I tried to appear nonchalant as I strolled the supermarket aisles looking for the location of brownie mixes. Nonetheless, I felt self-conscious. It reminded me of when, as a teen, I bought my first sanitary napkins or later, when I purchased condoms and feminine hygiene products.
Who will know what I’m doing? Will they care what a cane-dependent 82-year-old is tossing into her shopping cart? Of course not, but in the middle of furtive first acts, paranoia runs high.
Speaking of high, that is exactly what I am NOT seeking. Instead, I am looking for pain relief. I have tried everything else but without lasting success: acupuncture, epidural injections under sedation, massage, chiropractic adjustments, herbs, poultices, and worst of all Vicodin.
I used to wake up in the morning in pain with tingling and numbness in my left leg and foot necessitating analgesics and the use of a heating pad. Involuntary sounds of “ooh, ooh, ooh” escaped me as I hobbled about. During the day I couldn’t walk very far before leg and back pain forced me to sit down and rest, and by suppertime, the pain struck my upper legs.
Then someone suggested that I try cannabis, medical marijuana, as a pain killer. Now thanks to ingesting it before bedtime, I can just hop out of bed without discomfort and head directly for the coffee pot.
My family has had such a good time at my expense. My son calls me “pot-head” and my brother addresses me as his “stoner-sister.” I laugh with them because I am so grateful to have found something that brings relief.
The delicious irony of all this is that when our children were hippies, my late husband and I constantly warned them about the fictitious danger of using pot. Naively, we advised, “Just say no.” Now they are laughing at me and asking, “What would Dad have thought about your taking marijuana?”
My guess is that he would support my decision to take a pain killer that is less toxic than prescribed narcotics, has few side effects, and offers reprieve from suffering.