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Julie Falco Brings Hope To Multiple Sclerosis Patients: Cannabinoids Help

Julie Gardener

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Julie Falco brings hope to Multiple Sclerosis patients. Cannabinoids manage pain and promote repair!​

Dev Meyers
February 10, 2010

During late 1990's Julie Falco was contemplating suicide. After being prescribed every pharmaceutical known to manage the symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis, she found herself facing a grim reality.

The side effects of the drugs were even more debilitating than the disease itself."

Nothing worked. I forgot what it felt like to have MS. I had side effects from medication. The numbness due to drugs was a different feeling that totally masked the feeling of Multiple Sclerosis. My disease had escalated from side effects of the drugs. The muscle relaxer slowed my heart-beat to 40 beats per minute. I couldn't move. I would get tightened fingers and toes. Is that an MS symptom or the drug side effect? I was in a total state of not functioning .

During that time with all of these side effects and sensations, I was getting more and more depressed. Nothing seemed to work and nothing seemed to make me feel better. I felt worse and worse day after day.

Julie's journey into the frightening world of Multiple Sclerosis began 23 years ago.

I was home from college for spring break. When I went to the store my foot was dragging on the ground but I figured it must have fallen asleep. It was like that the whole weekend...a numbness and tingly feeling. And I slept for a week. All of the sudden everything cleared up for 2 years.

In 1988 Julie lost her eyesight for a week. She had double vision and couldn't track people. Optic Neuritis is one of the most frequently presenting symptoms of multiple sclerosis, although there are other causes. Indeed, ON is the most common symptom at onset of MS and presents unilaterally (in one eye only) in 70% of cases. The majority of all cases of ON, MS-related or not, are caused by demyelination.

Julie's neurologist diagnosed her with Multiple Sclerosis. But at that time, there were no medications available, no treatments. The neurologist told her, "Don't bother to do anything about it." About that time they first came out with MRIs for MS. If you were having an exacerbation you would go into hospital for 3 days for steroids.

As the pharmaceutical industry developed drugs that the FDA approved for MS Julie tried everything except Cannabis.

In college I was familiar with Cannabis. By the late 90s my insomnia and leg spasticity were so bad that I decided to try cannabis. I'm prone to headaches and very sensitive. The smoke was irritating so I really didn't think Cannabis was a serious option for me.

MS is a progressive disease. I had no beacon of light. By 2004 when I was entertaining committing suicide Cannabis became my last hope.

I have pain relief for the day! I can get through the day and still manage my symptoms. It is a more manageable pain level. I have no diminished capacity for thinking. Cannabis has had a profound effect on my bladder and bowel functioning. Before taking it I experienced urgency and accidents which of course increased my stress. The urgency is all gone.now I'm no longer depressed, not wanting to take my life any more. Cannabis improved my emotional situation.

Source: Julie Falco brings hope to Multiple Sclerosis patients. Cannabinoids manage pain and promote repair! - National Cannabis Revolution | Examiner.com
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