In this episode, we hear from Chrissy, who successfully manages her autoimmune disease with the help of cannabis. She shares her journey toward discovering the benefits of cannabis and how it gave her a new lease on life. Additionally, she talks about her successful adoption process and how she was able to become a parent despite her health struggles.
Table of Contents
- Release Date: Wednesday May 10th, 2023
- Episode Number: Season 1, Episode 13
- Special Guest: Crissy Curley founder of Daisy Star Coaching & Support
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Episode 13: Autoimmune Disease & Adoption with Cannabis: A Success Story
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Why You Will Love This Episode
When Chrissy was diagnosed with visceral hyperalgesia in 2009, a disorder which causes chronic abdominal pain, she felt her life was spinning out of control.
Despite trying traditional treatments, the symptoms persisted until her roommate suggested a seemingly unlikely alternative: cannabis use.
Against all odds, this natural remedy provided Chrissy with the relief she had been seeking for so many years and finally allowed her to enjoy solid foods again.
Thanks to a medical card as protection and support from her doctors, Chrissy was able to maintain her cannabis use — even during through the adoption process
In this episode, Chrissy shares her journey with cannabis and how it gave her life back, inspiring others to consider the potential benefits of using cannabis for medical purposes.
Meet Our Special Guest
Chrissy has been using cannabis for the past 12 years to manage the chronic pain and nausea caused by her autoimmune disease, visceral hyperalgesia, that affects her digestive system.
Prior to her diagnosis, she suffered for over ten years with extreme pain, random vomiting, and heartburn.
It wasn’t until her roommate suggested cannabis that she gave it a try, and it changed her life forever.
Since that day, Chrissy has been a regular cannabis user, starting off slow and eventually obtaining her medical card.
Cannabis helped her manage her symptoms and eased her pain, allowing her to eat solid foods again.
It gave her the freedom to live a happy and healthy life without relying on eight different medications and daily doses of Prilosec for heartburn.
Despite working in the child welfare system, Chrissy has kept her cannabis use private, although her close friends have noticed the positive changes in her health and quality of life.
Today she is feeling the best she ever has and is the proud founder of Daisy Star Coaching & Support and is working to help others live their best lives, too.
Links & Helpful Resources
The helpful links and resources listed below will offer insight into the world of cannabis, providing knowledge and guidance if you are seeking answers on your cannabis journey.
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Crissy: My autoimmune disease does not control me. I manage it through cannabis, but it does not control my life. I control my life.
Announcer: Welcome to the Well With Cannabis Podcast, a show dedicated to telling the life-changing stories of those who live well with cannabis all while teaching you how to do the same. Meet your host, Emily Kyle, a registered dietitian nutritionist turned certified holistic cannabis practitioner. Emily changed her life for the better with the help of the cannabis plant, and now she’s committed to helping others do the same.
Tune in each week to hear heartwarming stories and gain the knowledge you need to feel connected, inspired, and supported on your own cannabis journey. Whether you’re a new cannabis consumer or a lifetime lover, you’ll benefit from these uplifting tales of real-life journeys that will show you how you, too, can live your best life well with cannabis.
Disclaimer: Hi there. Before we jump into today’s episode, I wanted to share a note on potentially sensitive content. The episodes on the Well With Cannabis Podcast are created for adult audiences only. We will, at times, cover sensitive topics, including but not limited to suicide, abuse, mental illness, sex, drugs, alcohol, psychedelics, and the obvious use of plant medicine. Explicit language may be used occasionally. Please refrain from watching or listening to the show if you’re likely to be offended or adversely impacted by any of these topics.
The information on this show is for informational and educational purposes only. It does not constitute medical advice. If any of the content on this podcast has brought up anything for you, please reach out or speak to a professional or someone you trust.
Emily: Hello, and welcome back to another episode of the Well With Cannabis Podcast! And I’m so excited to introduce our friend Chrissy today. She is from Daisy Star Coaching & Support. She has an amazing story; I can’t wait to get in with it. Chrissy, welcome. Hi, how are you?
