The Medl in News
Of course, I can’t be going 24/7. In the moments I’m at rest, I take the opposite approach. Being able to meditate on the pain— sitting with it, accepting it, and letting it go — is an important exercise. I’m far from a zen master, but in the 38 years since my injury, meditation has certainly helped me move forward. All this took time, though. Like many who have been critically injured, I went through all seven stages of grief, and not in rapid succession either. The event left me in shock, and I had plenty of denial and anger to deal with in the years that followed. But the stage that was most pernicious was depression. There are few things more isolating than unrelenting pain. No matter how sympathetic the people around you are, the daily struggle can wear you down mentally and turn your mind into your own worst enemy. Thankfully I sought help. There are plenty of great support groups out there for people facing chronic pain, and I can’t recommend them enough. The opportunity to talk to others who know what you are going through and have your voice is heard makes all the difference in the world. And then, of course, there’s my daughter, Nadia. Raising her with my wife has been one of the great joys of my life. At the time of writing this, I just got back from the library with another stack of books for her. We finished reading “Treasure Island,” and we’re both excited to start another adventure. I can’t wait to watch Nadia’s own story unfold, and no amount of pain is going to get in the way of that. It’s no accident her name means hope in Ukrainian.
My Life With Chronic Pain
While I’ve made reference to it in past editions of our newsletter, I feel this story deserves a full telling. When I was attending law school, an unstable person with a firearm shot me in the back. As you can tell by reading this, I survived, graduated, and passed the bar. While I’m fortunate to have my life and the career I’ve built, the pain of this event has stuck with me to this very day. Many of the personal injury claimants we work with know this feeling all too well. The gunshot wound left me with a permanent disability, which affects the way I move. But the most debilitating ramification by far is the chronic pain. I’ve tried everything under the sun to live with the condition, with the exception of painkillers. As tempting as it is to dull the pain with drugs like OxyContin, doing so would make it impossible for me to do my job. Knowing myself and the clients who rely on me to have a clear head, pharmaceuticals have never been an option. In my own life and experience in the personal injury field, I‘ve seen that each person has their own way of managing pain. I want to share my own experience with chronic pain. Obviously I’m not a medical professional, so I can’t say the way I address my pain will work for you. But I hope reading this will show you there is hope. It may take time and experimentation, but believe me when I say this pain doesn’t have to define your life forever. Honestly, what works best for me is to stay busy. I’ve always been something of a workaholic, but in the years after my injury, productivity became an essential part of my life. It gave me something to focus on and kept me from dwelling on my pain. From legal work to cycling, being able to challenge myself helps me momentarily break free of those aches.
If you’re struggling with chronic pain, please knowyou aren’t alone,
– Gary L. Medlin, Esq.
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‘THE SULTAN OF SWAT! THE KING OF CRASH! THE COLOSSUS OF CLOUT! THE GREAT BAMBINO!’
The Legend of Babe Ruth
Even legends have to start somewhere, and Ruth began his baseball career in the minor league Baltimore Orioles, where his teammates gave him the nickname “Babe.” He was soon acquired by the Boston Red Sox, and he helped them win the World Series in 1916 and 1918. The following year, he was traded to the Yankees. His popularity in the Big Apple allowed the Yankees to move from a shared ballpark to one of their own in the Bronx, which was aptly known as “The House That Ruth Built.” Even through the 1919 World Series gambling debacle, which cast doubt over the sport’s future, the fans’ attention was still centered on the Sultan of Swat and what he would do next. The New York Times reported that as “home runs began to scale off his bat in droves, crowds jammed ballparks in every city in which he appeared.” All those home runs resulted in his record-breaking year in 1927, when he hit 60 over-the-fence home runs in a single season. While his home run record was eventually broken in 1961, the continued celebration of Babe Ruth Day keeps his love for the game and unmatched ability alive. To quote the classic baseball film “The Sandlot,” “Heroes get remembered, but legends never die.” In the Great Bambino’s case, the legend of his baseball career has survived for over a century and will continue to do so for decades to come.
On April 27, 1947, the New York Yankees hosted the first Babe Ruth Day to honor the ailing baseball star, who had terminal throat cancer. As he rose to give a speech for the 58,339 fans in the stadium, Ruth’s condition caused him to have a coughing fit. With the thunderous cheers from the stands encouraging him to continue, he lovingly spoke to the thousands of people who had followed his career from his early years as a free- spirited Baltimore school kid to the world-renowned baseball legend he became.
THE WEIGHT OF PAST MISTAKES
How Old Arrests Impact a Case
If you’re charged with a crime and have a prior arrest or conviction on record, you need to think carefully about your next move. Having a criminal record, even if it was only an arrest, can have significant ramifications for your case. Before deciding whether you want to take such a case to trail, you should speak with an experienced defense attorney. Am I More Likely to Be Found Guilty? Thankfully, no. You can only be tried for the crime of which you are accused. References to your record are inadmissible as evidence; part of your right to a fair trial means not being prejudged by your past. What Happens If I’m Convicted? While juries won’t consider your criminal record when issuing a verdict, a judge or jury can certainly factor it into your sentencing, which can have a severe impact. This is especially true if the two events have a lot in common, like repeated DWI offenses. The prosecution may argue that your current and past arrests speak to a larger pattern of behavior, requiring a stronger sentence. Any experienced defense lawyer will weigh the risk of
this harsher punishment before deciding whether or not to take your case to trial. If you do decide to fight the charges against you with an existing record, you’ll want a seasoned attorney by your side. How Do I Prevent This Situation? The increased consequences of having an existing record underscore the value of expunging past convictions. If you aren’t currently facing any criminal charges but have an existing record, you may be able to take action. For example, if you were charged with certain alcohol- related offenses as a minor, had a conviction overturned in an appeals court, or successfully completed a diversion program in lieu of sentencing, your record may be eligible for expungement. Regardless of whether you are charged with a crime in the future, taking steps to clear your record can open opportunities for jobs and education. An experienced team of Texas criminal defense lawyers, like the Medlin Law Firm, can help you get a fresh start in life.
