Alzheimer’s, Mom and Cannabis

It is Skunk PharmResearch’s policy to let patients tell their own story, but in the case of mom, as her daughter and 24/7 caregiver, I will speak for her.  She is in the late seventh and final stage of Alzheimer’s and would want her story told.

Mom was diagnosed as late stage six when she came to me from Seattle four years ago.  She was given six more months to live. She began displaying symptoms before 1998, but she wasn’t diagnosed until 2001, following her first husband’s death.  It took that long to resolve other health issues and get her to a neurologist.

Just the thought of Alzheimer’s frightened her so, that we eventually had to trick her, to get her to a doctor for testing.   Once tested and diagnosed, they put her on Aricept, which brought back cognitive skills, with slow decline for the next seven years while my step brother cared for her in her own home.  Along with other western meds, this was her medical course.

When Mom’s Alzheimer’s progressed to the point that she became combative and personal hygiene became an issue, my brother planned to put her in a nursing home, but I quit my job to look after her.  I moved her to Portland with me and took over her care, to focus on the quality of her remaining life.

For five months prior to her arrival, I immersed myself into learning as much about Alzheimer’s as possible, researching and joining The Alzheimer’s Association, as well as the Online Alzheimer’s Support Group, spending as much time as possible conversing with patients and caregivers alike, to prepare myself for the task.

When Mom arrived, besides being on five over the counter drugs, she was on three inhalers and a pill for asthma, blood pressure meds, allergy meds, anti psychotics that made her angry, anti seizure meds that made her delusional, plus three others I have no idea what they were used to combat.

We got her an OMMP card immediately upon her arrival.  She had smoked cannabis recreationally with me for over thirty years, but never medically until she came toOregon. Cannabis was my only means of mitigating her despicable behavior (psychotic).

Her physical health was also poor, so I changed her diet, eliminated dairy, wheat and gluten. I prepared and feed her home cooked meals, using whole organic ingredients, supplemented with quality vitamins and minerals.

I’ve continued to work with her doctor to straighten out her mishmash of meds.  He started with large doses of anti psychotics to combat the behavioral issues (with potential seizure/death side effect), and we systematically took her off as many of the other drugs as possible.  Meanwhile, I started trying the different forms of cannabis concentrates.

The first extractions were cannabis essential oils using hot grape seed oil, but she didn’t like the flavor and refused to ingest it.

Given that unused meds are 100% ineffective, I next tried honey elixir, thinking she might go for the sweetness of the honey, but no luck.

No luck with fudge either, even though she loves chocolate.

I quickly determined that the only way to get substantial doses into mom would be via concentrates, so after experimenting with bubble hash combined with coconut oil as a menstruum, I focused on hash oil in an effort to improve consistency and homogeneity for consistency in dosing.

More specifically I began to experiment on my version of the Holy Anointing Oil from Exodus, using coconut oil instead of olive oil, and brewed from essential oils, as opposed to using the biblical perfumer’s extraction practices.

More on that medication at:  http://skunkpharmresearch.com/holy-anointing-oil-and-holy-shit/

It worked beautifully!  The flavor of the cannabis was concealed by the remaining essential oils in the ingredients.  She loved it, and to my delight, she became happier and less combative.

Mom transformed from aggressive and angry to the cheerful woman I knew from childhood.  Instead of slapping my cheeks, she caressed them tenderly and moved my hair from my face as she told me she loved me.  From her isolation came the interaction and humor required to joke with us.   From frantic shuffling and hiding of objects she began offering them for my use.  Rather then kicking, biting and hitting, she became happily compliant, even cooperative.  She literally became a social butterfly!

Mom also suffered extensively from muscle spasms, particularly in her legs, typically relieved by dancing the night away together. But one night I thinned some HAO oral with coconut oil, to reduce the cinnamon oil below topical TLV as an irritant and to improve penetration.  After slathering her leg with the modified HAO, the cramps went away, allowing her to go back to sleep.  She woke 20 minutes later complaining of the other leg.  Again, HAO topical and back to sleep! HAOT was born.

It took nearly two years working with her doctor to get her medical care stabilized and a permanent “Primary Care Practitioner” (PCP) established.  We were able to get her off of most of the original drug regiment, and determined that her psychotic episodes were directly related to urinary tract infections, for which she is susceptible.

With cultures and medications, we were able to get the UTIs in check which eliminated the need for the anti psychotic, Seroquil.  We determined that it was medicating the behavioral issues related to UTI’s, rather then psychotic behavior associated with dementia.  Since Seroquil has black box warnings (death) for the elderly, I was more than pleased to eliminate it.

