Veteran Pain Journey
Description: Veterans suffering from lower back pain due to degenerative disc disease, hip and pelvis fracture, etc, started taking tylenol, motrin to control the pain. The pain prevented them from doing a lot of things like it affected their ability to exercise, do PT, do their job, be active with their family, within the community.
Veterans who have dealt with the trauma were diagnosed with PTSD. There was pain in their body that really wasn't going away. The pain and the lack of sleep would put them into depression. PTSD affects everyone of us differently. But they are all the same thing, it's trauma. The diagnosis is the same, it's PTSD.
For many veterans, PTSD manifests itself physically and emotionally. They have the pains physically that remind them of injuries or times. They have an inability to communicate with others, nightmares, sweats, lack of sleep. Many withdraw into their house and it's very hard for them to get out to socialize or do things with other people in public.
Veterans face a lot of challenges when integrating back into society. A lot of them face mental health issues, ranging from anxiety to depression, PTSD in various forms and they have physical injuries as well. The mission of Spartan Wellness was to create a place where they could have the maximum reach to help the most people, veteran or not and at the same time, make sure they were giving back to the veteran community in the most effective way possible.
One veteran says in his experience over in Afghanistan and talking to the people, they actually wanted them there despite what anything else was said, because they were getting rid of the people who were walking around shooting everybody for no reason. Another veteran says the suffering he saw in Haiti was extreme. They have nothing, they're making their own coal to fuel their own food, they've deforest the entire side of their island just to eat there's children on the street that are just wearing underwear. no reason.
There's financial services available through veterans affairs for retired members if they qualify but they have to fill out an application and provide some documentation and it can seem very cumbersome. The members of Spartan Wellness can assist them with their file and fill it out for them. They will take that and drop it off for them. So they don't even have to go to a veterans affairs office.
Some of the disability awards that come in are large sums of money that may seem like it's almost an endless amount of money when we know in fact it's not. Financial planning is critical because you can't just keep going back to the trough as it were and saying well, I need more, well I need more. If we can secure somebody financially for a long period of time through good professional advice, that that makes all the difference in the world.
Of all the veterans receiving a disability benefit related to service in Afghanistan, more than half are being compensated for PTSD. Some of the challenges is more of the post-traumatic stress because they've been on so many different medications, whether it be opioids or some type of mind-altering beta-blocker anti-anxiety depression that type of thing.
Cannabis was for many veterans a last resort medication. They had already used various types of pharmaceuticals for a number of years to manage pain and mental health issues. Frankly none of the traditional pharmaceutical pills were really causing them to gain any any progress in healing. A lack of PTSD treatment is a significant contributing factor to the recent deaths by suicide of the veterans.
For Andrew, pain management is a daily thing. He goes to the physio three times a week, does his stretches once a day, twice a day sometimes, trying to keep on top of it. But from what he found it's a lot more maintenance than it is corrective action. He primarily started using cannabis for post-traumatic stress.
The members at Spartan Wellness get a lot of satisfaction in helping people and feel really good to see somebody that was having a hard time all of a sudden, completely changing their lives. If you need to talk to somebody, it doesn't have to be about cannabis, it can be about anything, they are here for you.