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Tell Us Your Story: Chef Shelly Bailey Gets Pain Relief From Cannabis Cream

The Fresh Toast is asking you to Tell Us Your Story about cannabis and your health. We know that there are many of you out there suffering from cancer, multiple sclerosis, Crohn’s disease or other illnesses that can be helped by medical marijuana. We want to share your story. 

Today’s story comes from Shelly Bailey, a Seattle chef.

As a chef, I use my arms all day long and all that chopping, stirring and repetitive motion takes a toll. The fact that I have a shattered elbow and a traumatic fracture of the humerus makes my days in the kitchen pure torture sometimes.

Believe me, I’m not complaining. I love my job and enjoy bringing happiness to our guests with gastronomical goodness. But there are days I just want to scream in pain.

Before I talk about my medical awakening, let me tell you my story:

It was a cold December day in 2008 in Seattle. It snowed most of the morning and afternoon. And when it snows in Seattle, they whole city shuts down. The hilly roads freeze into sheets of ice and we’re simply not equipped to handle it. Buses stop running. What few cabs we have are off the streets. And walking is treacherous.

I made it home OK and was about to settle in for the night when my friend called needing a place to stay because she was stranded by the storm. I bundled up and went back out into the cold to pick up my friend and her nearby place of work. On the way home, I stepped off a curb and slipped. My hand hit the curb and my arm bent inside out. The pain was excruciating! I knew the minute I fell that it was serious.

Fortunately, ambulances were still able to get around and I was rushed into the E.R. The surgery went well, but the procedure left me with a metal pins throughout the back of my arm. I was loaded up with painkillers and a quite a few refills for my at-home recovery.

After four months of physical therapy and hydrocodone, I was able to return to work. I was downing a sizable number of ibuprofen and an assortment of other over-the-counter medications, but the pain was still, at times, too much to bear.

It has now been almost eight years since the dreaded ice storm of 2008 and I still suffer from the pain, especially when the seasons change and the weather fluctuates. The pain shoots from my elbow to my shoulder and then to tips of my fingers. If I sleep on my arm wrong, the pain can last for days.

I’ve never been an avid weed smoker, but I did indulge from time to time. I found it helpful for sleep and it seemed to take my mind off the pain. I enjoyed the feeling, but knew I could not partake during the day. I am a chef! Sharp knives need sharp minds and I am not comfortable using psychoactive substances in the kitchen.

The solution? Cannabis salves and lotions. I had never really thought to apply cannabis, I just thought ingesting it was the way to go. I wish I would have known eight years ago what I know today.

I can apply this at work and it helps so much. It almost completely gets rid of the pain. I can still feel pressure in my arm, but I can’t feel the sharp stabbing pains while working.

And using a topical on your skin does not get you high. It just relieves pain.

I also have purchased the salve for my mother who has psoriatic arthritis, and my sister who has tendentious. Both have called to tell me it works for them too!

Posted By: Al Olson

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