Monday, December 30, 2013


April Barbosa, Columnist & Poet,
When I was 19 I smoked marijuana for the first time. I remember cruising with my primo and some homies and they said they were going to get high. I was scared I had never tried it and didn’t know what it would do to me, but I didn’t want them to know this so I asked if I could try. When it was my turn to hit the joint I inhaled but not into my lungs just into my cheeks. One of my homeboys laughed at me and showed me the proper way to inhale. I started coughing and thought I was going to suffocate. But lo and behold I survived. We sat there in the car smoking it out. When the joint was gone I sat there waiting for something to happen. I was more talkative while everyone else was quiet.

Weed made me talkative and not only that, it relaxed my body. I had never felt better. The pain that I was already used to slowly went away. That day was one of the best days of my life I had no pain. I became a pot head. My family disapproved so I kept it hidden. For years I smoked the only thing I didn’t like was it sometimes gave me a headache.

When I turned 20 I became pregnant with my 3rd child and decided it was time to “grow up” and quit smoking. I had a well-paying job and my husband and I had just bought our first house. Even though life was going good I was constantly in pain. I kept going to my doctor over and over only to be told it may be psychosomatic systems caused by stress. Then I was finally diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis after years of testing. The doctors started me out on so many medications I can’t even remember half of the names but I do know most of them were for opiates for pain.


April Barbosa, Poet & Columnist,

Reading what my husband and kids feel makes me hate the MS more. I hate knowing they have to carry my weight when I can’t handle my responsibilities, but they have taught me that families are a team and just like a team we are only as strong as the weakest member. As for the weakest member in our family there is none because no one has a chance to fall.

Here in their own words is what my MS does to each them:

  “This is her husband Joe well I try to make her life easy as possible but it’s not easy. When she flares up I take control n try to do what she does. I make
sure she takes her meds get the kids ready for school get food, clean. On days it’s bad I stay home, I lost a job because I stayed home with her to help. It sucks to see her in pain I’m not going to be one of those husbands that leave because of MS I love her and if I could wish the MS away I would. I hate MS fuck you MS she’s my wife and you can’t have her.”