We’d like to thank Stephanie for opening up and letting us in on an intimate part of her life, that of chronic illness and the difficulty managing it. Her story: using kratom as an alternative, and how it has helped her, tracks a remarkable journey that started some 20 years ago.
Introduction & Medical History
Adam (A): So Stephanie, first I would like to get to know you. What’s your background? What do you do?
Stephanie (S): Of course. I’m a stay-at-home mom in Orange County, California, 43 years of age and a new grandmother! At 25, I was diagnosed with Lupus, and four years later with Rheumatoid Arthritis.
A: A new grandmother, congratulations! That is a lot to deal with. What did the doctors prescribe before you found kratom?
S: They tried a load of injectable meds, things like Prednisone. I was on it for 16 years and it destroyed my eyes, leaving me with cataracts and glaucoma. And then came the pain meds, I wasn’t educated on these things. I was on Fentanyl Vicodin, and Norco.
A: Right, that seems to be one of the biggest issues right now. Prescribed medications that just cause new problems. Especially with pain pills.
Stephanie Dominguez holding
S: Absolutely. That was back in 2003, and I was in the hospital and sick all the time. The side effects were brutal. I felt like my life was over, and I was only 26. I even started going to a pain doctor, and they increased my opiate prescriptions. But they make me feel weird. It changes you, you know?
A: Yeah, I’ve heard that to be a big issue with those meds.
S: I’ve got grandchildren, a 9-year-old, I can’t be high all the time. It has been really hard to find a happy medium. And the opiates just made me dull, my senses and personality, it all just felt wrong. And I was afraid to quit, because the pain was too much. Next, they put me on Methadone, saying it was easy to quit, that it would help. And then my insurance lapsed and I had to go cold turkey, and I thought I was going to die. It was horrible. The doctor said it could have killed me. I wish I never had to take any medication. But finding kratom has completely changed my life.
A: Wow. I am so glad you have found something that helps! When were you introduced to kratom?
S: Only three weeks ago, as crazy as it sounds. At first I thought it was too good to be true. But then I read an article, and asked my doctor, and he suggested I try it. I ordered some online, and I was very excited. And already, I’ve been able to cut down significantly on my prescriptions.
S: Yeah, I’m participating in life again. I feel hopeful again. My friends and family feel like the real me is back, the person that has been gone on prescription drugs for 16,17 years.
A: That’s great to hear, I’m really happy for you. So, it’s been about three weeks. Sometimes it can be hard to find kratom. We found kratom 4-5 years ago, and we started our kratom company because so much of the kratom on the market is unreliable and seems off-brand, kind of sketchy. And we wanted to make a clean, professional brand that would resonate with people. With The Kratom Company, our goal is to be transparent.
S: Sure, and that’s really important. I went to 7/11 and saw these weird packets, and it just seemed strange. Yea, I was really excited to take it for the first time. And I struggle with depression and anxiety, mixed with chronic illness, but I had such a relieving sense of well being. It was amazing. I feel like I’m me again.
A: I’m so excited to hear that. That’s wonderful. I have some anxiety as well, and I’ve found that CBD helps with that as well.
S: Yeah, my husband actually owns a CBD company. It certainly helps with that, but it is definitely different than kratom. And my husband, who is more of a skeptic about these things, even he has noticed the improvement. I’ve been getting more done around the house but I don’t feel tweaky or jittery. When I wake up in the morning, I usually feel awful. But now for the first time in 10 years, I don’t need a pain pill when I wake up. I just take a few kratom pills when I wake up and then i take 2 Tbs. of your Green Indo and I feel so much better.
Sharing Her Story
A: So it sounds like you have some hope back in your life.
S: I don’t advocate for a lot. But this? I just feel like kratom is a game-changer, and people need to know.
A: I completely agree with you. I believe there are a lot more clinical studies being committed to the benefits of kratom. It’s definitely catching on.
S: I think people are more open to things in our current climate, just looking at marijuana. Things are changing. And I feel like I’m a normal woman. I’m not a drug user, I’m not trying to get high or replace anything.
A: Yea I understand, you just want an alternative, to get back to normal.
S: Absolutely. And I hope in sharing my story wherever I can, maybe people will listen to me, because I’m just a normal person. It’s not anything weird. It can be a great option for people who can’t tolerate opiates.
A: Between kratom, CBD, marijuana – it can really knock out a big portion of pharmaceuticals, it could really help people.
S: I’ve been logging how much kratom I’ve been taking. My inflammation is down so much, and I’m excited to see my doctor again, to show him some of these changes.
A: That’s great, because there isn’t much information out there. Stories like this are important to bridge the gap before more scientific studies are released.
S: And this is how we can move forward, with knowledge, but we have to start somewhere.
A: You mentioned you’ve been tracking your usage. Can I ask what your typical dose is when using kratom as an alternative?
S: Sure. I typically take both capsules and powder throughout the day. I take 3 capsules in the morning and about 2 tablespoons of powder in the afternoon. Sometimes I can take a little less than my normal does.
A: I take about two tablespoons, usually mixing it with coffee. I take my red bali at night, it helps. It helps me relax as well. But, of course, it can affect people differently.
S: Right. It’s been much better for me than the pain pills, that’s for sure. I think we’ve just hit the tip of the iceberg.
FDA Disclaimer – Statements in this article have not been evaluated by the FDA. This is purely opinion based interview of a personal life experience.