Crissy: I’m good, hi! Thank you for having me!
Emily: Thank you so much. You shared with me that you’ve had quite a journey with autoimmune disease; I would love to explore that. Hopefully, if anybody listening suffers from an autoimmune disease, they can pick up some wisdom from you and your journey.
Crissy: Yes! So I struggle with… it’s an autoimmune disease called visceral hyperalgesia. It’s a big word.
Emily: Wow, that’s a mouthful!
Crissy: What it is is I have sensitive nerve endings in my digestive system, and so basically, I can feel… I feel chronic pain, which is actually when I’m hungry. I can feel the hunger, and that creates chronic pain and then also chronic nausea.
I’ve been struggling with this; it all kind of started back in 2009. I went to multiple doctors. I even had my gallbladder removed. Come to find out, my gallbladder was normal, but multiple doctors were just trying to figure out what was going on with me.
Emily: What was that experience like? Was it frustrating?
Crissy: It was very frustrating. I lost a ton of weight. I was completely on a liquid diet because I couldn’t digest solid foods anymore. If I bent over, acid would literally pour out of my mouth. Every day was a constant struggle, and trying to explain that to the doctors and all tests came back normal, and nobody had any answers for me.
Yeah, it was so frustrating. Then as the medical bills continued to pile up… yeah. Then I was on, you know, different medications. At one point, I was taking eight different medications in order to eat a meal—prescribed medications.
Emily: Did they help you at all? Were you able to eat a meal? Or were you still struggling at this time?
Crissy: I was still struggling. They did not… none of the medications that were prescribed helped me. I couldn’t find anything that would help me.
Emily: That is so sad. A lot of people have the same experience in the medical system where they don’t solve the problem, and they’re like, “Here’s a medication,” and then, “Here’s another medication,” and, “Oh my gosh, you still don’t feel good! Nothing we can do.” It’s so sad to hear this story over and over again.
Crissy: It’s very frustrating because you just start to lose hope. You’re constantly losing hope.
Emily: Absolutely. So where does it turn around for you? Where do you discover cannabis? How do we turn this into a success story?
Crissy: Well, okay, this is a funny story. I had a roommate who used cannabis a lot. I used to be one of those people that was very judgmental about cannabis, especially with my roommate. I’d be like, “Oh, that stuff smells!”
But eventually, you know, my roommate saw me continuing to struggle and not being able to eat and basically watching my health deteriorate. She said, “Chrissy, you really just need to smoke a bowl. You just need to try and smoke a bowl. Maybe that might help you eat and probably help with your nausea. It would probably help with your pain.”
Every single thing I constantly complained about, she said, “I bet this would help you.” Finally, I said, “Okay, I’ll try anything; yes, I’ll do it.” I sat there, I smoked that bowl, and that evening I ate Chinese food for the first time in probably six months that I could eat anything solid. That was the best darn Chinese food I’d ever had.
Emily: Chrissy, that’s an amazing story!
Crissy: It was incredible. I was shocked. I just couldn’t believe it. And then I started thinking, “What have I done to myself? Why have I put myself through this when this is just… this is here?” So that’s when my journey with cannabis started. It has brought me to healing health I never thought I could get to. You know, I have hope again. I am on zero medications.
Emily: Let’s talk about how did you get… so you ate the Chinese food. Do you say anything to your doctors? Do you say, “I want to stop these medicines cold turkey”? How does that progress for you?
Crissy: Yeah, so I go to my next appointment. My doctor said, “Well, you’re looking a little better and feeling a little better.” I told him, “Well, I started using cannabis to help me with my pain and with my nausea.”
He looked at me and asked, “Well, is it working?” I was like, “It’s working.” I said, “I quit taking all those prescription drugs that you gave me because those weren’t working.” He said, “Well, if it’s working, then just continue to use it. Continue to do that.”
Emily: So nice to hear from a doctor, finally!
