Dennis Paulsen: Recovering from A Brain Injury with Cannabis
MMJ Patient: Dennis Paulsen, Moline, IL
Dennis Paulsen is a very strong person! His dad passed away when he was 6, his mother suffered a brain injury when he was a young adult, and just three years later, he incurred one of his own in an unfortunate motorcycle accident. He has been in recovery for 28 years and has spent the majority of it frustrated with endless prescriptions for medications that he never really felt healed him, until that is, he started doing his own research. This man took a leap of faith and started searching for answers and finally found something that works for him. And with his boundlessly vibrant soul, he’d like to share his personal journey with all of you.
What medical condition(s) have you been struggling with?
I suffered from a motorcycle accident which caused my brain damage and here I am today after 28 years of recovery. It happened in Palm Desert, California on December 13, 1986 at 3 o’clock in the morning when I was driving physically and mentally impaired. I was an alcoholic and a drug addict at the time, and my mother had just incurred a brain injury of her own 3 years earlier. That night, I hit a curb and catapulted myself from my bike about 51 feet forward. I made a hard enough impact that I managed to break the motorcycle helmet that I had on my head.
How long have you been experiencing your medical condition?
Well, I have been dealing with the medical processes since the time of my accident and that was when I was just 21 years old. I’m 49 years old now and have endured numerous side effects caused by the brain damage and the medications I was prescribed to treat it.
I’m 49 years old now and have endured numerous side effects caused by the brain damage and the medications I was prescribed to treat it.
What type of medications have you been taking that were prescribed to you by your doctor?
Well, they started me out on anti-seizure medications and then expanded my prescriptions to a host of other medications that impaired me more than they helped me, to the point at which I started asking questions. When I was never able to keep the doctor around long enough to even ask about the questions and concerns I had, I found ways to answer them on my own. It was at that moment that I lost faith in the medical community; I was asking intelligent questions and they weren’t even availing themselves to answer them for me. I felt like I was just left in the dark and so I turned to reading material from organizations like Life Extension Foundation.
What side effects did you experience from the medication prescribed by your doctor?
I had a lot of trouble communicating. I felt like my neuropathways were being blocked. I couldn’t hold a thought in my head and on the rare occasion that I could, I wouldn’t actually be able to communicate or voice the idea that I was thinking internally. It’s very difficult to even put into words what I felt during that time. Finding the best way to verbalize it is quite hard. I constantly felt that even though my mind could think at a very high level, I couldn’t ever manage to say my thoughts out loud. And if I did try to do so, I would lose track of what I was thinking.
What type of alternative medicine have you tried aside from your doctor’s recommendation?
I got to the point where I was tired of consulting a doctor that would cost me $75/hr and who wasn’t answering my questions and was just prescribing me more and more medication. They’d speak to me for just a few minutes and wouldn’t even allow me a chance to speak. I eventually just got very frustrated with that. Going into the doctor’s office became pointless, so I went searching for other treatment options. I started by taking nutritional supplements and honestly felt like I was making more progress on those than I was on my doctor’s recommendations. I was getting better answers from the companies who I was buying the products from than my personal doctor.
I began by adding hemp-based protein and hemp seeds to my daily diet, which I felt were to credit to me regaining my flexibility and balance control. Then, I began vaporizing CBD oil and taking CBD capsules and that was when I started to notice the real difference in my condition. I wish I would’ve known about CBD a long, long time ago, when I first suffered my motorcycle injury.
How long have you been using the alternative medicine?
I’ve been using cannabis as alternative medicine for about a year and three months now. But aside from that, I have also implemented other improvements to my overall health. I’ve started using ‘Old World’ techniques like ingesting apple cider vinegar; I’ve cut out commercially-fed beef because of the GMO’s; And to be honest, the more and more I learn about Monsanto, the more and more I don’t want to eat anything commercially-produced. The real point I’d like to make here is this: I trust mother nature more than I trust anything else – medicine, processed food, etc.
The real point I’d like to make here is this: I trust mother nature more than I trust anything else – medicine, processed food, etc.
How have you felt since you started using the alternative medicine compared to that of your prescribed medications?
Functional. That’s one of the best words I can use to express how I feel currently. I’ll give you an example: When I was on my medications, I was not in control of my thought processes. I purchased an iMac and had to end up returning it because I couldn’t find someone to come help me learn how to operate it and I couldn’t figure it out for myself. Since then, I’ve bought another mac, but this time, I was able to troubleshoot the operations myself. That is a major triumph in my eyes!
When I started vaping CBD oil, I felt like the blood flow through my brain increased, allowing my mental processes to function how they were supposed to. I could maintain complete thought processes and finish tasks that I started. I could confidently say that if I had been taking CBD oil all along, when I first incurred my injury, I would’ve been fully recovered from my brain injury by now. And I feel like if I continue to use CBD oil, I will fully recover from my brain injury eventually.
Do you think you will continue with using alternative medicine?[Laughing] Ohhhh yeah! Let me put it this way, when you’ve finally found something that you can actually see and feel results from after years and years of being prescribed medications that didn’t work, I’d like to see you TRY and stop me from using it! That topic right there, is one that I could start a revolution about. Cannabis is my medicine, but it’s nearly impossible to attain it in Illinois. They just recently passed new laws on CBD oils and marijuana, but I believe it will take awhile to implement. It’s just so hard to sit and be patient when you’ve finally found something that works for you and is improving your overall health. You know it works and you want to utilize it, but you can’t get access to it…
It’s just so hard to sit and be patient when you’ve finally found something that works for you and is improving your overall health. You know it works and you want to utilize it, but you can’t get access to it…