Chronic Pain and Anxiety by Peter Alan Maloney
My journey is not unique. My story, however, is my own, and that makes it one of a kind. Circa 2003 I broke my neck at C-7/T-1 location, which forced me into an immobile position without insurance for four months. The condition worsened and surgery was performed. Subsequently, two more surgeries over the next two years have defined my life more fully than any accomplishments of my past. I now have C-2-3-4-5-6-7 plus L-5/S-1 lumbar fusion ending in 2006. Cannabis was an old friend of mine for many years. I used the drug for calming effects and stress relief all my adult life. When I started using the drug for pain relief, I found a new level of respect with regard to its potential. So much of chronic pain is the mental fatigue involved in being careful how you bend and walk, using cautious judgment whenever attempting tasks that were seemingly easy in years previous. When used in moderation at each sitting, this drug has a therapeutic effect that I call "calm down". Throughout my recovery and rehab therapy, recovery has been slow. My ability to obtain cannabis has allowed me to learn patience. This virtue I will need, as I am staring at a lifetime of recovery, and seeing the glass half full requires thinking outside the box. Cannabis allows me the time to measure my pain and control it.