Heather Timmons-Rice’s life changed drastically when she was in a car accident 8 years ago.
While she says this was a relatively low-impact accident, the effects of her injuries are still felt today. Heather sustained a head injury — the symptoms included anything from confusion, loss of memory, and PTSD, to a difficulty with walking and speaking.
Soon after the accident, Heather was diagnosed with small fiber neuropathy. For this, she was prescribed a number of pharmaceuticals, which were ineffective in treating her symptoms.
“I felt like a zombie,” she said, in regard to the effects of these prescription drugs. ” [I felt] like I was in another person’s body.”
While some people might choose a more traditional route, she soon realized that she wished to try more natural methods. Through the combined benefits of intensive physical and occupational therapies and medical cannabis, Heather is presently able to do the things she loves the most: hiking, writing, sharing knowledge with others, and playing with her grandchildren.
Heather uses medical cannabis, in oil and flower forms, to help with the chronic pain associated with her injury. She uses CBD oil regularly as a supplement. Furthermore, cannabis has greatly helped her sleep and to have more physical and mental energy.
She began researching alternative cancer therapies (initially for her husband, who was diagnosed with colon cancer), and came across Rick Simpson Oil (RSO). Her husband was able to greatly reduce his intake of narcotics. While Heather prefers to ingest cannabis orally and through vaporizing, she thinks that the current cannabis products marketed as sweets (medicated cookies and candy) could be seriously harmful, especially if they fall into the hands of children. She also hopes that more cannabis advocates will be available in the future to help first-time patients become aware of the vast possibilities in the industry.
Heather’s positivity is contagious — she even sees a silver-lining in the consequences of her accident.
“One cool thing that happened is [my experience] brought me into the moment, because I couldn’t think of anything else,” she said. “My perception of time changed. It helped me understand people who have needs different than my own.”
This change in perspective helps her on a day-to-day basis, as she regularly works with special needs children.
Her personal beliefs about cannabis has altered over the years as well.
“I used to look down on people who used drugs, including marijuana,” she said. “It has now changed my whole perspective — on not just marijuana, but also people, and what people need… It’s made me less concerned about what people think and more concerned about how to help people.”
Beyond her day job, Heather also leads tours in Supai. After first hiking to this oasis in the Grand Canyon 17 years ago, she decided to return and share the beauty of the area with as many people as possible.