Inspirational Patient Stories: Greg H.

At Vireo Health, we believe cannabis is medicine. For Greg H., Project Manager and Senior Business Systems Analyst at a Minnesota-based insurance company, medicinal cannabis from our Green Goods dispensaries combined with pool therapy has significantly reduced pain caused by scoliosis, and allowed him to experience better quality of life and more physical activity than he has in years. This is his story.

I had scoliosis for years before finally receiving a diagnosis in my mid-40s. I tried to manage the condition, but my back pain progressed over the years. At one point, while trying to adjust my back, my chiropractor popped a rib. Finally, in my early 60s, my chiropractor told me that my upper back had seized up, and they could no longer move or adjust it.

By that point, I could barely walk 20 yards, and I had gained quite a bit of weight. Working out, swimming and doing my physical therapy exercises were all too difficult for me to do on a consistent basis. I realized that I needed to make some big life changes. I tried to start a new exercise program, but it was too painful. My life hit rock bottom; I was in a very dark, bad place. I had lost all of my self-confidence and self-worth. I was self-medicating, trying to cover up my pain by drinking alcohol. I couldn’t see a future where I’d ever be happy again. Eventually, my wife told me that she wanted a divorce.

Finally, in early June of 2021, I met with my doctor and told them everything. We came up with a two-pronged plan: pool therapy and pain management. The pain management clinic diagnosed me with “intractable pain,” and I got certified as a medical cannabis patient in Minnesota. I work in downtown Minneapolis and used to walk past the Green Goods building. I soon discovered that there was a Green Goods location near me in Burnsville as well!

With the medical cannabis and the pool therapy, I’m now able to walk and hike with very little or even no pain. In fact, I am up to 9- and 10-mile walks multiple times per week! I can do strength training at home with kettlebells, and I am looking at even more strenuous exercise. I’ve started caring about myself again, and have undertaken a much healthier lifestyle, including a much, much healthier diet. I no longer drink any alcohol at home, and I have no desire to do so. I have lost 45 pounds in three months, and I’m amazed at how good I feel. I went swimming recently, and I felt like I was 30 years younger. My back didn’t hurt, I was stronger than I can ever remember – and I had FUN.

And now that I’m in better condition, my back doesn’t hurt as much and I don’t need to use the medicine as often! I didn’t expect that to happen. I have a new life now and I am looking forward to many new adventures!

Thank you to Greg for sharing your inspiring story! It’s stories like this one that inspire us to work hard every day to help our patients across the country.

Think you might benefit from medical cannabis or know someone who wants to learn more? Click here to learn more about our medical cannabis products or click here to contact a Green Goods patient care coordinator. Have your own story to share about how plant medicine has impacted your life? Click here to share it with us!

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