Should Your Aging Parent Try Marijuana?

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Does Granny Need Weed?

We recently took a vacation with Alice, Mikol’s 91 year old Mom.  Some time ago, with a chronic insomnia problem, her kids and grandkids talked her into trying medical marijuana. In CA, it’s legal to use marijuana if you have a recommendation from a physician. An in-person exam is required. She had to ask two doctors, but got the ok and learned where the nearest marijuana dispensary was. She got a dose of the edible kind and she tried it out.  She isn’t a patient person, and when it didn’t work right away, she gave up on it.  She had no qualms about using it, but she didn’t think it was effective.

She’s doing very well for 91, and was able to get on a plane and make the trip by herself.  We all had a fine time. She needs help with distance walking but otherwise she exercised in the pool, went out to dinner, sat by the beautiful lake, played games and went to the casino. However, just before the week ended, she fell in the bathroom and landed on her tailbone. Ouch!  She was in pain.  She doesn’t like narcotic pain medication, as it doesn’t agree with her. The usual anti-inflammatories didn’t help.

Marijuana for Pain Management?

Mikol suggested she try edible marijuana for the pain. She had never tried it for pain and she was willing. She got some, the kind that is in a sort of chocolate bar.  She took a tiny piece and it helped some. Increasing the size of the piece worked exceptionally well.  We all went to the movies that night and she sat through the movie without having to get up even once.

She also slept well that night and was able to survive the plane ride home. We did have concerns about her carrying the weed-laced candy through the airport.  We were hoping not to get a call from anyone telling us Alice was stopped before boarding because someone thought she looked suspicious and smelled like marijuana. Can you imagine the scene?  She gets a wheelchair escort to the plane so maybe that threw off any suspicions.   Besides, she doesn’t look like a pothead at all. She called us after she landed and a friend picked her up at the airport. Whew!  Glad the Feds and their sniffer dogs weren’t hanging out at airport security.

In truth, this is CA.  The TSA in San Francisco wouldn’t particularly care even if they searched her purse and found the stuff.  She’s legit.

Her home is close to a legal medical marijuana dispensary and her helper will take her there to get enough of this medicine to last for as long as the pain in her backside lasts. What we see so far is that it helps her mood, as well as the tailbone pain.  She got better relief from a tiny piece of medical marijuana in a candy form than she did from standard narcotic pain medication.  She had no side effects from the edible marijuana.  I thought it was great.

I am sure there are some of you reading this who will disagree. I am not advocating using medical marijuana if you are against the idea or fearful of it.  But I do see that pain relief is a very good argument for it, especially when I see how helpful it is to Alice. And it does not have the difficult side effects of drugs she would be prescribed by her medical doctors. She is only a few days past her injury and she is doing better already. She still has some pain, but now she has a reasonable, effective way to control it.

Undaunted by the fall incident, Alice intends to keep her plans to go to the beach with one of her girlfriends next month.  Her friend is younger, drives at night and is more able-bodied than Alice.  It will probably work out all right.  She loves the beach.  We’ve encouraged her to lay in a supply of those marijuana chocolate bars as needed.  As long as the place she’s staying has no drug sniffing dogs, we expect she’ll do just fine.

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