The process of healthy living is an ever-changing and experimental design where we experience, learn, do, experience, readjust, learn, do, experience, readjust, and repeat. That's a good thing. Sometimes, we get it right the first time. Sometimes we don't. The point is we never stop trying to be the best us we can be.
In medicine, both pharmaceutical and alternative, the point is to find ways to heal a person, safely, quickly, and cost-effectively (though cost should never be a reason not to be healthy). This is done in ways that are meant to be beneficial and lacking in harm. Researchers test these processes to improve and review them. That's a good thing.
That's what I'm doing.
Scientists will say that the world is made up of chemicals, and that's true. However, some people will see medicines only in terms of harmful chemicals (like what's under their sink) mixed together in ways that lead people to see their strange, long, and unpronounceable names as some evil force.
This is not to say all medicine, regular or alternative, is bad or good, but it is to say that pronunciation and personal lack of understanding should not define anything's effectiveness.
Keep in mind, your doctor and scholarly research can help you make informed choices on this.
It's easy to understand, but it's important to remember all of our bodies work differently, so effects may vary. Also, as based on peanut and shellfish allergies, even "natural" products may not jive with our bodies.
For my time with Parkinson's, my body has been very "sensitive" to some pharmaceuticals (as my neurologist says). In fact, some of these medicines' symptoms are downright scary.
PLEASE NOTE - I talk about my symptoms not to disparage a medicine, but rather to express my experience and stimulate informed conversation with your providers - not an absolutism for all people everywhere.
Whether we get better living through one or the other type of treatment, it is often our body's choice on how we handle things. For instance, I had problems with Artane (trihexyphenidyl) though other people don't. I had problems with Requip (ropinerole) though other people don't (nevertheless, its problematic side effects are more common in people than some other medications - a discussion I had yesterday with my neurologist). I almost instantly had problems with Benztropine (cognitive) and Prozac (weird woozy / nauseous). Thus, I quit both inside a week.
My time on Benztropine was so short, I had to look up the name of it again! Thus, sometimes, we just know when it's bad, so I removed it from my life pronto.
Also note, while I wasn't thrilled to be needing to be on Prozac (my problem is anxiety / obsessing on what if - not depression), I did find SOME NOT ALL of Lexapro to be OK for the time I was on it. I liked the purr like a cat feeling (oh, the sky is falling. that's OK). I didn't like the lack of amorous / positive feeling. Also, while on it and Azilect, I couldn't drink. Not that I need a Yuengling now, but it wasn't an option anymore.
Now, I'm going without it, which my doctor felt was better in spring and summer since it doesn't coincide with seasonal affective disorder kicking in at the same time. I feel more under control, but I do recognize that this may change and necessitate a return to it.
I have had luck with Azilect (rasagiline). It's my go to zombie killing medicine. Put simply, my body thinks my dopamine producing cells are evil. Hence, it tries to kill them. The medicines kill the defense system, which allows dopamine to flow free. If it doesn't, my brain gets filled with Lewy bodies, which are zombie-like.
As a former educator, I am big on empirical understanding as well as hermeneutic phenomenology, which is me describing what's going on in detail so others can find meaning in it.
That said, sometimes, we need to accept life's problems for what they are. Don't touch a hot stove. Don't put a fork in a socket. Don't touch a snake that looks like a copperhead (even if it just turns out to be a non-venomous northern water snake - it still bites). However, when we have a choice...
Then we should try all of our options.
Thus, at my wife's urging and through one of her friend's advice, I am trying HEMP OIL.
First and foremost, I was never a big fan of medical marijuana as the be all / end all answer, so I'm not going into this looking to promote that cause. However, in this version of treatment, I am willing to see what will come.
When I asked my neurologist about medical marijuana, his statement was too little bang for too much money. This Pennsylvania government website explains some of that. Insurance tends not to cover it as well, which makes it cost ineffective. Also, while it stops tremors (helps symptoms), it doesn't replace or create dopamine. There are also side effects with it. Additionally, while it is legal in some states, it's regulated, and it does have issues (see Michael J. Fox Foundation).
Once again, it might work for you, but it might not.
In order to see firsthand how HEMP OIL works, I am working with the good folks at Beefitandhealthy in West Reading, Pennsylvania, to see how their HEMP OIL product (not medical marijuana and not cannabis-originated sources - rather hemp sources) might help my tremors and anxiety.
Note that hemp oil is LEGAL. CBD oil is not legal in many places since it contains THC. Hemp oil does not, AND it's from a different plant.
The legality of CBD is still a slippery slope. I am not a lawyer. I'm just a blogger. Take my advice as an opportunity to further research this at qualified sources through people who are pros.
I found this site, which said the following on legalilty (see it for all states - the columns are recreation use, medical use, both, and legislation):
In short, my goal is to not have to Take a Walk on the Wild Side (detailed descriptions of dopamine agonist effects on MY - NOT EVERY - BODY), not have as many tremors, and feel relaxed. Fortunately, I have this option because the Farm Bill of 2014 helped pave the way. Now, as my doctor said, "Many patients swear by this."
My journey will begin as soon as I go back on AMANTADINE or switch to GOCOVRI (a newer, improved Amantadine - name brand only, so I might not be able to get insurance to cover it - NOTE - after looking at manufacturer's website for effects, I chose against this. Money was not an issue). Amantadine was my original anti-tremor med. It kept me up late, but I woke up ready to go. It also gave me a rash, but it isn't a concern (except when it is), though it isn't sex-a. No chance of me doing Magic Mike sessions any time in the near future if I'm on that.
In short, that option for dopamine benefits is my last option before going Levodopa / Carbidopa, which only lasts so long before a body becomes requires more of it to benefit from it (when symptoms become worse and create more potential side effects like dyskinesia). Then, it's deep brain stimulation time.
TRIGGER WARNING - THIS SHOWS PATIENT GETTING BRAIN SURGERY
My goal is to let Lisa and Amy help me out in this journey to keep being Dan by testing their medicines to see how they work for me.
In Lisa's words regarding the hemp oil I'll be using...
"Our company spent nearly a decade developing a highly effective strain of hemp. Most hemp companies rely upon CO2 extraction because it is cheaper and easier than lipid infusion. Our lipid process infuses the full range of plant nutrients directly into a carrier oil. we use organic coconut oil and MCT oil."
She does make it clear that her product still contains ".03% THC which is legally allowed due to the 2014 US Farm Bill."
Finally, she added how "lipid infusion provides the highest terpene and phytocannabinoid profile as well as vitamins, minerals, flavonoids and polyphenois from the hemp plant."
I'll be detailing my journey as time goes by. I look forward to seeing where it goes. Being healthy and tremor free sounds like a good thing!
They also offer other services, if you're so inclined (such as ionic foot detox and reiki). I recommend going in there to see for yourself.
In the end, your future has options. Some work; some don't. Explore the possibilities and share them with others!
Learn enough to make your life the best it can be!
When it comes to hemp oil, I have nothing to lose but my tremors.