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Pain Specialists Endorse Cannabis Therapy

Started by ronr, August 26, 2018, 08:25:00 AM

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ronr

http://norml.org/news/2018/08/23/survey-pain-specialists-endorse-cannabis-therapy?link_id=2&can_id=7eb660044c1028792c49eb02837e7fab&source=email-norml-news-of-the-week-8232018&email_referrer=email_405684&email_subject=norml-news-of-the-week-8232018

Thursday, 23 August 2018

Tel Aviv, Israel: Most Israeli pain specialists with an opinion on the issue believe that cannabis is a safe and effective analgesic agent, according to survey data published in the Journal of Pain Research.

            Investigators surveyed the opinions of over half of all practicing pain clinicians in Israel. The Israeli government has regulated the prescription use of cannabis for much of the past decade.

Authors reported that virtually all of the survey's respondents prescribed cannabis to their patients, and that 56 percent of them reported the substance to possess "mild or no" adverse side effects. Forty-five percent of those surveyed stated that "they themselves would prefer to be treated with cannabis rather than opiates in case of chronic pain."

Authors concluded: "In the current survey, which probed the attitudes, beliefs, knowledge, and collected experience of pain specialists using cannabis in their daily practice, cannabis emerges as an effective treatment option for many patients with chronic pain who have failed previous treatments. Moreover, their responses arguably present a possible change of paradigm and the possibility to consider cannabis earlier in the course of the disease, and not as a last resort."

According to a 2017 literature review conducted by the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, there exists "conclusive or substantial" clinical evidence that cannabis is "effective for the treatment [of] chronic pain."
Times are tough when "Happy Hour" is your nap.
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IT IS BETTER TO BE CONSIDERED A FOOL, THAN TO
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tojo

I know that the V.A. here in South Texas are trying very hard to phase out the mean ole, nasty, dangerous opioids. I had a change to a new primary care doc and without seeing me or even talking to me he started whacking away at my opioid prescriptions with a rather large axe. As soon as the little bottle showed up in the mail in it's white bubbled wrapper that I had to sign for, I thought it was my prescription for Ritalin so I tossed it on the desk as I was not in a need of it yet, still plenty in that bottle. i was getting very low on my hydrocodone and it should have been here by now. I checked myhealthyvet.gov and it said that it had been mailed out quite some time ago. So I got on my secure messaging and fired off messages to my health care team and to the pharmacy wanting to know where my hydrocodone was as I had put the last in the little boxes and would be out soon. Well they started looking into it and low and behold they report back to me that it had already been delivered and in fact I had signed for it. WHAT????? I know for a fact that it had not showed up yet or in fact that I was loosing the last few marbles that I had left. Well I sat down and started going through all of my meds with a fine tooth comb. And while I was at it I opened a the few packages of meds I had received. I cannot explain the dumbfounded shock and I am sure that my face looked as bad as I felt. There in front of me in what I thought to be a package containing Ritalin, was my hydrocodone in a little bitty bottle. Over the years I have gotten very good at telling what med is in the bag by shape, weight, sound or sometimes about of bottles. One of the biggest give-a-ways is the size of the bottle.

So here in front of me in a little bottle the size they put my Ritalin in was my pain meds. I think that it is the smallest bottle that they have because Ritalin is a very small pill and I only get enough for a couple a day, so the bottle is mostly empty. But crammed into this little bottle, all the way to the top was my hydrocodone. Going from 5 of the 10mg tablets a day to 3! Quickly I found and checked my Tramadol bottle and they had been cut from 8 a day to 4.  I could not believe what I was seeing, and could not understand what was happening to me. Obviously some kind of mistake has been made. So back on secure messaging, I send a message to my team asking the doctor about the reduced amount of my scripts. I get a return rather quickly stating that he was weaning me off of of the opioids as part of a V.A. wide cut back on them. Well boy oh boy you can bet that i got pissed, more pissed than I have been in a very long time. Here they were gutting my pain meds with nothing to take their place. Well doing the smart thing, not what I usually do, i waited a while before replying to his message. Actually waited till the next day to make sure that I would not say something that I would regret. I replied with a why had I not been contacted first? And what were we going to replace them with. The response was that there are so many patients that there is no way to contact them all with regard to the getting eliminating the opiates. As far as replacements that was not even addressed.

