An Oxfordshire woman who wanted to “hack her legs off with a chainsaw” found medical cannabis has turned her life around.

Alexandra Fisher, 51, lives in Chipping Norton and in 1995 she was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, which causes chronic pain, and this was followed by a diagnosis for multiple sclerosis in 2014, which affects the nervous system.

Ms Fisher said that since she decided to go private and started using medical cannabis she no longer threatens to hack off her legs with a chainsaw.

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Oxford Mail: Alexandra FisherAlexandra Fisher (Image: Alexandra Fisher/SWNS)

Before choosing to go private, Ms Fisher was forced to quit her job as a part time sports coach in 2014 and was left reliant on a wheelchair after a succession of NHS treatments failed to relieve her chronic pain.

Drugs including Neurontin, Gabapentin, Lyrica, diazepam and tramadol did not work and eventually she was approved for an experimental pain relief drug called Sativex.

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However, Ms Fisher’s local NHS trust was not one of the 39 in Britain that fund the treatment.

Ms Fisher said: "My pain is now finally something I can keep at a constant annoying niggle rather than: 'Oh my God, my legs are on fire.'

"The pain still spikes if I do too much up to an eight or nine out of 10 but on a day-to-day basis, I am averaging about a four which is bearable.

"It does not make me want to break my legs in half or hack my legs off with a chainsaw, which I have threatened to do on many occasions.”

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When Ms Fisher went to the private Lyphe Clinic she was given a prescription for £150 a month and this works out as a £4,200 yearly saving compared to a private £500-a-month Sativex prescription.

Ms Fisher takes 30 grams of cannabis a month and uses an e-cigarette vaporiser, which she said has made her less reliant on the chair.

She explained: "Now I am less reliant on my chair.

"I use a stick now a lot more than my chair.

"I can now walk my dog for the first time in years.

"It is less than half a mile, but I used to not even be able to walk to the end of my road."

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Previously, Ms Fisher was unable to drive for two to three years as she was not confident in her capacity to be able to do so.

Ms Fisher said her cannabis prescription had allowed her to make a “huge saving” compared to Sativex and meant she was able to go on holiday again and get a bus into town.

Oxford Mail: Ms Fisher Ms Fisher (Image: Alexandra Fisher/SWNS)

Due to medical cannabis being legalised for medical use in November 2018, Ms Fisher has been able to benefit from the drug and said the impact on her mental health was “huge”.

Ms Fisher said: “What cannabis has given me back is the ability to participate in life again, even if it is only on a part-time basis.

"There is a big stigma about using cannabis.

"People still look at you funny and people judge you.

"But they don't live my life. Spend a day in my body and you would understand.”

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Ms Fisher said she would recommend others try the drug for medical use, as she “went through the full list of everything the NHS had to offer” and “nothing worked”.

Ms Fisher is now back working as a bursary administrator at her local school and her life has returned to some resemblance of normality.

She can now drive her car and even walk her dog Izzy, a five-year-old Staffy cross.

It remains the case that only 39 of the NHS’ 109 primary care trusts prescribe and fund Sativex.

People with MS are left to a postcode lottery on whether they can access the drug.