To the mothers considering CBD for their child(ren),
Hi, I’m Amie Reiman, founder of My HipLife. I’m a mom first and foremost, a single one at that, a Toronto/Niagara based working professional with the typical fast paced, on-the-go attitude that many women (and Torontonians) embody. I enjoy simple things such as a healthy lifestyle, local outings, great food and people.
So, what makes me different than anyone else and what drives the urge within me to share my story that led me to trauma-informed consumption [cannabis]? Well – I guess it comes from a series of unfortunate events that led me to hit a breaking point and how I have transcended what could have been my demise and instead became a rebirthing.
Over the course of 3 years, starting in the Spring of 2016, there were a number of life changing events that affected my direction and health. One of which was my son’s health.
I’ll start by revisiting my son’s diagnosis, which was determined through genetic findings in 2015. I’ll never forget the moment when my suspicions over his developmental, learning and speech delays were confirmed. Up until then Jaxon had seen an abundance of specialists that had ruled out autism and other possible diagnoses. In Canada, genetics are not tested at birth. It wasn’t something that crossed my mind as I was personally always a healthy, cognitive individual. My medical history showed no signs of genetic complications.
And then my son got his diagnosis of Fragile X Syndrome
Fragile X syndrome is a genetic condition that causes a range of developmental problems including learning disabilities and cognitive impairment. Usually, males are more severely affected by this disorder than females. Affected individuals have delayed development of speech and language by age 2. As this disorder was not discovered until the 80’s, research and case studies reflect a wide range of findings. So far there is some success on clinical trials but no cures for humans – yet. Medications may be used to treat associated seizures, mood problems, aggressive behavior, or ADHD, but there is no cure.
When Jax received his diagnosis, I thought I would convert into supermom. Whatever needed to be done to conquer this disorder, I would go to the ends of the earth to do it. Of course this would prove impossible. The best I learned I could do was to tackle Fragile X symptom by symptom.
My son is most affected by learning and developmental delays. Jax tends to mimic and is very repetitive with incessant chatter; as well as scattered thoughts. He has sensory processing challenges and very extreme ADHD. On a positive note, his speech, although delayed, has come a long way.
On the flip side; Jax has vast domestic skills, manages his personal hygiene, is very keen on helping others. To say he has a heart of gold is an understatement. Jax tends to be very intuitive, has an excellent memory, quite visual and has a great sense of humor. Social skills and other challenges he continues always to progress over time.
Over the past 4 years we have tried:
– 2 public schools + 1 private
– 1:1 tutoring
– Private in home speech therapy
– Occupational Therapy
– Buddy Reading Program
– Homeschool based programming
– Various socially integrated programs (scouts, swimming, karate, church, cooking)
– Visited “John of God” healer in the jungles of Brazil (true story, but for another time)
Together, Jax and I have learned the benefits of consistency, routine and small group settings. When faced with too much sensory overload (noises, smells, etc) it brings on anxiety and frustration – which – has led to behavioral concerns.
At his peak, Jax was taking 50mg of Ritalin and Vyvanse daily. It was suggested he also take “Prozac” near the end of 2018. I knew our little family couldn’t handle anymore. We were masking one issue and creating more. As the doses increased, the outcomes did not and the side effects were growing…
Starting on Cannabidiol (CBD)
The decision to start my son on CBD came from my own personal journey and by no means can we compare my disabilities to his, but it was a worthy discovery.
Nothing happens overnight. Like any other therapy, consistency is key with cannabis.
Initially, we saw few noticeable changes, yet slowly but surely, since summer 2019 my son is now entirely on Cannabinoid Medicine. It has been life changing. The benefits are astonishing.
ADHD, anxiety and focus are the largest outward examples of change. He is more cognizant of his words and actions. His thought process is more streamlined and his reactions are less impulsive. Jax now asks for his CBD oil. He is no longer groggy or disoriented because of fistfuls of pills.
It’s been a risk. We were one of the first pediatric prescriptions in Canada and even now, pediatricians are typically hesitant to prescribe to them due to the unknowns.
It’s been far simpler than joining a Brazilian cult or experimenting with the FDA approved drug du jour– without question we will continue to share our testimony and educate whoever asks on our experiences.
As a mother, I feel beyond lucky to live in a trailblazing country that will change the world by taking us back to where we came from.
Amie Reiman is a Niagara local,Toronto working professional and single mother of one, who brings a wealth of experience to the challenge of balancing one’s health and wellness on top of parenting and career demands.
A true speaker at heart, this busy mom is working to create an educational platform raised from personal experiences and connectivity in the health/cannabis space. She’s the CEO and founder of Hip Lives, an online information and education resource for women seeking to understand cannabis.
After 10+ years in the marketing world, she’s taken a leap of faith in her mission to advocate health and wellness as well as to rid the stigmas surrounding cannabinoid therapies to parents, workers and families in need.