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‘Apocalypse Now’: I Love the Smell of Hashish in the Morning

Helicopters were whirling in my brain.

Turns out, it was a solitary police one.

Though it was another hot night, my wife closed my windows in case of a prowler. I’m on the ground floor, after all.

It was a dark moment in my life. Another relapse had struck and all I could see was more coming.

The helicopter kept whirring, so I imagined more of them and leapt into the opening scene of “Apocalypse Now.” In an impossible situation, there was no point in doing the possible. I might as well push the envelope to 11! I don’t use mixed metaphors but am all for mixed cultural (film) references!

I had some pure liquid THC on me that I had used for my neuropathic right arm leading up to Christmas! But, with the withdrawal of my disease-modifying therapies and my increasing pain, I threw my arm to my local GPs for help. I was incredibly grateful to be prescribed gabapentin, and, when this was insufficient, Lioresal (baclofen). On top of this, I was eventually prescribed diazepam to deal with spasms.

At first, it was very choppy sailing. The gabapentin was not enough on its own or during spasms. I was taking rather a lot. My doctor gently told me this drug worked slowly, then prescribed half of a 10-milligram tablet of baclofen three times a day.

Besides being rather impossible to manage, this didn’t really cut it. We settled on one tablet three times a day. This has worked, and we’ve stuck with it. A discussion with a doctor is heavily weighted toward the patient when screaming is used. Not then and there, unless it happens, but more as a descriptive incentive!

The spasms, though, were another thing. For those, 5 milligrams of diazepam has worked brilliantly. At times I’ve had to take two tablets to quell the beast. (It’s OK — that’s allowed.)

Now, I can also arm it off at the pass. Like any animal, I know when a storm is coming. And I have the power to quell it!

Back to my liquid naughtiness. Since my pain had been controlled, I hadn’t used the THC. It would be for pleasure, and I had so many medications in my system that I didn’t see the need for any more.

In fact, I had no idea that marijuana came in a liquid form until I was 23 and on my own soul quest across Canada. It was amazing what a suburban boy learned from this adventurous sojourn — more than I learned in three years at university. It also taught me resilience and to accept what something was, rather than what I wanted it to be. Maybe some of that is still with me now.

In the present moment, I felt lost. Diazepam controlled the pain, but only my left arm worked. I pressed pipette fulls of THC into the dregs of my cocoa. Some missed and landed on my nappy. I licked it off with my good hand! Quite a trick balancing my cocoa and all. What would my carers think in the morning?

For the next 36 hours, I was completely stoned. The downside for my family is that I cried an awful lot. Nearly as much as when Bowie died!

The upside is that I felt no trigeminal neuralgia (TN) pain for those 36 hours. Well, I felt it, but I just didn’t care! My doctors want me to cut down on the oxcarbazepine I use for it. So much so that I’ve recently taken three 300-milligram tablets of gabapentin instead of two tablets three times a day! What’s strange is that I was told my TN pain took a completely different route and couldn’t be controlled by normal painkillers!

So, I’ve independently discovered that an enormous dose of THC will sort it. My family will just have to deal with a reckless power wheelchair-driver who weeps a lot.

And there’s the impossibility of me working as a moderator on Multiple Sclerosis News Today (MSNT) — not just because I was stoned and weeping, but because all the letters were blurs.

That could be the result of the diazepam or just the mix.

For obvious reasons, this is the only trip I can now take! When it was over, I actually felt better.

Apologies to my family and those at MSNT who had to deal with it.

Out. OK, I was well out!!

Note: Multiple Sclerosis News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Multiple Sclerosis News Today or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to multiple sclerosis.

In the midst of an MS relapse, columnist John Connor struggles to find pain relief. Here's what happened when he tried THC.

Therapeutic potential of cannabinoids in trigeminal neuralgia

Affiliation

  • 1 Department of Pharmacology, College of Medicine, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan 701, Taiwan.
  • PMID: 15578967
  • DOI: 10.2174/1568007043336833

Therapeutic potential of cannabinoids in trigeminal neuralgia

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Authors

Affiliation

  • 1 Department of Pharmacology, College of Medicine, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan 701, Taiwan.
  • PMID: 15578967
  • DOI: 10.2174/1568007043336833

Abstract

Trigeminal neuralgia is a disorder of paroxysmal and severely disabling facial pain and continues to be a real therapeutic challenge to the clinicians. While the exact cause and pathology of this disorder is uncertain, it is thought that trigeminal neuralgia caused by irritation of the trigeminal nerve. This irritation results from damage due to the change in the blood vessels, the presence of a tumor or other lesions that cause the compression of the trigeminal root. The pain of trigeminal neuralgia is characterized by unilateral pain attacks that start abruptly and last for varying periods of time from minutes to hours. The quality of pain is usually sharp, stabbing, lancinating, and burning. The attacks are initiated by mild stimuli such as light touch of the skin, eating, chewing, washing the face, brushing the teeth, and exposure to wind. Although antiepileptic drug therapy may be beneficial in the treatment of trigeminal neuralgia, up to one-half of the patients become refractory or intolerant to these medications. At present there are few other effective drugs. In cases of lacking effect after pharmacotherapy, surgical options may be considered. Currently there is growing amount of evidence to suggest that the psychoactive ingredient in cannabis and individual cannabinoids may be effective in alleviating neuropathic pain and hyperalgesia. Evidence suggests that cannabinoids may prove useful in pain modulation by inhibiting neuronal transmission in pain pathways. Considering the pronounced antinociceptive effects produced by cannabinoids, they may be a promising therapeutic approach for the clinical management of trigeminal neuralgia.

Trigeminal neuralgia is a disorder of paroxysmal and severely disabling facial pain and continues to be a real therapeutic challenge to the clinicians. While the exact cause and pathology of this disorder is uncertain, it is thought that trigeminal neuralgia caused by irritation of the trigeminal ne …