller coaster ride that is pain management and pain medications. It’s as if a veil has been lifted from in front of my eyes… everything is better. My attitude, my outlook, my depression, my anxiety, even my pain levels seem to be better controlled by Kratom! The following Monday morning I awoke to no feelings of withdrawals and feeling completely energized and revitalized. I have since taken to swimming every day and even wearing my prosthetic daily which I haven’t been able to do in over a year.

On Wednesday July 19th I went back to my primary care provider for a follow up. I told him the same story you just read and even had a bag of Kratom and a bottle of capsules to show him. I insisted that everything be added to my medical records so that those of you out there who doubt the value and usefulness of this miracle plant cannot dismiss what I have experienced as simply “a story”. This is a miracle ladies and gentlemen… plain and simple. Two decades of chronic opiate dependency is done and over with all thanks to this simple, beautiful leaf of a tree called Mitragyna Speciosa. I am Kratom.

Week of August 7, 2017

In June of 2015 I nearly Died…

as I suffered a near fatal Class 4 acute stomach bleed just mere months since my doctor replaced my effective narcotic prescription with so-called “safer” NSAIDS (Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs).

I woke up extremely dizzy, mentally confused and rapidly losing my ability to speak. I went unconscious before arrival at the ER. Due to severe blood loss I was also suffering “hypovolemic shock” as my body, organs and brain were extremely low on blood and oxygen!

I was in a coma for a week…
required massive blood transfusions and two emergency stomach surgeries to stop the bleeding to save my life from a legal, over-the-counter, doctor prescribed medication (NSAIDS). I endured three weeks of hospital treatment before I could walk again and be released from the hospital.

NSAIDS are responsible for over 15,000 deaths yearly
and 100,000 hospitalizations according to Dr. Mercola. ICU attending physicians determined my stomach bleed was directly caused by the NSAIDs! This “safer” medication was not only not helping, but the NSAIDs nearly killed me.

Had I died, my case would not have made the evening news, the newspaper or even a small article like all of the opiate cases the media is relentlessly obsessed with. Yet, my death would have been directly caused by medicines for which there is little or no concern.

I worked full time in ministry
while being effectively treated with narcotics for chronic pain caused by an injury to my neck and shoulder over the past 25 years. My activities included public speaking, formal campus debates, and being a guest on radio talk shows. I was active with my family and kept a regular exercise regimen including running three times a week.

That all changed June 2015 when my doctor took me off the care plan that had worked effectively for so many years. I was prescribed a shorter acting and much less effective narcotic pain medication. In the place of my longer acting effective prescription, I was prescribed two different NSAIDs.

My doctor explained that these NSAID medications would be effective and we’re “safer” than the longer acting narcotic prescription. But immediately, I was in daily chronic pain and quickly caused me to become severely inactive. Almost any activity was too painful. I couldn’t run or exercise anymore and I missed many important family activities.

I didn’t have a life anymore.
Chronic pain ruled my life again. I was sad, unmotivated and all but shut in at home. In my opinion, my doctor had literally taken all motivation and enjoyment of life from me.

After nearly losing my life…
I was instructed never to take ibuprofen or any NSAID medication as this would almost certainly cause another life threatening stomach bleed again! My pain clinic was uncooperative, repeatedly attempting to prescribe NSAID medications again. I tried to find a more effective pain doctor but none would agree to reinstate the care plan that had been successful for so many years. The best that I could secure was a doctor who would prescribe limited shorter acting pain medications.

Since I could never take NSAID meds again, my daily chronic pain was too much to bear. Essentially, I didn’t have a life anymore. It became urgent for me to find a way to replace the effective longer acting pain medication that had worked for me for so many years.

“. . .the leaves of the tree are for healing . . .” The Bible – Revelation 22:2

I had tried it before, but only for a couple of days but I had not taken the Kratom long enough to determine my personal dosage. It had helped me, but since I had an effective pain doctor, I figured that I didn’t need it.

But now my circumstances were different. I needed to see if Kratom could really help to manage my chronic pain on a longer term basis. So I researched and read all about this plant and I was careful to order it from a reputable Kratom vender.

I was in misery
with ice packs under my neck like every other day at home when my Kratom parcel arrived. Based on everything I read, I took an amount that seemed appropriate. Within 45 minutes, my pain literally melted away. I got off the couch and decided to go to the park. I felt so pain free that I ended up literally power walking in the park! I felt like getting some exercise. I also wanted to go to social events. Wow – I had my life back, and this seemed to me, like a miracle.

Kratom Gave My Life Back!
I would later learn all about which kinds of Kratom were effective for different needs. I would learn how to rotate Kratom strains so I could avoid tolerance, and what is called “same strain syndrome.”

I personally have never received a euphoria from Kratom. What I have received is pain relief and an improved mood. I have also never experienced any kind of Kratom addiction. I have learned Kratom is an effective alternative for pain management.

At 61, Dr. Paul J. Weathers is a Retired Minister and has been recognized with a Doctor of Letters for his academic work, publications and contribution to Christian Apologetics. Dr. Weathers also holds a Bachelor of Theology and a Masters in Christian Apologetics.

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