By: Sharon Letts Michelle Wright isn’t shy about discussing her diagnosis of a Bi-Polar disorder and numerous ailments she’s conquered, using cannabis to manage symptoms and put serious maladies into remission. In fact, it’s become her life’s mission to share her own struggles with the highs and lows of illnesses and the help she’s […]
By: Sharon Letts
Michelle Wright isn’t shy about discussing her diagnosis of a Bi-Polar disorder and numerous ailments she’s conquered, using cannabis to manage symptoms and put serious maladies into remission. In fact, it’s become her life’s mission to share her own struggles with the highs and lows of illnesses and the help she’s found with the plant.
“I’ve dealt with my mood swings, personality switches, and ups and downs gracefully and tragically over the years,” she shared openly on her Facebook page.
A holistic practitioner and energy worker, Wright said she is a 100 percent disabled, retired U.S. Navy Veteran Cryptologist, turned cannabis grower, extractor, and renaissance woman.
“I’ve always been a self-learner, but also have a minor in chemistry and a BA in abnormal psychology,” she shared.
Her first experience with cannabis was when she was 12 years-old, but her first healing experience came in 2014 after she left the Navy and was given months to a few years to live, while being placed on hospice care.
“I had been suffering for two years while being helped at a pain management clinic while stationed in Hawaii, when a nurse suggested I try cannabis.”
She said she had become addicted to painkillers while in pain management care in Hawaii.
Cannabis wasn’t yet legal in the state, so after moving from Honolulu to Sacramento, she acquired a medical cannabis card on her first day in California. Then, she immediately headed to a dispensary, purchasing some OG Skywalker flower, and smoked a few bowls.
“That was the first time in years I didn’t feel pain or have thoughts of suicide,” she added.
Her backstory began in 2010 while on active duty in the U.S. Navy, working in Pensacola, Florida as a cryptologist. She said it was a stressful job that required her to be trained in both linguistics and mathematics, allowing her to decipher coded messages, as well as create encoded messages.
After coming home from a months long overseas tour, she didn’t feel right, starting with a two-week long debilitating migraine that left her passing out while standing in ranks.
Symptoms included paralysis, with weakness and drooping on the right side of her face. Absence seizures turned into clonic seizures that included intense pain.
“I was transferred to UAB Hospital in Birmingham, Alabama, and saw neurosurgeon, Dr. Quindelin, with 50 years of experience,” she said. “At the time I was prescribed Topamax, Maxalt, Gabapentin, Diazepam, high blood pressure medication, Sertraline, Stadol, Fentanyl, percocet, morphine, Toradol, Prednisone, Promethazine, and Flexeril. I was a hot mess.”
A blood clot was found in her arachnoid area of the brain, between the brain and skull. What looked like a Traumatic Brain Injury was diagnosed as chronic meningitis, or inflammation of the brain, encephalitis. They also found substantial scar damage to her trigeminal nerve, occipital, and vagus nerve.
The only conclusion found was that she presented with these multiple health issues after receiving an Anthrax vaccine by the Navy prior to going overseas.
California, Cannabis & Healing
After her positive experience in merely smoking cannabis for relief, Wright said she paid another visit to the dispensary to see what else she could try.
“I went back and talked with Penny, a knowledgeable budtender,” she said. “She told me about the benefits of full extract cannabis oil. I bought 60 grams of Tahoe OG oil and began a protocol of ingesting a half a gram in the morning and a half a gram at night.”
Wright said she was able to cut her pharmaceuticals down one by one, and in three weeks did away with the Stadol and Percocet, while reducing the100 milligram Fentanyl patches by half. By week four she was off all of the medications once prescribed for numerous ailments that had now subsided.
“Fentanyl was the most difficult to get off of,” she shared. “I had two clonic seizures during week four because I didn’t have enough cannabis oil in my system, and my brain swelled so bad my right eye popped out of the socket!”
Wright doesn’t recommend transitioning from pharmaceuticals alone, as she did, and encourages the help of a doctor to titrate down from medications.
That said, most doctors aren’t aware of how cannabis works, and the patient will need to slowly do a step-down protocol to replace the medications with cannabis oil. That said, the transition can be done in tandem, as the oil will quell many of the negative transitory symptoms.
Plant Prescription for Life
Her daily dosing protocols included a change in diet, as she did away with sugar, red meat, and dairy.
“I ended up taking up to a gram and a half a day of cannabis oil for three months – with no craving at all for the Fentanyl, and no seizures,” she said. “Many other diagnoses, like Fibromyalgia and Lupus, were gone – with migraines non-existent, and no swelling in my brain at all. My liver and pancreas, which were once inflamed, presented as normal.”
Within six months Wright felt safe to say that her ailments were now in remission.
After going back to the neurologist, he asked her to prove that the plant healed her, putting her through a plethora of tests, before convincing, or better yet, educating the good doctor.
Due to the scarring on her brain, she now has short-term memory loss. She also deals with nerve pain on occasion, manageable with cannabis.
Aside from taking a quarter gram of cannabis oil each day, Wright has also added cannabidiol, or CBD, to her daily dosing.
She also smokes three dabs of CBD Grandaddy Purple crumble daily; with 100 milligrams of CBD, 100 milligrams of CBG (cannabigerol, a phytocannabinoid), and a half a gram of Delta 8 (milder euphoria than Delta 9 THC) per day.
She also eats medibles and smokes flower regularly. Once replacing pharmaceuticals, the plant must be kept in your system to keep illness at bay. Consider it a plant prescription for life.
“My cannabis protocols keep me happy, seizure-free, and healthy in mind and body,” she concluded. “I owe my life to cannabis, because without it I would be dead six feet under in the ground, instead of sitting here chatting with you.”