Pain and Sexual Function
by Anonymous

In July of '95, at the age of 32, 1 was involved in a high-speed multi-vehicle collision that left me with a shattered L2 vertebrae and temporary paralysis from the waist down. After extensive reconstructive surgery involving a titanium brace and bone graft, my spine was once again whole.

Although I slowly regained most of my mobility, the nerve damage was quite extensive and I am still, after almost 4 1/2 years, numb through my groin. This leaves me sexually dysfunctional (impotent), reliant on a catheter to urinate and necessitates strict adherence to a bowel management program.

But these things I learned to deal with. What was slowly destroying me was lack of sleep from the incessant pain. Night after night of tossing and turning wracked with the pain of what felt like my left leg on fire. Four years of no sleep was taking its toll. I was visibly aging, my energy was at an all time low, my performance on the job was suffering, I was literally at the end of my rope.

That's when a close friend suggested I try smoking marihuana. My initial reaction was one of skepticism as I had tried it a few times before my accident and not enjoyed it all, feelings of paranoia being the primary reason. But with nothing to lose I tentatively gave it another try.

Wow, my first night of uninterrupted sleep since those morphine-induced ones in the hospital... I couldn't believe it! I had forgotten what it felt like to be fully rested. My energy levels soared, my gregarious personality returned and I felt like living for a change.

I don't know exactly how it works but it changes the way my brain deals with the pain. It's still there, I can still feel it but my brain is able now just put it to one side and ignore it. It's truly remarkable and in my mind a lifesaver as I can see now that I was fighting long-term depression. If there was ever an argument for its medicinal use, then I feel I'm a poster child.

The paradox here is that while I live in Arizona, a state that voted in favor of its medicinal use, I cannot get a prescription for it because the federal government has promised to withdraw licenses from physicians who prescribe it. So in the meantime I am condemned to shady deals and the threat of legal prosecution, asset seizure, etc. for using something that, in my mind at least, has restored my life. And we call this a democracy?

Anyway, this story continues as remarkable things are happening with my recovery and I am regaining sensation in my legs and my sexual functionality is heightened while under the influence and seems to be improving in the short time that I have become a regular user.