Chronic Pain

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New Season, Colder Weather Proving to Be Challenges

PainCycleI’m just 4 days short of my 10 month ‘anniversary’ since I quit smoking pot and have been having challenges.

Up until last December 23rd, I had been relying on medical marijuana to help me deal with chronic pain issues related to a neck injury suffered while working as a commercial fisherman in a remote area of the Aleutian islands off of Alaska.  Unfortunately, dealing with the pain is still a serious issue.  With the days getting shorter and the weather getting colder, I have been suffering a lot more – and as a result, so have the people around me.

I’ve tried to keep it to myself, but my normally (?) sunny attitude just isn’t with it in this cold, wet climate.

I have actually considered starting smoking again several times just to allow myself to be easier to get along with.  Thus far I have resisted all temptation, but also realize that I am currently very vulnerable and need to be careful to take care of myself, get as much sleep as possible and not put myself in any tempting situations.

Anyone have any ways to deal with chronic pain that does not involve taking drugs?  I’m willing to try pretty much anything …

Day 30 – Time to Celebrate or Be Very Scared?

Today is Day 30 in my personal quest to stop smoking pot.  It has been going very well and I’ve pledged to try to focus on positives, but right now I just cannot.  I probably should not be writing this post in the interest of the common good and trying to be a good influence on others – but I need to be honest here and paint the entire picture.

You see, it is 2 am, and I awoke about an hour ago with a headache so bad it makes me feel like I want to puke.  I’ve been having a lot of headaches every day since I reinjured my neck a couple of weeks ago – but none this bad.  The area around the discs in my neck that are herniated are so swollen that it feels like someone cracked me in the back of the head with a baseball bat ….  

With enough constant and chronic pain like this, I can almost begin to understand why Kurt Cobain did it – although I still think that was chickenshit taking the easy way out and leaving his daughter like he did.  I know I have way too much to do to go out like that – and would never consciously do anything to hurt myself.  BUT – I also know that I cannot continue to suffer like this and need to find some relief.

Apparently it is this pain that I carry around with me that has contributed to me being such an asshole.  I’ve been a total dick to almost everyone around me – and I thought it was ‘withdrawls’ from pot.  Now I don’t think so any longer.  Pain of any kind sucks, but when it is this close to your brain, it really, really sucks.  I just feel very, very sorry for anyone and everyone who has had the misfortune of spending time around me.  Especially for my daughter, my family and those who I live with and around.  Not to mention all the former girlfriends (and a couple of ex-wives) who have somehow managed to survive my torture with meanness and anger.  So many good people have felt my pain in one way or another.  I really am very, very sorry for that.  There is absolutely zero excuse for treating people the way I have.

What makes me feel even worse is that I’ve allowed myself to start feeling sorry for me – when I have so many advantages that others would love to have.  I look at an inspirational guy like Sean Stephensen who has accomplished many great things in the face of diversity most people could never even imagine and it makes me feel like a piece of crap for carrying around this attitude.

Although it is very hard for me to think right now, I can only see three solutions at this point:  1) Make enough money to pay for as much acupuncture as I need. 2) Find a local acupuncturist who is willing to trade services for advertising on my websites or 3) Go back to using MMJ and being stoned for the rest of my life.  I choose #1 and will continue to focus on my Solavei business and (you can help by letting me help you save money on your cell service), but will also be spending some time this week seeking an acupuncturist here in Bellevue who is willing to trade services.

It’s my hope that this pain will pass and I’ll get through it, but I am very, very scared because I’ve been through this before.  It really seems like the movie Groundhog Day is starting all over again.  I really hated that movie.

How I Quit Smoking Pot: Day 16 Neck Pain, Changes and The Flu

Today was day 16 in my personal quest to stop smoking pot. Unfortunately, I’ve recently been suffering from a lot of neck pain due to herniated discs in my neck – they really seem to be flaring up. In the past, I would just use marijuana to deal with the pain and it would help get me through the day – but no longer.

I now need to find another way to cope with this chronic pain – but have not found the correct answer yet … In the past when I went to the doctor (western doctors), they would simply prescribe me narcotic pain relievers and muscle relaxers. At one point I was actually very addicted to Vicodin, but got off of it and have not taken it for many years.

In my past search for ways to deal with pain, I have found that there are many Eastern Style practitioners who really really care about the health of their patients. They are not just there to prescribe drugs. Acupuncture actually saved my life after having headaches every day for over two years. So … the bottom line is that I need to make some money so I can go back to acupuncture treatments. I really think that they are the solution.

A couple of interesting changes that I’ve noticed over the past couple of days – besides the serious pain. One thing is that my sense of smell is getting much more acute – unfortunately getting more sensitive to mostly bad odors. Another thing is that this morning (after 15 days without pot) I finally started coughing up some black crap out of my lungs. Stoners call this stuff “resin balls”. I just find it interesting that I haven’t been hacking this stuff up earlier …

Today while in a business meeting, I suddenly became very ill. I had to get up and go the the washroom and then cancel my next appointment and go directly home. Before I reached my bed to lay down, I became violently physically sick. After sleeping much of the day and not eating anything, I’m feeling a bit better – hungry and with a lot of muscle aches, but afraid to eat.

I am hoping that the neck pain I’ve been experiencing for the past couple of days was a precursor to what seems like this bout of the flu – and that it will go away with the sickness.

Only time will tell

Thanks for watching the video, reading the blog and for all the positive support!

Pain is No Fun – Still Looking for Healthy, Effective Alternative to Medical Marijuana

Picture 271Successfully made it through Day 15 of my personal quest to stop using marijuana, as it had pretty much taken over my life.  There have already been many great benefits, BUT there is also a MAJOR challenge: the herniated discs in my neck have been still causing me ongoing chronic pain and I have not been able to find anything that will actually help with it.

One of my other addictions (albeit healthy) does not seem to be helping either:  I feel the need to exercise almost daily.  This usually involves lifting weights, a great deal of core work and some cardio (although not nearly as much as a lot of people who just don’t know any better).

Tonight the pain has been so bad that I had to dig out my neck collar, which I have not worn in several months.  It is totally uncomfortable and I really hate wearing it in public – so I almost never do.  But sometimes it really does help a lot – tonight is one of those nights.

Still the same, as much as I really need exercise daily and do not want to back step on the great progress I have made on developing my body (and sometimes assuming the identity of Joe Abs) – I am 1000% committed to staying off the pot.  I just hope these neck issues don’t start making it difficult to think again – then it’s really a toss up between which is worse …. pain or pot.

An old friend from my days as a commercial crab fisherman in Alaska (think Deadliest Catch without the TV cameras and fake BS) probably said it best:  “Pain is a GOOD thing, it tells you that you are still alive.”

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