She had begun having seizures after starting seroquil. a potential side effect even with anti seizure meds.  The pharmaceutical consultation revealed anti seizure meds also cause seizures if doses are missed, late or low dose was taken.  Once on anti seizure meds, one must stay on them.  He warns that it permanently lowers the resistance to seizures, although other pharmacists suggested a slow taper is possible.

The delusional side effects of Dilantin, her original medication, are ill advised for a demented patient.   It took me nearly two and a half years to talk the doctors into letting me try a slow wean off the Dilantin, hoping the fact she had not taken Seroquil for over six months and that her cancer doses of cannabis might stop potential seizures.  Although her cognitive capabilities were notably and significantly improved, she still seized, even with using a slow taper and cannabis.

We next went to Depekote, which gave her diarrhea.  We weaned her slowly, as it is also an antidepressant.  That took nearly three weeks.  The diarrhea kept her in constant battles with UTIs, which tend to promote seizures in demented patients, a vicious downward spiral.  We began feeding her Metamucil cookies.  It seemed like that was all she ate.

We then put her on Lamotragine.  When she seized, the dose was increased…..which gave her diarrhea.  Back to that vicious cycle.  More cookies and holy root balm to rescue her poor little raw butt! I used MU’s recipe with my twist (thanks MU!).

Next we tried Gabapentin, hoping that she would acclimate to the initial drowsiness.  Again she seized on the dose, so we increased the night dose to compensate.  The results were diarrhea….more cookies.

Keppra is well accepted for seizures, but it too gives Mom diarrhea.  Opium tincture is the last choice drug for its control.  Dosing is easier and we have more time and room for nutritious/delicious food.  It was time for closer supervision; she was placed on in home hospice care.  Weekly she gets visits from health care, social and spiritual sectors.

I don’t know what we will try next; perhaps, if Mom had never gone on anti seizure meds (off label for muscle spasms), she would only be on cannabis today.  She has never had seizures until now, nor have there been any record of seizures in our family…ever!  She was given Dilantin for muscle spasms, when western medicine quit prescribing Quinine, deeming it damaging to the body, and seizures are not?  But, perhaps the seizures are caused by Alzheimer’s itself, an unusual but occasional occurrence.

The good and interesting news is, with all of what has been happening to mom, I began a mega dose (two plus grams/day) to try and alter her mood.  We dose her every two hours (or our life is hell).  During that period of time, I increased her dose to between .3 and .5 grams.  That is six or seven doses a day or on the light side, 62 grams per month….more then a cancer cure…in one month.

The results were quite unexpected.  The cognitive changes were unmistakably positive.  She began to interact appropriately, become more animated and loving, and appropriately reactive, choosing short phrases.  In short, her cognitive thinking had improved!  She even played jokes on us. When Dino came to visit; she hugged him and kissed him and said “it’s been so long since I seen you.”  Then demanded another round of hugs and kisses!

Even her doctor, whom does not normally sign for medical cannabis cards, noticed the dramatic improvement, saying, “I wish all my Alzheimer’s patients were on cannabis.  Look at her quality of life!”  She signs Mom’s renewals no questions asked.

Where everyone I know (even those with huge tolerances) would be stupid, asleep or puking on two plus grams of cannabis oil in ten hours; mom has gained cognitive capacity!  Who’d of thought?

I read that CBD’s are the anti seizure cannabinoid, so I grew some plants with balanced THC/CBD to see if they can save Mom from seizures and I can add mitigation of seizures, to the list of ailments for which she no longer takes western medication.  To date, those include asthma, arthritic pain, agitation and anxiety of Alzheimer’s, sleeplessness, blood pressure, and muscle spasms.

Mom lost another ten pounds from diarrhea trying the different western meds, but I have Hippie Chicken hanging and will be extracting her soon.  Hopefully, mom will eat then.  (It has become obvious that high CBD strains induce appetite.  She eats well after anti seizure cannabis medication. Hopefully others can watch that tendency to see if this is an isolated response.)

After getting Mom on the high CBD medications, we took our time weaning her off anti seizure meds, ten days on each reduction, with four total reductions.  She did fine during the reduction, but the balanced CBD cannabis did not give her the needed behavioral change of psychotic effects of THC, so we backed her off to .1 mg per dose in balanced CBD/THC oil and the rest of her cannabis dose in high THC strains.

Once off western anti seizure meds, she faired well for nearly three weeks before she seized, at which time we adjusted the dosing to try and compensate for the lowered level of CBD in her system.  Just prior to bed we gave her a full gram of balanced CBD/THC oil, then again as she slept in the morning such that it would wear off by the time she woke.    Six days later she seized again, so we put her on immediate doses of Lorazapam, then back on Keppra, with liquid Opium to combat the diarrhea.

