art, chronic daily headache, cluster headaches, fadiman protocol, healing, healing migraines, intuitive art, lyme, magic mushroom, microdosing, Migraine, migraine suicide, Myalgic Encephalomyalitis, natural medicine, paul stamets, psilocybin, psychedelic art
Head pain has always played a role in my strange symptomology the entire time I have had this illness, but they started to become regular, more intense and lasted a really long time. Like I said, after the Cipro poisoning I endured, my nervous system as a whole was not in good shape. The combination of chronic neck pain, the Cipro damage, and then a fender bender that happened in 2017. It was only a slight bump from behind, but I ended up with whiplash that made all of these things worse. I finally considered seeing a chiropractor. I had largely written chiro’s off after many failed attempts at healing my lower back. But I read about whiplash and if you actually work at healing it things can get better, and I knew something must be terribly wrong with my neck, the epicenter of the headaches. I began therapy with an amazing Chiropractor, she took x rays which showed whiplash and that my neck was in bad shape in general. I could see how vertebrae were pressing against each other. She was the type of chiropractor who really cracked you. I had been to so many who use an activator or micro adjustments, but not her, she got in there and cracked it left and right. For the first time in years I could actually move my head normally. I couldn’t turn to the right or left hardly at all before I started getting the adjustments. Oh, the relief, and the confirmation about how much of my pain and neurological problems were coming from the degradation in this hot spot. I continued this for nearly a year and did it multiple times per week. It really helped, especially in the beginning because all of the stuckness that had been removed, but my body couldn’t seem to hold the adjustments. As time went on I would sometimes get more pain after an adjustment, or set off a major headache rather than relieving one.
The next thing I did was a procedure called RFA or Radio Frequency Ablation. This, my friends, is a friend to those in pain. Because of my now reduced ability to take medications, I looked for drugless solutions and found RFA. I found a pain management doctor who performed it and started working with him. It worked amazingly, though it was a process. I highly recommend this for dealing with pain. I recieve treatment several times a year, though I was able to go a year without one this past year, but I think that is due to the help of my yet spoken of mushroom friends.
These measures were helping somewhat, but it seemed nothing would last, but they were helping to manage my pain, the headaches continued to come and go, but mostly come and stay. I broke down in 2018 and finally went to a neurologist. He asked me all kinds of questions about my headaches, ordered MRI’s of my brain and neck, and he suggested I take Riboflavin 400 mg each day for migraine prevention. He asked me if I was experiencing migraine and I asked what is the difference between a headache and a migraine, and he explained that migraines incapacitate you, and I said I think I am having both. My neck MRI showed problems for sure, but nothing surgical. He diagnosed me with Classical Migraine and Chronic Daily Headache. I took the Riboflavin and must say it did help somewhat. The RFA on my neck nerves seemed to help the most, but I still couldn’t escape the cycles and flares, and basically what was a low grade headache all the time, then migraines several times a month.
I did those things for the next year, I tried neck exersizes and massage. I did laser therapy, and something called FSM (frequency specific microcurrent). I gave up ALL caffeine, though I didn’t drink it much anyway at this point. Still the migraines came and stayed, came and went, cycle after cycle, this all on top of managing all of the other symptoms of the systemic diseases of Lyme and ME. Cannabis oil and smoke would help me deal with the pain, but they really weren’t working for eliminating migraines. I don’t actually think it is the best medicine for migraine because of that, though it is palliative in almost any pain scenario. But their intensity started to increase, my vision and balance became involved. I started feeling a lot of vertigo, face pain, and I started to notice that when I would drive the freeway, which was rare, I would start feeling really weird. In the summer of 2019, I was driving to my printers office to drop of some art, I had been fighting through a low grade migraine for days, but needed to get this done. While on the freeway, my vision got distorted, almost tunnel like, and a blank space formed in the middle of my vision. I was really scared, got off the freeway and pulled over wondering what in the actual fudge was going on with my brain. This developed into the worst migraine I had ever had, the intensity was beyond a 10, the back of my head was hot and throbbing in pain, I couldn’t even touch the back of my head to my pillow. I ended up laying in bed, on my side in total darkness for the next few days, praying it would go away, but it didn’t. During this episode, I thought to myself, I might be dying, like if my brain hurts this bad, there has to be injury taking place. And yet again, I felt helpless and desperate for relief. I went back to my neurologist.
