After miraculously surviving a fall of 40 ft and breaking 108 bones in his physique, Mike Conner’s largest battle was nonetheless forward of him. At 50 years previous, the accident meant he was pressured to discover ways to stroll once more, and he endured an excruciating 26 surgical procedures.
The trauma, which occurred in 2013, very almost value Conner his life and left him hooked on the dangerously addictive opioid OxyContin, having been prescribed 400mg a day to ease his excruciating ache. (Sometimes, the drug is prescribed in 10mg, 15mg, 20mg, 30mg, 40mg, 60mg and 80mg tablets.)
Quick ahead to as we speak, and the sprinkler engineer turned hashish entrepreneur has crushed his opioid habit, having used hashish to beat his demons and lead a more healthy life.
“What got me there is this amazing plant. It is truly amazing. This is what got me into the [cannabis] industry,” Conner explains. “The cannabis helped me get through all the stuff that was holding me back. Now, I go to the gym and get out there and sweat.”
Nowadays, Conner is so well being acutely aware, he doesn’t even take aspirin. And he doesn’t smoke marijuana, both.
“[Cannabis] is an amazing tool to be used in this fight against these opiates,” he continues. “Big Pharma is making billions of dollars. I don’t think they want the word out that CBD and even THC can get you through these [opioid] withdrawals. We don’t need these big, fancy clinics where you need to pay tens of thousands to go through [drug rehab]. I am an actual patient who went through it myself. I had such a huge dose [of OxyContin] prescribed to me legally, that today I should still be on the couch watching Judge Judy, popping pills. But I am not that guy.”
Conner, who was a outstanding member of the Tea Social gathering in California, was working in a megachurch when he fell from a beam — a peak equal to 4 tales.
He recollects, “We were in the attic and walking across steel beams. I got caught by a flashlight across my eye and it blinded me. It affected my depth perception and I stepped on a ceiling tile and I fell straight through. I had over two seconds of freefall — I landed feet first, thank God. But I broke over 108 bones in my body.”
Conner defined that through the fall, he had one thing of a religious expertise.
“I heard the words, ‘This is gonna hurt,’ on the way down. I am not a religious man, but I had a religious experience when I went through that hole. I heard the words clearly as I went down.”
And whereas he feels he was fortunate for bodily touchdown on his ft, the injury executed sounds a far cry from lucky.
“My feet, the bones turned to powder and splinters. My ankles were gone, my shin bone and the bones behind it flew out of my legs. My knees went in different directions. I broke my back in four places and my L4 [lumbar vertebrae] exploded into my spinal cord and severed it. My right arm broke and the bones in my hands were splintered. My wrist folded in half. And my right elbow and shoulder exploded.”
All through the entire nightmare ordeal, Conner remained acutely aware — a fall from that peak often has a 99.7-percent fatality fee — and remembers feeling almost each single bone break.
“Not many people get to experience that,” he says with a way of delight. “Nearly everyone dies [from that high a fall]. I was lucky to live. I have had 26 surgeries and multiple prescriptions for painkillers. I was confined to a bed and a wheelchair for a year and a half.”
When Conner was first rushed to hospital, the physician informed him he would doubtless not even survive the surgical procedure to attempt to right his pulverized again. And his accidents have been so dangerous that one one that visited him in hospital fainted and was consequently admitted to that very same hospital for 3 days.
Choking again tears, Conner recollects, “When they saw the X-ray, the doctor said, ‘I’m sorry, but you will never walk again. Your spinal cord is so damaged that when we open your back up, the nerves that are keeping you alive right now are going to be severed.’”
This info prompted Conner to provide his spouse loving messages to relay to his 4 youngsters. “We said our goodbyes — they didn’t think I was going to make it through my first surgery.” However amazingly, he did survive. And through Christmas of 2016, greater than three years after his trauma, Conner learnt to stroll once more.
Nevertheless, to handle his steady, unrelenting agony, he was positioned on a cocktail of medicine and painkillers, together with OxyContin. Derived from the opium alkaloid thebaine and chemically just like each morphine and codeine, Conner confesses of OxyContin that he was “completely addicted to it” and found how dangerous the habit was when he by chance missed a dose.
“I had to take 5mg every two hours and 10 every six and a 20 every 12 hours, as well as an 80mg dose every day. That didn’t include any of the other drugs I was on,” he explains. “I missed a 2 a.m. dose and then I woke up at 4 a.m. and I was in excruciating pain. I couldn’t believe how much of a hold it had on me. But I also realized I was in the same amount of pain as I was when I was actually on the drug.”
It was then that Conner determined he needed to take motion — and selected to experiment with hashish to assist wean himself off his addictive treatment. Earlier than delving right into a hashish substitute, he devised a 10-day course of, taking six months to finish this regime. “It was terrible,” Mike recalled. “I used to be completely experiencing heroin-like withdrawal. It’s the worst battle you’ll ever be in. You battle the habit and your self. That’s the worst bit.
“For example,” he continues, “I didn’t hurt my right femur at all. I would put the pill case on the side of the bed where I could see it. When I was in sound mind, I would tell myself, ‘Don’t take this pill.’ At that 15-minute mark, my right thigh would start to kill me. My mind would say, ‘Take the pill, take the pill. The pain will go away if you take the pill.’
And I would find myself reaching for it. And I said to myself, ‘Wait a minute. Why is my right thigh hurting? I never hurt my right thigh.’ It was my body creating a pain, which had nothing to do with my injury. My body and brain were in a battle. Why am I fighting myself? It was maddening almost. … And it was unfair. You know yourself and [OxyContin] finds the weakest link and gnaws at it.”
