My Story: Doing The Unthinkable to Treat My Pain

My Story: Doing The Unthinkable to Treat My Pain

By Kerry Smith

Kerry Smith

Kerry Smith

A return to the 18th century. Snake oil salesmen. Grandma making her own “elixir”. Dad mixing up some home made brew, some shine “liqa”. Me growing medical marijuana. All of us, trying to find healing, yet now in a society supposedly made up of the finest medical establishment any society in human history has ever experienced. It all seems, in a sad way, a joke, doesn’t it?

I remember both my Grandfather and father as they would get up from their favorite chair, moaning, groaning, grabbing anything they could to stand. My grandfather had a cane. I can’t remember what my father used.

And now guess what?

Me too.

Not grabbing a cane yet but moaning and groaning when I go to stand up. It hurts like hell. They had a high mistrust in the medical establishment and drank liquor like a fish. They were both alcoholics and all that came with the title befitted them as well. I used to believe they were alcoholics for no good reason. I now believe that alcohol was how they medicated themselves. I have pursued medical options for my suffering rather than grabbing a bottle to treat myself.

Now, my options have run out.

Our medical society is tied to the dollar. It has sold its oath of caring for people first to seeing us as cash cows for a lifestyle they believe they deserve after years of education. And now, the face of someone that I appreciate and admire, a fine representative of that establishment, has told me that, “There are no good options left for you”.

No good options.

The reality is that I am faced with two options right now. I can continue to take medicine given to me legally from pharmaceuticals from the only source for pain management in our country right now in a pain clinic or return to the old ages and grow my own medicine that will have less side effects and possibly just as much effectiveness yet illegal for the source of the pain that has given me, after 15 years of suffering and 21 surgeries and procedures, “No good options”.

I have tried to explain to my law abiding children and wife that I may or may not be arrested for doing this. I have tried to explain to them that there needs to be a sacrificial lamb for this cause. So while they are scared on the one hand, they are watching the slow decline of someone they love due to the politics and medical establishment found in a society and country that values wealth and fortune over the love of neighbor. It is in its most literal term an abomination to everything that we should be and what we were founded to be in this great country of ours. But I can yell and scream from the highest building and it will not change what is happening to me and to millions of other pain suffering people in our country; the form of treatment for our pain is INEFFECTIVE.

Can I repeat myself and say that once again?

The form of treatment for our chronic pain is INEFFECTIVE! It is, as they say, what it is, and I will be damned if I will become another epithet on a head stone.

I am taking steps in attempting to grow my own medical marijuana. My state views this as illegal. But from everything that I have read, CBD rich marijuana offers properties for pain management that processed opioid pills do not have. This seems to be the bottom line to what I am doing. My research has led me to look for seeds for indoor plants whose greenery and buds can be ground down to make tea, oil, or edibles that will help me manage my pain. The state of Tennessee nor the majority of other states in our union, do not allow any of this by the way. I could probably move to a state that would allow me to do this legally. But I have no job in another state, my children live closer by right now than if we had to move, and I am not physically in the place where I can uproot my wife and dog. Maybe the dog I can uproot, but not my wife mind you.

Call this a journey.

Call this a risk.

Call it anything you would like but for me it is an attempt to find what I believe will help me live the only life the good lord has given me.

Editor’s Note: Kerry Smith is a former minister, a professional artist, and has suffered with chronic pain for 14 years. He has lectured and written on the topic of chronic pain for several years. Here’s a link to his art studio website.

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Authored by: Kerry Smith

There are 19 comments for this article
  1. Kristine (Krissy) at 6:11 pm

    Patti – if you can, get Mj CBD (oil) which doesn’t have THC and you won’t have any side effects. Ask your dispensary and your doc.

  2. Elizabeth B at 6:38 pm

    Kerry, I enjoyed reading your article.
    I feel that, since I am on Lexapro, (an anti-depressant), that anything with THC makes me feel depressed & paranoid.
    Furthermore, CBD works well alone, but I quickly build up a tolerance to it.
    Suggestions? Like is there a special strain of MJ that would not have those aweful side effects? Thank you, Elizabeth B

  3. Elizabeth at 3:09 pm

    Kerry, you have to do what’s right for you and what’s going to best for your condition. I just wish all the states could see there is more money in it for them if the did legalize it or at least legalize it for medicinal purposes. I will be praying that you find something to help relieve your pain.

