A loving family member cajoled me to try something new today. My chief pain management strategy for dealing with my arthritic symptoms could be summed up (before tonight) with the following quote:
“Denial ain’t just a river in Egypt. It’s a pain management strategy”.
In other words sometimes stoicism is the best medicine, given the hazards of the alternatives:
- NSAIDs (aspirin is in this class, that includes much more powerful versions that do many of the same anti-inflammatory things).
- Biologicals (Enbrel or Humira for example: powerful and expensive meds that might work for some, but aren’t recommended to someone who’s spooked by the list of possible side-effects / hazards. When your dad died of leukemia you don’t naturally think these are a good option)
I eat carefully (having discovered the low- or no-starch diet option).
And yet there might be another option. I have the initials CBD on the back of my hand, written there as a reminder, to know what to ask for. Cannabidiol or CBD? One of the many ingredients of marijuana.
One can get pills containing CBD, bypassing the smoke & the stone altogether.
I was persuaded to visit a dispensary today, where I spoke to a nurse practitioner about my symptoms via skype. It was a bit surreal –she had a stunning smile, astonishing teeth that I coaxed out of their hiding place once I persuaded her to giggle at a bad joke I made—to be in this place in downtown Toronto.
I’ve talked to activists pushing for harm reduction and the legalization of cannabis, both medicinally and recreationally. I couldn’t help noticing that while the activists such as Lisa Campbell are an intellectually brilliant lot, that’s not what I saw at this dispensary.
In fact come to think of it, I guess what I saw resembles what I see when I go to a liquor store or beer store, except that the demographic was mostly the group under 35. I must have seemed an oddball there, a guy with posture problems and a bit of a limp (sometimes), among all these healthy young people. No I am not saying they weren’t legit. But I did stick out like a (pardon the irony) sore thumb.
I know that the medicinal marijuana is for a host of things, sometimes stress, psychiatric issues, or to assist people in sleeping. I came there actually unsure what I would find, but persuaded to seek out CBD, rather than the usual cannabis. You can read a comprehensive paean to CBD in a piece arguing that it’s the “medicine of the future”.
But I am writing this simply to report on a fascinating phenomenon that seems to be under the radar. One of these days Justin Trudeau and Bill Blair will find the right language for legislation legalizing cannabis, both medicinal and recreational. I am impatient for it on the principle that alcohol and tobacco are legal even though neither is as safe as cannabis as far as I can tell / as far as I have read.
Part two of this conversation will be to report on my first CBD pill. From what I have heard, my dose is very mild, certainly compared to what is taken by a person coping with chemo and/or cancer.
Depending on how I feel that may be taken tonight. I’ve got a dental hygiene appointment tomorrow morning, for which i used to take valium to ensure that my jaw is looser, to lessen the pains i experience in my neck and back. Perhaps a good night’s sleep via CBD will be helpful.
About 30 years ago I read a book called “Views from Old Age,” in which some author had the idea of interviewing various old people in England so as to get their perspective on life. I guess it was written to impart to a younger generation how they might in future reflect on the course of their own lives, and maybe amend some things now.
If we’re talking deep philosophical insights here, I found none. But what was striking was that several of the elderly made reference to wearing copper as a way to ward off arthritis, with such comments as it being a proven folk remedy going back thousands of years, and expressing disbelief as to why everyone doesn’t wear it as a matter of course.
The logic is that the body slowly absorbs traces of the copper and that it works as a natural joint lubricant, though it may not work for all forms of arthritis. A fairly wide wrist band (at least an inch) is best and you should not care if your wrist turns a bit green (easily washed off) as a result.
I have been wearing copper bracelets ever since, and even though elderly myself now, suffer barely a twinge of anything. Of course, the key here is prevention and I don’t know if it would do any good for someone who already has advanced arthritis. And yet I can’t imagine it would do any harm to try it as a remedy at such modest cost.