Monday, October 28, 2019

The Sometimes Impenetrable Wall of Western Medicine

by Gary Stamper 10/28/2019

There are some things that Western "heroic" medicine does really good. Integrating with proven "holistic" methods may not be one of them.

It's been 12 days since my total left hip replacement surgery. One of my goals going in was to be in the best possible physical health and shape I could be in given my age, knowing the impact that would have on my recovery. Since I have no previous surgeries, I have nothing to gauge my recovery, but my doctor tells me I'm recovering quickly.

One of my other goals was to get off opioid pain killers as quickly as possible, so I did a lot of research on holistic and natural pain relief and spoke to other holistic practitioners that I've known a long time and respect and wound up with several alternative possibilities, including my old staples of Arnica and Rescue Remedy, CBD oil, and something I'd not heard of before, "Ghost (or Indian) Pipe." Last, an old standby that I hadn't considered, THC, or marijuana.

Ghost Pipe
When I talked to my surgeon about these homeopathic and ancient remedies before the surgery, I wasn't surprised by his reaction. He had not heard of any of them except Arnica, and then only as a topical ointment. To his credit, he had his staff do a quick search on them all but then came back recommending that I stop all of them at once and discontinue for at least 4 weeks after the surgery.

Also to his credit, I received two types of pain killers: Oxycodone - Stronger and one of the most addictive opioid pain medications - and Tramadol - milder and not an opioid but acts in the same way, including an addiction risk.

When I woke after surgery, I felt fine and was immediately helped up to take a short "walk" with my new walker and my nurse. The next morning I was still feeling "fine," ate a good breakfast, spoke with several of the attendants who wanted to make sure I understood what I was going to be doing when I got home and familiarized me further about my prescribed medications. Nobody had really prepared me for the amount of pain I was going to have when the residual anesthesia from the surgery eventually wore off.

I immediately took the recommended doses of the Oxycodone, one in the early afternoon, and one before bed that night.

Upon rising (sort of) the next morning, I decided that the zombie state created by the Oxycodone was just not going to work for me, so I switched over to the Tramadol. That worked fine for the next couple of days and nights but I was just on the edge of being too knocked out by it, so I cut the doses back by half and added the Ghost Ship tincture in with it. Now, Ghost Ship tincture doesn't really mask the pain, but, rather, allowed me to set it aside and just notice that it's there as if I were an observer. I had noticed similar results from deep meditation, which seemed perfect to me, so I just added it to my medication practice. A couple of days later, I decided to try the same thing with THC and found exactly the same results.

As I continued to heal (So-o-o slowly, I thought), I eliminated the THC and just relied on the half doses of tramadol, and finally to where I am now, just taking the Tramadol when I need it as the pain comes and goes with the amount of inflammation I seem to be having.

I fully get that this is anecdotal and may not be the way anyone else experiences the way these substances interacted and don't recommend you try this, and were it not for my hip surgery, I surely wouldn't have experienced any of this.

Oh, and by the way, as soon as my hip has healed, I'll be going in for a partial knee replacement and we'll get to start this process all over again.

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