Imagine the desperation felt by people living with chronic, severe pain or discomfort — with no relief in sight. The list of symptoms brought on by multiple sclerosis is lengthy, and for people with progressive forms of MS, quality of life becomes an intensely personal issue. Until we walk in those shoes, our ability to truly empathize is limited.
Marijuana has been reported to help patients cope with a variety of chronic medical conditions, including AIDS, cancer, glaucoma, and multiple sclerosis. Many MS patients and advocates report that the use of medical marijuana provides relief from spasticity, nerve pain, tremors, sleeping disorders, and depression.
Marijuana is known to cause some cognitive impairment, but many legally prescribed medications are far more potent and come with the risk of more serious side effects. Watch television for a few hours and you’ll see a stream of ads for powerful prescription medications with lengthy potential side-effects up to and including death… but they remain an option for those who choose them.
Six years into life with relapsing/remitting MS, I consider myself very fortunate in that I still have periods of remission that provide relief from symptoms. I have no need for marijuana or the regular use of any type of pain medication. However, having experienced extended periods of pain, discomfort, and a fair amount of disability, I have an inkling of how life might change should my MS run amok and become more aggressive, or if some other condition should rear its ugly head. It is a possibility I cannot dismiss.
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