Catch-22: A dilemma or difficult circumstance from which there is no escape because of mutually conflicting or dependent conditions.
I sit looking at this document wondering how to write about the craptastic Catch-22 that has appeared in my husband’s life. My husband is one of the millions of people who suffer with chronic pain. His journey to where he is today began 35 years ago when he worked for a traveling carnival. While working to repair a ride, the clutch holding the ride’s car opposite the repairmen failed sending the cars around the track. Hubby and two other workers fell 50 feet resulting in multiple fractures and life threatening injuries. Combine those injuries with 30 years of commercial truck driving, a near fatal lightning strike resulting in damage to his nerve sheaths and joints, along with degenerative disk disease, stenosis, scoliosis, and osteoarthritis ……
This article is copied in its entirety with links to the original site I discovered this post on. I didn’t write this but it is amazing to me how much it mirrors what I have been wanting to say for a long time.
Having chronic pain means many things change, and a lot of the changes are invisible.
Unlike having cancer or being hurt in an accident, most people do not understand chronic pain and its effects, and of those that think they know, many are actually misinformed.
In the spirit of informing those who wish to understand: These are the things that I would like you to understand about me before you judge me.
Please understand that being sick doesn’t mean I’m not still a human being. I have to spend most of my day in considerable pain and exhaustion, and if you visit, sometimes I probably don’t seem like much fun to be with, but I’m still me, stuck inside this body. I still worry about work, my family, my friends, and most of the time, I’d still like to hear you talk about yours, too.
Please understand the difference between “happy” and “healthy”. When you’ve got the flu you probably feel miserable with it, but I’ve been sick for years. I can’t be miserable all the time. In fact, I work hard at not being miserable. So, if you’re talking to me and I sound happy, it means I’m happy. That’s all. It doesn’t mean that I’m not in a lot of pain, or not extremely tired, or that I’m getting better, or any of those things. Please don’t say, “Oh, you’re sounding better!” or “But you look so healthy!” I am merely coping. I am sounding happy and trying to look normal. If you want to comment on that, you’re welcome to.
Please understand that being able to stand up for 10 minutes doesn’t necessarily mean that I can stand up for 20 minutes, or an hour. Just because I managed to stand up for 30 minutes yesterday doesn’t mean that I can do the same today. With a lot of diseases you’re either paralyzed, or you can’t move. With this one, it gets more confusing every day. It can be like a yo-yo. I never know from day to day how I am going to feel when I wake up. In most cases, I never know from minute to minute. That is one of the hardest and most frustrating components of chronic pain.
Please repeat the above paragraph substituting “sitting,” “walking,” “thinking,” “concentrating,” “being sociable,” and so on; it applies to everything. That’s what chronic pain does to you.
Please understand that chronic pain is variable. It’s quite possible (and for many, it’s common) that one day I am able to walk to the park and back, while the next day I’ll have trouble getting to the next room. Please don’t attack me when I’m ill by saying, “But you did it before!” or “Oh, come on, I know you can do this!” If you want me to do something, then ask if I can. In a similar vein, I may need to cancel a previous commitment at the last minute. If this happens, please do not take it personally. If you are able to, please try to always remember how very lucky you are, to be physically able to do all of the things that you can do.
Please understand that “getting out and doing things” does not make me feel better, and can often make me seriously worse.You don’t know what I go through or how I suffer in my own private time. Telling me that I need to exercise or do some things to “get my mind off of it” may frustrate me to tears, and is not correct. If I was capable of doing some things any or all of the time, don’t you know that I would? I am working with my doctors and I am doing what I am supposed to do. Another statement that hurts is, “You just need to push yourself more, try harder.” Obviously, chronic pain can affect the whole body, or be localized to specific areas. Sometimes participating in a single activity for a short or a long period of time can cause more damage and physical pain than you could ever imagine. Not to mention the recovery time, which can be intense. You can’t always read it on my face or in my body language. Also, chronic pain may cause secondary depression (wouldn’t you get depressed and down if you were hurting constantly for months or years?), but it is not created by depression.
Please understand that if I say I have to sit down, lie down, stay in bed, or take these pills now, that probably means that I do have to do it right now, it can’t be put off or forgotten just because I’m somewhere, or I’m right in the middle of doing something. Chronic pain does not forgive, nor does it wait for anyone.
