Chronic pain and medical marijuana
I recently saw a news story basically warning people about doctors ordering medical marijuana for their patients. Essentially making a big deal of certain doctors that had a large practice and now new rules being drawn up. The whole piece made me sad.
I am not a fan of news when they do medical stories and in the end it hurts people.
I’m writing this as my perspective as nurse.
Let’s talk about doctors with a lot of patients. I think what happens is people go to a doctor who are certified to prescribe and then they tell their friends and they tell their friends. Medical marijuana is truly a people powered medication. I always ask my patients and clients who they go to and did they like them and how much did it cost. I want to know who was thoughtful and who did a good assessment. Word travels fast.
Cost is a huge issue for people. Many people want to try this and they can’t afford it. Many people have been on opiates for years and they see this as a way to get off of them. I say good for you guys!
Pain is a huge issue. A lot of people have chronic pain and that pain has been solely managed by writing a prescription for 30 days and not much else.
I see a lot of pain management doctors. I don’t see a lot of pain management.
If someone asked me what I think should be at pain management I would say this:
meditation instruction/stress management
Medical marijuana consultation if the person is agreeable
Non-narcotic pain medication
Narcotics as a last resort
Example: I’ve had shingles twice. The first time it was around my eye so my brain was literally on fire. Very painful. I went to an urgent care and got the anti viral medications. Then, I asked for a few pain pills to get my thru until things started settle. I did some research got some supplements that would help. I took some foods out of my diet. (goodbye tomatoes I love you so much!)I went to acupuncture twice a week. The first fews days were terribly painful. In the end it went away quickly. I managed my pain. I didn’t need pain management. When I went back with my follow up with my eye doctor he was totally amazed. As a result I started working on a serious stress management program.
I think this kind of model can be used in a variety of scenarios.
In the last year since medical marijuanas has become legal I’ve seen a lot of people come off their narcotics because of medical marijuana and these medical marijuana doctors are more apt to also recommend other non medicine therapies to go along with pain management. I think they are just intuitively more natural and see the whole picture. The patient benefits in the end.
In the long run I think people are better off doing this than just getting a prescription every month without much else.
There are a lot of people out there with a lot of pain. We can certainly do things better without tearing people down. Medical marijuana is one tool in the toolkit of pain management. Let’s not make it harder for people to get if they need it.
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