For those who you who know me, you will know that I am a migraine sufferer. I have been one, practically, all my life.
Again, most of you who have known for many years will, also, know that I fell 200 meters off a mountain; while out trekking. I had a near death experience; just to give you an idea of how serious the fall was. During that fall, I must have hit my head several times. As I was too busy floating in this beautiful white, warm, light; feeling peace beyond anything I ever experienced in my entire life, I have no idea how the body fell or what impacts it suffered. I only know that when I came back to the world of the living, I was broken from head to toe with obvious, visible signs like bleeding, lack of mobility etc and many not so obvious, internal, injuries.
From then on, my migraines have progressively got worse. They have been more aggressive, last for longer periods of time, caused abnormal visual impairment and the loss a second or two, or three, here and there at sporadic intervals.
After several tests, in 2009, I was diagnosed with a condition known as IIH; idiopathic intracranial hypertension. Idiopathic just means no known cause. The medical world refer to it as a benign brain tumour - begning tumour celebri to be precise.
Apparently, the condition I have is considerably comparable to Hydrocephalus in so much that I have too much cerebral spinal fluid circulating around my brain. The Villi, or little, water, filter channels, have difficulty draining the fluid at the rate my body is producing it and sending it up to “supposedly” cushion the brain.
If, and when, I am lucky enough to prevent a migraine from fully developing, I am able to maintain reasonable pressure levels in my cranium, which in a normal migraine sufferer can reach a maximum of between 23 and 27 mmHg (millimeters of mercury - the measure used for intracranial hypertension.) Curiously, it is between 7 - 15 mmHg for a normal (non suffering) person - at rest and laying down.
When I am not lucky (or quick enough) to prevent a full blown attack, the pressure in my cranium has been known to reach over 40 mmHg, which is a very debilitating in many ways. If the pressure continued to increase, it could be potentially life threatening over a prolonged period of time because, eventually the blood flow to the brain would stop.
It’s actually very ironic that the brain risks drowning in the very fluid the body produces to protect it.
My, personal, experience has, also, been loss of snippets of memory. I am an ND, doctor of natural medicine, not a conventional doctor, so I cannot scientifically prove the correlation between intracranial hypertension and memory loss but, it makes perfect sense that if a boat is continuously attacks by ravaging waves in a port, the paint will eventually fall off. As it is, we all lose about 200,000 brain cells on a normal day ... so, how many do we or can we lose with a severe migraine attack? ... and how many more with IIH?
The only bandaids, (I call them bandaids because they offer no solution what so ever to the 1 in 300,000 sufferers out there,) conventional medicine offer are:
- A shunt, which is a tube that goes from the brain to the stomach to drain the fluid.
- Lifetime (addictive) profilaxis - known as preventative medicine that provides no cure.
- Regular lumbar punctures. I wouldn’t wish them on my worst enemy.
I refused the first, took myself off the second by going cold turkey and vowed never to have the third ever again in my life.
I decided to take the responsibility for my health into my own hands. I studied every form of alternative healing I, possibly, could to find what worked for me and what didn’t. This is why, nowadays, I am a Naturopath and a Holistic Health Therapist (among all the other things.)
I set out on a quest to find a cure that worked for me. It may not work for everyone because sadly no two bodies are the same and never will be.
By process of elimination, I am now in a position where I have found that, for me personally, what works is:
Eating only freshly prepared food. No processed, minimum refined and nothing packaged. No fizzy drinks and hardly any alcohol at all.
Reducing stress levels in my life.
Avoiding conflict and conflictual situations.
Walks in nature and sitting quietly in nature.
Yes, I listed Cannabis ... Don’t judge me! I am a person just like you who wants to lead a happy, normal life without losing a day or two, here and there, because the pain is so bad, I, literally, can’t lift my head off the pillow.
I wrote a book about Cannabis and healing as you all know. My inspiration was losing a friend to cancer but, ironically, through doing a lot of research for my book, I experimented with this amazing medicinal plant and found that it worked for me.
Since Cannabis relaxes the body, all processes are slowed down. Blood and fluid pressure drop. It slows the production of cerebral spinal fluid, which then reduces the quantity supplied to my cranium, which in turn reduces the intracranial pressure.
Am I junkie? Nope! I am an addict? Nope! I can take it or leave it with no side effects what so ever - except a migraine. With the prescribed drugs, I was an addict and, like I said earlier, went cold turkey when I stopped taking them - against the advice of my pharmacologist and neurologist.
Do I smoke cannabis all day? Nope! I found that smoking 1 to 3 joints; depending on size and dosage, which are usually small; ie. the same size as a roll up cigarette, at night before sleep and preferably along with meditation, are sufficient to keep the migraine attacks in check.
Please keep in mind, this is not medical research. This is only my own personal experience.
Do I get stoned? Nope! ... The only feelings I get are:
- A sense of unbelievable peace and feeling of contentment.
- Extreme mental clarity - It’s 2am and I am writing this after having used cannabis.
- A feeling of truly being in the here and now ... mindful and fully present.
Do I lose control of me or my mind? Nope! You’ve all had some dealing of some sort with me. You’ve interacted with me, you’ve worked with me and you’ve socialised with me. You are perfectly able to make your own minds up.
As a sideliner, I should add in here that Cannabis doesn’t affect people in the same way. A lot of people might get stoned with one puff. The miracle of Cannabis lies in the dose - too much will get a person stoned, too little won’t cure. It’s a delicate balance, but then isn’t all life, and its force, about balance?
If you want to know exactly how and why Cannabis heals, please read my book “Cannabis and Healing” available from Amazon. I talk about the CBDs found naturally in our bodies and I talk about Cannabis CBDs and the binding that happens to strengthen the immune system. Ironically, I don’t talk about my own condition. Why?
Because of you, out there, who dare to judge me and have judged me in the past. I’ve cared far too much for far too long. My “giving a damn” stops today because today I realise I can help more people by getting the truth out there rather than worrying about what you think. Every week, more and more videos appear on youtube of people, especially young people, who’s lives are being destroyed by this condition and the bandaids available in conventional medicine.
I have had the privilege of helping a number of people get to a point where they can manage their condition and reduce the number of attacks but, I have never until now, mentioned Cannabis.
To all of you out there who continue to think Cannabis is a drug and that users are druggies ... let me ask you this. How long have you been taking legalised drugs that your doctor will never take you off? How much of a cure does it actually offer and how much does it just mask the symptoms and how much commission do you think they get, in kickbacks, from the pharmaceutical companies? - I don’t dispute that some medication might be essential - but not all!
Also, I ask you this ... if Cannabis was just for druggies and sooooo bad ... why are pharmaceuticals trying to synthesis it? ... and ... might I add, inducing coma or killing participants, in their studies, in the process ...
When nature is perfectly perfect, made in whatever Gaia or Universal Energy or God’s image you believe in, it is highly humanly arrogant to think that man can improve it.