My name is Kenneth, and I have been suffering from CHS, Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome, for over 30 years.
When I was 18 and out with friends one night, we were partying and drinking and smoking marijuana. At about 5am we decided to leave the party and go home and sleep the night off. There were three of us in a 4×4 truck, and we were listening to Stryper on the radio and going about 80 miles an hour. We drove straight through a stop sign and got T-boned. The truck flipped about six times, and we were all thrown out and ended up being transported to the ER.
I was admitted to the hospital for about a week, and when I got out, I went back to school. On the first day back I got sick. I had never felt like this before. I started vomiting, and I hurt inside so bad my mom drove me back to the hospital to see what the heck was going on. They gave me IV pain medicine which stopped the pain. The doctor told me he didn’t find anything, so they sent me home. A few hours later I got sick again, so my mom took me back to the hospital. The ER staff said that there was nothing wrong with me, and it was all in my head.
When I returned home I soon found out that if I got into a hot shower the pain subsided. So I pretty much stayed in the shower. My dad was mad about me running up the water and electric bill. We fought back and forth about this for years and, needless to say, I couldn’t finish high school because of this sickness. I was in the 11th grade, and I stayed sick a lot.
My mom had a little more understanding of my situation and would take me to the hospital, but the doctors could not find out what was wrong with me. I was in and out of the hospital and ER for years and even did a 60-day stay at Palm View Hospital. I stayed sick even in the hospital as I still smoked marijuana while I was there. When I was discharged to return back home, I continued to get more and more sick. It was like a nightmare. It felt like I was inside some kinda hell, but I had no idea that it was the pot. All I ever was told about pot was it had some kind of benefit and would help me with the sickness, so I never stopped smoking it. I couldn’t even keep a job and ended up getting fired from every job I ever had. It was insane.
This whole time my dad and I fought a lot. When I was about 26 years old, I found out that if I didn’t go to sleep, I wouldn’t be sick as much. It was like I would get morning sickness, so I started smoking meth to stay up. It felt awesome not to be sick, so I would stay up for a week at a time just so I wouldn’t be.
Meth was my miracle drug to counter the sickness from the pot, but of course, it would catch up to me. Eventually, I would have to sleep, and when I woke up the sickness started again, so I kept meth around all the time. When I would sleep, I would get sick, and when I would go see doctors and be admitted to the hospital they told me, again and again, there was still nothing wrong.
I got to the point where I started shooting meth, but I never stopped smoking weed. At this point, my life seemed hopeless. I tried to kill myself twice. I woke up both times and said to myself, “Damn I couldn’t even get that right.” It was like living in a bad dream. I had a girlfriend at this time, and was in the living room when I tried to kill myself by taking a whole bottle of pills. I remember feeling my body being dragged around while I was out of it. Later, I realized the reason my girlfriend was dragging me from the living room to the bedroom was that she was mad at me and didn’t want to get busted with the pound of pot I had bought.
A few more years went by, and I stayed sick. I sold drugs to stay awake and pay the rent. Then I found out that my girlfriend was pregnant. We had a baby boy on the way, and I thought that I would stop the drug use. When I tried, I just got sicker and sicker. Due to this, I wasn’t the best father. Don’t get me wrong, I love my son, and I did everything I could for him, but I didn’t want to be sick, so I stayed on drugs till he was about ten or eleven years old. By now, I had quit using meth, but I was doing crack.
Today, I have been clean from meth and crack for well over twenty years, but I never stopped smoking weed till 36 days ago. I quit because I found Brian Smith’s story and realized I had CHS.
Believe it or not, I honestly feel that Brian’s passing saved my life. If it wasn’t for him and the sacrifice he and his family went through, I would still be sick. His story sealed the deal for me. I had been sick for over 32 years, and doctors couldn’t figure out why. I thought that I was going to die. I had never felt sick this bad. I lost 40 pounds, my kidneys hurt, my back hurt, and my breathing was not normal. I went to bed thinking I was not coming out of this; I was prepared to die that night. I did my own research, and with the help of one nurse that said to me it could be Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome (CHS), I told God that if he would just let me wake up in the morning that I was going to quit. I woke up just as sick as I was the night before and made the decision to quit smoking pot.
That’s right, pot was killing me, and I gave it up. Seeing how Brian died from smoking pot weighed heavily in my mind. Everything I was ever told about pot was a lie. My doctor even put me on medical weed, granted me a medical card, and didn’t even tell me about CHS. I don’t even know if he even knew about it. I’m still getting sick (it takes time for that to stop), but getting better. I’m now 36 days clean, and I’m never going back. I will see that nurse again when I go back to see my doctor, and I will thank her for helping me live again.
Thank you, Brian, forever an angel in heaven, for your sacrifice. I truly believe you laid your hands on me that night and saved me. Godspeed to you, brother. I will never forget what you and your family did for me.
For the haters out there who are saying we’re full of shit that pot did this to us, well that’s okay. You will one day know what I’m saying is true, and much love to all of you.