Cara's Story

Cara the equestrian selfie

My body hates me. At least, that’s how it feels. I’ve had health problems as long as I can remember. It started with chronic migraines as a child (I get all types). I was diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome and hypothyroidism when I was a teenager. Later, premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) and mild neurofibromatosis type 2 (NF2), a genetic disease that affects nerve cells, were added to the list. It’s all connected. A messed up chain reaction. 

The PMDD is the most debilitating, though. It’s a severe form of PMS, like PMS tenfold. If it’s not under control, the cramping is intense, the period itself is painful, you swell up. It’s horrible. Then there’s the mental side of it—the anxiety attacks and suicidal thoughts. One minute you’re over the top hyperactive or filled with this intense rage and, within two seconds, you can flip and be the most depressed you’ve ever been.

If you’re lucky, the symptoms last two weeks of the month. There’s a couple of days when you know it’s coming—we call them “hell days”—and you just want to drive your car into the wall.

For the longest time I didn’t know what it was. Ten years ago, I was finally diagnosed, but it wasn’t until two years ago that I found a great OB GYN and started to get real help. We tried all sorts of things and eventually found the right combination of hormones, but it took a while to get there. As we fixed one thing, something else would show up. The depression and anxiety got really bad. Then, in the thick of it, all of my camera gear was stolen. I make my living as an equine photographer. That was the last straw. A few days later, I had a manic anxiety attack that went on for an entire day—it hit a point where I literally wanted to kill myself. 

How it Helps

I take anti-depressants and hormones and that’s definitely helped me, but they take time to kick in. The relief from the CBD was almost immediate. My neck doesn’t hurt from the migraines. My joints don’t ache as much. The swelling has gone down everywhere. The ear ringing, the nerve pain, the anxiety are greatly reduced—CBD relieves many of the symptoms from all my conditions. And it did so within a couple days. You wake up feeling better. CBD saved my life. It’s my go to now. Every day, it’s my go to.