If you want to suggest a cure to me, please don’t. It’s not because I don’t appreciate the thought, and it’s not because I don’t want to get well. Lord knows that isn’t true. In all likelihood, if you’ve heard of it or tried it, so have I. In some cases, I have been made sicker, not better. This can involve side effects or allergic reactions, as is the case with herbal remedies. It also includes failure, which in and of itself can make me feel even lower. If there were something that cured, or even helped people with my form of chronic pain, then we’d know about it. There is worldwide networking (both on and off the Internet) between people with chronic pain. If something worked, we would KNOW. It’s definitely not for lack of trying. If, after reading this, you still feel the need to suggest a cure, then so be it. I may take what you said and discuss it with my doctor.
If I seem touchy, it’s probably because I am. It’s not how I try to be. As a matter of fact, I try very hard to be normal. I hope you will try to understand. I have been, and am still, going through a lot. Chronic pain is hard for you to understand unless you have had it. It wreaks havoc on the body and the mind. It is exhausting and exasperating. Almost all the time, I know that I am doing my best to cope with this, and live my life to the best of my ability. I ask you to bear with me, and accept me as I am. I know that you cannot literally understand my situation unless you have been in my shoes, but as much as is possible, I am asking you to try to be understanding in general.
In many ways I depend on you, people who are not sick. I need you to visit me when I am too sick to go out. Sometimes I need you help me with the shopping, the cooking, or the cleaning. I may need you to take me to the doctor or to the store. You are my link to the “normalcy” of life. You can help me to keep in touch with the parts of life that I miss and fully intend to undertake again, just as soon as I am able.
I know that I asked a lot from you, and I do thank you for listening. It really does mean a lot.
Was April 2013. That was the month and year I kicked off Oro Expeditions. It was also the year I ended a 30 year career driving a truck across this great country. It was kinda funny and ironic how that all ended and maybe I will tell more of that story someday but for now I am going to start this “nutshell” with a beginning instead of an ending.
The first Expedition kicked off without glamour. I gathered up all of my basic camping gear along with a weeks worth of food and plenty of clean clothes. The last thing to be loaded into the “Nugget Buggy” was everything I owned to prospect for gold. It was a short list. 2 5 gallon buckets, a short-handled round pointed shovel, a home-made 1/2 in. classifier, and my lucky gold pan given to me as a gift for joining a famous gold club. The last thing on the list was the directory of all the places in the US this club had the rights to prospect and mine for gold.
On the 14th of April, 2013, early in the afternoon, two things happened at the same time. I pulled out of the driveway in western Maryland to begin Oro Expedition 13, a dream of mine for sometime come true and at the same time on the same day a cute little puppy was born that would drop into my life 7 months later in central California during a Christmas blizzard.
I spent 13 months on the gold trail that first year with only one 4 day stay at the house for my wife’s birthday. I traveled to quite a few south-eastern states including North Carolina, Georgia, and Tennessee all of which were abundant with the shiny yellow stuff along with numerous different semi precious stones of all colors and shapes.
After many rain filled days spent working the small streams of the east my operation was able to move to the eleven western states in pursuit of much larger gold and much more plentiful gold.
Starting in Colorado and working my way across to Oregon I was able to prospect and find gold every time I crossed a state line. Landing in southwest Oregon and then working my way south as September turned into November, I followed the gold trail to central California high in the Sierra Nevada.
The end of one year and the beginning of a new one also felt like something new for Oro Expeditions was about to start as I made my way back to Maryland in late January of 2014.
I’m not sure where to start with the “now” part of this story so I will begin with what I know about my physical well-being and how it may or may not affect the 2017 gold and gemstone season and beyond.
I have had a history of back trouble since my early twenties when I was involved in a serious fall from a carnival ride I was working on. Then in 2001 I was struck by lightning and of course the back took the worst of it. Then back in 2006 I injured the lower back bad enough I couldn’t walk or sit up straight for almost a week. Once again somewhere around 2015 while helping a friend I blew multiple disks out and found out what lifetime chronic pain feels like.
I have been on a pain program for over a year and the meds I use to get pain relief work well. These are meds I will be on for the rest of my life unless something better is invented. The use of cannabis is a large part of my medical battle with pain along with other problems that use letters to describe them. THC heals them all.
My right shoulder was recently operated on to remove bone spurs and other fun stuff like shortening my collarbone and relocation of my bicep muscle. The good news is it is healing nicely and will be ready for the coming season.
Once again I regress. Back to the season at hand.
I look ahead to the 2017 gold and gemstone season and I see an Expedition that could be the biggest one yet and also one that could be worthy of a spot on one of the reality TV channels. The plan includes multiple locations in the lower 48 along with plans for at least 1 trip up north to the Yukon and interior Alaska. Thanks to the arthritis in my back it might be my last chance to see the Land of The Midnight Sun.
Something I want to focus on this year is a program that involves teaching people, especially children, how to prospect and pan for gold. We will be promoting this wherever we may go and will be posting locations and dates as early as possible. If you check the upcoming schedule we will be posting and we are in your area you will be able to come hang out with us in Gold Camp and learn the basics of finding the shiny yellow metal.
We will be focusing on creating two permanent spaces which will allow us to work year round depending on the season. One will be located on our desert claims located in central Arizona. The other will be somewhere in the northwest with possibilities in Canada and Alaska. Returning back to a plan from 2013 and the first Expedition, I would like to have the whole north south program located in the lower 48 states with future Expeditions expanding northward and also world-wide to exotic locations like “down under”, and also South America. Big ideas or BIG plans to be turned into reality? You decide. For me and my lovely wife we believe it is all doable and more.
I started out calling this piece a “Nutshell” version but I always get a little carried away with excitement when it comes to warm weather and the pursuit of gold and other shiny things so bear with me … hehe
The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) has made some small but impactful changes to their website’s page on medical marijuana.
Prior to the change, NIDA had a page on their website titled Is Marijuana Medicine? The page has now been updated with several changes, including a change in title; it is now referred to as simply Marijuana as Medicine, without the question mark. This is a small change, but an important one.
In addition to a change in title, there were multiple other changes made to the page. Below are the seven biggest changes, pointed out by Westword;
In this section, the important change isn’t what’s missing, but what’s been rephrased. In the July 2015 revision, THC was described as “marijuana’s main mind-altering ingredient.” The latest revision adds the words “that makes people, ‘high’.” There’s also a new link link to a page explaining Synthetic Cannabis.
Synthetic marijuana is used primarily to enhance the high in THC-centric marijuana products. Adding information about synthetic marijuana to a section about cannabinoids makes a distinction between natural cannabinoids derived from the plant and synthetic products made in a lab. Most medical products come directly from the plant; this point is important. Multiple studies have shown synthetic marijuana to be more harmful than products made exclusively from the cannabis plant, and THC products get a bad rap when synthetic marijuana causes harmful effects.
3. CBD and childhood epilepsy
One of the most drastic changes is an informational box once titled “What is CBD?” The updated title reads: “CBD and Childhood Epilepsy.”
The box itself explains how CBD can treat epilepsy; the small shift in the headline reflects how accepted this practice has become. So does a change in the verbiage. Instead of reading, “These drugs may be less desirable to recreational users because they are not intoxicating,” the updated version is more direct: “These drugs aren’t popular for recreational use because they aren’t intoxicating.”
This change is major for medical patients: So much of the time, their medicine is compared to THC and negative cultural norms associated with smoking marijuana. Specifying that drugs that medical patients use are not in any way comparable to the high users get from THC is an important distinction.
4. Alzheimer’s disease removed
Alzheimer’s disease was removed from a list of conditions that are the focus of current scientific pre-clinical and clinical trials. That could be because multiple studies have been published since 2015 linking cannabis to improved memory.
Four more states legalized medicinal cannabis since the last edit of this page; four more legalized recreational use. In over half of the states in this country, cannabis is legal in some form. The section about potential health risks used to read “regular medicinal use of marijuana is a fairly new practice.” The revision? “State-approved medicinal use of marijuana is a fairly new practice.”
States with legalized marijuana face uncertainty in the age of Trump. But acknowledging that states have approved marijuana for medical use on a government site is significant as the industry grapples with questions about states’ rights.
