Pain and Muscle Spasms

On the night of October 18, 1997, a 16-year-old teenager who had obtained his license only two weeks before hit my husband and me in our new 4x4 truck. We were both wearing our seat belts, but both our truck and his Jeep Cherokee were totaled. I was 26 when the accident occurred and my husband was 29. My injuries include severe muscle spasms and cramping the full length of my spinal column. I have periods where my sciatic nerve is pinched and I often have loss of sensation in my hands and fingers, I have constant joint and muscle pain in my shoulder, neck, and full back. The injuries sustained from the lap portion of the seatbelt were not pleasant. It took 2 days for any bowel movement to return. The bruising went away after about a month and became a dark purple streak across my abdomen. Symptoms accompanying these injuries include chronic pain, muscle spasms (in my back, legs, right shoulder, low back and abdomen), diarrhea, nausea, sleeplessness, and a whole host of sleep deprivation symptoms.

I went through a host of medical treatments and medications. They prescribed everything from muscle relaxers (which I had to take 4 of to get any benefit), pain killers (which knocked me out and then amplified the pain), sleeping pills or Valium (which wired me for 4 hours). Suffice it to say, everything they tried either caused bad reactions or just simply didn’t work. I thought that at the age of 26 I was going to be in pain for the rest of my life.

One night four months after the accident I was at a neighbor’s house. We were all snowed in and decided to make an evening of popcorn and Yahtzee. I was getting very uncomfortable sitting. Well, at that time any position I stayed in for more than 20 minutes was painful. I had to get up and walk around. My friend had been in a car wreck seven years before mine. Her back problems were similar to mine but not as extensive. She offered me some marihuana. I refused because of the way I was brought up and thanked her for the offer. She grabbed the dice off the board and looked at me. She told me that of all the things she had tried, this was the only thing that made the pain bearable. I looked at my husband with great reluctance. He grabbed the pipe from her, took a hit and said to me, "I’ll do anything to help you get out of pain." I wanted to cry at first. It was a sweet sentiment. I took the pipe. After a few hits I started to feel this sort of ice feeling in my back. The cold spots were my pain sites. Then the cold melted away and this warm almost vibration started where the cold was. And for the first time in nearly four months I was not in unbearable pain.

That was a year and a half ago. I have been using marihuana medicinally, although illegally, for the last year and a half. I had to move to a different city, and the one thing that helps me get through life without pain is keeping me from getting a job.

That’s a sad reality that I face every day. After a year and a half, I can honestly tell you that I will not stop. One day I would like to see others more educated as to the benefits. When I smoke, my muscles relax, I don’t have diarrhea, I don’t cry in my sleep any more from pain. The benefits for me have far outweighed the legal risks.

Pain by Toni I am 45-year-old female with chronic pain due to two herniated discs, arthritis, fibromyalgia and panic attacks. I usually smoke 2-3 joints a day for the pain, and since I’ve started using marihuana my use of pain pills and Valium has gone down. It really does work for the pain, and it also helps with my occasional migraines. On days when I can’t smoke, I suffer more. I wish I could get into a study to help prove that medical marihuana would really work for some people.