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This woman began using medical marijuana to treat her symptoms and wants to share her story on how it improved her quality of life in Ohio

The CDC defines a traumatic brain injury (TBI) as a disruption in the normal function of the brain that can be caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head, or penetrating head injury. [1] Each and every year, millions of people in the United States suffer from head injuries. The symptoms of a traumatic brain injury might not appear for days or weeks following the injury, but it can be diagnosed by a series of imaging tests. 

While a mild TBI may only affect your brain cells temporarily, more severe ones can result in long-term complications. Using medical marijuana for a traumatic brain injury after the initial blow may help minimize the amount of damage done to the brain, potentially saving cognitive function. It is known for its protective qualities in the neural system, meaning it could help minimize the secondary brain damage that occurs after the initial injury.

Marie, a fifty-nine-year-old woman, has been living as a traumatic brain injury survivor for almost 25 years. She began using medical marijuana to treat her symptoms and wanted to share her story on how it improved her quality of life. 

Q: When were you diagnosed with your condition?

“In 1995, I was diagnosed with the heart condition supraventricular tachycardia (SVT) and in 1997 I had an ablation procedure, so they went in to burn the extra electrical conductors of my heart. One of the doctors burned a hole in my heart, causing me to flat line for forty minutes. Because my brain was without oxygen for so long, I suffered a lot of brain damage. After my surgery I was diagnosed with PTSD and a traumatic brain injury.”

Q: How long have you been a medical cannabis patient?

“Officially, almost 7 months. I’m coming up on my follow up pretty soon here now that I think about it.”

 

Q: How were you treating your symptoms before?

“Right after the accident, they tried every antidepressant out there to help with my post-malpractice PTSD. I hated them all and I remember calling them in tears asking them to take me off of one of them and instead they doubled my dose. It was horrible. That went on for about two years and then I started seeing a neuropsychiatrist. He told me that I needed to get off all of the prescription drugs, go through physical therapy, and to try other more holistic ways to help with my tremors that came along with the nerve damage. I also used to take a medication that regulates my heart, one for seizures, and one for my tremors.

Another thing I had to do was relearn just about everything. I was very forgetful in the beginning; I still am but not as bad. My husband put inventory lists on all the cabinets, mapped out the grocery store aisle by aisle, and helped take care of the kids, all while helping me recover. It was frustrating. Patience was the most important aspect of my treatment plan during those moments.”

 

Q: Why did you choose medical cannabis as an option?

“Mainly because of my neuropsychiatrist and my daughter. Back in the early 2000’s he mentioned how it could be of benefit to me; however, back then it was still way too taboo for me to consider trying. But I wanted to get off of all of the pharmaceutical drugs and see if it could help me, and my daughter was treating her anxiety with CBD. I saw how effective it was for her and how she was able to get off of her medications. I was a little hesitant at first, but I talked with my psychologist about it last year and she also thought it was a great idea!

I was really tired of feeling as if I was going to be stuck on medications for the rest of my life. All of the different pills affected me in more negative ways than positive, and I wanted to feel like myself again. It took a lot of research for me to become at ease with booking an appointment, but I decided to go ahead and go for it to see what all the hype was about!

Q: Have you seen results?

“Yes. I’m still a new patient and trying to figure out what works best for me, but so far so good. I’ve been able to start weaning myself off of the medication I was using for tremors. I don’t have as much anxiety out in crowds and I don’t just lay around and watch television all day. I am able to take yoga classes every morning and be more active with my dogs. My house is cleaner, I am able to stay focused on a task and get things done. One big thing that I have noticed is the difference in my mood. I don’t get as upset as easily, or angry, or frustrated. I think it’s mainly because I am calm, focused and able to think clearly.”

Summary

Living with a traumatic brain injury can make day-to-day life a challenge of its own. Coping with the symptoms from it is never easy, but medical cannabis can help change that. If you are ready to take the next step towards a life of calmness and normalcy, schedule a risk-free medical exam with one of our certified Florida Medical Marijuana doctors.

[1] https://www.cdc.gov/traumaticbraininjury/index.html

[2} https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/traumatic-brain-injury/symptoms-causes/syc-20378557

[3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6200872/

[4] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5314139/