Day 39: Celeste’s Story

I’m taking the spotlight off of me today. It’s Monday. I didn’t sleep very much. Little Miss Toddler Girl and me will head off into some sort of adventure soon, but this morning has been all things sluggish and slow. Not much else to report. So I’d like to share Celeste’s story today. Celeste’s story is very important for anyone who is interested in using cannabis in a therapeutic way. Healing is possible with cannabis; Celeste is proof of this. I hope you enjoy reading her story as much as I enjoyed learning about it, and subsequently writing about it! Much love, many hugs. Namaste dear readers. ❤

P.S.A. – DON’T LOOK AT THE ECLIPSE WITHOUT PROPER EYE PROTECTION!!! DON’T GO BLIND!!!

Interviewing Celeste

Cannabis Patient — Fighter of Lyme Disease and MS

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Celeste Gallagher

Celeste Gallagher is all parts inspiring, kind, thoughtful, and oh so knowledgeable about cannabis. She has struggled with chronic illness for the most of her life. She’s technically disabled. She’s also the kind of person who won’t let anything stand in her way of living. Certainly not serious disease and disability.

I remember the first time we met. Celeste walked into the medical marijuana dispensary where I worked, assisted by two canes. She worked her way over to where I was standing and started to peruse the dispensary menu. She reviewed the menu with a slightly furrowed brow and struggled to balance enough to bring the menu close to her face. I offered to hold the menu for her, but then she carefully set the menu down and completely surprised me. All of a sudden this disabled lady’s face lit up as she requested her selections off the menu. Her excitement filled the space as she basically reviewed each product available on the menu. She explained that this strain is great for pain relief, that strain will be infused into coconut oil, this other one is great for creativity. She went further — CBD is great for anxiety, THC kills Lyme bacteria. Her enthusiasm for cannabis was evident, her knowledge about cannabis was impressive. I found myself wanting to learn more about this remarkable person.

During our initial encounter, Celeste explained that she has multiple sclerosis (MS), that her knees are bone on bone, that she has Lyme disease, and that she’s been off all pharmaceutical medications for three years. I knew that I needed to sit down with Celeste to learn her more about her health history, and how she ended up medicating with cannabis to manage her chronic conditions. I knew that this incredible person had a great deal of information to share with people who were struggling with their own chronic conditions.

To this end, Celeste already helps people in our community. She assists people interested in medical cannabis by driving them to the recommending physician’s office so they can register as medical marijuana patients and gain access to the dispensaries. And then she’ll meet these cannabis newbies at the dispensary to help them make an informed product selection and purchase. And then she’ll help these people understand how to use cannabis in a therapeutic way. She’s a medical marijuana patient who advocates, supports, and empowers fellow medical marijuana patients.

Intrigued by Celeste? I certainly am. I reached out to her and asked to meet. We sat down for a couple hours sometime this past spring and this interview was the result:

M: Okay Celeste, how many years young are you?

C: I’m 58.

M: What is your occupation?

C: I have my own business — Gallagher’s Milk Paint. I’ve had my own website for 13–14 years. I work from home.

M: That’s great!

C: I applied for a grant for women with disabilities. I won the grant and started my own business. I paint American flags (on big planks of wood), fill orders that come through the website, paint reproductions. It’s been the best thing. (Visit Gallagher’s Milk Paint here.)

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American Flag – Milk Paint on Wood by Celeste

M: That’s incredible Celeste! Good for you. Okay, shifting gears. Let’s talk about your health. How do you define your chronic condition?

C: I have Lyme disease. Lyme caused multiple sclerosis.

M: When were you diagnosed with Lyme disease?

C: I was misdiagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) first. That was ten years ago. My doctor treated me with chemotherapy (immunosuppressive therapy) for three and a half years. The chemo destroyed my blood. One spirochete (the bacteria that causes Lyme disease) turns into 6 million spirochetes in one year. My body swelled, my blood pressure went through the roof. I was near death.

Celeste was near death because her body was overwhelmed with the untreated co-infections related to Lyme disease including bartonella and babesiosis. These co-infections caused the swelling. Her immune system was severely compromised from chemotherapy; her nervous system was being degraded and destroyed by Lyme disease. She suffered a heart attack — a severe side effect one of the immuno-suppressive medications — Humira. And the long-term chemotherapy negatively effected her liver function.

