Nic Turinski, founder of Chronic2Wear.
Nic Turinski is a Lyme disease survivor of more than 30 years who is dedicated to sharing his story and spreading positivity through his clothing company, Chronic2wear.
Through his designs, Turinski is channeling the “negative energy and emotions from suffering into the positive actions of creating joy and humor, “ he says.
What is Lyme Disease?
Lyme disease is an infectious disease caused by the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi. A simple tick bite from an infected black-legged or deer tick can transmit B. burgdorferi to humans. The tick becomes diseased after feeding on infected animals.
Healthline states that “a tick has to be present on the skin for at least 36 hours to transmit the infection.”
Some people may experience symptoms within a day of being bitten. Others, however, could go long before getting any symptoms appear, and as a result, remain untreated.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) informs that “if left untreated, the infection can spread to joints, the heart, and the nervous system.”
Some of the most common symptoms of untreated Lyme disease include a rash, fever, headaches, joint and muscle pain, inflammation, trouble sleep, heart palpitations, and more, according to the CDC.
How was Turkinski Infected?
Turinski was an avid athlete and an outdoorsy kid into his teen years. He told Emerald that he contracted Lyme when he was six or seven. But his symptoms lay dormant for more than 10 years.
Then, “I got really, really sick when I was like 18 or 19,” he explains.
Turinski was bitten by a single tick that carried three types of infections: B. burgdorferi, Bartonella, and Babesia.
B. burgdorferi, the first type of infection, is the name of the pathogen that causes Lyme disease. According to research in the Journal of Parasitol Research, ticks located in the Northeastern U.S. carry both B. burgdorferi and Babesia — the second type of infection Turinski contracted.
The third type of infection is Bartonella. The CDC informs that Bartonella is also referred to as Carrión’s disease, and only occurs in the Andes Mountains.
As a child, Turinski and his family would visit Wisconsin, which is east of the Rockies, every summer. Years and years later, when doctors diagnosed Turinski with Lyme, his doctor deduced that the strain he had was from that region because the symptoms were more neurologically based.
The Challenges he Faced
Turinski tells Emerald that “a lot of times, it’ll just lay dormant. It will lay dormant until trauma weakens you and then it’ll basically just decimate you. That’s what it did with me.”
Doctor’s diagnosed Turinski’s mom with Schizophrenia when he was only 14 years old. From then on, he started to spiral and became stressed and anxious, so Lyme disease slowly began to take effect.
Turinski was completely bedridden from the disease for two years of his life, 23 and a half hours per day. He only had his caregivers around for a few hours each day, so he was in solitude for a majority of the time.
Turinski explained that one of his biggest challenges was losing his freedom. “I basically went from dunking a basketball to, like, I couldn’t get off my couch.”
Additionally, he began having convulsions several times per day that lasted up to 50 minutes.
According to a study published in Case Reports in Neurological Medicine, Borrelia can cause neurological complications including convulsions.
Turinski says that loud noises and stress trigger the convulsions. Thankfully, he has figured out solutions to less convulsion fits in the past few years.
Healing with Cannabis
Turinski’s doctors prescribed certain medications for the effects of the disease, including pain pills. He was on opiates for three months and didn’t like it at all.
As of now, Turinski only takes baclofen — a muscle relaxant — for his muscle spasms, and antibiotics. Other than that, he uses cannabis to help with symptoms of Lyme, including pain.
Turinski says “I’ve always believed cannabis is a magical plant.” He has always advocated for cannabis and disagrees with a dry herb being illegal. Since he is in a wheelchair, he looks to plant for relief because he can be sitting there for hours without moving.
“I take Kind Mother Botanicals tincture accompanied out of Eugene, Oregon; [it’s] sun grown in the Southern Valley Oregon. They hooked me up with RSO on both those products which are highly advantageous by symptom to help out my pain, my anxiety.”
Turinski tells Emerald, “I see challenges as opportunities.” He motivates others to “follow their inner compass” in decision-making. He doesn’t think that laws should define or limit people and their aspirations.
He finds like-mindedness in fellow cannabis industry members, who share a fondness for the counterculture, he explains. “I’m a misfit myself. I love aligning with other misfits. And, as I said, people that are willing to march to their own drum.”
“Losing the ability to live without fear of convulsion fits,” he says, is one of the biggest challenges he’s faced. “But for me, the bigger the challenge, the bigger the opportunity. […] It’s the biggest opportunity ever to practice patience, humility, and gratitude,” he explains.
In order to help spread joy to other cannabis users worldwide, he started the clothing company, Chronic2wear. The canna-centric attire features cartoons doing activities such as meditating or smoking a blunt to channel positive energy into the lives of others.
The clothing options range from printed leggings and shoes to tie-dye T-shirts. His love for the plant and the playful, humorous manner of cartoons inspire his designs.
“Gratitude every day is a blessing,” says Turinski. “If you gave me a healthy body right now, but an unhealthy spirit or my current body and mind and spirit, I’ll take my current path any day of the week because, without peace of mind, there’s nothing.”