Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Steve P.



I am 31 years old and I live in western Pennsylvania. I was seriously injured at work over a year ago. I'm currently suffering from a large left posterior lateral disc herniation with significant narrowing of the left lateral neural foramina. There is also generalized bulging at the L-5 S-1 level that gives me a very painful protruding feeling in my lower back.

I experience palpable spasms frequently on a daily basis. Because of the initial pain, the back muscles go into spasm as part of the body's effort to immobilize the painful area. Rather than improving matters, this result is more pain. My legs fall asleep at least 2-3 times a day and the sciatic nerve pain down my legs into my feet is some of the worst pain I've ever felt. This type of pain can make it hard to enjoy even the simplest daily activities.

I also have spondylolishesis as a result of my work injury, which is a forward displacement of the vertebra at the L-5 S-1 level that causes instability, making it hard for me to sit, stand, walk or drive for more than 30 minutes at a time, inevitably requiring a rod fusion surgery.

Most people with these types of problems have the option to take pain pills to deal with their pain, I am not one of those people. I honestly cannot handle any type of pill, steroid or pain injection shot... I've tried, they make me extremely sick to my stomach and come with some very harmful side-effects that make my conditions worse.


I have found mild relief with an FDA approved noninvasive treatment, which is Vertebral Axial Decompression (Vax-D), however access to this treatment is a 2 hour round-trip with 2-4 appointments every week. This treatment costs well over $300.00 day + the 2 hours of drive time just to manage my pain levels on a daily basis.

I was told by 4 neurosurgeons over the last year that I should have a rod fusion surgery performed that could possibly help my leg pain. Rod fusion surgery has a very low success rate and is accompanied by 6 months bed rest, plus another 6 months of physical therapy and plenty of pills involved, which I honestly cannot take. I really don't know how I would manage my pain if I couldn't drive to my Vax-D appointments. I have continued Vax-D to hopefully manage the pain levels enough to delay the rod fusion surgery as long as possible.

In other states people that have the same issues are legally managing their pain simply by smoking, vaporizing and/or juicing raw cannabis right in their own homes. I would be more apt to try the juicing part of this medicine. Juicing the raw cannabis plant for THC-A is also non-psychoactive similar to the CBD oils that are being produced for children to stop their uncontrollable seizures.

Juicing cannabis would have to be made from fresh organic plant material and any medical cannabis bill that is passed would have to allow that type of access via compassionate caregivers and/or personal gardens. That is one of the many reasons I support Senate Bill 1182 rather than accept the proposed CBD-only legislation bill that has been suggested by Gov. Tom Corbett.

I am waiting for medicinal cannabis to be an option in Pennsylvania so it can help me with the pain during and after my future back surgery, but more importantly, this medicine could help other life threatening conditions.

My father, who served 22 years in the army and was a Lt. Col in Vietnam is dealing with PTSD, high blood pressure, diabetes and eye/nose cancer from the night vision goggles they used in the war.

My mother is also battling cancer.

My sister has RSD-reflux sympathetic dystrophy, my brother is a severe diabetic, my little cousin has uncontrollable seizures... and the list goes on.

If cannabis can help every one of these conditions, why am I watching my loved ones needlessly suffer?


Please support SB 1182... for a better quality of life for ALL!



~Steve Placek


7 comments:



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