This time, he insisted I see an ocular neurologist because of the temporary blindness I experienced. He did more brain scans. My brain shows no abnormality. He explains he wants me to go onto anti-seizure medication, twice a day, and use Imitrex during a migraine. I took the prescriptions home with great hesitation, my doctor understood my sensitivities to drugs, but what else was I going to do? I went to the ocular neurologist, and she is an expert in migraines. She offered Botox, as that is an approved treatment for migraine. I kind of got excited about the Botox, like could we do it for my wrinkles too, lol? She was like oh yeah! She explained to me that it is very important that we get the migraines under control, as every time you have one there is damage being done to your neurons. She said I was experiencing “Aura’s” and Ocular Migraine. I agreed, went home to think about all of these options and even with how bad I was doing, I was so scared to try any new drug and set off yet another Cipro/floxing reaction.
When I was able, I went to the internet to find something, anything I had missed, hadn’t thought of, didn’t know about. I found out all kinds of things about migraine sufferers, that there are many artists and writers that suffered from them. Also, many mystics and saints suffered from migraines and seizures (epilepsy). I have had a deep interest in the lives of saints, and have wondered at the fact that so many of them had severe illness and pain. Or often other types of “trials” they must endure. Carolyn Myss talks a lot about Teresa of Avila, and how many of the mystics did have physical illness because in order to have revelation, to see past the concrete fabric of this reality, to peer into the cosmic abyss and even touch something there or be touched by it, maybe there had to be a sacrifice made on the physical plane. You lose something here, to gain something eternal.
Artists certainly have the ability to touch the eternal, and to bring it back for others. I wanted to see what would happen if I embraced this pain (for the moment) and began a painting. I put on classical music, as I had read that can help with migraines, and decided to do a stream of consciousness painting, just to see what my migraine would tell me if I interacted with it. This was the first layer of that painting and I posted it on facebook, asked folks to pray for me to find healing. Many fellow migraine sufferers said, “hey! that’s what my migraine looks like!” or, “I’ve never seen someone display what a migraine feels like.” This was layer one of this painting, this was my migraine.
Now, some things began to brew in the ether after I asked for healing publicly, which is always hard to do, but I feel it is so powerful and have seen miraculous answers and openings happen when people put energy into praying for you. I started to see information about using magic mushrooms or psilocybin cubensis for the healing of migraines. I also started seeing information about ingesting them in a different way, a way (a movement really) called “microdosing.” Microdosing is taking a substance at a fraction of the amount (I think it is 10%) you would take to have a psychedelic experience. I had to mine information, and pick from stories scattered throughout the internet, but I found people who had healed from migraine disease using mushrooms, some at full doses and some with microdosing regimens. If you have followed my journey over the years, you know that I am very in tune with the plant medicines (fungi in this case).
As if time was being bent, all of these things seem as though they happened simultaneously. This is where things got weird, in a good way, but definitely really weird. As soon as I had posted my painting, a friend messaged me saying “sending magic”. I thought this was curious. I hadn’t shared anything about my new findings, so what was he saying. I asked for clarification. He said I’m sending you magic mushrooms to heal your migraines. Wait, what…?? I said, “how did you know I was just reading about that and thinking I should try it”…he just said, “The mushrooms told me man!,” as though it was the most obvious thing. Sure enough I had a supply of mushrooms to do a 2 month protocol. Thank you God! This was a divine intervention, as I could feel that energy when the Universe just attends to you and your specific needs. That is called Grace, and I weep in gratitude for it’s presence in my life. I am humbled, I was brought to my knees with the love and power of this synchronistic manifestation. And this wasn’t my first encounter with a mushroom that I liked, and that had plans to heal me.