Crissy: Yes. So then, from that point, I got my medical card. At the time, I was living in Oregon, so medical marijuana was available. It was right around when it just came out. I think it was in its second year. So I went to the doctor, got all the stuff, and went through all the steps to get my medical card. Another thing that was important to me was because of the stigma behind cannabis and as my profession- I worked in the child welfare field-
Emily: Oh, so yeah, this has got to be hard for you, then.
Crissy: Yeah. So, it was important for me to have that medical card to have that backup. I had my medical card if it ever came up with my employment. Doctors said, “Yes, this is what is helping her.”
Emily: I’m so glad you said that because I believe the medical card is a security blanket for anybody who is nervous about it. I didn’t have my medical card for the longest time. Immediately, the first time I found out, or the second time I found out I was pregnant, I got it because I was so scared.
It provided such a layer of comfort and security. I’m so glad you mentioned that for people because it’s not always necessary to get it, but if it can make you feel more secure and comfortable, that is a huge blessing.
Crissy: Absolutely. With employment, I’ve had to take a drug test for employers. Actually, the last one I had to take, and this was a couple of years ago; I obviously did not pass it.
The medical technician called, and they asked me, “Well, you tested positive for cannabis; do you have your medical card?” I said, “Yes, I do.” And they said, “Okay, no problem.” And it was not an issue. So having that card again was the security. I felt like it kept me safe.
Emily: I agree a hundred percent. Even in Oregon, one of the most liberal states that there are when it comes to cannabis and just having that reassurance. Recently I had to go for a procedure, and the nurse called me ahead of time, the anesthesiologist nurse, and she was like, “Do you use drugs or medications?” I was like, “I use cannabis.” And she’s like, “Well, do you have your medical card?” And I was like, “Yes.” and she was like, “Okay.” And just like completely moved on.
Emily: And I thought that if I had said no, would she have treated me more like a drug addict? But I was just so happy that I had it, that I didn’t have to have that awkward conversation. I was like; this is so worth having for me.
Crissy: Yeah, no, it really is. I’ve had mine… well, the first year I got it, I believe, was 2010, so-
Emily: Wow, a long time.
Crissy: You know, twelve years. I just renewed it last year, so, you know, it’s important, I feel, for me to have.
Emily: Does Oregon have protections where they cannot discriminate against you and your medical card? Could they say you don’t get the job because you did fail?
Crissy: I believe it’s up to the employer.
Emily: Oh, interesting. Okay, so there is discretion.
Crissy: Yeah, there is discretion. It’s up to the employer how the employer… at least, that was what it was explained to me back in like 2011. I had to take a drug test, and I explained that I had my medical card, and they’re like, “Well, that’s up to human resources, how they want to deal with that.”
Emily: Interesting. But all’s well because you’re working and everything is fine, right?
Crissy: Oh yeah. Yes. Yep.
Emily: Perfect. That’s a huge success story for people to know like you’re still holding a job, you have your medical card, and everything is fine because many people get really, really worried like, “God, I’m going to lose my job” or… it’s so scary for people. So thank you for sharing your perspective with us and that you turned out just fine. It’s working.
Crissy: Yeah, definitely. Every state, you know, is different. Oregon is very liberal. I just moved from Oregon to Kansas, so it’s quite different here in Kansas. But it was in Kansas when they asked me, “Well, do you have your medical card?” And I said, “Yes, I have my Oregon medical card.” They said, “Okay, no problem.”
Crissy: So I think it is more acceptable, or they accept the medical cards more.
Emily: Definitely. So what does li life look like now for you? You look amazing, I’m sure. I hope you’re feeling amazing.
Crissy: Oh, yeah. No, I feel great. I probably feel the best that I have ever felt.
Emily: I’m happy for you. That’s so nice to hear.
Crissy: Yeah, no, thank you. It really is. You know, the cannabis, again, it’s given me hope. You know, I can… what I do is I had to figure out how to medicate myself, right?
Crissy: How much can I use, when can I use it, and when do I need it? When do I need it the most? I became an experiment on myself, trying to figure out how I could do this but still be able to get behind a car and go to work, you know? You know, be able to do my job, be able, you know, to parent my children. Another point I wanted to mention is I’m an adoptive parent.
