By Dean Krakel
The pain begins as a slight thrumming at the base of my left wrist. Buzzing up the underside of my forearm, it electrifies my poor torn bicep and sets my shoulder afire. I imagine a small leering gargoyle perched there.
Back in the bad old days, I’d pop a prescription Percocet to tame the pain horse. Now I put a cannabis-infused topical on my left wrist to calm things down. If the pain stays crazy, I’ll take a small hit of shatter from a vape pen. That always works.
Three months out from rotator cuff and bicep surgery, a bout of intense pain still occasionally surprises me. Generally it happens at night. Usually it’s bantamweight and short-lived. These days I am mostly pain-free. Three or four times a week I do aggressive physical therapy. I’m trail running again, albeit slowly, doing light workouts, pumping iron with a manly five pounds.
On those days or nights when I’m not feeling so pain-free, I treat it naturally.
When I tell people I’m using cannabis to deal with post-surgical pain, there are always some eye-rollers. Like, “Oh, sure.” Several of my friends assume I’m so self-medicated, I’m stoned whenever I’m talking to them.