Sarah Colero: “Owe my life to medical cannabis” -- life with brain surgeries, migraines and opioids

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Medical knowledge is embryonic. They are still discovering new body parts. Sometimes medicine doesn’t break new ground, but has to be dragged into the light.

A case in point is cannabis. The therapeutic value of cannabis has been known for millennia, yet modern medicine vilified the medication, pathologized cannabis users, while the legal system criminalized cannabis patients.

Now we see the global movement making great headway toward decriminalizing and medicalizing cannabis. And as it is with most changes to the medical system, it did not come from within, but from pressure from outsiders, namely patients.

In this episode of Medical Error Interviews, I chat with Sarah Colero who’s debilitating migraines were made worse by opioids, but better by cannabis.

We unpack Sarah’s experience with multiple brain surgeries and a medical system often intentionally ignorant about the medicinal benefits of cannabis, and her advocacy efforts to bring equity in access for patients that need medicinal cannabis to treat disease and symptoms.

Connect with Sarah Colero:

Twitter: @Sarah_Colero

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Be my Guest

I am always looking for guests to share their medical error experiences so we help bring awareness and make patients safer.

If you are a survivor, a victim’s surviving family member, a health care worker, advocate, researcher or policy maker and you would like to share your experiences, please send me an email with a brief description: RemediesPodcast@gmail.com

Need a Counsellor?

Like me, many of my clients at Remedies Counseling have experienced the often devastating effects of medical error.

If you need a counsellor for your experience with medical error, or living with a chronic illness(es), I offer online video counseling appointments.

**For my health and life balance, I limit my number of counseling clients.**

Email me to learn more or book an appointment: RemediesOnlineCounseling@gmail.com

Scott Simpson:

Counsellor + Patient Advocate + (former) Triathlete

I am a counsellor, patient advocate, and - before I became sick and disabled - a passionate triathlete. Work hard. Train hard. Rest hard.

I have been living with HIV since 1998. I was the first person living with HIV to compete at the triathlon world championships.

Thanks to research and access to medications, HIV is not a problem in my life.

I have been living with ME (myalgic encephalomyelitis) since 2012, and thanks in part to medical error, it is a big problem in my life.

Counseling / Research

I first became aware of the ubiquitousness of medical error during a decade of community based research working with the HIV Prevention Lab at Ryerson University, where I co-authored two research papers on a counseling intervention for people living with HIV, here and here.

Patient participants would often report varying degrees of medical neglect, error and harms as part of their counseling sessions.

Patient Advocacy

I am co-founder of the ME patient advocacy non-profit Millions Missing Canada, and on the Executive Committee of the Interdisciplinary Canadian Collaborative Myalgic Encephalomyelitis Research Network.

I am also a patient advisor for Health Quality Ontario’s Patient and Family Advisory Council, and member of Patients for Patient Safety Canada.

Medical Error Interviews podcast and vidcast emerged to give voice to victims, witnesses and participants in this hidden epidemic so we can create change toward a safer health care system.

My golden retriever Gladys is a constant source of love and joy. I hope to be well enough again one day to race triathlons again. Or even shovel the snow off the sidewalk.

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