Monthly Archives: June 2017

Therapeutic Cannabis for Pain

Note: I am largely off the internet at the moment. Guests have graciously offered blog posts that I believe will be of interest. Today’s is by Wendy E. N. Thomas, an extended member of my family. Wendy has appeared on NH Public Radio, WZID, WMUR Channel 9, and been featured in Parenting NH, Backyard Poultry, Woman’s Day, and Reader’s Digest for her chicken stories and adventures in thrift. Find her blog at https://simplethrift.wordpress.com/

By Wendy E. N. Thomas

I’m the mother of six kids. I have a job and I volunteer for community events. To look at me you’d never know that every few hours I either vape or eat an edible made from cannabis.

But I do.

I am a card-carrying member of the New Hampshire therapeutic cannabis program. This means a few things:

  • I have a physician who has known me for at least three months and who can vouch that I have a condition that fits the state’s criteria and I have symptoms that are on the state’s approved list.
  • I have a condition which has not responded to other treatments.
  • And I am allowed to purchase therapeutic cannabis at an approved dispensary.

In my case I have Lumbar Stenosis, a condition that arose from a combination of being hit by a car when young resulting in many orthopedic surgeries (years of favoring one side of my body) along with multiple high-weight baby pregnancies. And to top it all off, I have chronic Lyme disease that has left me with muscle and nerve damage, as well as arthritis. My poor body didn’t have a fighting chance.

My approved back condition comes with the approved symptom of chronic pain. Like many others who have chronic pain, in the past I have been on pain contracts (a narcotic prescription renewed every month). I have tried supplements, diets, and eaten so many over-the-counter anti-inflammatories that my gut may never recover. When you are in pain, you’ll try anything.

But I’d still be in pain. All. The. Time.

After hearing a friend’s story of how therapeutic cannabis helped him with his pain situation, I decided to try it out.

First thing you need to know about therapeutic cannabis – it’s not about getting high.

It’s about having a low dose of CBD/THC in your body at all times. Everything is measured and labeled. You know exactly how much you are taking.

Could you get high if you wanted to? Of course, just as you can get drunk on alcohol if you want to.

But for many of us who have been left on couches, numbed out by narcotics, when we are given something that finally tackles the pain, we don’t want to be zoned out – we want to get back in the game.

I am a writer. I need to have a clear mind when I write – I write while using my small doses of therapeutic cannabis.

I make plans for my daughter when she needs a ride, I shop, I read books, I make dinners for the family, and I watch the news while using this product. No one can tell, except that I seem a little more active these days. A little more excited about getting outside.

Since starting the NH therapeutic program, this is what I’ve found:

  • My pain level has gone down roughly 90 percent (I still have pain but there are times–extended moments–when I have no pain at all).
  • I haven’t taken one Motrin in the past five weeks (even though it’s rained almost the entire time and I don’t do well in rainy weather).
  • My muscle tremors have stopped.
  • My shooting nerve pain has stopped.
  • My blood pressure has gone down 29 points.
  • I sleep through the night.

There is definitely a stigma attached with marijuana, MJ, the wacky weed. We’ve all been taught that drugs are bad – did you see what they do to your brain? Recently Attorney General Jeff Sessions even said that “Good people do not smoke marijuana.” Pot is seen as a bad thing, an entry drug into hell. But here’s the thing, there is much we don’t understand about this plant. Sure it can make you high, but it also has a lot of healing properties. We shouldn’t be throwing the baby out with the bathwater. When used therapeutically, cannabis can literally give people their lives back.

Recently I participated in a 5K walk, something I wouldn’t have been able to do before starting the therapeutic program. I got a medal when I crossed the finish line. It hangs on my office wall – a reminder to never, ever give up.

IGF-I, the Key Factor in Cancer Growth

Note: I am largely off the internet at the moment. Guests have graciously offered blog posts that I believe will be of interest. Today’s post is by Robert Cohen, the NOTMilkMan. He heard my interview on the CBS NYC station’s Bob Salter Show and called me to connect. I love his sense of humor, though this post is scientific in nature.

By Robert Cohen

There are hundreds of millions of different proteins in nature, and only one hormone that is identical between any two species.  That powerful growth hormone is insulin-like growth factor, or IGF-I.  IGF-I survives digestion and has been identified as the key factor in breast cancer’s growth.

Women between the ages of 25 and 65 have been successfully targeted by the marketing representatives of the dairy industry’s milk promotion board. What the dairy industry neglects to advertise is the fact that cow’s milk contains a IGF- I.

If you believe that breast feeding “works” to protect lactoferrins and immunoglobulins from digestion (and benefit the nursing infant), you must also recognize that milk is a hormonal delivery system.  By drinking cow’s milk, one delivers IGF-I in a bioactive form to the body’s cells.

