To achieve, we must believe.
To find our path, we must visualize our dreams into reality.
To obtain, we must continually strive and NEVER give up.
Once obtained, we must give back with gratitude to keep the positive energy flowing!
May my story encourage others.
I have had multiple brain injuries of different types. At age 12, I suffered meningoencephalitis and had a high fever with brain swelling. After this first brain injury, I was just different and I suffered debilitating headaches on a regular basis. At age 23, I had my first brain MRI. Chiari malformation, a condition where brain matter extends into the spinal canal, was noted, but the neurologist did not think it was the cause of my migraines. I was given drugs and re-diagnosed over and over for the next 37 years, only to learn that the problem was brain stem compression due to chiari malformation all along.
In my daily life I contend with multiple conditions: photophobia, hyperacusis, Eagle Syndrome, P.O.T.S (Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome), Ehler Danlos Syndrome (EDS), and left eye blindness. In 2002, I fell down a flight of stairs during a P.O.T.S. episode. After the subsequent traumatic brain injury, I was never able to work a job again and was awarded disability in 2006.
In 2007, I met an online brain patient advocate that educated me with the facts about chiari malformation. He pointed me toward a knowledgeable doctor, and in 2008 I received 2 lifesaving brain surgeries. One to place my shunt and the second, post fossa decompression surgery.
The first thing I noticed when I awoke from my first brain surgery was that I didn’t have a headache. After decades of waking up with swollen eyes and a pounding head, I woke up with no pain.
I was never really able to process and verbalize how I felt about everything until after my brain surgeries. Prior to draining the fluid from my head, I was a foggy mess. I was always in pain, very emotional, always stirring the pot rather than going with the flow. I was over-drugged and misjudged by the medical community. Though creative and full of ideas, I had difficulty completing tasks and maintaining healthy relationships.
As I wrote my first (still unpublished) book Oribtal Inspirations, I forced myself to organize my thoughts, realize my new reality, and create a way to deal with the losses. I found it incredibly “freeing” to be rid of the old me. It seemed far easier to create a new life than to try to piece together the old one. Though I grieved the loss of the old me, I found great joy in being able to CHOOSE who I wanted to be. It gave me purpose as I explored different avenues of expression.
I continued to engage my brain by reaching out and talking to others daily on the Internet. There, I learned that the brain patient advocate, who had informed me and led me to my lifesaving brain surgeries, had passed away.
With a broken heart and a determined mind, I decided to fill his shoes. I took on a new identity as an advocate for brain patients, sharing pertinent chiari information and sharing my personal experiences in Facebook groups. I learned to view and draw on brain MRI’s to show patients brain stem compression. For the first time in my life I felt successful. I had found a way to help others, which in turn helped me to heal even more.
In 2009, I lost my brother to an accidental prescription drug overdose. It was over a year after my brain surgeries, and I was still taking prescription drugs. Seeing him die like that woke me up. I began to use cannabis regularly and weaned off all the pharmaceuticals.
Around the same time, a naturopathic doctor explained how the pharmaceuticals had damaged my organs and compromised my health. Once I obtained and began to use cannabis oil, I realized how much better it worked for me than other drugs had. Understanding the benefits of cannabis oil and the necessity for it in my life, I sold everything I owned and moved to a state where cannabis is legal. I live my life completely differently with a new respect for nature and people. Thus, I took on another identity as an advocate for medical cannabis, and after 5 years researching and learning, I wrote Canna Crocker Guide to Micro-Dosing, which was published on Amazon on Jan 2, 2018.
Throughout my journey, the common thread has been “determination”. I flat out refuse to give up and die. I used visualization and meditation to clear my mind and find my focus. Once focused and able to think, the need for a new life with better eating habits was obvious. Rather than struggle alone, I reached out and found resources and support from knowledgeable people.
Beyond a shadow of a doubt, cannabis oil was the major game changer in my life. The medicinal qualities healed my brain and body. Each path I took led me to new information, which benefitted my health. All the while I shared the knowledge with others, which gave me purpose and kept my mind active.
Much love, One love!!
You can hear Carol passionately telling her story here.