My body began attacking itself at the age of 31. Before that, I was a very active, very athletic. I was a physical person. Loved Racquetball, handball, volleyball (on the beach), football, even a Rally driver through the street of Memphis and Tampa. Delta THC, CBD, were things that was never a part of my conversations. And as for smoking marijuana? It was never about pain it was about relaxing. How times change.
Oh, and I used to love to run full tilt along the beaches of Clearwater, St Petersburg, and Paradise Island in the Bahamas. Never in a million years did I think anything would ever change. At least not until I was over 60 anyway.
Make a Plan … Watch God Laugh
Two Years after the assassination of John Lennon, almost to the day, I was in the park in Wilmington Delaware photographing my dog, a Dachshund I had named ‘Shadow’. A beautiful day in the fall; cool temperatures and low humidity.
I had recently had my Nikon F2 cleaned and realigned. I loved my F2 and refused to upgrade to the F3 in 1980 (the F3 was superior in some ways, but it was ugly). Anyway, I took Shadow to the park to get some shots of my new puppy and to test the camera and lenses. That was the day my world would begin to crumble. At first it was a slow decline, but it sped up as years went on.
A Walk in the Park
That day in the park I had wanted to get ground level with Shadow for a series of images. The fall leaves in the foreground blurred just right, the background trees and sky created a nice bokeh. So down I went. Spending nearly an hour at ground level I captured 36 images on Kodachrome. When I was done, or more accurately, when Shadow continuously ran out of view the photoshoot was over. Time to look at another angle. But there was a problem.
The problem was I couldn’t move. I found out much later I had caused a herniated disc in my spine at the L4/L5. The pain was excruciating, yet I refused to scream (though I wanted to, badly). Instead, I stayed motionless. After about 20 minutes or so my puppy came up to my face, licking me with excitement, then eventually simply laid down by my head and went to sleep.
A Stranger and a Good Friend
Finally, somebody in the park came over to me and asked if I was okay. I explained what happened and that I couldn’t move. She then called over a friend. One of them, I can’t remember which, walked over to The Rutledge, a downtown apartment building where I lived, and knocked on my best friend’s door (next door to me) and he came running.
When Walt arrived, with my brother in tow, they did something that probably didn’t do me any good; they lifted me up by the shoulders until I was on my feet. The entire time I was hissing like a snake to avoid screaming. Still, once I was on my feet, I was able to move.
Walt insisted I be taken to the hospital. I refused and asked them both to get me home, and to carry Shadow. When we got to my place I went toward the sofa, sat down, and stayed there.
I asked my brother to put on Abbey Road on the turntable and grab me a Stroh beer from the fridge. I remember Walt saying something like “I think you slipped a disc.” I had no idea what that meant at the time but waved him off regardless. “I’ll be fine tomorrow.”
That evening my girlfriend came over. She had heard from my brother what happened in the park. When she got there, she moved me to the bed, and proceeded to massage my lower back, hard! To this day, some 39 years later, I remember a “squish/pop” sound as my weak disc slid back in place.
Life, for a While, Returned to Normal…
Over the years that defective disc continued to slip in and out. A year or so later, 1984, in Connecticut, that same disc slipped out and paralyzed my right leg. The pain was truly nightmarish. On a scale of 1 to 10, the pain registered a consistent 12. I was sweating in 30-degree temps. I had a contorted look on my face every time I moved an inch. The amount of pain a person can take is remarkable.
And, to my disbelief, I was ordered by my boss, in no uncertain terms, to go to work that day. My brother wound up driving me to work. I was put in the back seat, lying down with my legs sticking out the window because I could not move the right one.
Arriving at the office my assistant offered me a handful of Darvocet N100. I took a couple right away, and an hour later felt a little better. Nothing more was said about it and by the next day the disc managed to slip back in, for a while.
A Slow Decline into Chronic Pain
In part 2 I’ll talk about my journey through a steady progression of Degenerative Disc Disease and Arthritis. I will tell you about all the opiates that were prescribed by doctors over the years, as well as the pinnacle of post-surgery pain (an unsuccessful surgery), and a daily regimen of various opiates that would kill anyone who hadn’t been progressed to the point of being extremely opioid tolerant.
In part 3 I’ll describe what my life was like once the federal government decided that abusers of opiates were more important that people like me who needed them to need a somewhat normal life. Included will be about pain clinics that went from giving patients a quality of life worth living to managing painkillers by sacrificing quality of life.
Cannabis, CBD, and Finally, Delta THC
Lastly, I’ll tell you how I went through legalized marijuana to manage pain unsuccessfully, to CBD, which helped a little, to finally discovering the true potential of ‘quality of life’ with Delta THC.
In the meantime, I’ll link some important articles here in Spinfuel about Delta products and what Delta THC is.
During this journey I will be using various Delta THC products, and I’ve linked them below. I’ll discuss each one, and how I have incorporated them into my daily life.
Find out how, as the government tied the hands of pain doctors and pain science, others stepped in and managed to give me back a life I decided I wanted to live.