Emily: Aw, that’s so sweet!
Crissy: Thank you. But I had to be upfront about my marijuana use in my home study.
Emily: Oh my gosh, I never even thought about that. Do you mind talking a little bit about that?
Crissy: No, not at all. Again, this was… we adopted out of the Oregon child welfare foster care system, but I was just honest, open, and honest. I had my medical card, so I think it might have been; it could have been a different story if I didn’t have my medical card. But having my medical card just gave me that ground to stand on, that security. Being backed up by doctors.
Emily: So you told them about the card, and they accepted?
Crissy: Yes, they were accepting, and basically, they asked, “Where is it stored?” Where do I… obviously I don’t use cannabis in front of my children. So, you know, “Where do you do that?”
And, you know, “Is it locked up?” You know, so it’s all those safety precautions that, of course, if you have children in your home, you’re going to use those safety precautions. I just explained where I had… I even showed them where I had it locked up and the times that I do it and where the children are when I do it, you know, and kind of the plan and how we made it work and yeah.
Emily: Gosh, I feel like that is such a bright glimpse into the future if they’re willing to work with you on that. That is awesome. I’m so happy to hear that it worked out that way.
Crissy: Yeah, yeah. It was great. They have to, I mean, just so that it’s… things have changed, right? And so you, yeah, if you’re… again, you just have to be open and honest about things like that.
Emily: Actually, I’m so glad that you said that because so many cannabis users spend their whole time not being open and not being honest and being scared and being in the closet, hiding, sneaking, and for you just to say, “I was open and honest, and I was able to facilitate an adoption with a medical marijuana card.”
Emily: That is amazing! And I hope that anyone listening is like, “Wow, if she can do that, I could probably do what I want to do.”
Crissy: I will tell you that I was scared. I never thought that I would… adoption was always something that I had in my heart that I wanted to do, and then when I started using cannabis, I was like, “Well, I will never be able to adopt.”
I mean, that probably wouldn’t be anything I could do because they come in, and they learn everything about your home, life, and family. But then, working in the child welfare profession, I learned like, “No, they’re not as judgmental.”
You know, the judgment is what I’m putting on myself or my fears. I could take that barrier down and move forward, and I was like, “Okay, I’m going to be…. I work for child welfare; here are all my little secrets you don’t know.”
Emily: Yes. Yes.
Crissy: But you are the one that gave me my card, too, because you’re with the state.
Emily: Did you feel… was there a time though where you felt conflicted, where you were like, “Oh my gosh, like I used to spend so much time being against this.” Did you feel like that moment of enlightenment, or how did you transition through that?
Crissy: I definitely went through that. Through that, I just felt really ignorant. I felt stupid because I was judgemental of other people and their cannabis use and just ignorant because I wasn’t open to it. You know, back in high school, you know, growing up in Missouri, marijuana wasn’t what it’s like now, especially back in those days.
I don’t even know if it was really marijuana that I was smoking when I was in high school, you know? Then I went years; I probably went 15 years without smoking cannabis, except for the little experimental in high school. But other than that, you know, I didn’t use it. That whole time, I was judgmental about it until my best friend saved my life that night.
Emily: I’m so glad that she did, and so many people share a similar story where it’s just one person who has made such an impact and said, “Please try this” or “I have something that can help you,” I think that’s just kind of the underlying tone, the relief that this plant can bring.
Hearing your story and what you went through and smoking one bowl brought you so much relief. I want that for everybody. I want everybody to have that type of relief immediately available to them because nobody deserves to live in pain.
Crissy: They don’t, no. Definitely. And how quickly it can… it’s almost like an immediate pain release. I mean, how quickly it helps. I can be having chronic pain, and within just a few minutes, I can be relieved. I mean, it really is a miracle plant. But it’s not something that I go around, and I don’t go around and tell people that I’m a cannabis user.
