Author: Jennifer Kain Kilgore

Spring 2019 Update on CBD Oil for Pain Relief: Legal Status, Side Effects, Drug Tests, Traveling, and More

This was also updated in the original post.  I work as an associate attorney with a civil litigation firm in Cambridge. My boss is always interested in developing new practice areas, so we attended a Cannabis Law continuing education conference. Naturally, it was filled with Millennials… and my boss, who’s meow meow years old. Because of his relentless questioning, Dan (my boss) got the presenters to admit that while industrial hemp is now legal per the federal government’s 2018 Farm Bill, hemp-derived CBD products are not. They are under the purview of the Food and Drug Administration because it is a product actually ingested by human beings. The Brookings Institute explains it best:  CBD generally remains a Schedule I substance under federal law. The Farm Bill—and an unrelated, recent action by the Department of Justice—creates exceptions to this Schedule I status in certain situations. The Farm Bill ensures that any cannabinoid—a set of chemical compounds found in the cannabis plant—that is derived from hemp will be legal, if and only if that hemp is produced in a manner consistent …

When a Name Has Power

Naming things has power, and I like to give my enemies names. For years now, I have asked my veritable fleet of doctors why I have ham hands. (That’s the technical term, of course.) Ham hands are what my hands became after the first car accident. I wielded objects like two ham hocks were strapped to my wrists instead of appendages. Occasionally, I’d drop things. Writing with a pen or pencil hurt and ended up being too difficult; I was given a laptop during school exams for this reason. (Like any suffering writer, longhand journals were my thing. I’d planned for a Belle library with bookshelves all filled with identical journals, but then two things happened: A) I hit puberty, so my writing became angsty and insufferable, and B) people kept giving me journals as gifts. Eventually, all of those journals will burn. But that’s beside the point.) Anyway, so ham hands. There was enough nerve damage in my cervical spine that my hands were constantly irritated after the first accident. That’s acceptable. I could live …

Contributor: Easy Chronic Pain Remedies That Are Cheap and Effective

When chronic pain becomes a physical and a mental burden that is hard to overcome, you may be desperate to find a quick solution. What are some remedies to help temporarily ease chronic pain? Read to find out more. If you are suffering from chronic pain flare, it can be tough to find quick remedies. Most of the time, you want to stay in bed and call it a day. However, life does not always work that way. Sometimes we have to put on our capes and “save the day” despite the aches that run through our bodies. This is where some remedies for chronic pain can be effective. They may not be a permanent solution, but at least they can alleviate some discomfort during pain flares. Before looking over these remedies, it is important to understand what causes chronic pain for you to make sufficient lifestyle changes. Knowing the underlying cause of your chronic pain can be helpful in finding the best pain management solutions that will give you a better quality of life. …

Contributor: Sleeping Better with Chronic Pain

I’m a chronic pain sufferer from Copenhagen, Denmark who suffers from multiple pain conditions following an accident four years ago. I have a disc prolapse in my neck, nerve damage in my shoulder, and thoracic outlet syndrome, so, unfortunately, I’m no stranger to pain. I’m also a writer and editor for a Danish bedroom and wellness magazine. Sleep and Pain Go Hand in Hand Something that’s been with me since the accident is poor sleep. I’ve become very sensitive to my sleeping environment; noise, temperature, mattresses, and pillows have to be exactly right if I am to get a good night’s sleep. I know this is something I share with many who suffer from chronic pain. We sleep poorly because of pain, and that, in turn, creates even more pain. Did you know that sleep is fundamental in dealing with inflammation? Poor sleep is a strong predictor of pain, creating a vicious circle. This is why we should do our very best to get the sleep we so deserve! I’ve been experimenting for several years …

Contributor: How to Deal with Spring Allergies – 4 Key Tips for Retirees

Allergies are one of the most common health issues in the US. To be more precise, they’re the sixth most common cause of chronic conditions for Americans. From allergic rhinitis and asthma to food allergies, these problems affect every age group. Some allergies, however, tend to worsen as people get older. For instance, asthma can cause some serious difficulties in the elderly. So, it’s important to change your lifestyle to alleviate the effects of spring allergies. 1)     Prepare for the season If you are allergic to pollen, bear in mind that spring is the worst time of the year for you. Because of that, it’s important to properly prepare for the season. Visit your GP before pollen season begins and ask them to give you an antihistamine. If you start taking this medicine beforehand, you’ll alleviate the irritating effects that this and other similar allergies have on your body. There are also herb-based alternatives to traditional anti-allergy medicines that you can get over the counter. As you’re paying your doctor a visit, ask about these …

