I am ecstatic that I live in one of the two states, Washington and Colorado, where voters were progressive enough to take on the responsibility of legalizing marijuana. It was a long time in coming and the right thing to do in my opinion. It is truly ridicules to flood our jails because of smoking a weed when alcohol kills thousands of people every year through traffic accidents while heightening the incidence of domestic violence nationwide, and remains legal in every state.
And unlike alcohol, marijuana can boast a number of positive outcomes that go well beyond just getting high. Lately many people have been watching with great interest at a number of new studies using THC and other compounds in marijuana in the treatments of a number of different diseases. It’s been long understood that marijuana has a positive effect for cancer patients who are being treated with Chemotherapy drugs and its ability to help them both eat and ultimately digest food that is otherwise difficult for these individuals during periods of treatment. And lately other studies have shown marijuana’s ability to slow and even stop some cancers ability to replicate and grow after being treated with many of the compounds found in pot. And these studies need to be continued without the fear of government intervention as has always been the case in the past when researchers wanted to do more complex research on how cannabis affects certain disorders like Parkinson’s and epileptic seizures, which, by the way, is showing extremely positive results in both of these disorders in newly released research studies.
In fact, I can personally think of two studies that I would like to see done with regards to Multiple Sclerosis if they aren’t being done already? My experience with marijuana and MS is that cannabis has a very positive effect on all forms of pain reduction with regards to MS and also greatly reduces the amount of daily nerve spasticity that is so commonly experienced by MS patients. And though I personally don’t relish the high that marijuana provides I also must admit that it does at least offer a couple hours of relief from a disease that otherwise is a constant annoyance every second of every minute of every hour of every day three hundred and sixty five days of the year.
I have been asked on a few occasions why I never got a marijuana medical green card to purchase the drug as a medication for my own disease and the answer was always because I felt three or four hundred dollars was an absurd price to pay for something that I only used on a rare occasion. And now with pot being legal in the state of Washington I no longer have to worry about this additional cost to my wellbeing.
So once again, thank you Washington State and Colorado State for being the forward thinking people that you are. And I certainly hope that this experiment in legalization both works and is replicated nationwide as time goes on. It is time for a gentler drug policy in the United States because the war that has been waged on drugs up to this point is just not working and new ideas are needed now so we can continue to move forward!
By Bill Walker
- I am currently on disability but would greatly appreciate finding either a writing or research position with regards to either Multiple Sclerosis or the environment where I could supplement my monthly income. If anyone is aware of either a permanent position or a freelance position where I could work from home I would love to hear from you. My contact email address is contained in my resume at the top of this blog page.
Recently I woke up with all the tell tale signs of an emerging cold, you know, the scratchy throat, the slightly more then usual MS weakness and tightness in my muscles a little sniff here a little sniff their with a sneeze or two thrown in for good measure. And it’s in these very early moments of an oncoming cold virus where I have to make a very difficult health choice. If I hit a cold hard as soon as I notice it coming on with mega doses of zinc I can almost always knock down both the severity of the cold as well as the duration of having to put up with this pesky little health annoyance by about half as much. And it would seem that the answer would be simple enough to deduce, but it’s not.
For all of the benefits that I get from using zinc to combat a cold I also have to accept a sudden flair in all of my MS symptoms after about the third day of using the zinc. And if I don’t stop completely after the fourth day I risk having a full blown MS attack that could last for days or even weeks. And this is knowledge that I have acquired over almost sixteen years of having both colds and Multiple Sclerosis so I know for a fact that this is how my body reacts to zinc.
And in fact, while were on the subject, this is pretty much the same choice I have to make when deciding whether or not to get a flu shot or not each year. I really don’t know what they put in the flu vaccine, though I’ve heard they use mercury as a preservative, but whatever is in it I seem to always have a reaction that in many cases is even worse then having the flu itself.
And when you consider that recent studies have shown high levels of iron deposits in MS patient’s brain lesions after they have passed away I just have to wonder if heavy metals are something that people who suffer from MS, or perhaps any autoimmune disorder, just can’t tolerate to much of in their systems.
However, these are not the only triggers when it comes to me personally and many of these other vitamins have nothing to do with metal in any way, or at least as far as I know. I cannot tolerate vitamin B12, same thing as above my symptoms go nuts after just a few days of trying to take it, however what’s strange is that, no other B vitamin seems to affect me like this. Vitamin E also seems to adversely affect my MS along with Cod Liver Oil, though Omega 3 fish oils don’t bother me at all.
And one final note here about iodine, I recently read that salt, or sodium, may play a part in triggering Multiple Sclerosis. And I can truly believe this as well, if the salt has iodine added to it which most of the time it does, as at some point years ago I tried taking iodine supplements, for some reason that I can’t remember anymore, and with in two days I stopped as my MS began to rebel violently to the addition of this nutrient in its more concentrated form.
Well that’s some of the things that affect me. I would be very interested in knowing what triggers other people with MS, or any autoimmune disease, have noticed in their lives? Who knows, maybe we can figure this thing out on our own!