Only my closest friends know. Some of my family members know, but I don’t have that stigma. I don’t wear cannabis shirts- I don’t need to talk about it unless I’m talking with somebody I think may need it or letting me share, “Hey, this is what I do to relieve my pain.” It’s something that I keep private unless someone needs to know about it or if I want to share that with them.
Emily: I’m so glad you shared that because I feel it’s really good for the audience to hear. You can keep your cannabis as public or as private as you want. It should be what you are comfortable with at the end of the day. I know I’m out here loud and proud and talking about being out of the cannabis closet, but I don’t want anybody to come out of the cannabis closet if it makes them feel uncomfortable.
I want everybody to be just like you doing what makes them feel comfortable and sharing what makes them feel enough that they can share. But at the end of the day, we don’t all go around being like, “I’m on prescription medications!” So there’s really no pressure or need for anybody to do that with cannabis, either.
Crissy: Yeah, no, exactly.
Emily: It’s all about being comfortable; that’s the point of cannabis is being comfortable. If you’re doing anything in any type of way that makes you feel uncomfortable, that’s kind of the opposite of the goal. I’m just glad that you mentioned that, that you don’t have to share it with people if you don’t want to.
Crissy: Yeah, no, definitely. I mean, you can keep all that to yourself. And like I said, I mean, I pretty much have.
Emily: Yeah. And it’s good. It means to protect your inner peace, and that’s ultimately, you know, the biggest goal for all of us.
Crissy: Exactly. This is what works for me. Everybody else can have their own judgment. I’ve been down that path; I’ve done that. I don’t need that. I don’t want that. This is what I need for myself, what I’ve found that gives me hope and life again and gives me joy. Do you know? I’m more creative now. I’m not stuck in that pain, pain, or, you know? No, I am out; I blossomed. You know?
Emily: I do, yeah.
Crissy: It’s just, it’s amazing.
Emily: It’s a beautiful thing. It really is. I just hope that anybody listening, especially people who maybe aren’t yet using cannabis or are reserved like you were at one point, hears your story and learns that like just trying it that one time has dramatically changed the course of your life for the better. For anyone who’s listening, who’s still nervous, I hope they can take a little bit of your bravery and wisdom and take that with them, and hopefully, it will help them in the future as well.
Crissy: Yes, yes, definitely.
Emily: Let’s talk about where you’re at now with Daisy Star. Give us a little bit of background about what you’re moving forward with.
Crissy: Yeah, so I’ve recently started a business, and it’s called Daisy Star Coaching & Support. What we offer is we offer online courses that are based on Mike Dooley. He’s the that teaches about thoughts becoming things and about the universe, and he was another piece in my life during that healing journey. I think it was about 2012 when I found his book.
That started kind of the mind and soul piece of my healing journey. And so with Daisy Star, I’ve started a healing business where people who have experienced any kind of trauma, whether through their life or through somebody else they love, are helping them survive through trauma or move forward through trauma.
We’re trauma-informed and just teach about the effects of trauma on our body and how to move forward with that and find abundance in life. Those are what our courses are. The main points of our courses are that life is magical and that you are powerful, and that everyone deserves to be happy and successful. Those are the points of my courses. I offer four different courses. I have a child’s course called “I Believe In Me,” and then adult programs as well.
I also offer support groups. Right now currently, we have three support groups running. One for foster and adoptive parents, which as a foster and adoptive parent myself, I know how important that is. We all need support. Especially trying to parent, you know, our most vulnerable and traumatized children.
I’m building a community for people to come and connect with people who’ve had similar life experiences. Then, you know, having social media, you can stay still connected with them throughout the week, you know? We have weekly support groups; you always have somebody to turn to through private support group pages.
People can communicate with each other throughout the week. It’s just another added thing of support. Then the other support group that we do is autoimmune. Our autoimmune disease support groups, talk about cannabis because that is-
Emily: Ooh, yay! I’m so glad to hear that!
Crissy: Yeah. That’s part of my journey. In order for people to become trusting and vulnerable in my groups, I also have to do that.
Emily: That’s awesome.
