DAD, ARE YOU OKAY?
There are two dad’s in my memory. Dad before pain and dad after pain.
Dad before pain: he was strong. He would pick up my brother and me like we were dumbbells, he was always outside playing sports with us, skiing or skating on the ice rink after he had shovelled it. He was social, he was active and he laughed.
Dad after pain: I can’t pinpoint the exact time when it really switched but it was definitely around the time of me leaving for university. I remember my dad spending a lot of time on the sofa, the collection of pain prescription bottles growing and growing and his mood, demeanour and attitude drastically declining.
When my dad started to suffer chronic pain it was very difficult for our family. This wasn’t playground kind of pain, not the ouch I stubbed my toe, or hit my funny bone, or heartache pain but the kind that makes you different, silent and immobile.
Those who knew me during my university years know how hard it was, how often I had to make the trip back home and the tension it created. It’s not easy living and managing a family and a relationship with someone who has chronic pain and it’s 100% harder for the person suffering.
WHAT IS CHRONIC PAIN?
Chronic pain is pain that carries on for longer than 12 weeks despite medication or treatment, this can commonly follow an injury or operation. Pain is very real and can be complex.
Chronic pain can also affect people living with:
- irritable bowel
- back pain
Studies show the 1 in 5 people in Scotland are affected by chronic pain.
MAYBE SOMETHING OTHER THAN PHARMACEUTICALS CAN HELP?
A few weeks ago an amazing company called Best Life Hemp contacted me to try their CBD products. I’d never used CBD before. I grew up in Canada so I am very familiar with marajuana, but I’ve never used the popular products of the plant for pain or medical reasons.
When I received the products I started using them and loved them. The lip balm and body lotion are incredible and smell amazing BUT the majority of the products are for pain and well, I’m just not in that much pain.
Queue MY dad. I had a think and the person who I knew who could benefit from these products the most was my dad. He is constantly in pain and at 64 years of age pretty much willing to try anything. Best Life Hemp have kindly sent my dad their top pain relieving products and over the next few weeks he is going to be religiously using them. I’ll keep chatting to him and then write a detailed blog about how they worked for him.
HOW MY DAD ENDED UP IN CHRONIC PAIN
Having a lengthy chat to my dad about his injuries and pain is a popular topic at our house and on the phone. It’s one of the main things he chats about because it dominates his life.
Those who have never suffered from chronic pain might find this difficult ‘banging on about illness etc’ but when you don’t live a day without it and leaving the house to do anything (grocery shopping, sitting at a dinner table, going on flights) is met with ‘is this worth the pain I’ll be in’ it’s hard not to talk about.
THE GINGER CHILD WHO WORE HIS TRICYCLE TIRES DOWN 3 TIMES!
My dad wasn’t always so housebound. Born in 1956 in downtown Toronto he was one of four brother’s and BY FAR the most active. He said ‘with only 6 channels on the television you’d get bored pretty quick’.
He spent as much time as he possibly could running around with his brother’s and friends. When the street lights came on that meant home time. Once he started school sports began and when Scott played sports they were played hard.
He would be playing numerous sports at the same time. There were certain times on the year where he would play hockey then get changed into his football kit and run across the road to play a game, and then his dad would pick him up in the car he would quickly get changed into his baseball uniform and pitch a few games.
You couldn’t stop him and pain was something that he didn’t often feel. ‘When you’re young you don’t think about these things.’ He became better and better at sport but the sports of choice were rough, hard playing and often involved fights. My knuckles and hands would be bruised and swollen from a fight in a hockey game but I wouldn’t take much notice of it.
I remember people saying ‘you’re going to regret this when you’re older’ I don’t think they realised just how much of a toll it was going to take on my body.
WHAT WAS YOUR RELATIONSHIP LIKE WITH YOUR BODY, YOUR HEALTH AND FITNESS
There’s so much focus on health and fitness these days its hard to imagine anyone not thinking about it, having their workplace talk about it or seeing it endlessly on social media. But when you grew up in the 60’s and 70’s this just wasn’t on the tips of everyone’s tongues.
My dad said ‘I just never thought about it. I was buff, natural, lean and strong. I played sport 24/7 and that’s all that mattered. I didn’t even care when the girls in my school ranked me the ‘best bod’ I just wanted to get back on the field for another game. I only went to the gym once. I quit smoking and gained 20 pounds. I joined the gym, lost the weight, and quit the gym.’
