Nikki Lawley: Cannabis Connects My Dots | GreenState

Nikki Lawley: Cannabis Connects My Dots | GreenState
Nikki Lawley: Cannabis Connects My Dots | GreenState

Cannabis Connects My Dots

Cannabis has become an integral part of my life, offering relief and hope in a way that I never thought possible. My name is Nikki Lawley, and I am a survivor of a traumatic brain injury (TBI). Without the help of medical marijuana, I truly believe that I may not be here today.

Before my injury, I had a fulfilling life. I was a mother of two grown children, a grandmother, and happily married to my partner of 20 years. I had a successful career as a business owner, casino dealer, and pediatric nurse. I enjoyed traveling, reading, and being socially active. Life was good, and I was even pursuing my RN degree. However, everything changed dramatically one fateful day.

On October 11, 2016, while working in a busy pediatric practice, I suffered a severe concussion. A combative ten-year-old patient accidentally hit me in the forehead, causing a traumatic brain injury that would alter my life forever. Suddenly, I found myself struggling with various symptoms such as head pain, dizziness, memory impairment, and chronic pain. My once vibrant and active life was now filled with appointments and a constant battle for validation of my condition.

Navigating the healthcare system became a nightmare. I went from being a respected nurse to being labeled as a malingering individual with “subjective” symptoms. Workers’ compensation and traditional medication did little to alleviate my pain and offer any real hope for recovery. It was a dark time, filled with frustration and despair.

However, everything changed when I discovered cannabis during a trip to Las Vegas. Initially, I was skeptical about the idea of using cannabis as medicine. As a DARE graduate and with a son who had legal troubles due to cannabis cultivation, it seemed like an unlikely solution. Nevertheless, my husband convinced me to give it a try, and it turned out to be a life-changing decision.

After obtaining my medical marijuana card, I visited a dispensary and tried various cannabis products. The results were astonishing. For the first time in months, I saw a glimmer of hope. While cannabis didn’t cure me, it provided me with relief from my symptoms and allowed me to regain some semblance of a normal life.

However, the struggle wasn’t over. Back in my home state of New York, accessing medical marijuana was challenging. The state didn’t recognize my conditions as qualifying for medical cannabis, and I was met with judgment and dismissal. Determined to find relief, I became a medical cannabis refugee in Canada, where I discovered a wider array of products that effectively addressed my symptoms. The experience opened my eyes to the potential of cannabis as medicine, not just for me but for many others suffering from invisible illnesses and mental health challenges.

Cannabis has changed my life, and it is now my mission to advocate for its use as medicine. I aim to normalize the conversation surrounding cannabis and educate healthcare providers and the public about its benefits. There is still a significant stigma attached to cannabis, and it is through sharing stories and removing misconceptions that we can make progress in providing safe access to this plant medicine.

As someone who has tried numerous products and experienced the positive effects firsthand, I am committed to sharing my knowledge and answering questions to help others find relief. Medical cannabis has the potential to improve the quality of life for countless individuals, and it is essential that we continue to educate and remove the stigma surrounding its use.

Cannabis connects the dots in my life and allows me to live a life I never thought possible. My journey with this plant has ignited a passion within me, and I hope that by sharing my story, I can inspire others to embrace cannabis as a tool for healing and living their best lives.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of GreenState, Hearst, or its subsidiaries. The author is responsible for the content.



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