Crissy: And that goes back to being honest and upfront. It’s a safe place. None of my support groups are recorded because it is a safe place. So cannabis is a topic that we have in our autoimmune support groups. Then the last support group is called “Healing Souls.” That’s a support group for anyone that’s experienced trauma or has had a loved one that’s experienced trauma and trying to move forward through that.
Emily: That is amazing work that you’re doing, Chrissy. I can’t imagine how hard it is to do all of that. You’ve got a lot on your plate, but it really makes me feel like you have done all of this because cannabis has made you feel so well, and now you are out helping the world, and you’re bringing cannabis in with it too.
I hope anybody listening, whether you maybe are dealing with an autoimmune disease or experiencing trauma, I hope that they feel connected with you. I’ll leave all the links so they can also reach out to you. What you’re offering is priceless for people, and for people to hear that you are focusing on autoimmune and incorporating cannabis, I feel, is huge because I don’t think anybody out there is quite doing that yet.
Crissy: Yeah. I think it’s important. I mean, again, this goes back to that honesty and just being upfront, and if I’m not sharing what is helping me with my group, then you know, that’s not fair.
Emily: Right, right. Oh, you’re doing amazing work. I want to be respectful of your time, so I ask all my guests the same four questions. Are you ready for them?
Crissy: I am, yes.
Emily: Perfect. All right. First, to start, what are you most proud of to date?
Crissy: I am most proud of… Well, I’m most proud of my health and life, the life I have now.
Emily: That is… I’m so happy you got your health back because so many stories look different, and I just… you are radiating; you’re vibrant. Imagine if your roommate didn’t give you that bowl that night. I mean, I’m so happy for you that that worked out that way. That segues perfectly into our next question- what would your life look like if you didn’t find cannabis?
Crissy: I would be on… well, first of all, I wouldn’t have any hope. I’d be struggling with pain and chronic nausea. Chronic pain and chronic nausea, still. I’d probably be on multiple different medications, or I might have had more surgeries that were unnecessary. I don’t know. I would’ve continued to let the doctors poke at me.
I can tell you that when I told you that story, I went back to the doctor and said that I started using cannabis. I haven’t been back to that doctor since. I have not been back to the specialist in over 12 years.
Emily: It’s amazing. You can take care of yourself, and you’ve learned that, and you’ve earned that, and I’m really, really proud of you. That’s awesome. Just to have that peace of mind is incredible.
Crissy: Yeah. My autoimmune disease does not control me. I manage it through cannabis, but it does not control my life. I control my life.
Emily: That is such a ray of hope for anybody listening because the autoimmune disease is really hard, and it can control your life. I’m so glad that you said that, and it hopefully reaches the person who needs to hear this on the other side.
Crissy: Yes, definitely. I mean, there was definitely a time when it did control my life, but not anymore.
Emily: If you could go back 10, 20, 30 years ago and give yourself one little piece of cannabis advice, what would it be?
Crissy: Just be open-minded, and don’t be judgmental. I probably would’ve been on a much quicker healing path a long time ago if I would’ve been open to cannabis. I think for a little bit of time, I kind of blamed myself… I was mad at myself, angry at myself for being that ignorant. I’ve had to let that go.
I’m no longer ignorant; it was the path that I took…the path that I was supposed to go through. I had to go through everything for those reasons, for whatever reasons. The path led me to that one bowl and that Chinese dinner that I will never forget.
Emily: Last question to wrap it up if you could be remembered for one thing in the cannabis space, what would it be?
Crissy: Just that I help inspire other people to take control of their health and their life and to hope again.
Emily: Oh, I have no doubt that anybody listening to this episode will feel that. Thank you so much for sharing your story with us and for being vulnerable. I know it’s not easy, but I truly think that your words are going to reach the right person. I hope anybody who is listening and needs trauma-informed counseling or autoimmune support can connect with you. As I said, I’ll leave the links and everything, but thank you so much for being vulnerable, honest, open, and willing to share with us because I think it will make a huge difference.
Crissy: Thank you so much. Thank you for having me.
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