Post-Traumatic Spasms and Pain by Bruce Dunn
My name is Bruce. I am 54 yrs old, married with one child and one grandchild, a Viet vet, and a SUNY graduate. I am retired with a disability. My cannabis use dates to 1969.
In 1988 I rolled over a small truck and suffered the following injuries: 2 broken ribs and pneumothorax on left side, broken left clavicle and left scapula, and fracture and dislocation of C-6,C-7, resulting in incomplete quadriplegia.
Through hard work and good fortune I regained the ability to walk, but when the halo vest and brace came off and my left shoulder was no longer supported, I started having pain and still do. I also have isolated nerve injury off the left side of the cord resulting in severely decreased muscle mass of the left neck and shoulder. This shoulder slopes and hangs lower than the other, and the left trapezius gets very tight and painful.
Over the years the benefit of pot has become more obvious, but especially about 3 yrs ago when I was out of it for 5-6 months.
My left trapezius was in a chronic spasm and hurt a great deal. The chronic pain in my shoulder was also greater and more attention consuming. As soon as I was able to access cannabis again, my neck muscle became soft and stopped hurting and my shoulder became less consuming of me. I don't know how others deal with chronic pain but Ii find that to be unaware of it is nearly as good as not having it, and cannabis helps in that regard. It is distracting and for me motivating.
I tried all the standard therapies for chronic pain and currently use meditation, fitness, diet, and desipramine 25mg bid as well as cannabis. I haven't tried other muscle relaxants and don't want to. My bowel, bladder and sexual functioning have all been compromised to some extent by the spinal cord injury,
and I can't deal with the side effects of standard medications.
For several years now i have been peripherally involved with drug reform and lately have been nursing the idea of speaking to MS and AIDS groups about marijuana. I am a member of ReconsiDer in NY. Mike Smithson of their speakers bureau is very effective at finding gigs for speakers but I am a tad concerned about coming out. Thanks for your time and all you do and have done in letting people know about this lovely little plant.