CBD has been changing the lives of countless people all over the world. At Endoca, we are in a position to be able to hear so many inspiring, miraculous stories of the individuals who share their CBD journeys with us. So, we’ve decided to hold monthly Community Story competitions to get your stories out to those who need it most. Not only are you sharing your stories with us but you will also go into the running to win $1000 worth of Endoca CBD products if your story is chosen.
This month’s competition winner is Michiel Desmet, who’s story inspired us with its unique sincerity and unhindered perseverance.
Michiel, a healthy and vivacious young man, was like any young person, enjoying himself travelling and meeting new people, when he found himself in an incredible bus accident in Thailand. The bus he was on had veered off the cliff road they had been travelling and fell down into the ravine below. Michiel's back was broken and so he spent a torturous two months in a hospital bed, making a slow recovery until he finally managed to get into a wheelchair. He was put on a corpulent amount of drugs to help him with the pain as well as for sleep and constipation, but incredibly in his last month in hospital he managed to slowly wean himself off of them; completely drug free. Unfortunately, the worst for Michiel was yet to come…
“Three months of finally living alone again followed. Steadily learning the techniques to master the wheelchair, enjoying the sun on my face. Freedom, life, in all of it's facets. Then on a fall night, it hit me. Strong electric shocks jolting through my legs like somebody hooked me up to a car battery. All night long it continued, and in my desperation I consulted my rehab doctor in search for answers, pain relief, hope! Neuropathy was the verdict, a type of pain 'made up' by the nervous system due to damaged nerves”.
This was the beginning of a very fraught relationship between Michiel and his understanding of his body, its abilities and limitations.
Michiel was put on heavy pain killers; first Gabapentin and then Lyrica, which he says both worked well for him at seperate times. Any way to get relief from the incredible jolting starts of pain he was getting from his neuropathic pain he was grateful for. But slowly, Michiel felt the potency of these drugs begin to ebb, one after the other. His body was getting used to them and so very slowly the pain began to edge back into his perception. He began upping his dose, taking far more painkillers than he had before, and found the pain manageable but still very present in his daily life.
It wasn’t until three years later, when he had moved to Portugal and was receiving a visit from his sister that he began to understand the detrimental effects these daily painkillers were working on him. He was out of his pills, and although he’d not been off this medication since he was first prescribed it, he knew that there was a part of him that wanted to get off the prescription medication, and start trying to live a more balanced, pharmaceutical-free life. The first day went by like nothing, but the morning after Michiel was bombarded with neuropathic pain, depressive thoughts, migraines and an inability to communicate at all. His sister ran to the pharmacy and got him his prescription, and so Michiel slipped back into the comforting hands of pharmaceutical sedation. Though he was unable to steer clear of his prescriptions that day, this experience spurred Michiel on to researching ways into properly getting off his prescriptions safely and without too much of a struggle. It was then that he truly began to understand the level of sedation he was on and how difficult it would be to get himself out of it’s grasp.
“Researching and reading about the effects, side effects and neurological aspects of Pregabalin I quickly realized the bad hand I was dealt by my doctor. Lyrica turned out to be a highly addictive drug, comparable to heroin addiction. In Belfast it is sold as a low quality street drug offering a cheap high. I had just been taking these pills for years in a row without even realizing the risks of it…”
It took Michiel two years to finally get off Lyrica, and it was no easy journey:
“Over the course of about one year I tapered the drug and started to take less and less every time. These periods were very tough mentally for me, and my partner, Anne. I was a wreck every month after lowering the dosage. Physically, and most of all: mentally. Three things greatly contributed to me succeeding this goal: Anne, a facebook group called Lyrica survivors and... CBD!”
After discovering CBD and reading about the therapeutic properties it is slowly gaining popularity for, he ordered two bottles from Endoca. A few days later, his order arrived, and that evening he took his first drops of CBD oil.
“I can not express in words how much Endoca, and the oil has helped me over these last years. I used to suffer from sleepless nights when the pain would keep me awake. Ninety percent of those are history. I often used to have days that would basically be spent 'couch potato style', simply due to the pain. Ninety nine percent of those are gone today. My life quality has improved to an extent that exceeds what pharmaceuticals have been able to provide me at any given time. On the days that the pain is still present, the cbd oil offers relief: it calms me, and takes away a huge portion of the pain related anxiety. It gave an immense hope in myself”.
Michiel’s story is not the only one we have received like this. As well as giving us a personal understanding of how pharmaceutical medications are prescribed so effortlessly and without due counsel, it also tells us of how a plant that has been in use for thousands of millenia, and that has been defamed and misunderstood for the last hundred years, is slowly but surely being given the respect and understanding that allows us to use it rightfully, and lead fulfilling lives.
Michiel explains that “It's very emotional to write all of this down here for me. It almost brings me to tears to reflect on how many people are out there that don't need to be on medication that causes them harmful side-effects,” and leaves us with a very pertinent quote from Spanish writer and philosopher Georges Santayana:
“The earth has it's music for those who are willing to listen.”
If you, or someone you know has had experiences using CBD for any medical conditions or diseases and would like to share your experiences with the community, please don’t hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to hearing your stories, so that we can continue shedding light on all the possibilities of cannabis.
We hold Community Story competitions once a month. All you need to do is share with us what CBD has done for you and you'll be in the running to win $1000 worth of Endoca CBD products. So, get writing!