Why I Built The ColoradoWorks420 Website


I experienced debilitating chronic back pain starting at age 24 despite an athletic lifestyle. There were several warning shots starting at age 18. My first introduction to whatever-it-is-that-ails-me was while walking down the hallway in high school with a good friend after water polo practice. Suddenly, I was on the ground writhing in pain. It felt like daggers in my spine and rib cage. Nobody could figure out what was wrong. I was infuriated by the psychologists that suggested it was in my head and frustrated by doctors that admitted something was wrong but couldn’t say what that might be. Doctors look at the radiology and say I have the back of a 79-year-old man, but that this does not explain the pain or the bizarre episodes. 

A trip to the French Hospital Emergency Room in San Luis Obispo, California, stands out. After a 1500-yard swim and a subsequent 45-minute training session on my mountain bike, I carried my bike on my shoulder up the stairs to my apartment. I didn’t make it to the top. Lightning, daggers, whatever you want to call the pain that can knock a person to the ground without warning while stealing their breath, that’s what hit me. In the ER they gave me an injection of Demerol, but it didn’t stop the pain. Nor did it stop my muscles from moving under my skin like worms. You don’t want to hear an ER physician say, “I’ve never seen that before. What the heck is that?”

Many more pain events would follow, along with a persistent increase in the level of chronic pain in my spine. From the predictably prescribed narcotics to 2800mg of Gabapentin a day (yes, you read that right) for eight months, nothing worked. Then the pain shocks started. These irritate my Vagus nerve and drop my heart rate to around 38bpm for days at a time. If I let the pain get out of control, this is my reward. “Toughing it out” brings swift retribution from other parts of my nervous system, and it scares my loved ones as well.

With measured cannabis use, I began experiencing stretches of months between severe attacks. The lull has now stretched into years, with persistent pain the remaining feature. I no longer have the debilitating pain shocks and accompanying issues. It has been years since I was suddenly dropped to the sidewalk by an attack. The problem has gone from severe and unpredictable, to severe and manageable.

While traditional narcotics did nothing for my pain, cannabis hits the problem spots almost immediately. I find that astonishing even still. For me, there is one unexpected benefit. Once the pain is calmed it can sometimes take hours to return to previous levels after the noticeable effects of cannabis are absent. Since no other drug ever actually controlled my pain, I cannot say if this would be the case with them.

Ergonomics is everything to someone in my situation. In my home office, I have an articulating bed behind a desk. Affixed to that desk is a heavy-duty monitor arm mount from https://mountmymonitor.com (shameless plug for them, they are fantastic from product to customer service). It allows my monitor to swing up to three feet between my bed and my stand-up desk while rotating on its mount. I do not sit down if I can help it. Sometimes I stand as much as 8-hours at my desk, sometimes far less. It just depends on the day.

I am not a drinker or a smoker. I drink half-caff coffee. I love watching Downton Abbey and drinking tea. But pain is distracting and focus is important for my livelihood, so cannabis is an accepted part of my life now as well. With a carefully selected strain taken in strict moderation, I get both pain relief and better focus. Thanks to non-flower products like shatter, I can decide, very precisely, how much to dose myself with and in what intervals. I know the half-life of its hypnotic effect, how it impacts my sleep, and how to gauge whether or not I need more. When my pain was uncontrolled despite heavy pain prescriptions, I slept in crashes of twelve hours. Waking up from such sleep was never pleasant. But with cannabis, I’m to bed by 9:30p.m. and up at 5:30a.m. ready to go. All of this thanks to an industry which has evolved to serve people like me; people that were not able to get relief any other way.

Here’s something I find odd. The concentration of cannabis I require, even when things are at their worst, is far below medicinal strength. In Colorado where recreational use is legal, this means I don’t need to be in a database and issued a medical marijuana card. For whatever reason, my pain responds extremely well to relatively weak concentrates. This means that for me, it is also economically viable because I don’t need a lot of it. I wish someone could figure out why raging pain can be effectively controlled by a dose of the weaker stuff so small I have to use a flashlight to make sure I got anything from the chamber, while heavy doses of traditional narcotics do absolutely nothing except cause other health problems. Nevertheless, I am grateful to be living in Colorado where this important option is available to me.

Now we get to how I make a living; building secure websites with WordPress. I built https://calagjobs.com back in 2015 and assist them with it to this day. Full-featured job boards are very complex websites, but I know how to build them for speed, stability, and most importantly, security. Job boards are websites where work gets done:

  • Role-based user accounts are created for candidates or employers and must use a secure sign-up methodology.
  • Jobs are posted by employers.
  • Resumes are uploaded for private viewing and use when filling out secure applications.
  • Applications are routed to employers.
  • Employers are alerted that someone has applied for their job.
  • The workflow list goes on and on. 

Problems will manifest as a slow, unreliable, and unattractive website unless key aspects are carefully considered; web hosting, WordPress component choice and configuration, web design, and user interface design.

With all this in mind, it naturally followed that I should build coloradoworks420.com to help people find work in an industry that has saved me from the wrath of debilitating pain.