I began looking into how people were microdosing and there seemed to be 2 basic camps for “protocols” for microdosing. The Stamets protocol and the Fadiman protocol. I decided to use the Fadiman protocol as a guide, which was helpful, but it needs to be personalized to our unique needs. But even with these early pioneers’ experience, I knew I was basically on my own in figuring this out for myself. I accept that, and have been a risk taker my entire life. Mostly out of pure curiosity, but later out of a desperate need to save my brain and make this pain stop. It was decided, I would proceed.
I took my first dose, and from many of the reports online, I expected a boost of energy and creativity and started to work on a new layer of my migraine painting. Within 30 minutes of taking my microdose, I became very tired, I felt slowed down. I put my paints away and layed down. Microdoses are supposed to be what people call “subperceptual”, but I really felt the medicine. Not in a visual or overwhelming way, just my insight became stronger, I could feel biological activity changing and I could feel the presence of the mushroom spirit. They are intelligent, you know? I actually believe they are sentient, and I am not alone in this especially amongst anyone who has experienced them for themselves. I lay on my bed, just allowing the experience wash over me. I started to notice that a lot of pressure was forming in my head. It gradually and slowly became more and more intense, though there was no pain per se. I worried for a moment, did I just take something that would actually cause a migraine? Oh no. The fear of setting off a migraine becomes very real for those of us dealing with migraines. The pressure continued to build, and I just decided that I would trust the process, besides I was committed to whatever outcome it would bring at this point. Finally, all the pressure in my head just felt like someone opened a spicket and it all drained out down into my lower body, and I enjoyed a great relief. All this within the first hour of taking it.
I layed there enjoying a sense of roominess and absence of pressure in my head, something that I had not felt in a very long time. I focused on my internal world, and began to hear the word “Godflowers” over and over and was shown how the mushrooms, but also all of the psychedelic allies are the “flowers of God”. They are a higher order of medicine than anything we know and understand today. They will be the source of healing of untold number of maladies and need to come into the light of day for those who are suffering. We will learn how to harness their substances to create potent medicines, and much of that work is already under way. Just like with the cannabis movement, mushrooms and psychedelics are being legalized and decriminalized in cities across the US. Right now, Oakland, Denver, and Ann Arbor are cities where these substances are decriminalized and the trend is catching on. I saw in Cananda that there are now “Medicinal Mushroom Dispensaries” if you can believe it.
Over the next few weeks I continued to be guided on how to paint the next layer of my migraine painting. I used Anandamayi Ma, the revered Hindu woman saint of India as a reference and began painting what seemed like the healing spirit of the mushroom overlaying itself on the pain I had painted previously. Basically, my painting is a visual representation of the migraine itself, the spirit of the mushroom, and the healing that occurred. Nothing about this painting was intentional, it was all stream of consciousness and guidance. I realized when it was finished that her crown looked like individual mushroom caps which I did not plan at all, but was happy it turned out that way. I had thought of putting in images of mushrooms, but every time I would make that suggestion, the answer was no.
After that first dose, I did not have another migraine of the level I describe here again, and still haven’t. I still had low grade headaches (Chronic Daily Headache), but with each dose I took, I saw improvements in my vision, which was still effected, in the vertigo, and mostly in the pressure and pain. I microdosed 2 times a week for 2 months. I also used an occasional md if I felt a migraine coming on, and it would abort it. After my 2 month protocol, I was headache free for the next six months. I didn’t even have the low grade daily headaches anymore. I still had a million other symptoms I dealt with, but it seemed this miraculous intervention of a medicine of a higher order was actually working, and that is what is most amazing about this story, is that it worked, and worked well!
Out of this process, I was able to create this painting that holds so much meaning, and I hope it can tell the story of the mushroom that heals migraines until this is no longer “hidden” or stigmatized, but seen for what it really is, God’s divine mercy in the form of a natural substance on the earth, one that man in his arrogance sees fit to deem “illegal.” The time has come for change.
Featured here: “Godflowers” my finished original painting. Prints are available upon request, and I have one canvas reproduction currently available in my shop. http://etsy.com/shop/namastation