When IGF-I from cow’s milk alights upon an existing cancer…

“Human Insulin-like growth factor (IGF-I) and bovine IGF-I are identical. Both contain 70 amino acids in the identical sequence.”
– SCIENCE

“IGF-I is critically involved in the aberrant growth of human breast cancer cells.”
– Journal of the National Institute of Health

“Estrogen regulation of IGF-I in breast cancer cells would support the hypothesis that IGF-I has a regulatory function in breast cancer.”
– Molecular Cell Endocrinology

“IGF-I is a potent growth factor for cellular proliferation in the human breast carcinoma cell line.”
– Journal of Cellular Physiology

“Insulin-like growth factors are key factors for breast cancer growth.”
– Journal of Cellular Physiology

“IGF-I produces a 10-fold increase in RNA levels of cancer cells.  IGF-I appears to be a critical component in cellular proliferation.”
– Experimental Cellular Research

“IGF-I plays a major role in human breast cancer cell growth.”
European Journal of Cancer

“IGF-I has been identified as a key factor in breast cancer.”
The Lancet

“Serum IGF-I levels increased significantly in milk drinkers, an increase of about 10% above baseline but was unchanged in the control group.”
Journal of the American Dietetic Association

“IGF-1 accelerates the growth of breast cancer cells.”
SCIENCE

“Poor absorption of lactose may more than double the risk of ovarian cancer in women.”
– American Journal of Epidemiology

“Galactose is linked both to ovarian cancer and infertility…women who consume dairy products on a regular basis, have triple the risk of ovarian cancer than other women.”
– The Lancet

“Interest in the role of the IGF axis in growth control and carcinogenesis has recently been increased by the finding of elevated serum (IGF-I) levels in association with three of the most prevalent cancers in the United States: prostate cancer, colorectal cancer, and lung cancer. IGFs serve as endocrine, autocrine, and paracrine stimulators of mitogenesis, survival, and cellular transformation.”
– Journal of Cellular Physiology

“IGF-I reacts in a synergistic manner with estrogen, and plays a role in the growth and proliferation of ovarian cancer.”
– Journal of Clinical Endocrinology

For more, please visit http://notmilk.com/drharris.html

See also http://notmilk.com/drlarsen.html

Something His Hand Touched

Everyone must leave something behind when he dies… Something your hand touched some way so your soul has somewhere to go…

Ray Bradbury, Farenheit 451

The two-year anniversary of my son’s passing went forgotten by all but three people in my life.

This forgetting raises an irrational sorrow in my mind. How could they forget when my son passed?

But it wasn’t their lives that were devastated. Everyone has gone on with their lives. As is the nature of life.

What surprises me is not that people forgot. I expected that. What astonishes me is that some people actually did remember, and say something to me.

His passing happened the first Saturday in June. This year I returned to the conference center where he left this life.  After talking with other people at the vegetable stand, I walked to the room, the last room he ever saw with physical eyes. The door has been closed ever since that dreadful week, and a sign says under no circumstances is anyone to enter. The closest I can come to the last thing on earth he touched is the door knob to the room he had locked from the inside. So I held the knob to imagine some connection with his final few minutes as a human being.

Mary Lu knew where I had gone, and why, even though I had said nothing. She waited a little while, then came to check on me. This wise woman has always been a gracious presence in my life. She held me and listened as I rambled my jumbling thoughts.

I finally screwed up enough courage to ask—why had the room been closed for two years?

She said it was going to be remodeled.

Another friend later commented that the conference center people must have felt honored that my son felt safe there, and spent his final moments on their sacred ground. Its room had cradled his living body in preparation for its final rest. The room could never be the same again.

Thriver Soup Ingredient:

There is some sort of connection one can experience with the objects left by those we love. If nothing else, it can elicit memories, which gives us a sense, however briefly, of being with the person again.

Source: http://clipart-library.com

Sugarplums Dancing in my Bowl

The children were nestled all snug in their beds, / While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads

“A Visit from St. Nicholas,” by either Henry Livingston Jr. or Clement Moore

 

The children in this poem dreamed of sugarplums. What are sugarplums? I was amazed to learn in May that they were growing in my front yard.

In June 2016, I watched each morning as a robin picked all the little fruit from my serviceberry tree. During this past May, I read about these edible, nutritious delicacies. They have many names, including June, Saskatoon, prairie, shadbush, and pigeon berries, along with wild plum and chuckley pear.

And sugarplum.

This summer birds squawked nearby each morning as I picked the berries while red, because the fruit would not last long enough on the shrub to turn a darker shade.

They are shaped like small blueberries yet are more related to the apple family. Their mildly sweet, almondish flavor contribute plenty of fiber, protein, antioxidants, and nutrients to my breakfast.

They go great with diluted coconut butter, chia seeds, and soaked/dehydrated raw pecans. Maybe this coming Christmas, long after these berries are consumed, I’ll be dreaming of sugarplums dancing in my breakfast bowl.

Thriver Soup Ingredient

More than 50,000 plants species—and possibly more than 80,000–on our planet are edible. Only about 3,000 of these species are regularly used as food. 103 species make up 90 percent of our plant food supply.

That’s paltry.

By expanding the types of foods we eat, we can expand the nutrients available to us. Perhaps check out #WholeFoods, #JungleJim’s, and some farmers’ markets this summer to discover some new tastes and textures.

Sources:

http://mentalfloss.com/article/26719/mystery-behind-worlds-most-famous-christmas-poem

Nutritional resource: http://saskatoonberryinstitute.org/saskatoons/

http://www.efloras.org/florataxon.aspx?flora_id=1&taxon_id=101333

https://www.quora.com/How-many-different-plants-do-humans-eat