M: At that point, what happened? You obviously found a doctor who diagnosed you correctly?

C: I started working with a Lyme-literate doctor who also has MS. She started me on IV antibiotics for three years. Antibiotics make you feel horrible, but they saved my life. The Herxheimer reactions were pretty severe too. I just felt so sick.

A Herxheimer reaction occurs when antibiotics kill off bacteria or yeast in the body. These reactions are necessary to rid the body of bacteria that causes Lyme disease. Symptoms of such reactions may include fatigue, brain-fog, muscle and nerve pain, chills, sweats, impaired memory, impaired cognition.

M: When you contracted what you now know was Lyme disease, what were your symptoms?

C: I was hiking mountains and walking six miles a day before I got sick. I felt sick to my stomach and extremely tired. Six months later, I was flat on my back. I had soreness in one joint one day, and soreness in another joint days later. This is because the spirochetes migrate. I couldn’t function. I couldn’t walk. I felt like I was pulling a truck. My ears were ringing and I had a sore throat that wouldn’t go away. I felt like I was turning to stone.

M: Did you have the characteristic bulls-eye rash associated with Lyme disease?

C: I was bit by a bunch of tiny ticks — nymphs. Little brown ones. And then there was a deer tick on my stomach. I did get the rash on my stomach.

M: Let’s talk about cannabis. When did you start switching from pharmaceuticals to cannabis?

C: A friend brought me some Rick Simpson Oil (RSO). I’ve been smoking cannabis for thirty years, so he suggested I give it a try. This was three years ago. RSO caused a Herxheimer reaction after three months. It also completely cleared my liver function to normal.

I have to tell you, my doctor wanted me to quit marijuana or she wouldn’t treat me any longer. I was in a Lyme remission, and I didn’t want to stop working with her. So I quit which caused a full relapse of Lyme symptoms. It caused seizures too. So I went back on the marijuana. My symptoms subsided. And now my doctor has me talk to other Lyme patients about marijuana!

M: That’s a sign of a good doctor! She’s learning from you. Good, I’m glad she’s in your corner. What would you like people to know about cannabis in regards to treating Lyme disease?

C: Cannabis kicks Lyme to the curb. It’s one of the strongest antibiotics in the world. Nature provides it. It has to get into the body to fight Lyme. I always tell people that they have to eat it. I make coconut oil with it. I freeze it and break off small pieces of it. I add it into food. You have to keep (a concentration) of cannabis in your body for it to be effective. Your cells have to be saturated.

M: Has cannabis helped you with any other symptoms?

C: I feel that I would be dead if I continued to take antibiotics. Cannabis has also helped me to reverse diabetes, it completely (resolved neuropathy.) It reduces the swelling that happens during a Herxheimer reaction. I have not had a cold or illness in three years. And I feel like it’s opened pathways in my brain. I feel like cannabis has increased my intelligence. I feel like it’s helping me prevent Alzheimer’s disease.

M: Okay Celeste, thank you for your time today. I really appreciate it. Is there anything else you would like people to know about Lyme disease or cannabis or both?

C: Yes, Lyme patients are at risk for committing suicide because of the severe symptoms. Having brain fog, being shaky, dealing with massive pain, stiffness. Your depth perception is altered, it feels like you’re underwater, you feel detached. If your doctor doesn’t believe in Lyme, advocate for yourself. Don’t be afraid to change doctors. If I could go back in time, I would use cannabis immediately. Anyone who is struggling with Lyme disease should try cannabis.

M: I fully agree Celeste. Thank you so much for taking this time to speak with me. I really appreciate it.

C: Thank you.


Day 35: My First Vlog Featuring the Healing Rose’s Organic Roll on Relief Blend

Interested in learning more about The Healing Rose and their incredible products? Visit their website here.

As always dear readers and watchers – thank you for visiting today! Have a blessed day! Namaste <3.


My Mental House – Plans & Goals for Healing from Depression

Goal — To Gain Clarity

Plan — Meditate for at least 10 minutes daily, eventually expanding on the amount of time a couple minutes per day, with 20 minutes of daily meditation being the target sit time.  I meditate on most days for anywhere between 5-20 minutes. Meditation helps me to set positive intentions for the day. On the most difficult days, I’ve noted that meditation really helps me to work through my symptoms. I depend on deep breathing to bring me back to the present when depression knocks me into the past, or anxiety flings me into worrying about the future.