  4. Patti at 10:31 am

    I only wish it worked for me. Medical marijuana is legal in my state and the dispensary is in walking distance to my house (if I could walk, that is). It just makes me feel so bad, paranoid and anxious and like I can’t wait for it to be over. So here I am, doing the monthly beg for fewer and fewer pain pills and enduring the judgment of the pharmacy staff each and every month. I had a really hard time with the pain pills too, in the beginning, so maybe if I gave it enough time I’d get used to the effects of MM. God knows I’ll soon enough be in a position where I’ll have to decide if I should pick up the bottle like others are doing (another thing that doesn’t agree with me) or something else. The seizure drugs and antidepressants they’ve tried did nothing but turn me into a person I don’t recognize and don’t wish to revisit. Never thought I’d go down like this, that’s for sure.

  5. Tanya at 7:09 am

    I am in so much pain, the drs won’t diagnose me fully because they don’t want the responsibility due to my “extensive” health issues as the clinical supervisor told me. The pain management Dr isn’t helping me. I have a 12 yr old and I am stuck in bed most days. I’m not living. It really is disgusting on how the drs treat us now a days

  6. Kristine (Krissy) at 6:59 am

    Hi Kerry -good of you to share this because I believe there will be a surge in growing soon, if it hasn’t already. I wish you didn’t have pain, I wish none of us had pain, but we do have to find out what is best for us. I have just ordered CBD oil (it is legal everywhere because it is hemp and not Mj – no THC). I know Mj oil is better, but I live in FL. I’m going to try this and hope it helps. If it does, it’s not just about pain. CBD oil can possibly get me off of Klonipin for anxiety, Neurontin for Restless Leg Syndrome, Protonix for gut and Trazedone and Soma. I know it won’t be an answer for trading in my opioids, but if I could get off of some of those meds, so much less crap would be going into my body. We’re on a mission of “search and find” and it’s going to take some time. My PM doc said go for it and he hopes it will help also. Good luck to you and I’m also 100% supportive of your venture. (Or adventure!)

  7. Toni P. at 10:12 pm

    I would agree with you Sir, it is a joke, except it is the life I lead every single day. Each day is a mountain I must climb in dealing with widespread chronic pain all brought on by a drunk driver who hit me with his car and left the accident never to be caught. Yet, alcohol is completely legal. I will pray for you and your family.

  8. JD at 8:20 pm

    God bless you. I hope that the entire country soon legalizes.
    Praying with you.

  9. Chuck at 2:09 pm

    Dear Dave Rosen,
    Your 750 mg equivalent is not a typo? That would mean that each pill that you take is a 125mg? Anyway, in my state you could weigh 350 lbs. and have a trashed spine from c2 to S1 along with any number of other chronically painful conditions and it would be a miracle to find a physician who would subscribe a high enough dose to reduce pain by 90%. I get a 30-40% reduction about 1/2 the hours in a day and I am bumping up against that limit. Our state has set an arbitrary limit of 120mg daily, no benzo’s, no pot, and a pea test popped on you when you are least expecting it. Do watch for tolerance creep as you never know when your state may do this to you. 750 is a very very high dose. I wish you long term pain relief and a good life.

  10. Chuck at 1:56 pm

    I live in a state where pot is legal. Not just for medical reasons but also recreationally. I am not a fan myself of the mental effects of marijuana but do agree that it is an effective component to managing chronic pain, that said you will be hard pressed in this state to find a physician willing to prescribe opiates for pain while allowing even occasional use of medical marijuana. Additionally you will be hard pressed to get more than 120 mg. eq. opiod Rx daily. So most people are way undertreated or completely untreated. The effect of legalization has also led many to say, ” why dont you get off that ‘addictive opiate’ and just smoke pot?” Yes, just when you thought it couldnt get any worse for people in chronic pain.
    Oh and unless you can manage to grow your own you will spend over $200 per month for some pain relief if you choose the pot program.

  11. Kim Miller at 12:35 pm

    It seems we will eventually have no recourse but Marijuana in the near future. The opiophobic politicians driven to action by the great cash cow of pharmaceutical companies and rehab centers, have thrown chronic pain patients out like so much garbage.

    Pot is not the best pain reliever, but it’s got very few side effects. You cannot overdose on Marijuana. But, it’s illegal. I don’t know why, but it is. Alcohol and tobacco go on killing a ridiculous amount of people every year, far more than opioids ever have, but they are big cash makers.

