I am a 36 year old father of two teenage daughters, ages 15 and 17 . I am the former owner of a small trucking company that hauled logs and lumber, and I support medical cannabis in Tennessee.
In late 2014 my health began to decline, it was at that point that I began taking prescription pain killers daily. The cartilage in my left ankle was wearing away and it was becoming increasingly more painful. The doctors said that I was too young for an ankle replacement because it only lasts for ten to fifteen years on average, so at this point it would likely have to be done again in the future. So, I began my journey on pain killers to get through every day life and provide for my family.
My kids mother, whom I had been divorced from for ten years had a severe addiction to prescription pain killers, but I was unaware of it until one night my young daughters called me at my house crying and upset. Their exact words were “Daddy please come over here, something is wrong with momma, she won’t talk to us”, so I left right then and headed there. Before I got there, my daughters said “Daddy please hurry, I think momma is dying”. I kept them on the phone until I got there, and then when I found their mother high and passed out from opiates, I called the police and she was arrested.
To make a long story short, in may of 2015, my daughters were spending the night with their mom as ordered by the court, and they found her dead from a drug overdose at 3 am when they got up to use the bathroom. Around this time is when I became epileptic, and my immune system began attacking my joints. To this day, no one knows why, but I am now in a wheelchair most of the time.
If I do stand up and take a few steps, I have to use crutches as the cartilage in my left ankle has completely deteriorated and now the bones are wearing each other out. I have been diagnosed with degenerative bone disease, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, and inflammatory arthritis.
I only take antinflammatories and low dose steroids, nothing for pain, not even Tylenol.
I went to a methadone clinic for about a year and a half to deal with an opioid addiction I have myself, due to pain management with them.
I feel as though I would benefit greatly from the use of medicinal cannabis. I think it would be a natural alternative to something that has already brought so much heartache and sorrow to my family. I can’t work and have been trying to get disability started for over a year now, but maybe if medical cannabis were available, I could use some form of it for pain relief and be able to work.