More Plans — Go to bed and get up at the same time every day. Lights out by 10pm and wake up at 7am would be a good starting point for me. Lights have typically been out between 10-11pm. Waking happens between 7-8am. I’ve been sleeping well consistently for a couple weeks. This schedule has really been working out for me.

Goal — To Reduce and Prevent Insomnia

Plan – No electronic devices before meditation/yoga practice in the morning. Never. My phone and tablet aren’t even allowed in the bedroom. This is so important for me to have a fresh start daily. No electronic devices for at least one hour before bedtime.Yeah…Gotta get better about this!!! 

Plan – Read more books instead of staring at electronic devices, especially at night READ BOOKS, NOT ELECTRONICS!!! Definitely need to implement this plan. I NEED A NOVEL!!! Or a memoir!!! Suggestions welcome!!!

Goal — To Relieve Depressed Mood, Anxiety Symptoms, and Relieve Pain

Plan — Move!!!! Yoga, Swim, Walk – DO ONE OF THESE ACTIVITIES DAILY – Moving daily helps  me to be grounded and present. 

Yoga — Attend at least 2 classes a week, practice most days of the week for a minimum of 15 minutes a day. Practice in the morning after waking. May precede meditation. I’ve been attending aerial yoga, heated vinyasa classes – sometimes 3 times a week. My mind and body and yoga practice have been invigorated by these classes!

Swim — 10–20 laps Happens 1-2x per week

Walk — Just get out and walk. Happens 2-3x per week

More Plans — Medicate with cannabis as needed.

  • 1-3 inhales from a vaporizer with a CBD-rich strain first thing in the morning if panic/anxiety/pain not relieved by self care bodywork is on board – Will be trying Mary’s Nutritionals CBD Products for relief of these symptoms 
  • 2–3 inhales from a vaporizer with an indica-dominant strain by 7:30pm to reduce tension and promote sleep. Dakini Kush is an indica dominant strain that I’ve been using nightly. I’ve been sleeping well through the night for a couple weeks. Thank goodness!

Goal — To Nourish My Body To Heal Up From Depression, Anxiety, and Panic

Plan – In the morning — Smoothie (I have a kefir, kombucha, Vega Protein Powder, and Amazing Grass Superfood smoothie every morning.)

28 Days of Clean Eating inspired meals – Love this book, need to focus on implementing this plan. It’s too easy to fall into cooking ruts!


Day 26: Cannabis Saves the Day

I’m not sure if it’s the full moon, or my four sessions of aerial yoga in less than a week. Or if it’s the weather – two days in a row of cooler temps, kind of like autumn, with a layer of thick gray clouds coating the sky.  Or maybe it’s all of the above. Or maybe it’s something else entirely. Whatever the case may be, I am tired. I slept well last night despite the moon being full. That rarely happens on full moons, so this shift is a welcome one. Perhaps I should be grateful to the clouds for not letting the moonlight shine through into the bedroom.

Anyhow…Tired is not a state I want to exist in today. Little Miss Toddler Girl went to school today.  And I need to be awake and get through a fair portion of my to-do list while I’m off the kid clock. Not sluggish and foggy and achy. And worst of all…unproductive. So I medicated with cannabis – 2 inhales of Cannalope Haze from a vaporizer. I’m happy to report that I have already stripped the bed sheets, washed them, placed them in the dryer, started a load of towels in the washer, cleaned up the kitchen, fed and watered the chickens, answered seven emails, and now I’m writing this blog post. Thank goodness. Cannabis is not always the answer. But sometimes, Cannabis saves the day. And now I can keep the anxiety monster away by staying on task. Winning!!!

Dear readers – I wish you a bright, beautiful, energetic, clear-headed, and productive day! Much love. Namaste. ❤


I’ll be reviewing my plans and goals in the next few days…

My Mental House – Plans & Goals for Healing from Depression

Goal — To Gain Clarity

Plan — Meditate for at least 10 minutes daily, eventually expanding on the amount of time a couple minutes per day, with 20 minutes of daily meditation being the target sit time.  

More Plans — Go to bed and get up at the same time every day. Lights out by 10pm and wake up at 7am would be a good starting point for me. 

