Ironically, the longer I live in this world of refractory epilepsy, the more seizures I've seen, the more drugs I've given Sophie and the more I observe their side effects and utter inefficacy, the more suspicious I become of the pronouncements of these estimable doctors, their condescension and obduracy regarding cannabis. I don't believe cannabis is a miracle. I don't believe it's a cure or know enough about it to call it a cure, but to argue against these children having the chance to try it, is unethical. Just the other day, a reader sent me an email expressing her desire to try cannabis for her nineteen year old son who is currently on four anti-epileptic drugs and still seizing hundreds of times a day. She told me that she didn't want her son to get high, and she told me that her neurologist did not approve of her trying the oil until more evidence came in. Her neurologist told her wrong information, and her neurologist works at Emory University. I'd say, good Lord! or even Holy Shit!, except that it so doesn't surprise me.
I don't mean to attack the medical world in its entirety. Obviously many truly do hold to heart the tenets of their profession and are beautiful professional healers. Plenty of doctors, including Sophie's, are incredibly sensitive and supportive. Many, too, are open-minded and curious. The rest of them? Well, let's just say that at my vantage point -- earned in twenty years -- I've learned to quite defiantly raise my eyebrows at best, and at worst, think: f**k 'em (another reason why it's probably best that I advocate here on my personal blog and not march into and out of political offices or worse, neurology departments, to beg for their mercy). I imagine that I'm a bit of a pariah in the World of Diplomatic Neurology. Again, at this point -- twenty years in -- I actually don't give a damn. I know that's a difficult stance to take on when you're new to this horrific game, and I can't actually advise people to do the same, but I can state, quite firmly the following things:
* If your child has refractory epilepsy, you have nothing to lose in trying cannabis oil.
* If your child is on multiple drugs and still seizing, the drugs are not working. It's not the moon, an impending virus, the fake candle fumes, your relationship with your spouse or family dynamics. When drugs work, seizures stop.
* If your child is on multiple drugs and still seizing, and your neurologist tells you to add another one, that's unethical. In twenty years, I have never met a single child with refractory epilepsy whose parents have found a magic pill to control his or her seizures for the long term without side effects.
*I have met many children who have tried upwards of twenty drugs with no success whose parents then back off so many drugs, accept the increased seizures and better quality of life, try cannabis and see its positive effects.
* That is our experience (above), and it's a travesty that just because I live in California where the product is available and legal, we get the relief.
Whew. I got that off my chest.
I can't seem to embed the video/documentary attached to this very informative article in TIME, but here's the link: