Severe Chronic Post-traumatic Pain by Eric Holmelund
I was a police officer in New Jersey for about ten years and retired with a disability pension due to injuries sustained while on duty. I was not hurt in some dramatic incident. It was just a stupid accident. I had two completely ruptured discs, and pieces of bone fragment and soft tissue were found in my nerve canal. The doctors repaired the damage to the best of their ability. My back is now full of titanium pins and screws and rods, but I have continued to suffer from neuropathy or nerve damage in my legs, primarily my left leg. My symptoms include an intense burning sensation and frequent sharp jabbing burning pains that shoot through my calf and ankle. Sometimes my foot feels like a cold burning, if that makes any sense. At times I lose control of my left leg because it just hurts so much. Every step I take causes pain, so I use a cane and try to apply as little pressure as possible to my left foot every time I step. I no longer live in New Jersey, and the doctors who are currently treating me are very good. They are going to test an electronic device on me, and if it works they will implant it in my torso with wires running to my spine. This device will supposedly block the pain, and then I can live happily ever after. I'll believe it when I see it.
Before I left New Jersey, an old high school friend who is also a medical professional suggested I try marijuana for relief of my symptoms, and it worked. . Another friend from my old neighborhood gave me the marijuana, no charge and no strings attached. For about a year I would smoke once or twice a week, and my quality of life improved dramatically. My wife and I moved out of state with our children in 2002 and I no longer have access to marijuana. I will not take the chance because of the very stiff penalties for possession in our new home state. I have had doctors talk about morphine pumps and patches, and I have taken more worthless pills than I care to count, all with no effect on my condition. I think it is absolutely absurd that I (and millions like me) are denied relief from a substance that grows in the dirt, just because our "representatives" (and I use those quotation marks with sarcasm) don't have the stones to do the right thing