Reposted from Santa Susanna Kid by Santa Susanna Kid
My body is all beat to hell after working in one career for 30+ years, For info on where my head is at and what I did for work, see my first diary, published in Nov 2008:, and working before that as a Journeyman Carpenter, and various other jobs with specific skillsets, including delivering newspapers on my bicycle, starting at age 10. Orthopedic injuries, car crashes at work, and surgeries, are the source of my pain. My C-spine was fused, with titanium hardware from C-4 to C-7. While waiting 9 months for surgery, my right arm atrophied; and the pain from my neck to my shoulder, and down my arm, felt like a Bowie knife inserted there slowly, by some stranger, and twisted around with a grin. Cryin' pain every night.
My left ankle has had so many sprains to it, that the ligaments seem hopelessly stretched. My right knee has ACL and MCL tears and meniscus debris that "probably should be cleaned up", said my knee Doctor. Recently, I was diagnosed with levoscoliosis in the lumbar spine; it has a pretty hardcore curve to the left. Both hands have been operated on 5 times, but the thumb joint arthroplastys were, and still are, a pretty tough recovery process to go through to get, maybe 80% of previous full function. But, at least the pain from end-stage arthritis has been diminished. I am just recovering after elbow surgery this last September, and had another thumb surgery in January. I have sciatica and meralgia parasthetica that causes leg pain and at random times I get a the feeling of a hot blowtorch on my right thigh. If it happens when you are in REM sleep, it is a most horrifying way to wake up. The rotator cuff in my right shoulder has a high-grade 50% tear in it. Tomorrow, I will be getting a Platelet Rich Plasma injection, (similar to Stem Cell treatment), into the tear zone, guided by Musculoskeletal Ultrasound. I am really scared of another surgery. I do live alone, and don't know what I would do after another surgery and another year of recovery, sitting depressed in the recliner. I have been in this surgery cycle for three years now. Also, my friend died last June undergoing that same surgery. I don't want another anesthesia escapade to tip the scale out of my favor.
My hand and spine surgeons were amazing. I spent a lot of time researching and choosing them. After spine surgery, I felt pain relief within a few days. But, due to a cardiac issue, A-fib, spent 9 days in the hospital. I was so addicted to Diluadid, I did not want to leave the hospital. I begged to stay, with no luck. I was prescribed Oxycodone to take home with me; I think 50 count. Within a few days, I was strung out, couldn't use the restroom for Number 2, even though I was given a prescription laxative which didn't work. I used Swiss Kriss instead, and that got me going. After about 7 days on the pain killers, I recognized that I was really getting addicted, and just threw the shit away, cold turkey. If I needed to, I just took Tylenol, or Tylenol PM for relief.
I have always had a super high pain tolerance threshold. I just sucked it up, bit the bullet, or chewed on a round wooden toothpick; literally. I still do the rounds. Maybe from playing sports, martial arts, or being in the military, I have always just trucked on. I'm not a "Go to the Doctor" kind of guy for every bump, bruise, or laceration; always have butterfly bandages, hydrogen peroxide, and those fat Band-aids in your first-aid kit when you work as a carpenter. Smacking your thumb with a 28 ounce, waffle-faced Vaughan framing hammer is a bear, especially when you are piece working by the square foot.
After all my hand surgeries, I took the pain meds for about 3 days, then threw 'em out. I get horrible side-effects from pharmaceuticals. They really don't work for the pain. I was sent to a pain management doc, and instead of answering my questions about diet and exercise, he prescribed me 5 different meds at once. Two for pain and the rest to "fix" some other imbalance. Then I was told I would need to sign a contract and come back every month for a urine test and adjustments, if necessary, on the meds. This scared the living shit out of me, and I left without the meds. I think one of them was 150-count bottle of Tramadol. I called the office a week later, and told them I had found a doc that was only 7 miles away, instead of 35 miles. I lied.
During the course of my career, I have seen hundreds of overdoses from illegal drugs and legal prescription drugs. Many were intentional, and a large number were accidental with prescribed medication. For the rest of my days, I will sometimes flash on those heartbreaking death scenes, and it never really escapes my mind. I know many here on kos have prescribed medicine that they use, and I would never disrespect them for using them, as there are legitimate uses. But, I do have an extreme personal dislike for them based on what I have seen and the side effects I have encountered. Don't even get me started on the Beta-blocker I just weaned myself off of! Everyone is different, because our bodies are different.
I retired a few months later, just this last year, and had a, "Hey, I live in Kalifornia", moment. I no longer was subject to piss testing, so I went to my Internal Medicine Physician, who wrote me a recommendation for Cannabis. Now I grew up in 60's & 70's Kali, and we all indulged for fun back in the day; even had a small grow going. But after working for 30 something years in such a strait-laced, allegedly professional environment where alcohol usage is cool, prescription drugs are in the lockers at work, and steroid use is ignored, I guess I go hippie, because I don't buy the "ask your doctor" bullshit so I can ingest poison. I just don't trust or respect Doctors whose first response is to prescribe without really knowing, inquiring, advising, or caring about where a patient's diet, exercise program, or brain is at, before attempting and failing to solve it with script only. From my bodily experience, prescription drugs harm me. I would rather brave the pain.
There are some really knowledgable people on kos who I have paid attention to for years, and countless other role models here who have helped me educate myself through diaries, comments, or using PM, on the modern usage of medical cannabis. Also, I checked out Ed Rosenthal's, "Marijuana Medical Handbook". I knew I would eventually take this healing track after I left work. I must have 150 bookmark favorites saved relating to the topic. There are many, many ways to utilize the meds, but every person is different, and you have to take the time to see what can really work for your condition.
Is that orange thang really a joint? I thought so. Let's look into my protocol after that...