I’m Mikael Naramore, from White Salmon, Washington in the beautiful Columbia River Gorge. In 2016, I was diagnosed with a rare form of early onset adhesive capsulitis (frozen shoulder syndrome) which rendered my left shoulder almost completely immovable and caused excruciating pain — particularly at night. This resulted in severe sleep deprivation and associated depression, irritability, loss of focus, and a major loss of work productivity. I had always read about how debilitating chronic, severe pain could be, but really had no clue until I was living with it.
Looking For Relief
Prior to diagnosis, I was attempting to manage the pain myself with typical over the counter pain relievers. Ibuprofen, acetaminophen, naproxim sodium, maxing out my doses daily and switching regularly to avoid the side effects, to no avail. My digestive tract was left in shambles and began to develop IBS and the beginnings of an ulcer. Upon diagnosis, I was prescribed Tylenol 3 (with codeine). I lost a friend a few years ago to opioid addiction, and so was very wary and careful with that medication and sought out the most logical alternative: cannabis.
I am fortunate to live in Washington State, which has legal cannabis available. My orthopedic surgeon thoroughly supported my decision to use cannabis to treat the pain and inflammation when I brought it up, yet strangely she never recommended it. I suspect it was because of legal reasons, though she wouldn’t and/or couldn’t candidly address the subject.
Quality Of Life
I ended up using a blend of THC/CBD edibles and a topical balm, while slowly weaning myself off of the Tylenol 3. After completing the opioid regimen, I found the pain was managed and lessening, my sleep cycle normalized, and my overall health vastly, vastly improved. Enough so that the regular physical therapy I had been receiving started to become far more effective and improve my condition. I’m glad to say that today I have 95% range of motion back in my shoulder and zero pain. I still do occasionally partake the edibles for those times when stress overcomes my ability to sleep.
Overall, I feel I could have become another casualty in the opioid epidemic. When you’re suffering with chronic, debilitating pain, you’ll do ANYTHING to feel better. With cannabis in a physician’s pain management arsenal, I feel that many patients could avoid heading down that ugly road and recover holistically instead of just ending up with another horrible malady — addiction.