The next day I get a call from someone I talked to many]many years ago. She is a full blown doctor and a pharmacist, a very, very smart lady and I like and have a lot of respect for her. Well she said that my new doc had put in a consult for her to talk to me with regards to the opiates being taken away and what they planned to replace them with. The replacements would be, Tylenol, muscle relaxers, Ibuprofen, chiropractic visits and acupuncture. She was unable to see my facial response which really was unfortunate, as I am sure that my lower jaw did indeed touch my chest and my eyes roll over in disbelief. Having a witness to this phenomenon would have been a nice thing to have. After I did not speak for a while she asked if I was still there. I slowly relied that yes indeed I was still there. I told her that I really did not think that these things were going to work. I had been on 5 of the strongest hydrocodones which is the max dosage for probably 20 years. The same with the 8 a day max dosage of the Tramadol. I explained that they did not work as well as they used to but they still worked. I also mentioned that in a secure message the nurse reminded me that opiates are for short term use only max of 5 days. that made no sense what so ever and was a waste of electronic paper, her time and mine. The doc responded that is actually how they are supposed to be prescribed but in chronic pain patients they really have no other options then to prescribe them for a longer period of time.

I told her that I would try anything that might work but I really did not think these items would work and we would be wasting our time. She said that she was glad that I was open to trying at least and we discussed what we were actually going to try. She suggested the chiropractor. I said I did not think so as the last time I saw one he actually popped one of my ribs loose, she said your right we will check that off. Then she said we would try the Ibuprofen, Tylenol and maybe some acupuncture if I was open to that. I told her yea we could try that,I had never had acupuncture before but knew some guys from here of course had to get in a plug for the site LOL As far as the meds I really did not expect anything at all but I would try. Funny thing is that the acupuncture that the V.A. is using is not your traditional lay on a table and have hundreds of tiny needles stuck in you. It is something called BFA or Battle Field Acupuncture. It was developed by a V.A. doctor to help with pain in the battle field on injured soldiers. Apparently this guy is almost a genius and spent years studying and developing this treatment and that there was some success with it in the actual battlefield. Well I said yes and would be willing to try that. Well, we also added a muscle relaxer to the mix and that was the end of the call, with a agreement that she would call back in thirty days to see how I was doing.

l faithfully took the medication as prescribed and went in for my B.F.A. appointment. The BFA thing was actually pretty cool, they stick five of these tiny little gold studs in each ear. They are supposed to fall out in just a few days but the treatment can last longer. Funny thing is that I had limped in with my cane with my hip really hurting. And POW!! my hip stopped hurting. That was the first time in so long I do not remember the last time it did not hurt. I did not really feel anything anywhere else but the hip was magical. The lady asked how I felt and I told her about the hip, she was not surprised at all. I asked how long it was supposed to last and she said that it was different with each patient. Some two or three weeks some up to six weeks others just a few days. Well my hip started acting up after about four days and I really did not notice that there was anything else affected by the whole process, but it was worth it just for the hip alone. She said that for some it takes a while to kick in and that some even do not see results until they have had the treatment several times. I am supposed to start back in with it when I return to Corpus and I actually think it is going to work to relive some of my pain. I am not a fool and do not think that it will be the magic bullet and get rid of my pain, but it may help in controlling some of it. We will see.

The next time my doc called me was up here and it was actually before she was supposed to cal me but she wanted to check in and see how the trip affected me and how I was doing. I told you she was a great doc, she was not supposed to contact me a week or so after I am supposed o be back in Corpus. Well we talked about the muscle relaxer and the ther stuff and I told her that honestly there was no difference whatsoever other than my stomach was upset and I was going through a lot more of the liquid tums stuff can't remember what it is called damn it grrr. So we agreed to stop taking all of them. She did tell me that some patients that could not be helped in any other way could remain of the opiates. I am not sure if she was even supposed to tell me that, but I said that was encouraging as I thought when all was said and done I would end up taking my chances of getting caught with pot in my system or trying to stay drunk but they did not pay me enough to stay drunk all month. She said she would look into some other things and see what else we could try. I asked about the hyperbaric whatever it is that some of the guys here had tried with some success and she said that the V.A. would not pay for that. I said that was a shame and I told her about the guys here (another plug) and that there were at least three in Corpus.

Well she is going to get back with me after I have been back to Corpus and had a chance to settle back in. I will keep y'all informed as to where and with what this goes. I am looking forward to my next BFA treatment and to find out how often that doc thinks I should come in for treatment. talk with ya soon guys ;)



one of Jesus' own
Tojo

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