Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Comments by pcanon

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  • My mother, 85, is now with hospice (they come to our home). She has dementia, dysphagia and frequent infections, both bronchial and uti. Nevertheless, she still has a lot of strength, generally, and spends most of each day out of bed. She even walks a little with assistance. While she may be in the last months of her life, she is not at this time dying. Her hospice nurse told me last week that the doc (hospice doc) said we could now discontinue my mom’s meds. She has been on 5 mg Aricept, 5 mg of Lexapro and 5 mg of Abilify for about 7 years. I was aghast. They thought I should simply cold turkey discontinue her meds without any tapering. I have read they do this to the elderly in nursing homes all the time. What a way to give a fragile senior a kick out the door! This seems like a terrible crime.

    Well, the main reason I decided to comment is this. I have an adopted daughter who has special needs and severe mood/behavioral problems, as well as a seizure disorder. She has had these problems all her life – at least since I met her when she was 3 1/2. She now takes a variety-pack of psychiatric meds. The anti-psychotics, in particular, have been very hard for her to take. Seroquel (300 mgs. a day now and has been taking it since last October) is leading her toward diabetes. Abilify, even at a very low dose, causes her to feel she is having nearly non-stop seizure activity. Even a minute dose of Risperdol gives her double-vision and puts her in bed, etc. Seroquel has been the kindest, so far, in terms of side-effects, but obviously her health is now at risk from it.

    When she is not stable on meds she is very aggressive and can be violent. This is why we have been trying the anti-psychotics. Recently, she became aggressive with me (we had slightly lowered her Seroquel dose). In desperation, because she is freakishly strong and to avoid more aggression, I took her out the next day and got a medical marijuana license for her.

    Since that time (two weeks ago) she has been taking CBD daily, between 6 – 9 mgs. The effect has been profound. We have not had another episode of aggression and she has been calm, happy and more normal (in terms of calm, clarity and self-possession) than at any time in the past. I don’t know if CBD will help her to stop Seroquel without crisis, but I think it might at least help. Perhaps it might help her to live without anti-psychotics altogether. I can’t be certain, but it does look promising.

    I just thought I would mention this in case it is of use to others. Our experience with it is admittedly limited, but I am very impressed. My daughter’s problems are severe and have seemed intractable. I had lost all hope for any kind of benign cure – or for any cure at all. So far, this seems to be life-changing for her.