    Yes, the name of the game is MONEY and it’s ruling the day when it comes to treating chronic pain patients. Good luck to you, Mr. Smith. Marijuana is certainly about the most benign drug that can be found. If I wouldn’t lose my pain treatment, I would join you in a heartbeat.

  12. Jean Price at 10:30 am

    We each have to find our best ways to survive. I’m sorry you’ve been pushed outside the law to find yours, and I hope it’s worth the risk. By going public, I wonder if you aren’t asking also to be that sacrificial lamb…and yet knowing how truly abusive the system is, you’ll just be labeled as another druggie and your efforts to help yourself and others will come to nothing, I hope and pray that’s not the outcome. You must be willing to take that risk, or else why publicize that you are breaking the law in your state? I’m glad you have support, we all need that. I hope that will be enough if this backfires. Often it feels we are pushed into taking roads we wouldn’t have taken without our circumstances being so overwhelming. We just have to remember it was our choice.

  13. STEVE BARTHA at 9:34 am

    WHAT CHOICE DO WE HAVE!! WE, CHRONIC PAIN PEOPLE, MYSELF INCLUED HAVE BEEN HUNG OUT TO DRY BY OUR DRS AND POLITICIANS!!!!!

  14. AJ at 9:02 am

    I support you 100%, and I am about to head down the same path. May we both find some relief.

  15. Bob Schubring at 8:37 am

    In neighboring Kentucky, prior to the 1934 Marihuana Tax Act pushed through by FDR’s Administration, the state’s biggest cash crop was Cannabis Indica, the CBD-rich species of cannabis, which was grown because it’s fibers made better rope and burlap. The tax law suddenly made it almost impossible to grow cannabis for fiber, and the entire hemp industry moved offshore to Soviet Russia. The Soviets owed large debts to US and British banks, and the Marihuana Tax Act, combined with a US invention for a machine that made it easier to separate hemp fibers from hemp hods and leaves, gave Soviet dictator Stalin an easy means to earn the revenue he needed to pay off Russia’s loans from the banks. Kolkhozes, the collective farms Stalin built out of large feudal estates, often got a hemp-combing machine, and thousands of peasant farmers brought their crop to the machine to have it combed and shipped out. It was by channeling food and fiber production through the collective farms, that Stalin won control of the entire country…people who opposed him politically, couldn’t have food to eat.

    Kentucky farmers dealt with the loss of their cash crop, by growing more tobacco, Cigarette smoking became popular across the US during this time…although hemp had a brief comeback during World War II, because ships traveling to Russia to get hemp, had to run through a blockade by German submarines. For a brief period, hemp cultivation was again legal in the US.

  16. dave rosen at 6:39 am

    im sorry, but smokung weed just get me high and lazy. it does nothinh for my pain. the 6 opioid pills i take every day do help. im not a zombie, i dont smell like pot and i dont get the munchies. if opioids werent working for you , its because your doctor was under treating you. i am able to drive and function
    i also take almost 750 mg of morphene eq. there is absolutely no buzz, my pain goes down about 90%.
    for those that say coaching pain away is a moron
    please shoot yourself in the foot and coach.your pain away.

  17. Michelle at 5:25 am

    God bless you, Mr. Smith!
    I hate that this has happened to you. And to your family. Your story is becoming all to familiar. And there truely are not enough voices crying out!
    Talking to gov’t officials, State & federal as soon as possible. Talk with friends & family members about doing the same. As they know
    better then anyone, how you have suffered.

  18. Elizabeth at 4:45 am

    Hi, Kerry, I am in chronic pain, also. I have tried CBD drops, & I have vaped the oil. I would have no complaints. Either way my pain is diminished. However, I build up a resistance SOOO FAST! After several days, it feels as though I am not taking anything @ all !!! And, I have taken some of the highest grade CBD oil from the mountains of Colorado. :/

  19. Jess at 4:26 am

    Wow! I applaud you my dear friend in pain!! For you are brave!! It sucks that you have to do this,but what choice do they give us?? I 100% agree with you & you’re lucky to have a wife & a dog 😉 that back you. It’s a scary , scary thing for us wife’s but my husband has my back and I have his. I hope the unthinkable don’t happen, your in my prayers. I truly know where you’re coming from. One day it will be legal , I can’t stop believing in that.