By Bill Walker
It’s been quite a few years since I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis and over that period of time I cannot even speculate how many times I have read that exposer to higher temperatures is linked to a worsening of MS symptoms. And of course I don’t really doubt this, everyone’s experiences are different, but I most be the oddball out because it does not seem to be the temperature that bothers me but rather, the temperature combined with the humidity that does me in.
I can go out on any hot day where the humidity is low and not seem bothered at all by the actual temperature. And what is even stranger is that I can take a hot shower, where it is humid, and not feel any worse when I’m finished though to be honest, I don’t take long showers, so that might be the difference here?
On a slightly different note, I have also noticed that I sleep much better during the Winter months when the weather patterns are primarily influenced by low pressure systems instead of high pressure systems during the Summer months. And this also translates into less fatigue as well as a slight decrease in all of my MS symptoms during the Winter but I still don’t think this is correlated to temperature, or at least, not entirely.
Does anyone else see a difference in their MS symptoms during different weather patterns? I’m really curious!
by Bill Walker
Many people have complained about Obamacare and how it adversely affected their current healthcare coverage. It’s unfortunate, in my opinion, the one thing that could have saved a great deal of grief and made the entire system cheaper and fairer for everyone was a single-payer program for all. And yes, I’ve heard about the people who fly to the US from Europe or come from Canada for their operations, but you have to remember that these are the richest, the top one percent, of people who can afford to pay cash for their procedures because they don’t want to wait for their procedure to be scheduled in the future. It’s not that our healthcare system is so much better, it’s because they just don’t feel that they should have to wait if it’s not an emergency procedure. A single-payer healthcare system is fair for everyone!
SINGLE PAYER BEATS WASTE AND FRAUD
Healthcare in America is a $2.6 trillion dollar a year industry. Of that, $750 billion is estimated to be spent on procedures, medicine, and equipment that was unnecessary to begin with and only done to avoid law suits or increase the bottom line of a greed based medical and insurance industry. And another $60 billion is lost thru Medicare and Medicaid annually because of fraud nationally.
Until the Affordable Care Act, the average administrative cost to provide you with insurance was 37 percent of your personal or employer based insurance policy. Under the new law that drops to 20 percent. But in the cases of Medicare and Medicaid they cost only three percent for the government to administer your coverage.
O.K., let’s do the math: 37 percent of $2.6 trillion dollars is roughly $957 billion for administrative costs and profit for insurance companies and their investors otherwise known as Wall Street. At 20 percent, the amount is roughly $520 billion dollars for the same administrative bottom lines. Now if we had a single-payer system that cost only 3 percent for administrative costs, then cost would drop to roughly 72 billion dollars.
The Obama Administration currently has budgeted $250 million dollars a year to reign in Medicare and Medicaid fraud. My question, why not a billion dollars in an effort to reduce $60 billion dollars a year in fraud, down to maybe $5 billion or more?
Even without reducing the unnecessary costs mentioned above, that leaves almost a trillion dollars to cover all of the Americans who don’t have insurance under the old way of doing things. It saves money, and covers more people, so why not single-payer coverage?
Think about it and feel free to comment. As Pat Benatar once sang, “Hit me with your best shot!”
If Propofol sounds vaguely familiar to you it’s because it is the same drug that Michael Jackson overdosed on while using it as a sleeping aid. But it’s also the best damn MS treatment I’ve ever received since my diagnosis sixteen years ago bar none. If you’re not familiar with Propofol it’s a fairly new anesthesia medication that is administered via intravenous infusion just before surgery. And if used correctly it is a much safer drug that also has far fewer side effects, then many other drugs such as Ether or Sodium Pentathol that were used previously for the same purpose. In my case it was used for both a Colonoscopy many years ago and more recently for a Hernia operation.
In both cases where Propofol was used I can not stress enough at how much difference it made in almost all of my MS symptoms. The first thing I noticed upon waking up even though I had discomfort caused by each procedure was a total lack of pain in my lower back as well as no pain in either of my Sciatic Nerves running down my right and left leg’s. The second was a noticeable decrease in the amount of numbness in both my hands and feet. And the third was very little spasticity in my legs after each of these procedures. And this reduction of pain, numbness, and spasticity lasted more than twenty four hours after my discharge from the hospital.
Of course I have no idea how Propofol works or in fact what it really does to block your awareness while undergoing surgery but I would love having something like it as a sleep aid at night in a pill form specifically to treat Multiple Sclerosis and all of its other symptoms. I don’t know if Propofol is an anti inflammatory or not but it sure seemed much better at blocking my pain and numbness then anything else I’ve ever tried.
The benefits as far as I’m concerned were so impressive that I would certainly encourage researchers doing MS studies to spend some time looking into Propofol and any other drugs that work in the same manner as possible future treatments. Yes, it was that good at reducing my discomfort, period. It was as close to feeling like I didn’t have MS as I have felt since before my first major attack!
By Bill Walker