Next I’d like to try Betane Hydrochloride to aid in digestion for the diarrhea.  Although Mom’s life is limited in length, it would be nice if she did not have to take the opiates.  Updates will follow.

For now, she is on anti seizure meds, opiates for diarrhea, cannabis for asthma, blood pressure, muscle spasms, arthritic pain and sleeplessness, anxiety, aggression of Alzheimer’s.  She weighs 86 pounds at 5’4” now.  She eats and drinks but not enough to sustain.  (Even hippie chicken didn’t work as well as i had hoped.)  But, fourteen years after initial symptoms, she is mostly happy and loving….as long as she gets her cannabis dose!

Here are a couple of pictures that are a hoot!  Mom met Matt, the worlds most tatooed man and at first was open mouthed and wide eyed, but then walked up and hugged him.

Here’s some pictures from Mom’s 83rd birthday party!  We gave her two cakes, three hours apart, so that she didn’t remember the first!

Pat gets new dolly

Pat greeting visitors

Pat interacting

By Eloquentsolution

We are sorry to announce that Pat passed yesterday morning, 7-12-12, holding hands with Eloquentsolution, after smiling and mouthing, “I love you.”

We will all miss her and consider it a privilege to have known her.  “Full sails and following seas, sweet lady!”

Our deepest condolences to Eloquentsolution and family.

GW

7-19-2013

Whoop, whoop, lu lu lu lu lu lu lu lu lu lu lu lu lu lu!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

Science just discovered how cannabis combats Alzheimers:  http://www.truthonpot.com/2013/07/09/study-cannabis-may-rid-brain-of-alzheimers-plaque-slow-disease/

97 responses to this post.

  1. my mom was diagnosed with the cancer of the Breast, and the doctor said she had just 3 weeks to live. The doctor told us to carry my mom home to die. After 1week, my mom’s health became worse and we had no option than to disclose this to the world by posting for help. I entered a site and viewed Martha’s post that Rick Simpson Oil cures cancer and dropped his email. We had to try the oil and contacted Rick Simpson. After 3 days of purchasing the oil, the oil got delivered and we started usage on my mom’s breast and always feeding with it.Changes occurred after 2 days of usage and cancer went off before 63days. I am also here now like Martha to share the good news of Rick Simpson’s work and by dropping his email to save lives: drpalmerhealthcare@gmail.com … Contact him to save your lives and also share the good news of his great work.

    Reply

  2. […] daughter tells the arduous caretaker story of helping her mother’s final stages of Alzheimer’s by getting her on medical marijuana and off […]

    Reply

  3. […] and lovingly at age 83 after the mother-daughter bond was firmly re-established. In other words, she exited the earthly realm in a much better state than if she had not been exposed to cannabis […]

    Reply

  4. Posted by R Castro on August 20, 2015 at 10:45 PM

    Wow what a journey you went through with your mom. It showed you were going to get an alternative to western medicine and it showed you were passionately going to get it done. Im sure your mom in heaven is proud of you. I to had a father that had alzheimers and dementia it was the most painful way to see the one you love go through this. Im sure I will have it to. I am taking medication for depression for 10 years Im sure its going to affect me in the future. Im trying to see if there is alternatives out there for me. With this story you have given hope to people there alternative medicine out there. Thank you for sharing you story.
    GOD BLESS YOU.

    Reply

  5. Where would a person go to learn all they can about how to use CBD, I want to know all I can, I am 4th generation Alzheimers and possibly in line next. I am using CBD vapor but have no Idea what I am doing.

    Reply

  6. Posted by Vickie on July 7, 2015 at 8:28 AM

    Thankyou so much 4 blogging this. I am this wedk retreiving my 75 y.o. mom and bringing her back to wa.state w me tobegin an rso treatment. Her meds justdo notseem tob helping anything. She is onmany of the same medsas your momwas. It was so helpful to see thatanother desperate child is questioning what can actually help. If I did notseeitworksowell 4 my dh and his sudden onset of seizures I would not have believed it.from what iveread sofar idont think any side effect from the rso could b any worse than what is happening to her now. So thankyou for taking the time andenlightening those who are willing to try anything to slow downthis monster that is robbing us ofall human dignity. Fairyternat comcast.net

    Reply

  7. Posted by Dipika Patel on June 16, 2015 at 11:50 AM

    OMG I wish I could talk to you. My Mother is in her 60’s with moderate Alzheimer’s. She will be starting the anti delusion medication today but I have been suggesting medical Marijuana. Parents are old school and stubborn. However my Dad is at his witts end and may soon be at his breaking point with hysteria, craziness and constantly being paranoid about one thing or another. How could I find you…here’s my facebook page, could you reach out to me via inbox there and send your phone number or something. I’d really really appreciate it- Thanks so much- Dipika

    Reply

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