Families Who Value Psychedelics: MDMA in the Relief of Pain in an Elderly Man

Spring 1994 Vol. 04, No. 4 Laying the Groundwork

Download this article.

When Grandpa was 91, he may have had a mini-stroke. He fell in the cellar and couldn’t get up. I ran for help, and neighbors assisted me getting him up stairs and into his chair. He seemed all right.
But in the days that followed, he complained of a severe headache, and then a mild fever. He was put into the hospital, where he was given a soft neck collar. Although the nurses were concerned about the intensity of the pain he seemed to sufferer, the doctor in charge seemed quite cavalier. Tylenol was the only medication prescribed and it didn’t touch the pain.
Finally, I was so distressed at his suffering, I removed him to see a chiropractor. Even my uneducated eyes could see a misalignment. George experienced wonderful relief. Unfortunately, he stumbled again and hurt his knee. It became so swollen and painful, he had surgery on it to drain the infection. The surgery was a short-term success, but mentally it looked like the end. The family flew in for final good-byes. I hypnotized George and found out that he felt this was a dead end. He had given up. When I convinced him he was really going home, it was as though a light bulb went on. The nurses were astonished at his recovery.
Upon his return home, his spirits were high. He began working in his shop again. But the knee began to swell and get infected once more. I suspect George’s walking in an off-balance way set up a secondary reaction, because he began to have neck spasms again. These were excruciatingly painful. By then he was in a nursing home, because I could no longer cope. Again, the doctor in charge – as well as the nurses – felt the pain was “all in his head.” Although his personal doctor had prescribed narcotic injections when indicated, none were ever given. Instead, George was given a Tylenol and Valium. People were evidently afraid to make him a drug addict with anything stronger. At 92!
His original chiropractor was unwilling to do neck manipulations because he feared – and with good reason – he might trigger a stroke and be liable.
When I learned from nursing home roommates with wits that George was crying with pain at night, and my efforts to secure him pain relief were met with stony indifference, I removed him to a private home, where he could get individual and loving care. but the intense pain continued, along with a great deal of fear and anxiety.
George was an excellent hypnosis subject, so I took him to my friend, a medical hypnotist. At the time, MDMA was legal, so he suggested that we use some to assist George in handling the pain and hopefully to discover what lay behind it.
It was not easy to let George “let go,” but finally, he surrendered. His fall had been traumatic for him, because again and again, it signaled lack of control. He had buried a great deal of sorrow, because he had lost his first wife after 49 faithful years. His second marriage at 88 had lasted only a year. His lovely bride – the sweetheart of his youth – had succumbed to tongue cancer.
To permit these feelings to emerge was very cathartic. He was lifted out of the body to experience complete pain relief and association with those he held dear. It was a glorious experience for him. With this experience to draw on, I found that I could hypnotize him and have him leave his body at will. This permitted him to leave any pain, but without narcotic stupor and/or separation.
One day, he said to me, “Jean, this is the first day since I was born that I have no project for the day.”
I responded, “then Dad, you probably should think about checking out.” I was never one to gild a lily.
George had a powerful stroke. The doctor babbled about putting him into the hospital and this drug and that. I refused.
“What DO you want?” he asked testily.
I responded, “Demerol. To make him comfortable.”
“And just how many milligrams?” he asked sarcastically.
I told him. His whole attitude changed. He said George could have as much as he wanted. While I could lift George out of pain with hypnosis, I couldn’t always be there. I wanted a backup.
One day, George had a stroke as he was being massaged. The facility phoned me, and I rushed over. He waited till got into the room, and then he let go. Forever.
There is no way I can say how grateful I am for MDMA for opening up a way to help George with his emotional and physical pain. It was the first time this stiff necked, fearful old man had let go. Nobody had ever seen before that hidden, beautiful, lovely soul.