This weight loss ease was NOT passed down to me!
He said he didn’t really think about his health, food or wellbeing until he met my mom and really not until his 40’s. The pain started staying longer each time it appeared. He had stopped playing sports excessively when he started working full time and it was when he took up baseball again that his body really started talking to him.
BUT IT WASN’T JUST THE SPORTS THAT GOT HIM HERE
When I asked my dad what advice he would give his younger self if he could it was a quick and simple answer.
My dad was a construction worker. His dad owned a construction company in Canada and my dad followed in that profession. He had heaps of energy and loved being outside. His work was physical. Like REALLY physical. It’s hard asking my dad what he did because there’s a lot of jargon and lingo I still don’t get AND I get a lot due to growing up with the whole family in construction.
Lists of tasks could include:
- Carrying very heavy metal and pipe
- Lifting and using heavy equipment
- Jumping in and out of manholes
- Operating and driving huge vehicles and cranes
- Pulling cable
- Laying pipe
All of these tasks were hard on the body and ALL of them were repetitive. He did love it. It kept him healthy and fit and he loved being outside. He started working in this career before he was 20 and finished in his mid-50’s when his body literally couldn’t do it anymore.
I asked my dad if there was any health and safety that were initiated by the companies he worked for to keep the body healthy into old age. My dad laughed ‘You’re kidding right? They only started providing sun cream a few years ago.’
My dad, a ginger, worked outside every day and because of this has to get a full body check every few months to have skin cancer removed. He says getting these cut and burned out isn’t even that painful…in comparison!
SURGERY, CAR ACCIDENTS AND AN UNFIXABLE BACK
So sports, a hard wearing job and many MANY surgeries took their toll on my dad’s body but ultimately it was 2 car accidents that ended his career and forced him to retire in his early 50’s. Not the retirement him or my mom ever intended.
My dad was hit from behind in his work truck twice. The first one in his 20’s that took YEARS to recovery from and the second when he was 51 but this time by a transport truck and this time the pain wouldn’t go away.
WHAT DO YOU TAKE FOR THE PAIN?
My dad has been on pharmaceuticals permanently since he was 51. He currently takes 36MG HYDROMORPHONE AND OXYCONTIN.
Long term effects of opioids are:
- change in thinking
- hormone changes
- physical dependence
- decreased immune function
- depression and anxiety
My dad admits he has a high pain threshold as pain has become something he just has to live with.
When I asked him what pain means to him he replied:
PAIN IS A DAILY OCCURRENCE. IT IS SOMETHING I’VE HAD TO LIVE WITH SINCE 23. IT EFFECTS EVERYTHING I’M DOING TO BRUSHING MY TEETHE, DRIVING THE CAR, HOLIDAYS AND COOKING. I HAVE TO THINK ABOUT WHAT IT COULD DO TO ME, HOW MUCH PAIN AM I WILLING TO ENDURE TO DO THIS ACTIVITY?
DINNER PARTIES, FLIGHTS, LONG DRIVES, CONCERTS, SPORT…ALL THINGS I USED TO LOVE DOING I JUST CAN’T ANYMORE.
IT HAS PREVENTED ME FROM PLAYING GOLF AND ALL SPORT, EVERYTHING IS BASED ON PAIN.
I HAVEN’T BEEN BACK TO ENGLAND TO SEE YOU BECAUSE OF HOW MUCH PAIN I WAS IN.
IT BREAKS MY HEART.
HAVE YOU TRIED CBD PRODUCTS BEFORE?
Medical Marijuana is legal in Canada and my dad has tried it several times but never enjoyed the smoking or vaping and didn’t want the ‘high’ he would get.
I asked my dad how he felt about trying CBD products again and he is open to trying something new and different.
With endless misconceptions about CBD derived from hemp (versus marijuana), it is no wonder why the public is confused on the numerous benefits of the non-psychoactive cannabinoid called CBD. The products provided by BEST LIFE HEMP will not have the high associated.
Over the next month my dad will be testing the following products on his chronic pain:
- Best Life Hemp full spectrum CBD oil
- Best Life Hemp CBD soothing body lotion
- Best Life Hemp CBD pain relieving hot muscle gel
- Best Life Hemp CBD pain relieving cooling muscle gel
- Best Life Hemp CBD Jelly beans
- Best Life Hemp