Chris Shanahan: Beating Bi-Polar and Arthritis with Cannabis

Medical Cannabis Patient: Chris Shanahan

chris

 

Chris Shanahan has faced multiple physical and emotional challenges in his 18 years. When he found cannabis, he gained the ability to enjoy a functional life and what he calls a sense of normalcy.

What medical condition have you been struggling with?

I have Stickler Syndrome. It’s a disorder that causes a lot of different conditions in different people, but mostly affects joints and connective tissues, sight, and hearing. It did affect those things for me. My rheumatoid arthritis has been a very painful struggle. I also have some actual bone malformations. And I have a mood disorder that has been pretty severe at times. It’s not really related to the Syndrome, but I think it’s been an outcome of it in a way.

How long have you been experiencing your medical condition?

I was diagnosed at birth. When I was diagnosed, my mother realized that she was also struggling with it. So, it was clearly passed on to me. The symptoms have gotten worse as I’ve gotten older. It seems like it kicked in when I was around 9 or 10-years old. That’s when I really remember the pain.

I was born with a clubbed foot, my left foot/ankle. The doctors tried corrective surgery. It was only sort of successful, as far as any lasting results. For whatever reason, it sometimes just slowly fuses back into that curved position.
I also was diagnosed with bi-polar disorder as a teen. That issue caused a lot of problems for me, of course. I actually lived in a state group home for a while, and just got out after my 18th birthday.

What do you believe caused this medical condition?

It’s just simply a genetic disorder. A parent with it has a 50% chance of passing it on to the child.

What medications have you been taking that was prescribed to you by your doctor?

Aside from surgery, all I’ve ever really been able to do is over-the-counter pain medications, which don’t really work. Rheumatoid arthritis is really painful. So, pretty much I just had to deal with the pain and be inactive for most of my life. I never even knew what it was like to be able to do what other kids my age were doing.

So, pretty much I just had to deal with the pain and be inactive for most of my life. I never even knew what it was like to be able to do what other kids my age were doing.
What type of alternative medicine have you tried aside from your doctor’s recommendation?

Well, when I was 12-years old, I found Cannabis. Of course, my parents didn’t know it at the time. But it was kind of a miracle. I smoked for the first time…and within fifteen minutes my ankle started to relax and my foot flattened out to a normal position. I was able to walk around normally! I couldn’t believe it! That had never happened before.

…it was kind of a miracle. I smoked for the first time…and within fifteen minutes my ankle started to relax and my foot flattened out to a normal position. I was able to walk around normally!
At that age, I usually could only smoke every couple of days because I had to be secretive about it, unfortunately. But when I turned 16, I talked with my parents about it. They were totally supportive, as long as I kept it for medicinal purposes, of course. They saw the relief it gave me, and stood behind me 100%. Then I was able to smoke every day, as necessary.

How long have you been using the alternative medicine?

I’m 18-years old now, so it’s been six years, with some interruptions, like the time I spent in the state group home. At this point, I use Cannabis whenever necessary, just like I would Ibuprofen or something like that.

How have you felt since you started using the alternative medicine?

CBDs make ankle flexible again and foot moves into normal position. It relieves the pain to where I can walk and run and do any kind of normal activity.

And since I got out of the group home and now have access to Cannabis again, I’m so much better! My bi-polar disorder isn’t even an issue. Without the Cannabis, I was having freak-outs multiple times a day. My life was a constant struggle without Cannabis. Now…I haven’t had one in months. Cannabis has saved my life. I live a pretty normal life now. I never had that before—any sense of normalcy. I never thought I would. Life is good now. It’s a miracle.

Without the Cannabis, I was having freak-outs multiple times a day. My life was a constant struggle without Cannabis. Now…I haven’t had one in months. Cannabis has saved my life.
When I was in the struggle—living without Cannabis—I just used the experience as a motivation. I had known relief from my physical and mental pain, and I knew I would have access to my medicine again once I got out. That’s what kept me going. I got out. I got a job. I’m doing great. And I have a boss who knows I use Cannabis for medicinal purposes. I’m on a good path.

Do you think you will continue with using alternative medicine?

Absolutely! Cannabis has changed my life. My roommates also use it medicinally, and it has changed their lives, too. One has pretty severe epilepsy, which he treats with Cannabis. One has bi-polar issues, too. So, we all use Cannabis and we are a huge support for each other. We live in Philadelphia right now, but we plan to move to either Colorado or Washington in about six months to look for work in the industry and to have better access to our medicine. We’re in the process of moving to Indiana, in the meantime. We already have ordered CBD oil, and the shipment should be there when we arrive!

We are all excited to live in a state where we have easier access to the medicine we need to live happier, more normal lives.

I will use Cannabis for the rest of my life. I went to a convention this week and was able to walk and talk and enjoy myself. That wouldn’t have happened without my medicine.
I will use Cannabis for the rest of my life. I went to a convention this week and was able to walk and talk and enjoy myself. That wouldn’t have happened without my medicine.

I want to work in the industry and I see myself being an activist forever!

What is your message to the CannaEffect community?

Follow your hopes and dreams. Do what you know is right for you and what is good for you in your own heart.

http://cannaeffect.org/chris-shanahan-beating-bi-polar-and-arthritis-with-cannabis/

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