6. Section on pregnancy
An entire section has been added to the revised page, focusing on the use of medical marijuana during and after pregnancy. The gist: There needs to be more research before a definitive answer can be made about the effects of marijuana on a fetus or infant.
The only study that measures THC in breast milk, for example, is from 1982 and provides data from just two subjects. “All of Colorado policy around marijuana use and breastfeeding is derived from one person’s data,” notes Dr. Heather Thompson, deputy director of Elephant Circle, a local organization working with a physician in Texas who is conducting a study on the effect of THC in breast milk.
7. Medications with cannabinoids
In the section that explains the two FDA-approved drugs containing THC, dronabinol and nabilone, an important sentence was added: “Continued research might lead to more medications.”
At a speech today in Virginia Attorney General Jeff Sessions said he believes medical marijuana has been “hyped”, and that marijuana is only “slightly less awful” than heroin.
During a speech to law enforcement – the full text of which can be found on the Department of Justice website – Sessions stated; “I think medical marijuana has been hyped, maybe too much.”
Sessions also remarked that he rejects “the idea that America will be a better place if marijuana is sold in every corner store”, and said he’s “astonished to hear people suggest that we can solve our heroin crisis by legalizing marijuana – so people can trade one life-wrecking dependency for another that’s only slightly less awful. Our nation needs to say clearly once again that using drugs will destroy your life.”
Sessions saying nonfatal marijuana is “slightly less awful” than heroin, which took the lives of at least 12,000 people in 2015 alone, is clearly ridiculous, and a clear example of how ignorant he is on the issue.
Despite these remarks, and a plethora of other negative comments Sessions has made about marijuana, he apparently reassured several senators before his confirmation that there won’t be a federal crackdown on marijuana. Whether or not he keeps his word, however, is anybody’s guess.
Delegate Mike Pushkin (D) filed House Bill 2677, and Senator Richard Ojeda (D) filed Senate Bill 386. Both would legalize medical cannabis, albeit in different manners. HB 2688 has no cosponsors, whereas SB 386 is cosponsored by a bipartisan coalition of nine senators.
HB 2677 would legalize the possession of up to six ounces of cannabis, and the cultivation of up to 12 plants, for those with a qualifying condition who receive a recommendation from a physician. Qualifying conditions include:
(A) Cancer, glaucoma, positive status for human immunodeficiency virus, acquired immune deficiency syndrome, hepatitis C, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, agitation of Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety, addiction to opiates or amphetamines or the treatment of these conditions;
(B) A chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition or its treatment that produces one or more of the following: Cachexia or wasting syndrome; severe or chronic pain; severe nausea; seizures; or severe and persistent muscle spasms, including, but not limited to, those characteristic of multiple sclerosis; or
(C) Any other medical condition or its treatment added by the department, as provided in section six of this article.
The proposal would established a system of licensed and regulated cannabis dispensaries, as a means of safe access to the medicine.
SB 386 would also legalize medical cannabis – including license dispensaries – but in a more limited way. Qualifying conditions include:
(A) A chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition that results in a patient being admitted into hospice or receiving palliative care; or
(B) A chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition or the treatment of a chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition that produces:
(i) Cachexia, anorexia, or wasting syndrome;
(ii) Severe or chronic pain that does not find effective relief through standard pain medication;
(iii) Severe nausea;
(iv) Seizures; or
(v) Severe or persistent muscle spasms.
HB 2677 has been assigned to the House Prevention and Treatment of Substance Abuse Committee. SB 386 has been assigned to the Senate Health and Human Resources.
By Jennifer Kaplan and Polly Mosendz, Bloomberg News
The cannabis industry was rattled Thursday after White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said he expects the Department of Justice to increase enforcement of federal laws prohibiting recreational pot, even in states where it’s already legal.
Along with the District of Columbia, eight states have legalized recreational use among adults, including California, Maine, Massachusetts, and Nevada just this past November. That means one in five American adults can smoke, vape, drink, or eat cannabis as they please under state law.
Meanwhile, over half of the nation’s states have legalized medical marijuana despite federal laws prohibiting its sale. The industry is estimated to be worth north of $6 billion and will hit $50 billion by 2026, according to Cowen & Co.