Goal — To Reduce and Prevent Insomnia

Plan – No electronic devices before meditation/yoga practice in the morning. No electronic devices for at least one hour before bedtime. DEFINITELY NEED TO IMPLEMENT THIS PLAN!!! I’ll be in bed by 9pm tonight. 

Plan – Read more books instead of staring at electronic devices, especially at night READ BOOKS, NOT ELECTRONICS!!! 

Goal — To Relieve Depressed Mood, Anxiety Symptoms, and Relieve Pain

Plan — Move!!!! Yoga, Swim, Walk – DO ONE OF THESE ACTIVITIES DAILY

Yoga — Attend at least 2 classes a week, practice most days of the week for a minimum of 15 minutes a day. Practice in the morning after waking. May precede meditation. 

Swim — 10–20 laps

Walk — Just get out and walk. 

More Plans — Medicate with cannabis as needed.

  • 1-3 inhales from a vaporizer with a CBD-rich strain first thing in the morning if panic/anxiety/pain not relieved by self care bodywork is on board
  • 2–3 inhales from a vaporizer with an indica-dominant strain by 7:30pm to reduce tension and promote sleep. I feel a cannabis holiday on the horizon. Perhaps for 3 days, perhaps for longer. CBD products ordered!!!

Goal — To Nourish My Body To Heal Up From Depression, Anxiety, and Panic

Plan – In the morning — Smoothie (I have a kefir, kombucha, Vega Protein Powder, and Amazing Grass Superfood smoothie every morning.)

28 Days of Clean Eating inspired meals – Gotta pull a recipe for tonight’s supper

 


Day 23: Mary’s Nutritionals Have Arrived!!!

Did you know that there are 113 identified chemical compounds that the cannabis plant secretes? These chemical compounds are called phytocannabinoids, or plant-based cannabinoids. Of these cannabinoids, Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Cannabidiol (CBD) are the two most well-known ones. THC is the cannabinoid best known for producing the high effect that is synonymous with cannabis and marijuana use. CBD is the non-psychoactive, or less psychoactive cannabinoid that has an ever-growing list of health benefits on its own. Check out the chart below. Leafly did a very nice job of showcasing symptoms and cannabinoids that may be helpful in treating such symptoms.

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For me, I am interested to see if CBD will help relieve anxiety and pain. I have chosen Mary’s Nutritionals because they have developed a product line that includes transdermal applications for longer-term relief. I have decided to save these products for PMS and period time. Because that is the time that completely throws me off and makes me feel like I’m starting from scratch. Every. Damn. Month.

In addition to two samples of their transdermal products, this sample pack includes Mary’s topical compound, their Muscle Freeze (also topical), and their Remedy Oil which is to be taken orally. Dear readers, I will keep you posted on my experience with these products. I would like to dive into the science and research behind the Endocannabinoid System which would help you to understand why these cannabinoids greatly benefit the body, but that post will have to wait for another day. It’s a rainy Saturday and Little Miss Toddler Girl is asking me to snuggle and watch a movie with her. And in the broad strokes of health and wellness, snuggles really are the best medicine.

As always dear readers, wishing you a beautiful day! Much love, many hugs. Namaste. ❤


My Mental House – Plans & Goals for Healing from Depression

Goal — To Gain Clarity

Plan — Meditate for at least 10 minutes daily, eventually expanding on the amount of time a couple minutes per day, with 20 minutes of daily meditation being the target sit time.  

More Plans — Go to bed and get up at the same time every day. Lights out by 10pm and wake up at 7am would be a good starting point for me. 

Goal — To Reduce and Prevent Insomnia

Plan – No electronic devices before meditation/yoga practice in the morning. No electronic devices for at least one hour before bedtime. DEFINITELY NEED TO IMPLEMENT THIS PLAN!!! I’ll be in bed by 9pm tonight. 

Plan – Read more books instead of staring at electronic devices, especially at night READ BOOKS, NOT ELECTRONICS!!! 

Goal — To Relieve Depressed Mood, Anxiety Symptoms, and Relieve Pain

Plan — Move!!!! Yoga, Swim, Walk – DO ONE OF THESE ACTIVITIES DAILY

Yoga — Attend at least 2 classes a week, practice most days of the week for a minimum of 15 minutes a day. Practice in the morning after waking. May precede meditation. 

Swim — 10–20 laps

Walk — Just get out and walk. 

More Plans — Medicate with cannabis as needed.

