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  1. I was diagnosed with PD 4 years ago. During that time, I have used exercise as my primary treatment for PD. I credit the exercise with my slow progression during that time. Unfortunately, a few months after I was diagnosed, I foolishly allowed my neurologist to talk me into taking Mirapex. I was lucky to survive this drug. The final straw came when I literally fell asleep at a stop sign while driving. I was fortunate that I didn't kill myself or someone else due to this dangerous drug! The exercise was effective in combating most of the symptoms of PD with one key exception: tremor. Over the past 4 years, my tremor has continued to get worse and is quite noticeable and irritating. Therefore, a little over a year ago, I decided to try medical marijuana, even though I had never used marijuana or any other illicit drug in my life. I found the medical marijuana to be very effective with my tremor and also many other aspects of PD, including urinary urgency/frequency; fatigue; sleep problems; and more. It seemed to be a miracle drug and best of all had no side effects. During this past year of using medical marijuana, I have discovered a couple of significant problems with taking this drug. For one thing, I discovered that medical marijuana is not hospital friendly. I have had a couple of kidney stones during the last year that landed me in the emergency room. Needless to say, PD is made greatly worse by pain and stress, and when you combine that with not being able to take your medicine (medical marijuana) while in the hospital, that can be a real problem. My tremor absolutely exploded while in the hospital. It was as if someone taking Sinemet suddenly stopped taking their medication amid severe pain and stress. Not good! I can only imagine how bad it would be if I was admitted to the hospital for surgery or some other serious condition for an extended period. Another problem with using medical marijuana is traveling. Some states still treat marijuana possession and use quite seriously. I have an upcoming road trip that will cross many states, and using medical marijuana on the trip could be risky. A final problem is the idiotic DUI laws in many states. Many states use a ridiculously low concentration of marijuana in the blood or urine as the standard for determining when a person is impaired. When you consider that this level would be exceeded even if a person hasn't consumed any marijuana for weeks, this could be a real problem. A few months ago, I was pulled over for something, although the cop couldn't really articulate what I had done. I got a warning and was told to "drive safely". When he was talking to me, he noticed my tremor and commented that I appeared nervous. I held up both arms and pointed out that I was only "nervous" on my left side and explained that I had PD. However, if he had done a field sobriety test, could I have passed? My balance is pretty good for a person with PD, but I'm not at all certain that I could pass even though I wasn't impaired in the slightest. So, the bottom line is that medical marijuana is a fantastic drug. Unfortunately, there are some real problems that have to be considered when using it as your primary PD drug. As a result, I have tried a couple of other things which I will detail in other posts.
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