“Today’s news coming out of the administration regarding the adult use of cannabis is, of course, disappointing,” Derek Peterson, CEO of marijuana cultivator Terra Tech Corp., said Thursday in a statement. “We have hoped and still hope that the federal government will respect states’ rights in the same manner they have on several other issues.”
Spicer sought to distinguish the prospect of federal enforcement for medical, versus recreational, cannabis use, saying “there’s still a federal law that we need to abide by when it comes to recreational marijuana and other drugs of that nature.”
Spicer’s statements reanimated industry concern that first arose when Republican President Donald Trump’s short-list of potential attorney general nominees emerged. The final pick, former senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama, a Republican, has long opposed cannabis use, but is a major proponent of state’s rights.
In his mid-January confirmation hearing, Sessions said he wouldn’t “commit to never enforcing federal law” but added that “absolutely it’s a problem of resources for the federal government.” He said that if Congress felt marijuana possession should no longer be illegal, it “should pass a law.” Trump has similarly gone back and forth on the issue of legalization.
New Hampshire’s House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee has passed a bill to decriminalize cannabis and hash possession.
House Bill 640 was approved with an overwhelming 14 to 2 vote. The measure would decriminalize the possession of up to an ounce of cannabis, and up to five grams of hash, for those 21 and older.
If police do catch someone possessing cannabis or hash within those limits, it would be “a fine of $100 for a first offense under this paragraph, a fine of $200 for a second offense within three years of the first offense, or a fine of $350 for a third or subsequent offense within 3 years of 2 other offenses.” Under current law the possession of even a minuscule amount of cannabis is a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail.
House Bill 640 is sponsored by a bipartisan, bicameral coalition of a dozen lawmakers including Representatives Robert Cushing (D), Keith Murphy (R), Frank Sapareto (R), William Pearson (D), Carol McGuire (R), Chuck Grassie (D), Daniel Eaton (D), Patricia Lovejoy (D), as well as Senators Martha Clark, John Reagan, Daniel Innis.
Last year New Hampshire’s full House of Representatives passed a similar bill with a 289 to 58 vote, but it failed to pass the Senate.
According to a WMUR Granite State Poll released July of last year, 61% of New Hampshire voters support legalizing cannabis.
A company that specializes in the use of cannabis as a form of medication have come up with a revolutionary pain patch that can be used to treat diabetic nerve pain and symptoms of fibromyalgia. This could change the way cannabis is viewed in the medical world forever.
The new medications are designed to be administered as transdermal patches, which are basically adhesive patches that are stuck to the skin and release certain chemicals over time to help combat neurological nerve pain associated with diabetes and fibromyalgia. Using this medium means a controlled dose of the medication can be administered on a daily basis, with no negative side effects discovered so far.
“Promote healing to an injured area of the body. An advantage of a transdermal drug delivery route over other types of medication delivery such as oral, topical, intravenous, intramuscular, etc. is that the patch provides a controlled release of the medication into the patient, usually through either a porous membrane covering a reservoir of medication or through body heat melting thin layers of medication embedded in the adhesive which will be containing high potency cannabinoid (CBD) extract that slowly enters into the bloodstream and then penetrates the central nervous system of the patient delivering the pain relief sought.”
CBD is the second most major cannabinoid contained in cannabis, the main one being THC. CBD has incredible pain relieving and anti-inflammatory properties and comes from a completely natural source with very few side effects, including the hallucinogenic effects commonly associated with THC.
“The development of these two new pharmaceutical medicinal applications are just the tip of the iceberg for what we see as the future for Cannabis Science. While we strive to increase our land capacity for growth and facilities to produce our own product to supply our scientists with proprietary materials to make these formulations, we are also busy researching more potential needs for Cannabis related medical applications and developing the methods for delivery of these medications.”
Fibromyalgia is thought to affect up to 10% of us, with a huge number of sufferers not yet diagnosed. Nerve neuropathy diabetic pain affects a large number of people worldwide, and this new treatment will be a massive step in the right direction towards limiting certain symptoms, and maybe even curing these illnesses for good.
Mr. Dabney concludes:
“As more states nationwide legislate for the legalization of cannabis and cannabis-derived medications, we here at Cannabis Science are focused on developing pharmaceutical formulations and applications to supply the huge growing demand expected over the coming few years.”