  • 1-3 inhales from a vaporizer with a CBD-rich strain first thing in the morning if panic/anxiety/pain not relieved by self care bodywork is on board
  • 2–3 inhales from a vaporizer with an indica-dominant strain by 7:30pm to reduce tension and promote sleep. I feel a cannabis holiday on the horizon. Perhaps for 3 days, perhaps for longer. CBD products ordered!!!

Goal — To Nourish My Body To Heal Up From Depression, Anxiety, and Panic

Plan – In the morning — Smoothie (I have a kefir, kombucha, Vega Protein Powder, and Amazing Grass Superfood smoothie every morning.)

28 Days of Clean Eating inspired meals – Gotta pull a recipe for tonight’s supper

 


Day 21: People Get Ready

Today, I would like to focus less on my mental state – which is improving and healing daily. Thank goodness. I did aerial yoga last night (LOVED IT), had a very yummy meal inspired by 28 Days of Clean Eating. Peanut Noodles…Yum!!! I meditated first thing this morning after a good night of restful sleep and I’m ready to face the day ahead with a clear mind and open heart.

Today, I would like to focus on a venture that I am really excited about. I am proud to announce that I have accepted the position of Wellness Director for the virtual Well Care Clinic at CannaMommy.org.

From Cannamommy.org‘s site –

“CannaMommy.org was founded to advocate for mothers who choose natural medicines. We provide safe, organic, natural products that work. All donations from our products fund our missions. We provide a safe resource for mothers and families to learn about the endocannabinoid system and how it works in their bodies. We raise money through donations to fund research on the endocannabinoid system.”

I will be providing FREE Cannabis Nurse Consultations for people who need assistance and guidance in navigating the often confusing waters of the cannabis space. Are you a newbie to cannabis? Interested in learning how cannabis can help you manage symptoms you’re struggling with? Need help finding cannabis products that may help you? Consultations provided through Cannamommy.org are completely private and confidential because these consultations happen from the safety of your own home via phone, email, and online meeting! We are scheduling appointments now! I look forward to serving this community. Please reach out if this interests you! And please share! Thank you!

As always dear readers, thank you for being here. You have helped me to rise above these mental health challenges one day at a time. I am incredibly fortunate and grateful. Namaste. ❤

P.S. Because this song has been playing in my head this morning, here is one of my favorite renditions by the great, late Eva Cassidy. Much love and many hugs. ❤


My Mental House – Plans & Goals for Healing from Depression

Goal — To Gain Clarity

Plan — Meditate for at least 10 minutes daily, eventually expanding on the amount of time a couple minutes per day, with 20 minutes of daily meditation being the target sit time.  

More Plans — Go to bed and get up at the same time every day. Lights out by 10pm and wake up at 7am would be a good starting point for me. 

Goal — To Reduce and Prevent Insomnia

Plan – No electronic devices before meditation/yoga practice in the morning. No electronic devices for at least one hour before bedtime. DEFINITELY NEED TO IMPLEMENT THIS PLAN!!! I’ll be in bed by 9pm tonight. 

Plan – Read more books instead of staring at electronic devices, especially at night READ BOOKS, NOT ELECTRONICS!!! 

Goal — To Relieve Depressed Mood, Anxiety Symptoms, and Relieve Pain

Plan — Move!!!! Yoga, Swim, Walk – AERIAL YOGA ROCKS!!!! 

Yoga — Attend at least 2 classes a week, practice most days of the week for a minimum of 15 minutes a day. Practice in the morning after waking. May precede meditation. 

Swim — 10–20 laps

Walk — Just get out and walk. 

More Plans — Medicate with cannabis as needed.

  • 1-3 inhales from a vaporizer with a CBD-rich strain first thing in the morning if panic/anxiety/pain not relieved by self care bodywork is on board
  • 2–3 inhales from a vaporizer with an indica-dominant strain by 7:30pm to reduce tension and promote sleep. I feel a cannabis holiday on the horizon. Perhaps for 3 days, perhaps for longer. CBD products should arrive soon. 

Goal — To Nourish My Body To Heal Up From Depression, Anxiety, and Panic

Plan – In the morning — Smoothie (I have a kefir, kombucha, Vega Protein Powder, and Amazing Grass Superfood smoothie every morning.)

28 Days of Clean Eating inspired meals – Gotta pull a recipe for tonight’s supper. Peanut Noodles were sooo yummy!!!