How To Use Medical Marijuana Patient Success Stories
How To Use Medical Marijuana Patient Success Stories
How To Use Medical Marijuana Patient Success Stories
My husband and I have been caregivers in the state of Rhode Island for over five years. Our lives have been touched by the many that have been sent our way by doctors for education about medical marijuana. Some of the people below are either our present or past patients, along with others from other states we met and have kept up with. We hope their stories will help you to gain the courage to give this safe, non invasive pain medication a try.
Scott – Use Medical Marijuana to Treat Muscular Sclerosis (MS)
Forty two year old Scott, who faces a severe case of MS, has found that turning to medical marijuana has literally “saved his life. The former CS Rep who had now has had to cope with the effects of MS for 28 years along with losing his career, was thrilled when he found an alternative to using AVONEX for his condition. He did not like using it since it caused flu like symptoms that would also bring on a high fever after administering it. Today, smoking cannabis, Scott is able to control his chronic pain beautifully and is thrilled how it is able to loosen the stiff legs that he must work with. He also notes that it wipes out his neuropathic pain too.
Bob – Use Medical Marijuana to Treat a Paraplegic
Bob arrived to our house in his handicap van and we met him in the driveway. It was difficult to understand him talking due to his intense level of chronic pain. He was overwhelmed and lost. The doctor that saved his life when he fell off a roof and became impaled and paralyzed, warned him when he woke up from surgery that he would not be happy with him for he would experience intense chronic pain for life and it was unfortunately true. However, things changed when he started trying medical marijuana. He vaporized right in the driveway, proceeded to tell us that he felt no change and then before we knew it, was having conversation with us. At times, the results are so gentle that you don’t realize what is changing.
Bob became an advocate for medical marijuana with the time he had left in life and also almost daily would call on the phone to make sure we were doing okay. Cannabis could not cure his paralysis, but he became a gentleman that was able to again share, care and feel. He has since passed and is missed, but we know that he was granted his dignity through the use of vaporizing cannabis and relieving his chronic pain. Vaporizing medical marijuana allowed him to have a peaceful ending.
Teacher – Use Medical Marijuana to Treat Ehlers Danlos Syndrome (EDS)
A currently employed elementary school teacher who is also the girls soccer and lacrosse coach, was diagnosed with Ehlers Danlos Syndrome (Classic I & II). She was not sleeping and was having a terrible time functioning in her job. She eventually decided to try medical marijuana. She found her magic to be using a night, indica oil taken before bed along with using a day, sativa tincture taken after work. She discovered that her pain levels, after ten minutes of taking each dose,was diminished or completely relieved. She finds the night time dose carries into the following day, but doesn’t hinder her day both mentally or physically. It allows her to function and be that teacher she had been before – vibrant, focused and without the level of chronic pain she had been trying to cope with.. She states: “Without this gift of oils, I would be in continuous pain 24 hrs. a day, 365 days out of the year. This does not change who I am, it just changes how I am, functioning and living each day, which should be to its fullest, PAIN FREE!”
Lori – Use Medical Marijuana to Treat Spinal Injury
Fifty seven year old Lori, had been employed as a medical coding technician at a local hospital for fifteen years. In 2007, she had an spinal injury. By 2008, they tried a microdiscectomy at L5-S1, which unfortunately led to epidural fibrosis at the S1 nerve root. After months of failed alternative treatments and medications, it was suggested by her doctor to try medical marijuana.
She found immense relief using the portable vaporizer (PAX) two to three times a day. She no longer has to rely on narcotics for pain relief, which she never thought she’d see happen! In fact, she had been in a severe state of depression for several years with the thought of relying on narcotics for the rest of her life. Her entire lifestyle changed in a minute! She states: “ I have at least half of my life back. I am not severely depressed, I get out alone more often, and the pain is there but not ruling my life!”
