Vivian Stagg was facing the ultimatum of having a no-guarantees invasive brain surgery when her daughter suggested they try one more thing to help Vivian’s debilitating and unpredictable seizures: hemp-based cannabidiol (CBD) oil.
At the time, Vivian was having 12 to 15 seizures per month, and doctors wanted to drill holes in her skull to place nodes, she said.
Vivian, 60, now credits called Real Scientific Hemp Oil (or RSHO) made by HempMeds® for having gone months without a seizure. RSHO is completely legal across the United States, and can be purchased online.
About 20 years ago, the Bullhead City, AZ resident was working as a bus driver, both for schools and Vegas bus tours. Then Vivian started having seizures in her sleep. She’d wake up confused. She wasn’t sure what was going on. She’d wonder about biting her tongue in her sleep. One day she woke up and had trouble remembering who she was. “It was really scary, and I thought ‘it’s time to see a doctor.’”
Vivian was diagnosed with a nocturnal seizure disorder in 1995 – at that time, she was only having seizures at night. “They medicated me, so I could drive and keep my license.” Under medication, Vivian wasn’t seizure free, and she wasn’t feeling stable either. She decided it wasn’t safe to keep driving the bus. “It’s not just me in the vehicle,” she said.
When a seizure comes on, “There is nothing you can do to stop them. Nothing you can do.” She compares it to someone putting the lights out. Her family and friends were fearful of the intensity and regularity of Vivian’s seizures. “They were visiting often. My husband never left my side,” she said.
One minute Vivian was making garlic bread, and the next minute she was waking up in an ambulance. Living like that, “You don’t leave the house alone,” she said.
The worst part of the medication she was taking – up to 20 pills per day – was the side effects. She suffered from confusion, lethargy, emotional numbness, and inactivity. “My family said my personality was nothing,” Vivian said.
Vivian lived with regular seizures and the side effects of her prescriptions for a decade.
Finally, in 2015 when Vivian’s doctors suggested surgery, the potential of waking up with no memory or no results spurred her daughter Rachel Spears to search for information on CBD oil. “I was giddy, shocked and scared. We were talking about marijuana! I was excited to try it. I thought, ‘It can’t make me any worse than I already am.”
After the CBD oil arrived and Vivian tried it, she noticed changes the very next day. She was shopping with her daughter and son-in-law when she had a seizure, but this time it was different. “It upsets my daughter when I have a seizure. This time she said, ‘Mom, usually when I talk to you, I get nothing, but this time you nodded and responded.”
While Vivian still takes medication for her seizures, she’s down from 5,000 mg per day to 3,000 mg per day.
“Within two months of taking CBD oil, I was off antidepressants. I felt my personality, my bubbliness coming back.”
With CBD oil, Vivian has a control over her seizure’s that she’s never had before. She was down to one seizure per month, and has now gone three months without a seizure. In addition, she says, she can even use the CBD oil when she feels a seizure coming on and it seems to stop them before taking effect.
“I can live now,” she said. On May 16, 2017, Vivian was getting on a train to visit her daughter – alone, for the first time.
Rachel, Vivian’s daughter, says CBD oil has brought her mom back to life. “It has been amazing watching her transform from where she was before,” Rachel said of her mom. “Since starting the CBD oil, I’ve seen remarkable changes in her behavior. To our family, this means everything. She went from being incapciated in bed to visiting with her loved ones.”
For Vivian, having some control over her seizures has been life changing. “I never even got out of the house before. I was so depressed and lethargic. I was afraid to be alone. Now I can go to the grocery store or visit my daughter. There’s more time between my seizures, and more time to do things I want to do. I feel safer going and not having a seizure. I can live,” she said.