Your Health: 2-7-13 Medical marijuana - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Your Health: 2-7-13 Medical marijuana

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Bill Britt, director of the Association of Patient Advocates, smokes cannabis to help ease chronic pain. (AP) Bill Britt, director of the Association of Patient Advocates, smokes cannabis to help ease chronic pain. (AP)

A person in pain just wants relief.

Sometimes prescribed medicine for that relief, ends up causing even more trouble ...more pain.

That happened to a man who's identified as "Chris."

Five and a half months ago, Chris made what he calls, an "executive decision" to forget the pills and try medical marijuana instead.

Here's his story.

 "All I do remember was a big bang that's when the door on my truck fell off and I turned and looked and there was a state trooper standing there. And he told me not to move both my legs were broke."

A single vehicle crash not only broke Chris legs, but also blew out his left knee, both ankles, crushed his toes and..

 "I broke my back I have a tear in my spinal cord, it can not be repaired because its on the front side of it."

 He was on his way to work, in 2010 when the accident happened.

Chris he spent 11 days hospitalized in a coma, and six months bedridden.

the then 48-year old was then confined to a wheelchair for almost a year.

Doctors prescribed medications for seizures, because of the head trauma and the drug, Oxycodone to help Chris deal with pain.

 "I started coming out of it, I was walking. Everybody was shocked. They were like, even my doctors were live wow. I'm well I'm hard headed. I'm gonna do this you're not gonna stop me . I'm gonna run again one day."

 It's what happened in the months of taking the medication, Chris believes really wrecked his life.

 "To survive the accident and get up and start walking again and everybody is like say wow. I'm doing really good and end up with one of these.(handicap sign) almost two years later after the fact. I end up with one of these."

Five and a half months ago, Chris broke his hips, after he simply stepped out of his truck.

"We went to the ER doctors told me it looked like I fell off a six foot ladder."

 After a bone density test, Chris was put on alert.

"He told me to do absolutely nothing I was to stay in bed. Do nothing. Your bones are so brittle that if I were to fall from standing I could break my neck."

Chris believes side effects of his fourth seizure medicine, Depokote depleted his body of calcium.

A different drug he took before Depokote caused another scare.

 "When I got to UAB they didn't ask me my name they put me immediately on oxygen pure oxygen. I was on oxygen in a tank for almost 24 hours."

Chris declined to try a fifth medicine.  He tapered off these meds and began taking what he considers a natural remedy... medical marijuana.

 "You do it about every six to eight hours just like the rest of this stuff. Your choose your method how you want to take it and move on from there."

"I feel better. I'm walking on crutches now. I'm not in a wheelchair anymore."

Chris hopes medical marijuana will one day be legal in Alabama for patients fighting pain and other health crisis.

Allowing another option, without the side effects of these prescription medication.

"I actually survive an accident hitting a tree at 70 and not be cripple and end up being cripple by the drugs."

Again, the medical marijuana bill was sponsored by Representative Patricia Todd to legalize the sale of medical marijuana was defeated by an Alabama House committee Wednesday.

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