5yr old Stryder – Use Marijuana Cannabis Oil to Treat Ehlers Danlos Syndrome
Use Marijuana Cannabis Oil to Treat Seizures due to Epilepsy
We met five year old Stryder, from Oregon, here in Rhode Island at an Ehlers Danlos Syndrome conference in 2013. A pain clinic doctor, who met with him here, got in touch with us after to meet with his mother, Angela, to see if we might be able to help him. Upon meeting him, our hearts broke to see a gorgeous young man crippled from the joys of life with his severe medical issues. He barely noticed us there and was not into conversing, he was pale and exhausted. We talked with the mom, gave her a donation of our night cannabis oil (made from low CBD plants) and carefully gave directions on how to try it out. They were sharing the room with a woman from their state and mom reported that Stryder had driven her crazy with the seizures he had the first night. But, after the second night of trying the cannabis oil, she asked Angela in the morning what she had done differently. When she told her the truth, the woman was just amazed with the changes. Stryder was a different boy. He was talking and interacting more and pretending like he hadn’t before. Mom believes it was a combination of sleep and brain rest from the seizure activity.
We met them the next day and have to also say, it was like night and day. He was smiling, walking, and even went off to play with the others at the conference. Although the seizures did not stop the first night, the change in alertness was amazing. When we saw them the second morning, it had been reported that he had woken up dry, meaning there had not been seizure activity.
Today, Mom reports that he remains a legal patient in his state, takes his Medical Marijuana medication in cannabis oil form using a dropper and sometime uses cannabis candy to suck on. He is sleeping better at night and notes changes in happiness and even thought processing. Angela stated that using this Medical Marijuana medication was life changing from day one! . She loves that is is natural and less harmful as well as effective! Angela advocates to others in her area to help them get educated with correct facts. She shared that someone posted once that they are against it strictly because they put it into cannabis candy. Her response: “Would you rather a child smoke it? The drugs that these kids are put on for seizures is devastating, have a lot of side effects and are addicting. And not only for seizures, but for chronic pain and children are often told to just suck it up when it comes to pain management and that’s just not fair. Stryder’s success has been unmatched and I will always be an advocate for something that is natural and less harmful as well as effective!”
Maureen – Use Medical Marijuana to Treat POTS
Use Medical Marijuana to Treat Dysautonomia
The day Maureen arrived to our house to get educated about medical marijuana, we wondered how she even made it driving to us. Her POTS (Postural Orthostatic Tachychardia Syndrome) was so severe, she was shaky, extremely pale and her life had been turned upside down. Her cardiologist had wanted her try this for her condition since he had observed other patients using Medical Marijuana medication for other conditions, whom also had dysautonomia and POTS, and all seemed to have relief for dysautonomia and POTS, too.
Maureen’s POTS was diagnosed at age 54. She was employed as a CNA and was working as an ER Tech when she got sick. She chose to use the cannabis oil and the cannabis tincture as needed, until she was put into an experimental cardiac rehab program and got a PICC line for saline infusions. After several months, she found that this helped to keep her blood pressure at a normal level and made the symptoms less severe. Of course, she comments, it’s not a cure, she does have relapses.
Maureen states, “ When you’re sick every day for a long period of time, anything that helps is worth it; not just for the physical symptoms but for your mental state as well.” Today, now at the age of 57 now, she no longer has to use it now at all!. Maureen states: “ I now keep things under control with exercise and saline infusions.” However, if the need arrives again in the future she wouldn’t hesitate to turn to it again. She now works per diem as a Transport Aide for a nursing home.
Bonnie – Use Medical Marijuana to Treat Neuralgia and chronic pain
Retired English college professor Bonnie, at the age of seventy five, arrived to our home with such severe pain that we wondered how she was even able to drive here. She was so discouraged living daily with chronic pain. After much education and consideration, she decided to give medical marijuana a try.
In time, as she gained her confidence, she found that eating marijuana brownies as medication, along with taking cannabis oil at night has provided her relief from her unrelenting chronic pain. Along with that, it has helped to provide some hope, thus improving her outlook on life. She states: “The only real relief I have had from my pain has been with medical marijuana. My medicine allows me to enjoy life again.”
Elizabeth – Use Medical Marijuana to Treat Chronic Regional Pain Syndrome(CRPS)
Use Medical Marijuana to Treat Ehlers Danlos Syndrome
Use Medical Cannabis to Treat Chiari Malformation
Twenty nine year old Elizabeth, was sent to us since the pain clinic doctor was at a loss as to how else he could lessen the severe pain she was living with. This beautiful, terribly thin and discouraged young lady and her mother arrived and it broke our heart. Her CRPS was so severe on the head that she was no longer able to touch it, let alone consider running a comb or brush through her hair.
