Lynn Julian has plenty of reasons to be angry.
She’s been battling Lyme Disease and Fibromyalgia for decades as well as chronic pain in her neck since 2006 when she tripped on a wire and fell off a stage. That freak accident confined Lynn to a wheelchair for three years before she was able to walk with a cane. Then, on Patriot’s Day 2013, mere months after she’d finally reached the point in her recovery where she no longer needed the cane, Lynn took advantage of a perfect morning and strolled to Boylston Street to watch the Boston Marathon. Less than 50 feet from the metal bench she was sitting on, the first of two bombs exploded with a force that shook Lynn to the core.
While Lynn avoided the disfiguring injuries that so many other people around her suffered that awful day, all of the pre-existing pain she’d been battling for the past seven years intensified. Despite her proximity to the blast, doctors brushed off Lynn’s symptoms and assured her that the ringing in her ears would go away eventually and that her difficulties speaking and holding thoughts were the result of her own depression. One year and countless prescriptions later, Lynn learned she had sustained a traumatic brain injury (TBI) from the shock waves of the blast.
The diagnosis finally got her on the right track to treat all of her different symptoms. Over the course of several months, Lynn dedicated herself to a variety of physical, cognitive and occupational therapy treatments to improve her speech, strength and mental acuity. To deal with the chronic pain that never completely goes away, Lynn discovered that nothing relaxes her muscles and eases her back pain better than cannabis. “I vaporize cannabis oil, for PTSD, chronic pain, migraines and insomnia. I like a sativa/CBD blend during daytime for PTSD and inflammation pain and at night, I like an Indica/CBD blend for migraines and insomnia,” Lynn explains. During the vape ban, I bought oil from Rev Clinics and empty cartridges from iKrusher to make my own vape cartridges. It was a lifesaver!”
Despite the tremendous progress Lynn has made, every day is still a struggle. “Dealing with my pain is like trying to train a litter of kittens,” she says. “Somedays, one symptom is resting while another is freaking out and sometimes everything’s a disaster, which is rough. But there are also days where everyone is getting along, we’re all able to peacefully co-exist and I can do everything with a smile. It’s all about finding balance and maintaining a positive attitude.”
Instead of becoming bitter or feeling sorry for herself after being misdiagnosed and not believed by her doctors, Lynn vowed to help others in the same situation. Her compassion and positive attitude earned her a role as a Massachusetts Ambassador for the U.S. Pain Foundation where she works to improve the lives of people living with chronic pain. “People who’ve never experienced chronic pain can never truly understand how physically and mentally debilitating it can be,” Lynn explains. “As bad as my pain has been over the years, I constantly remind myself that there are people who have it worse than me and that I can never assume to know what someone is feeling or experiencing. Pain is an invisible enemy that affects everyone differently. Fighting it takes a lot of patience, a lot of trust and a whole lot of dedication.”
At Revolutionary Clinics, it’s been our pleasure to get to know Lynn and help her find relief through her cannabis regimen. We’re in awe of the accolades she continues to receive from healthcare publications and web sites and we’re inspired by her dedication to helping others manage their pain. “I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been told by doctors, neighbors and (former) friends that I just need to ‘deal with it’ or ‘suck it up’, like I’ve got a muscle cramp or a simple headache,” Lynn says. “Chronic pain and the anxiety it causes can destroy your life, especially when opioids are the most common answer to the problem. I’ll always be angry about the things my pain has taken from me, but I also appreciate the opportunities it’s created for me to help others find the support and relief they need.”
In addition to her work with the U.S. Pain Foundation, Lynn is the director of medical marijuana advocacy for Leaftopia. In this role, she visits dispensaries like Revolutionary Clinics as well as healthcare conferences and seminars to share her experiences with cannabis as a successful treatment for her chronic pain. “The stigma of cannabis is still an issue for many people in the medical community,” Lynn explains. “The only thing I enjoy more than easing people’s chronic pain is opening the eyes of doctors who haven’t given cannabis a fair chance.”
If you’re experiencing your own struggles with chronic pain, depression or anxiety, we hope Lynn’s story inspires you to seek help and alternative treatments from people you trust. If you have questions, please give us a call at 617-213-6006 or fill out the form on our website!