Fracture: The Paper Anniversary

Last summer, almost to the day, I fractured and dislocated my knee. Let’s just say it wasn’t pleasant. I was playing (soccer/football) and the tackle was “reckless and ridiculous.”

Here’s my post from a year ago.

So, on the anniversary of the tackle and an injury that sent my life in new directions, here are a few thoughts about recovery.

Sorting out the injury

Rehab was the first order of the day. I visited the Glasgow Royal infirmary on a regular basis. This involved squats and dips and stretching and rubber tubes.

A selection of exercises

Yes, the NHS is understaffed and overworked, but the physios were tremendous!

I also had to get the extent of the damage straightened out. The doctors (and I) needed to go deep. Cue the futuristic MRI.

Once I received the letter, a weight was lifted. I was getting to the bottom of the injury.

So, I prepped myself. I was not pregnant. Check. I filled in the questionnaire. Check.

I left my family at home. And got psyched. As a “citizen in need of medical attention,” I felt like I was visiting the Elysium cure-all machine:

I went to the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital for the test and took some pictures along the way.

And

And

After I was stuck in the deafening machine for 35 minutes on a Sunday morning, it was determined NO SURGERY was required. No need to go under the knife.

Disruption

As you’d expect, the injury caused a massive disruption in my existence. Yes, my whole freaking existence. Both my personal and professional life was affected.

For starters, I became more familiar with ‘pain.’ Regular, recurring pain. Others, I’m sure, deal with higher levels of pain all the time – and have done so for years. It was new for me, though. It didn’t go away. It stuck with me, niggling. Persistent. I realized that I’d have to be stubbornly optimistic, too.

On a personal level, the pain and physical restrictions impacted how much I could horse around with my kids. That sucked. I occasionally fretted about the long-term damage to my knee and whether I’d make a full recovery. There was anxiety, in other words.

On a professional level, the disruption wasn’t terrible. It helps that I’m a writer and teacher and don’t have to be on my feet all day. Were this not the case, I might have considered worker’s compensation. I had to cancel on a few people and events, which was regrettable. On the positive side, if I can call it that, the ever-present pain in my life pushed me to think about types of pain, the use of drugs to dull the pain, and the future of my own research.

Goals

After I got my knee sorted out with the MRI and determined there was no need for surgery, I could start focusing on targets.  But what kind of goals did I have?

I settled on (again) some personal and professional goals.

On the personal side, I wanted to make up for the lost playtime with my kids. So lots and lots of horsing around in the back garden!

I decided that I’d focus on some running. I’m closing in on 40 and thought it’d be cool to try and run a 10 kilometer race in around 40 mins. A 40 in 40? Or 40 at 40? Something like that. I’ve kicked off the training. Stay tuned!

Professionally, I sought to build ‘pain’ into my research agenda. I couldn’t ignore it over the past year, so I channeled it. I talked about it more than I have in years past. And I wrote about it far more, as well.

You can read about pain and drugs, for instance, in my new book Strange Trips: Science, Culture, and the Regulation of Drugs.

A Year On

It’s the ‘paper’ anniversary of my knee injury. It really was brutal. The bright side, I suppose, is I learned a lot about myself.

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Knee Songs

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Video: Lucia Romero at Cannabis: Global Histories

Points: The Blog of the Alcohol & Drugs History Society

Editor’s Note: You can see Lucia Romero discuss her work on grassroots mobilization for access to medical cannabis in Argentina below. This builds on her post, published Tuesday, and wraps up our content from the excellent Cannabis: Global Histories conference. All videos were produced by Morgan Scott of Breathe Images. Enjoy!

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Grassroots Activism in Argentina: The Story of Mamá Cultiva, CAMEDA, and Medical Marijuana

Points: The Blog of the Alcohol & Drugs History Society

Editor’s Note: This is the last post in our series from the Cannabis: Global Histories conference, held at the University of Strathclyde from April 19-20, 2018. It comes from Lucia Romero, an assistant researcher at CONICET (Argentina’s National Scientific and Technical Research Council). In it, she explores the grassroots groups that overcame decades of prohibition to increase access to medical marijuana in Argentina. Enjoy!

This paper discusses the rise of therapeutic cannabis use in Argentina. Through documentary work and personal interviews, our sociological approach focuses on how users (patients, growers) and experts (scientists, doctors, lawyers) produce and exchange different types of knowledge related to this medicine.

Our starting point was the recent medicinal cannabis law sanctioned in Argentina. Although cannabis has been socially signified as a drug and ruled illegal in the country for decades, over the course of two years, we have seen an accelerated process of…

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The Right to Try

“Right to Try” (Again): A history of the experimental therapy movement

 

In recent weeks and months, momentum has increased on Capitol Hill to craft “right to try” laws that would profoundly change the medical landscape. The national legislation will allow terminally ill patients more access to experimental therapies (drugs, biologics, devices) that have completed Phase 1 testing. Powerful pharmaceutical and biotech concerns have been largely quiet. The Trump administration, for its part, has underlined the issue, not only in the State of the Union Address but in VP Mike Pence’s active support.

Critics in academia and medical circles argue that the proposed “right to try” legislation would undermine public health and circumvent Food and Drug Administration (FDA) oversight, while supporters argue that severely ill patients ought to have more freedoms to take experimental pharmaceutical products. Current reportage of the movement has rightfully referenced the HIV epidemic, the film Dallas Buyers Club (2013), and the drive for improved access to unapproved drugs in the 1980s. However, these are not the only ways to view contemporary deliberations about the nation’s drug regulatory architecture.

The right to try movement – and any legislation – embody long-standing struggles about the most appropriate treatment for public and individual health. These struggles have pitted mainstream medical practitioners against interlopers, and regulators against drug companies.  Compassionate language about desperate patients with few options has run alongside intense legal wrangling, consumer activism, and prolonged discussions about the validity of medico-scientific data.

THE FULL POST CAN BE FOUND HERE

 

And a song called ‘Try Again’!

 

Supple bodies, healthy minds: yoga, psychedelics and American mental health

Supple bodies, healthy minds: yoga, psychedelics and American mental health
Abstract.
Much discussion about mental health has revolved around treatment models. As interdisciplinary scholarship has shown, mental health knowledge, far from being a neutral product detached from the society that generated it, was shaped by politics, economics and culture. By drawing on case studies of yoga, religion and fitness, this article will examine the ways in which mental health practices—sometimes scientific, sometimes spiritual—have been conceived, debated and applied by researchers and the public. More specifically, it will interrogate the relationship between yoga, psychedelics, South Asian and Eastern religion (as understood and practiced in the USA) and mental health.

The full article can be read here.

 

Radical Health

Bill Booth kindly invited me on to his podcast to discuss health and medicine. Bill is one of the founders of Radical Americas, an academic network for scholars and activists with interests in radicalism in the Western Hemisphere.

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New Editors at Social History of Alcohol and Drugs

The ADHS is pleased to announce that the editorship of its journal, *The Social History of Alcohol and Drugs*, will be taken over by Prof. Nancy D. Campbell (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute), Prof. David Herzberg (Buffalo) and Dr. Lucas Richert (Strathclyde). The society would also like to express its gratitude for the work that outgoing editor, […]

via New editors for SHAD — Alcohol and Drugs History Society