It’s been a month since my hip replacement operation, and as I wrote in my last article, it was an opportunity to use cannabis only to treat any post-surgery pain and to promote the healing process. The good news is that I have already progressed from the walker to a cane and can move around much more freely every day. The wound is healing well and the actual placing of titanium and ceramic hip into my body seems to have been done with great skill. My only issue is with the unnecessary and harmful use of allopathic medicines.
The hospital and staff were all great. I was there for three days, and can’t say I remember much of it very clearly. I opted for full anesthesia which included some oxycodone before the operation, and I made it very clear to my doctor that I wanted that to be the only narcotic I would receive at all. I had told him at my pre-op appointment that I intended to only use cannabis afterwards, and he said that as long as I brought my own and administered it to myself, that was fine. Basically, a don’t ask and don’t tell policy, and I was good with that.
I remember feeling very nauseous when I awoke and found myself settled into my private room at the brand new hospital. Still being mostly out of it, I let the nurses dose me on two different types of nausea medication, neither of which did anything. They finally gave me some lavender to sniff, and that helped enough to get me back into my body to remember that cannabis is the best treatment for nausea. I immediately did some THC drops and felt better.
That first evening they had me up with a walker to get to the bathroom. I was still very groggy, but knew this was awesome to be actually walking (sort of) just hours after the operation. I arranged all my cannabis products (tinctures, edibles, oils) on the bed tray for easy access and chose some of the Blue Dream drops from Hummingbird Lane to have a deep sleep. My leg and hip area was still very numb from the surgery and so I really felt no pain.
The kind nurses came in to check on me often. They were fascinated by my cannabis collection and surreptitiously asked me questions about how to administer it. While they could not imbibe due to drug testing at the hospital (how ironic is that?) they wondered if some tincture or ointment might help their father’s arthritis or their brother’s PTSD. I was happy to answer their questions to the best of my ability and hopefully expand their horizons. I was determined to prove to them by my healing the powers of the plant.
Every four hours, throughout the day and night, a nurse gave me a dose of the doctor’s special “cocktail” – a mix of a few pills I’d wash down with water. When I asked what I was taking I was assured they were anti-inflammatories and nerve relaxers, and that no opiates were involved. I also had an IV for a low-dose Tylenol drip.
But the nausea continued over the next three days, along with a super foggy brain. Every meal I ate came up. I became anemic, but figured it was part of the game. Finally, on the last night, at about 5 a.m., the nurse came in to administer the “cocktail” and I told her I didn’t want it, I felt no pain. But she insisted and in my sleepy state I gave in. Next morning the nausea was horrible, and I attributed it to them giving me those pills in the middle of the night on an empty stomach. But then a friend came to visit who is a doctor and she asked to see the ingredients of the “cocktail” — to find that what they had been giving me very four hours did contain a light dose of the narcotic opiate tramadol. It also contained something called gabapentin, which can also make people very sick. The ironic thing is they give it for seizures, and we have found that nothing helps seizures as much as cannabis.
I was pissed. I stopped it all immediately and was discharged that day — only to spend the next 24 hours going through horrible withdrawal at my friend’s house. What hell realms! The worst!
About a day after the recovery from that, I awoke one morning before dawn with strong heart palpitations, a pulse rate of 160. I have had them before and took the metropol prescribed for them, but seven hours later it was still pounding. I was having hot and cold sweats, my brain was very clouded and my blood pressure went down to only 70 — that’s scary. I went on line to research to find it can happen from dehydration and lack of sodium and potassium. So get this: in my discharge orders, it clearly instructed me to drink a lot of water and not take the electrolytes I often take as a supplement. No wonder I felt that way. I immediately had some electrolytes and ate a banana and felt my spirit pop back into my body. My blood pressure returned to normal in about half an hour and the palpitations calmed down.
Moral of the story: Be careful what the doctor gives you and be just as careful of what he takes away. Ever since I left the hospital, I have been only using cannabis for pain and it is absolutely no problem. Yet in the manual all patients are given, it instructs people to wean themselves off the narcotics by 3-4 weeks. The pain is so minimal that narcotics are unnecessary. Especially after living with real pain for years before the replacement.
I am quite upset at big pharmaceutical companies who are the real “drug pushers” and the doctors who then test it out on us patients, their guinea pigs. It is especially upsetting because there is something so very benign and healing as cannabis available, yet it isn’t legal. Of course it isn’t legal — Big Pharma doesn’t own cannabis. I guess I actually got a lot more than a new hip at the hospital. It was a real education — a peek into a corrupt system which is equally brilliant when it comes to making new hips. If only the two could merge into truly compassionate healing.
Have you used cannabis to heal after a surgery? Tell us about your experiences.