Conner took 10 % fewer Oxys for a interval of 10 days, then decreased the quantity and power of drugs he was popping to 25 %, then 50 %, and eventually 100 %. When he acquired to the final 4 rounds, he realized he wanted some further assist with getting via the cycles.
Medical marijuana appeared to Conner to be a protected guess to see if it might alleviate a few of his signs, as he knew they might be robust to counter by himself. His spouse agreed.
“She told me she thought I was an idiot for not [trying cannabis] in the first place,” Conner remembers. “[But] I didn’t want to be seen as a pothead. It wasn’t that I was anti-cannabis, I was just apathetic to it. I had got high once before and I got really paranoid. It wasn’t a good feeling.”
4 months and three weeks into his regime, Conner commenced his hashish experiment, utilizing medibles for the ultimate 40 days of his withdrawal from his prescription meds. First, he began with edibles within the type of a muffin, and explains his expertise.
“I was told to eat a quarter of it. The time was coming and I didn’t feel anything. Fifteen minutes went by and I was terrified the pain was going to come. So, I ate another quarter. Another half an hour went by and I thought, ‘I’m still not feeling any affect, the pain is going to come and it’s going to be torturous.’ I ate another quarter. Big mistake.”
Conner sat in his wheelchair and wheeled himself to see his spouse and youngsters, who have been within the entrance of their house.
“I always asked them to clear out as I didn’t want them to see me puking, or shitting my pants when I was going through the withdrawals. I was very proud and I didn’t want them to see me at my worst,” Conner admits.
However then, one thing miraculous occurred.
“I was telling them, ‘I’m such a bad dad, I ate my [weed] muffin and I ate three quarters of it!’ They were laughing at me because they knew I was high! They were telling me not to freak out. My kids were so forward thinking and educated on the subject [of cannabis]. My oldest son Nick suggested I use a vape so I could structure the dose a bit more.”
Conner’s 4 grownup youngsters — Nick, 23; David, 20; Lauren, 22; and Paige, 18 — had some enjoyable with their dad as he labored out his doses. “They thought it was funny to mix a little recreational cannabis in there! They were having a joke with me! Nick was the ringleader. But they were really helpful and I was very grateful.”
As soon as he had his dose and supply technique found out, Conner says the impact of taking hashish was “amazing” and meant he might lastly rise up from his mattress to perform as a part of the family. “I could be with my family. I could eat. I could hold down food. I could drink. I could be mobile. I could be almost normal. Just by using the medical cannabis. I still felt the flu-like symptoms [from opioid withdrawal], but nothing like I should have been feeling.”
He provides, “Those days should have been the worst, because I was dropping 50 per cent [of my doctor-prescribe medication], then 100 per cent. Your body wants to make you pay. But [edibles] were the best. When I was doing the 25 percent [fewer meds] without the cannabis, I told my wife to get out of the house and hide the guns. I didn’t know what was happening to me.”
At present, Conner feels again to his regular self, though, he admits, “I still feel the same amount of pain as when I was on the medication. Medication doesn’t attack where the pain is, it hides the pain, makes your brain fuzzy. The way we think about masking it and what it does are two different things. It’s hard to see it from my perspective, going against all medical practice. People will think I am crazy. But I have lived it.”
Now, alongside together with his enterprise associate Alex Metson, Conner runs Idea To Harvest, an organization that goals to offer alternatives for buyers who need to become involved within the hashish business, typically serving to to pair growers with corporations and buyers from as far afield as Australia and Israel. Plus, Conner can also be concerned in a hashish farm in Oregon.
“So many people who get into this industry are undereducated, and the growers have been growing for decades,” Conner says. “They’ve been to jail and achieved it proper. However they’ve paid a worth. Now, they’re underneath the highlight of legality and they’re underfunded. And the factor is, these individuals don’t know how you can speak to one another. They converse two totally different languages. At Idea To Harvest, we bridge [that gap] so buyers can speak to growers and we will translate.
“We understand the lingo and the struggles of a grower,” Conner continues. “But we are also investors. We can help manage them for a corporate structure. [Alex and I] have gone everywhere, from being addicted, to using cannabis to get off that addiction, and now we are literally growing and helping everyone, from seed to sale.”
Conner is now an advocate for legalized hashish, commonly assembly together with his native leaders in Fresno, California to assist push his agenda of authorized hashish funding to spice up the financial system in his state, in addition to full-blown federal legalization. “I helped get the mayor elected. I told him, ‘I’m growing cannabis and I am going to bring it to Fresno and I don’t care if you like it or not!’”
Above all, Conner hopes his story will assist others who’re equally drowning underneath the load of opioid habit. “I still struggle with pain every day — but I treat it like an emotion.” Talking of his survival from such a traumatic damage, Conner says, “It’s awesome to be in a place where no one has been before. You have to learn how to accept help. Every time you turn down someone’s help, you are taking away the opportunity for someone to help you. I learned how to accept help and now I want to help others — don’t deprive me of the opportunity. I now work with disabled kids and veterans and that is where my time and money goes.”
When requested about what he hopes individuals study from his expertise in regard to their very own struggles with habit, Conner is fast to reply. “The message is, ‘You can get through it.’ I made the conscious decision to survive that fall. It’s getting back on your feet that is the hard part. And getting off that medication is the best thing I could have done.”
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