She was a former part-time piano teacher and came to us as a recording artist with BMI, struggling to hold on to her career. She clearly wanted to try to help herself and get control back with her life. While in our home, she suddenly started to rub our topical on her scalp and we were startled when she shortly announced she felt some relief – and so, the beginning of her finding her magical way to help get some quality of her life back.
She now administers her own medication, medical marijuana, in a variety of ways: Marijuana edibles, Cannabis drinks, marijuana salves to massage her joints, Marijuana vaporizer (240F-370F), and occasionally smokes it. She enjoys using a Magical Butter Machine that it makes potent cannabis tinctures and cannabis oils and appreciates the “no heat” option, which she has uses to make CannaMilk. She finds she requires high doses of THC, because she doesn’t absorb it at a normal rate. As a slow absorber, she doesn’t get a big peak in relief with then experiencing a sharp drop-off, but instead it gives her a pretty consistent relief. She reports that she is able to use this without making her “seem stoned”.
She notices, using medical marijuana, that she feels that her muscle rigidity is less obvious. She can relax, have more chronic pain relief, doesn’t focus on her pain as much, can touch areas of her skin that used to be very sensitive to touch, and can sleep better! All huge gains. Elizabeth states that her dream is; “I think low doses of THC should be in children’s vitamins for overall health and prevention of disease – it has changed my life for the better”.
Melvin – Use Medical Marijuana to Treat Degenerative Disc Disease
Vaporize Cannabis to Treat PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder)
Use Medical Marijuana to Treat Chronic Pain and Headaches
Forty three year old Melvin, is currently employed as an agricultural-inspector. We met this very intelligent, kind young man at our home a few years ago and hoped that using medical marijuana would provide the much needed relief he needed to be able to function better in life.
He did a lot of research about how to use it, what strains to consider and in time found the best way for him to administer it was with vaporizing cannabis and using cannabis extracts. He found that his Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD, was mostly relieved by using the higher CBD strains, such as ACDC, Comfort Zone and Strawberry Diesel. What he has noticed is, it’s not a cure for PTSD but instead that it becomes manageable. His PTSD comes in a rapid visual effect and it is very disorientating, and the meds slow down the unwanted and uncontrollable visual and thoughts. He vaporizes cannabis to make it possible for him to have a controlled response to PTSD. Without the meds, his Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD, would force unwanted emotional responses out of him, thus having no control over my body and emotions during the PTSD attack or Panic Attack.
There are two damaged discs causing nerve pain which radiated down his legs. His legs were always numb, burning and super painful. He relieves pain using marijuana strains like Bubble Gum, Lucy and Pineapple Express to relieve chronic pain and headaches. He reports that with using these medications, the pain is less and his condition has become more manageable. Without the meds, his back would be in chronic pain which would require him to have to lie in bed for most of the day. With the meds, he is a functioning employed worker! When asked if he would like to give a quote, Melvin stated: “With a huge help from my caregiver I was able to learn how to find the correct THC to CBD ratio that works for my PTSD and disc degeneration. MMj is my Freedom!”
Bill – Use Cannabis Oil to Treat Heart Problems
We met Bill and his wife, Joan, a fews ago. It was an honor to be in their presence. Despite his failing health, the love and commitment between them was so clear. We hoped that turning to medical marijuana would provide the relief needed to allow Bill dignity with the time left in his life.
A former firefighter for thirty years, it was heartbreaking when he was diagnosed with the only a 20% cardiac output. This heart problem caused severe pain in breathing. He fortunately did find that administering the medicine as cannabis oil at night and as cannabis tincture during the day in the afternoon were his answer. His wife observed that he was able to again sleep for more that one to two hours that he had been experiencing. For the severe pain in the center of his ribcage, due to an unhealed fracture of the sternum, the topical cannabis cream seemed to aid in providing relief that lasted for a few hours at a time.
Bill used this form of cannabis medication for about a year and wished he had been able to turn to this even sooner, so that it could have provided better quality of life . His wife, Joan, states, “Bill passed at the age of 73, he was a very strong man and would not give in no matter what, but at the end, he could not fight anymore and I told him that it was OK.” His loss broke our hearts for them both. He was a brave, kind loving man that is missed by all that he touched. We are grateful that he was able to get his dignity back with this safe pain relief.
