ME: I wanted to talk to you about meds.
Bloody Brain: You take too many.
ME: I hate taking all those meds. But I'm not sure what to do about it. The worst are the anti-seizure meds and antidepressants.
BB: Well, duh. But let's not talk generalities--what you're wondering about is replacing most of what you take with medical marijuana.
ME: Well, yes. I wanted to ask your opinion.
BB: It seems to me that you need to do more research. As in, if medical marijuana also involves a high, it might very well be a no go for you. You know how anything like that affects you. You don't even drink booze for God's sake. But if there's a strain of cannabis that takes care of seizures, depression, and pain, and does not get you high, clearly that should be the way to go. Oh, and no smoking or inhaling. You want something along the lines of a pill or capsule or something.
ME: You're probably right.
BB: But clearly, it'll take a while before medical marijuana becomes readily available here in Pennsylvania. So at this point let's try to look at it at a more theoretical level. Let's figure out the meds you're currently on.
ME: Yup. As you said, I take too many. I've never been comfortable with that.
BB: Okay, so let's examine them one by one. First the anti-seizure meds. At this point I think you have to stick with those. There's no way you're risking seizures. Very uncomfortable for me, and they could really cramp your lifestyle—certainly no driving.
ME: Don't forget the danger of falling and causing additional brain damage. Also as mood stabilizers…
BB: True, you need something to combat depression. Speaking of which, let's talk anti-depressants. Clearly the anti-seizure meds weren't quite doing the trick and increasing the dose further was not an option. So really there's not choice there either. Severe depression is severe depression. It has to be treated effectively. Especially since in your case it's obviously biological—you're not using antidepressants frivolously. So you need to stay on both the anti-seizure stuff for both seizures and depression, both serious issues. And of course you need the antidepressants as well.
ME: Agreed--m the antidepressants and anti-seizure meds are a must. I may not like them but it really is a matter of survival, life-threatening conditions.
BB: Okay what's next? The Deplin… That's part of the depression thing, addressing the Vitamin B something deficiency. So again, that's a must.
ME: I guess, though I don't feel as strongly about that as the others.
BB: I know. But let's play it safe for now.
ME: Fair enough. Next—Verapamil for blood pressure. I'll do anything to cut down on the chances of new bleeds.
BB: You have to do what you have to do. But so you know, I object—it is what I do, bleeds. So I'm not particularly happy about the Verapamil--it cramps my style.
ME: Let's not go there now. I'm the one who controls what goes in my mouth, and I say yes to blood pressure meds.
BB: I hate to tell you, but I do have some input. Pain killers, remember?
ME: How can I possibly forget? Because of you, I can't take any blood thinners, or any of the triptans for migraines because they constrict blood vessels. I cant' take any opioids because of my hypersensitivity to neurological effects. And my allergy to codeine, but that's not your fault.
BB: Okay, I get it--it's mostly my fault. Whatever. It is what it is.
ME: As you said, whatever. For now, at least. So we basically agree that replacing the anti- meds is problematic and kind of scary, at least for me.
BB: But we also seem to agree that you should look further into marijuana. But since it's not quite set up here yet, there really isn't much you can do now.
ME: I guess I'm willing to experiment with medical cannabis as a pain killer. Nothing else really works... And from what I read, it can't cause any harm.
BB: Except the high...
ME: Wait, maybe there is something I can do now, or nowish. If I get an excruciating headaches next time in Colorado, which is essentially guaranteed, I could check out the marijuana capsules for pain that Cindy mentioned. She said they really help with pain and she doesn't get high from them.
BB: Good idea. Getting back to our discussion—what about the various supplements you take. Any way you cut back on those, or eliminate them altogether?
ME: We already talked about the Deplin, and the rest are really about brain stuff. Vitamin D, Omega 3. I suppose I could get rid of the Vitamin B12, but that's just a tiny one. I've eliminated the rest, the stuff that doesn't affect my brain directly.
BB: So we're back to you taking nasty meds, the antis.
ME: That's what it looks like to me. So, plan of action--pain killing cannabis when in Colorado.
BB: Yep, that's it.