Just Say “No” to Poisonous Snakes

When I was growing up, I dreamed I would work for Walt Disney. I envisioned myself as a dancing and singing teenage star on television and in movies.

I ended up on the air in Hollywood rock and roll radio on Sunset Boulevard instead where I never had to dance or sing and wearing those black plastic mouse ears was optional business attire. And then, suddenly, the radio station was sold and real-life needs (such as eating) forced me to seek employment opportunities elsewhere.

The biggest shift in our lives can occur in those frightening moments when our plans and dreams abruptly fall apart. Out of the blue we can find ourselves falling into chaos and forced to watch order and disorder battling it out to see which side will win.

That wildly unsteady profession of Los Angeles radio broadcasting crushed me emotionally. But I chose to be mature and refocus my life. I headed instead back to school and ended up with two graduate degrees and a full-time career as an educator at the university level. I also went for training and certification to become a professional life coach to help people improve their lives. This is what I focus upon today.

I recently found myself yet again thrust into another danger zone of chaos. However, this time it felt more painful because I was not merely on my own and making choices solely for me.

My life partner since 1996, Sam Glass, Jr., has a family medical history of osteoarthritis and high blood pressure. Over the years, things went pretty well for him as he relied upon physicians routinely recommending a variety of FDA-approved prescription medications as treatment for his ongoing joint pains and hypertension. But he unexpectedly developed an allergy to a commonly prescribed ACE-inhibitor developed from the poisonous venom of a South American snake. The unintended outcomes were quite severe—complete respiratory failure, two cardiac arrests, and kidney disease requiring multiple dialyses.  

Early in the morning on Thanksgiving Day in 2018 while he was crafting what was to be our festive holiday meal later that day, this African American male at age 58 started experiencing difficulty breathing. His throat was rapidly swelling shut. Medical professionals saved his life in a Las Vegas hospital emergency room procedure involving the insertion of a plastic tube into his trachea so he could continue breathing. He ultimately emerged successfully from a coma and could be taken off life support, but then had to spend many weeks in intensive care.

I felt helpless to mitigate what was happening to him, but that taught me something crucial. As we grow older, I think we should become advocates for ourselves if we expect our interests in health and wellbeing to be protected. I’m troubled by the medical community’s apparent decreased reliance upon nature and embracing technology. I know now we can seek some other direction for our healthcare rather than waiting for an approved RX drug to make us feel worse or threaten to kill us.

For me, medical marijuana became the other direction of choice for reducing pain and suffering for myself and for the people I love. This is why I became a cannabis advocate.

Laws have been rewritten in numerous states and the District of Columbia authorizing medical marijuana as an alternative to the traditional approaches to treating pain and suffering for people with AIDS, cancer, and other serious illnesses. You may wonder why anyone would consider turning to this organic agriculture alternative to ease pain and suffering. Here’s my blunt answer: Seeing the joy in the eyes of a loved one who manages chronic pain with medical marijuana is an indelible personal experience.

I launched an online community called MedicinePlantNetwork.com to share emerging awareness about the cannabis industry. I provide research-based cannabis advocacy training and orientation to educate people that otherwise might never become savvy about a strange plant known for thousands of years to have medicinal properties.

Like many of my fellow Nevadans today I use marijuana products legally. I have personal experience using CBD (cannabidiol) under my tongue, in pill and capsule form, in vaping, and also in cream and lotion form rubbed into skin for relieving pain. I also use today’s emerging blends of CBD plus THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) for the “entourage effect” derived when these two cannabis ingredients are combined.

Where you happen to live has everything to do with which options are open to you if you want to consider medical marijuana to reduce pain and suffering. My online community and others like it can provide opportunities for everyday people to questions and answers so everyone benefits from each person’s lessons learned.

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