Profile In Courage – Melissa Mentele

imagePatient name: Melissa Mentele

Age: 39

Condition/Illness: RSD/CRPS, five herniated lumbar discs and a labral tear in left hip.

Using Medical Cannabis since: 2013

Why did you start using cannabis?

I was severely injured in 2012 and prescribed opiates that I consistently had adverse reactions to. In March of 2013 I had my shoulder rebuilt and my bicep reattached. During the recovery I was diagnosed with RSD/CRPS. Knowing the diagnosis carried a lifetime of pain meds and medical interventions, I started looking into alternative options. Cannabis lotion has been a miracle for the nerve pain and tactile pain in my arm. It gave me my life back. I was at a point where I couldn’t wear long-sleeved shirts and the breeze going across my arm would drop me to my knees. I traveled to Colorado and started to experiment with options. I was floored by how well it worked. I was also astonished by how I didn’t feel drugged; I could carry on with my day, and I was less irritated with life. After that I started to advocate for cannabis reform in my state.

Did you try other methods or treatments before cannabis?

Yes, you name an opiate, and I have tried it. I even at one point was prescribed Fentanyl patches and quick-release morphine together. I was a drugged-out mess on them and stopped taking them.

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What is the most important issue or problem facing medical cannabis patients?

Lack of education in non-legal states and lack of funds to change that. More organizations need to get involved and donate towards states that are struggling to legalize.

What do you say to folks that are skeptical about cannabis as medicine?

Each and every one of us knows someone who has battled cancer; we have all seen someone in hospice care and we have seen children struggle with deadly seizure disorders. Ask yourself: If that was your loved one, wouldn’t you want options? Wouldn’t you want a choice? If the answer is yes then sit down, get comfy, and open Google. Enter “medical cannabis uses” and start reading. Read a little every day then when you have read enough patient stories, science and testimonials, get up and get involved. There is an organization in every state that advocates for cannabis reform. Get involved and be a part of history.

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