Beyond Traditional Therapies: Considering Medical Marijuana in Stroke Recovery

Beyond Traditional Therapies: Considering Medical Marijuana in Stroke Recovery
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Introduction: A Personal Journey

As a stroke survivor, I've always been open to exploring various treatment options, including those outside traditional medicine. Living in Florida, where medical marijuana is legal, I became curious about its potential benefits in my recovery process. This curiosity, coupled with the legal status of medical marijuana in my state, led me to consider it as a part of my treatment plan.

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The Decision to Try Medical Marijuana

Initially skeptical, my decision to try medical marijuana was driven by a willingness to explore anything that might aid my recovery. I was intrigued by its growing acceptance and potential benefits, which seemed to offer a natural alternative to the myriad of pills that had become a part of my daily routine. This step marked a significant shift in my approach to managing my health.

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Pros of Medical Marijuana in Recovery

I hoped that medical marijuana would bring relief in several areas: pain management, anxiety reduction, and improved sleep. The potential benefits were appealing, especially as an alternative to traditional painkillers and sleep aids. The idea of a more natural remedy was enticing, promising a less invasive approach to dealing with the aftermath of my stroke.

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Personal Experience and Outcomes

While I had hoped for a 'magic pill' effect, my experience with medical marijuana was more nuanced. On some days, it provided significant relief, easing my pain and anxiety, and improving my sleep quality. However, the benefits were not always consistent, and finding the right dosage and strain required patience and experimentation.

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The Cons: Limitations and Challenges

Despite the benefits, there were also challenges and limitations with medical marijuana. I experienced days when it seemed less effective, and the potent effects of some strains were overwhelming at times. The inconsistency in the availability of specific strains in my area added an extra layer of difficulty in maintaining a stable treatment regimen.

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Embracing a Trial-and-Error Approach in Recovery

My journey with medical marijuana underscored the value of a trial-and-error approach in recovery. It taught me that each treatment, whether traditional or alternative, requires an open mind and a willingness to adjust. This approach has been instrumental in not only managing my symptoms but also in understanding my body's responses to different treatments.

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Consulting with Medical Professionals

Before starting medical marijuana, I discussed it thoroughly with my medical team. Their guidance was crucial in navigating this new treatment option. It was important to understand how medical marijuana might interact with my other medications and to ensure that my overall treatment plan was cohesive and safe.

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Conclusion: A Balanced Approach

While medical marijuana wasn't the miracle solution for me, it was a valuable experience in my recovery journey. To fellow survivors, I recommend keeping an open mind to new treatments, but always prioritize safety and consult with your healthcare providers. The journey to recovery is unique for each individual, and what works for one may not work for another.

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Call to Action:
Stay informed, ask questions, and most importantly, listen to your body. The path to recovery, especially after a stroke, is a personal and often complex journey. If medical marijuana is an option for you, approach it with an open mind and a cautious heart.

A few years back, a fellow stroke survivor introduced me to medical marijuana and its potential benefits. I've even discussed it on my podcast. As a resident of Florida where it's legal and a holder of a medical marijuana card, I'm not only a stroke survivor but also have multiple sclerosis, so there may be advantages for me.

As someone open to various treatments, including those beyond traditional medicine, I constantly evaluate my options and adjust accordingly. A couple of years ago, I grew tired of taking numerous pills and decided to explore medical marijuana. However, it's essential to consult primary care and team doctors about legality and whether it's a good fit.

Initially skeptical, I gave it a try but found mixed results. It's more potent than before and requires trial and error. While helpful in some ways, I'm unsure if the benefits make it an ideal fit for me. Despite having access, I'm still on the fence.

Being sensitive to its effects, I prefer not to feel overly sedated. My goal was to replace baclofen and alleviate spasticity. Although I experience pain occasionally, it's difficult to determine if it's from the stroke or MS.

Perhaps it's from running thousands of miles a year that I find myself more anxious on it. As an anxious person, I ensure my day is clear, with no major responsibilities when I use it. I'm home with my family during the evenings, providing a safe environment if anything goes wrong.

The first time I took edibles, I probably took too many, and it was overwhelming. As a parent, you must consider your duties. Can you take care of yourself? Are you being smart? The strain might offer pain relief and reduce anxiety, but could also affect sleep. I've slept well after using a little before bed, which allowed me to reduce some baclofen usage in the evenings.

My experience differs from others; I've tried various kinds and found ones I like, but they run out. This is an issue where I live - there's a varying degree of availability. I prefer milder strains that don't make me sleepy since I want to be productive. Pain from MS and residual stroke effects usually occurs at the end of my days, so I use it lightly.

Topical products have worked for me, but they're difficult to find and obtain despite legalization. Some places struggle to maintain stock, making it challenging to access these items. Remember, these are my personal experiences; yours may vary.

The downsides include being cautious when using it, especially as a parent with children. Children can do
At any moment, you want to avoid unintended or ill-timed occurrences. Unwanted side effects are unwelcome. For me, the challenges and limitations included its potency and availability. It's difficult to find something I like consistently. If I don't stock up, it runs out, leading to frustration when trying alternatives that don't work. I hoped for a magical solution, but it's still helpful with proper timing and usage.

Depending on your location and preferences, there may be limitations beyond your control. It's a trial-and-error process, and the potency is stronger than in the past for older users. Be aware of how this might impact your experience.

Running has been my consistent mental and physical support. Medical marijuana has its place, and I'm an advocate for trying it if it works for you. There are various methods of consumption: vaping, edibles, topicals, creams, and powders. I've had success with powders in a water bottle due to their milder effects compared to other edibles.

Consult with medical professionals before starting medical marijuana. Discuss with your team and family to ensure everyone's on board and informed. Be cautious of potential unintended consequences when mixing medications. I encourage exploring it as an option but remember that it's only one piece of the puzzle in maintaining overall well-being.
If you're struggling and haven't found a solution, stay open to new possibilities. Experiment cautiously and responsibly, because stroke recovery is unpredictable. The brain's incredible power to rewire itself can lead to unexpected results, both good and bad. So be mindful of potential benefits and side effects, and maintain an open dialogue with your healthcare providers.

Should a treatment become available to you legally and safely, consider trying it. Exercise caution, especially if it's more potent due to legalization. Less can be more. Consult your medical professionals and proceed wisely.

If it works for you, great! But if not, remember you're not alone; it doesn't work for everyone. Perhaps it could help you relax in a new way or enjoy a movie. Generally, it's safer than some alternatives like drinking or smoking cigarettes. Stay open-minded and kind to yourself and others.

Make sure to ask questions, read labels, instructions, and descriptions – everything is pretty regulated nowadays. Conduct research to determine what works best for you. Remember, there's no magic pill; it's mostly trial and error. Good luck on your journey!

Wrap Up!

Final Thoughts Going Forward.

Concluding Thoughts:

While medical marijuana wasn't the miracle solution for me, it was a valuable experience in my recovery journey. To fellow survivors, I recommend keeping an open mind to new treatments, but always prioritize safety and consult with your healthcare providers. Whatever works best for you is ultimately what matters the most for you and your loved ones throughout the journey to getting back on track and being your best self!

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About the author
Will Schmierer

Will Schmierer

👋 Hey I'm Will, Stroke Survivor since December 2019 at the age of 37! February 2020 I was diagnosed with MS🧡 If you have questions or need support, feel free to reach out

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