Diana – Use a Cannabis Tincture to Treat Ehlers Danlos Syndrome (EDS)
Fibromyalgia, Severe Pain, Nausea, Seizure, POTS, Asthma
Fifty three year old Diana, was a national award-winning composer/songwriter, pianist/vocalist, violinist, dancer/actress, performer/private coach/teacher, and artist/writer/poet with a Performance degree. She had to turn down a full Master’s fellowship because of her recurrent back, shoulder, and elbow/wrist instability and severe pain. Instead, she worked as lab technician for microbiology, radiology, and physics labs. Developing severe overuse injury, chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia, cortisone shots and bed rest became the “treatment” for intractable pain. For five long years, she wore hard braces from her wrists to her elbows, yet also managed to perform lead roles in musicals (with braces hidden beneath costumes).
From 2001-2007, after leaving an abusive marriage, moving back to NH, she took on a full-time job working for a NH school district, teaching music to 600-700 children a week. By this time, she had POTS, AFIB, severe asthma, (with annual hospitalizations) and symptoms of what the doctors thought was lupus. Finally properly diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome and desperate for pain relief, she turned to trying medical marijuana by the age of 51. Now, every night, Diana uses an Indica oil. She reports that it completely eradicates the hyperhidrosis she experiences from gastroparesis. Without it, she would sweat throughout the night profusely. Medical marijuana has reduced pain so that she can sleep through the night thus, mitigating her suffering from Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome.
It has now been almost two years, and she describes that another type of day plant, a Sativa strain of marijuana, which she rarely uses, made into a cannabis tincture, literally saved her life. The other night, when her glucose dropped under 45, using the glycerin form sublingually, the glucose rose to 74, and she was able to sip a tiny bit of juice with the anti-nausea medication, thereby saving her life, as she would likely have had either a seizure or slipped into coma. Diana wants readers to know: “ I think that those with hypoglycemia and Gastroparesis would be greatly helped by having some of the cannabis tincture on hand for emergencies.” She is living proof!
Sally – Using Cannabis to Treat Cancer
Courageous seventy one year old Sally, has been successfully using medical marijuana for five and a half years. This reading educator turned to this type of pain relief after being diagnosed with Stage IV uterine papillary serous carcinoma uterine cancer. Despite her grim diagnosis, up until recently, Sally has lived a decent life around her chemo, radiation and surgical recoveries. After being told to expect a shortened life with just weeks left to live, she defied all odds and instead, until just recently, was able to keep her career alive and be amazingly active and engaged in life.
She originally found that just using the cannabis oil at night provided her the much needed quality sleep and lowered her pain. For day relief for nausea, she found vaporizing cannabis to be her magic. Unfortunately, things are changing for her now. This past March, she needed to turned to the strongest cannabis oil made, Simpson Oil, to help her cope with the severe pain in her journey of progression. At this time, she now faces the news that there is no more magic to turn to – all trials and treatments have been suspended.
Sally wants you to know that: “Marijuana has few, if no side effects. It is benign in terms of overall functioning.” Sally is a role model to us all – determined, positive and so caring. She touches lives in a positive way and will always be in the hearts of those that have had the honor to know her.
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chronic pain; epilepsy; seizures; glaucoma; cancer; fibromyalgia; nerve pain;
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Ellen Lenox Smith and her husband Stuart live in Rhode Island. In addition to their work for the U.S. Pain Foundation, as Co-Directors for Medical Marijuana Advocacy, they also serve as board members for the Rhode Island Patient Advocacy Coalition. Ellen wrote a book about her journey as a Pain Warrior, “It Hurts Like Hell!” For more information about medical marijuana and how to convert it to other forms of administering besides smoking, visit their website.
The information in this column should not be considered as professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It is for informational purposes only and represents the author’s opinions alone. It does not inherently express or reflect the views, opinions and/or positions of this website. Medical marijuana is legal in some U.S. states but is still technically illegal under federal law. Even in states where it is legal, doctors may frown upon marijuana and drop patients from their practice for using it.