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In West Philadelphia ...

Okay, she isn't really from Philiadelphia, but the Fresh Prince is her jam!

Today we get to introduce to another RS Family member, our Pal D!

A&A What's up, G? Introduce yourself and tell us about your disability...

D: My name is D and I’m 28 years old. I was active in hockey and soccer and was a stockroom leader at Nike before I got diagnosed with achalasia, then fibromyalgia, and rheumatoid arthritis later on. 

The disability that affects me the most is achalasia. This sickness is failure of the esophagus so instead of my esophagus squeezing food and liquid down to my stomach, it just seizes up and stays tight which results in the food and liquid getting actually stuck in my esophagus and nothing makes it to my stomach. It’s a very rare illness and varies so much from person to person, it is so hard to treat. The pain is compared to the pain of a heart attack.

It effects me in almost every way. It’s hard to keep myself full/get a normal persons calorie intake for the day. I’m low energy, in pain and tired most of the time. I use a feeding tube in my stomach for most of my ‘food’ and water intake. I rarely ever eat with my mouth due to pain, difficulties and all that. It’s a whole production to eat and usually whatever I try to eat doesn’t even make it to my stomach so I didn’t even accomplish anything. 

Achalasia has no known cause, every case is different, some people may be able to eat or drink things others aren’t, it doesn’t matter if it is food, liquid, smoothies, salvia, it’s going to get stuck.

A&A: When did you start to get into cannabis?

D: I smoked cannabis on and off before

I got sick but since I have no pain medication or anything like that, I decided to try cannabis more, around age 22/23. Cannabis helps me at least function KIND of normal in the day, helps with my nausea, dulls the pain, and just helps me feel a little better all around. 

A&A: How has this quarantine been treating you?

D: I’ve basically been self isolated since I got sick, so I cannot say the pandemic has really effected me at all! I don’t notice anything different in regards to my life or routine. 

A&A: Us too! And there you have it! D and life with achalasia (among other things...)! We hope you learned something new!


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