NY Times: The Opioid Dilemma: Saving Lives in the Long Run Can Take Lives in the Short Run

What does forced opioid tapering do to chronic pain and illness patients? “In the short term, many policies that would limit opioid prescriptions for the purpose of saving lives would cause people to turn to heroin or fentanyl. In fact, over a 5-to-10-year period, that would increase deaths, not decrease them, according to a simulation study published in the American Journal of Public Health.”  That’s not exasperation with the article’s author, Austin Frakt. I’m extremely happy he brought attention to this on such a big platform. My exasperation comes from the fact that this conclusion is SO. DAMN. OBVIOUS. How many patients need to commit suicide before anyone listens to us? “Amie Goodin, a researcher with the University of Florida College of Pharmacy who wrote an editorial accompanying the opioid policy simulation study, said, ‘Current policies to limit opioid prescriptions leave some pain patients high and dry, resulting in a new wave of unintended consequences for patients with untreated chronic pain.‘” Read this article here.

Contributor: 12 Simple Ways to Show Love to Someone with Chronic Illness

Living with a chronic illness can be incredibly difficult; so can knowing how to be there for someone living with a chronic illness. Try the following tips to show love to the friend or family member in your life who’s experiencing difficulties: Offer help Your loved one may find it difficult to ask for help, so offer yours before they have to ask. However, don’t assume you know what they need. Always let them tell you. Speak to your friend or family member like you would for anybody else, not with pity, but with simple kindness: “Hey, I’m going to town to buy a few things, is there anything I can get for you?” This way, they would be more comfortable to let you know what they need without sounding imposing or feeling uncomfortable that they might have inconvenienced you. Check in on them Your loved one may not want to pre-emptively burden others with their problems. Send them regular messages asking them how they are so they have the chance to unload. Asking them …

Contributor: The Ultimate Guide to Traveling with Chronic Pain

I get emails on a pretty consistent basis from people looking to contribute content or repost good material from other sites. Million Mile Secrets sent me this great guide to traveling with chronic pain and illness. They have affiliate links for credit card promos, which is something I’ve been meaning to learn about in detail because I feel like I always leave money on the table simply because I refuse to learn the points game. Some highlights: Keep prescription medications in your carry-on luggage (that way, you never lose it if your bag doesn’t get to your intended destination) Don’t sit at the back of the plane, because turbulence is worse back there (and you can’t recline!) Sign up for a credit card that allows access to those fancy airport lounges where you can relax before a flight instead of suffering in terrible airport chairs (this had never occurred to me, I thought you had to have like a billion dollars and a black AmEx before you were allowed in those lounges) How to use …

Contributor: Daith Piercings and Acupuncture: Do They Help Migraines?

Someone who suffers episodic or chronic migraines may be willing to try almost anything to make the pain go away and never come back. When medication or other options are not providing relief, a popular alternative for many people is the complementary medical practice of acupuncture or a treatment called daith piercings. What are these treatments, how are they supposed to rid you of migraine pain and mitigate attacks, and how well do they work? Defining Acupuncture Acupuncture has been used for millennia. Developed in China, the practice has been studied and adopted in Europe and the United States as a complementary treatment for a host of physical and mental issues. Acupuncture is performed by inserting one or more fine needles shallowly into the skin at so-called stimulation points on the body to balance its energies. Practitioners follow a map of regions of the body that shows where to place acupuncture needles to affect the specific issue. For example, needles inserted into the skin of the arm may stimulate the nerves in such a way …

Dr. Death — IE, What Happens When Your Spine Surgeon has a God Complex

“I can fix you.” No doctor worth their degree says, “I can fix you.” It is a promise that no one can keep. The beginning of “Dr. Death,” a relatively new podcast from Wondery, speaks to that resigned place in the soul of someone weary with suffering, and this doctor said the words all pain patients are so desperate to hear. “Imagine. You’re struggling with back pain for months. No one can tell you what’s wrong. Then, you find a doctor, and the words that he said that I wanted to hear were, ‘I can fix you.’ Those are magic words. I was in pain.” — via Wondery My gorge rose while listening to the vivid details of a patient’s head literally being separated from his cervical spine by this surgeon’s sheer ineptitude. Another patient’s esophagus was cut and a sponge left inside to fester. Yet another’s vocal cords were destroyed, rendering her voice a strangled, raspy whisper. Nerve roots severed. Bone fragments digging into muscle and even the spinal canal. All of them suffering …