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‘I BOUGHT IT IN A STORE, HOW IS IT ILLEGAL?’
The Truth About CBD Oil in Texas
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a cannabis extract that’s been shown to have many pharmaceutical uses, including treatment of epilepsy, anxiety, and chronic pain. While the oil does not contain the psychoactive properties one associates with “getting high,” being made from cannabis places CBD in a legal gray area in the United States. While many stores have begun selling CBD products in Texas, possessing these or any other cannabis byproducts can land you in jail. But Isn’t CBD Legal Nationally? Technically, yes. Thanks to the farm bill, CBD oil is legal to sell as long as it does not contain THC (the psychoactive compound in marijuana). However, as decaf coffee can still have low levels of caffeine, CBD oil derived from hemp can still contain trace amounts of THC. While some states let this slide, Texas currently isn’t one of them. What Happens If My CBD Oil Contains Any THC? Texas law defines any cannabis product with THC as marijuana. Since the FDA considers marijuana a Schedule I drug, you can face felony charges. Some counties in Texas take a hands-off approach, rarely testing CBD oils for THC. However, Tarrant County has taken an aggressive stance, meaning it’s possible to buy CBD oil in Tarrant County or elsewhere in the state, only to be charged with a crime when taking it back to Fort Worth.
What If I Have a Prescription for CBD Oil? The only exception to this rule is if you have been prescribed CBD oil by a licensed physician for the treatment of epilepsy. No other medical uses for CBD, including the treatment of chronic pain, are recognized in Texas. What If I’m ChargedWith a Crime for Having CBD Oil? If you find yourself facing misdemeanor or felony charges for possession of CBD, contact an experienced Tarrant County criminal defense lawyer. The laws surrounding marijuana are complex and constantly shifting, but our expert team has handled hundreds of possession cases over the years and can give you the skilled representation you deserve.
12 ounces pasta, ideally fusilli
1/2 pound broccoli florets
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, ideally Parmigiano- Reggiano Kosher salt, for pasta water and to taste
2 carrots, shredded
1 yellow bell pepper, cut into strips
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1. In a large pot, liberally salt water and bring to a boil. Add fusilli and cook according to package directions. Add broccoli, carrots, and bell pepper during the last 2 minutes of cook time. 2. Drain the pasta and veggies, reserving 1/2 cup of cooking liquid. Return pasta and veggies to pot. 3. In a large skillet, heat olive oil to medium heat. Add garlic and cook until translucent and golden, 30 seconds. Add tomatoes, red pepper flakes, and 1 teaspoon salt. Cook until tomatoes are wilted, about 2 minutes. Stir in reserved pasta water. 4. Add tomato mixture to pasta pot, stirring to coat evenly. 5. Divide into bowls, top with Parmesan cheese, and serve.
Inspired by Food Network
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INSIDE THIS ISSUE
Gary’s BattleWith Chronic Pain
2. April 27 Is National Babe Ruth Day!
Can an OldArrest Come Back to Haunt You?
3. The Truth About CBD Oil
4. The Importance of Rain to the Survival of Cultures
DANCING TO BRING THE RAIN While traditions and dances vary between Native American tribes, many of them feature rain dances. Because water is essential to life, and because many tribes lived in agrarian societies, these dances were important rituals, pleas for the survival of the tribe for another season. These dances have existed for hundreds of years, and many tribes still perform them today.
Rain dances are notably common in the Southwestern U.S., where the dry climate means water is scarce and every bit of rainfall is essential for survival. Generally, rain dances are performed to ask the spirits or gods to send rain for the crops. Tribes such as the Hopi, Navajo, Pueblo, and Mojave perform rain dances often. An old Cherokee legend says that the rain is filled with the spirits of past chiefs, and the rain is an indication of their battle with evil spirits beyond the natural world. One interesting fact specifically about rain dances is that both men and women — not just men — participate in the ceremony. Dancers wear special regalia, sometimes including headdresses, masks, body paints, and jewelry. What is worn varies from tribe to tribe, but turquoise is very important in rain dances for many tribes and is often incorporated into the jewelry. The rain dance regalia is not worn at any other point or for any other purpose during the year, and participants dance in a zigzag pattern, unlike all other dances, which feature a circular motion.
In the 19th and early 20th centuries, when the U.S. government was relocating Native Americans all over the country, they banned the practice of many ceremonial dances on reservations, sometimes including rain dances. However, rain dances continued undercover: Native Americans simply performed the ritual as a different, unbanned ceremony. The dances and the traditions continued, and today many tribes still perform rain dances, even if only in reverence for their heritage.
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