3.13.2015

remarkable things

While sitting in the front row bleacher next to Michael wiping tears from my eyes, uniformed boys and girls scuffed and shuffled back and forth on the court dribbling, passing and shooting. At times Michael’s eyes were brimming, too. We were at the gymnasium watching Brunswick Dragons Unified Basketball, a co-ed team made up of high school kids with developmental, cognitive and behavioral challenges such as Down syndrome, Autism and ADHD. The entire section seated behind us was full of fellow high schoolers who had come to root on their friends.

The playoff game went into overtime, Brunswick ultimately winning 54 to 53 due to enviable teamwork, some very good coaching, scores of wicked assists and a few three-pointers which put many fans on their feet. Every player got their chance on the court and each of them got to handle the ball and shoot. One boy’s gig was to run and set himself up at the free throw line waiting for a fellow player to place the ball in his hands so he could try to score. We were there because Calvin’s life skills teacher—who applauded every basket no matter the team—invited us, knowing we’d appreciate a remarkable show of sportsmanship by some very loved and loving members of the community. She was right. It was beautiful, and I wondered if Calvin might ever improve his skills and behavior enough to participate in something like it. Not as long as he's on pharmaceutical drugs, I thought.

Back at home Calvin was enduring his sixth day of pre-seizure symptoms without having had a seizure. It had been eleven days since his last one, and two of the most telltale symptoms that had been missing, his seizure-breath and a rashy red chin, had finally materialized. As Michael and I sat upstairs eating braised chicken and olives watching the beginning of an unpleasant movie, I heard a faint rhythmic rustling coming from the baby monitor which I'd slung from its ribbon around my head.

“Pause it!” I said, as I yanked off the monitor and ran.

Calvin was in his bed thrashing mid-seizure. This one was different, more swiftly convulsive and he hadn’t cried out when it had begun. Having suspected the seizure's imminent arrival I had brought up a syringe of a new homemade concentrated THC cannabis rescue medicine, a recipe a friend and fellow dragon mom gave me which she uses instead of rectal Valium to successfully stop her daughters tonic-clonic (grand mal) seizures. I grabbed it from the dresser, popped off the cap and squirted the tiny amount—0.1 milliliters equaling 8 milligrams of THC—inside Calvin's lip. Seconds later the seizure stopped dead in its tracks.

“That’s remarkable,” I opined to Michael who, though he is a born skeptic and doesn't believe in silver bullets, conceded that the THC might—perhaps—have worked.

For a couple of minutes Calvin seemed somewhat catatonic, but he quickly began whimpering reassuring us that the seizure was indeed over. His lids became heavy and within ten minutes he was sleeping soundly. I went downstairs to make another rescue syringe just in case and to grab a ready-made syringe of CBD/THCA cannabis oils to give him later to avoid a second seizure. When I slipped into bed next to Calvin I noticed he was completely still. He wasn’t having any aftershocks, the shivers and shakes he usually suffers in the wake of a tonic-clonic seizure—again, somewhat remarkable.

Calvin slept like a rock throughout the night, so soundly that I didn’t wake him to give him the CBD/THCA oils. He woke at 5:00 a.m. slightly out of sorts, but not seizing. He's doing all right this morning, especially for a kid who'd just had a nasty seizure.

I have renewed hope and belief that cannabis is remarkable in all of its different forms. Maybe, just maybe, it will be the elixir that will one day help my kid get out on the court.

Photo by Michael Kolster

4 comments:

  1. So happy to hear that it helped my little man. I love him to the moon and back!

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  2. This is awesome. I think I need to make some changes or additions in Sophie's regime -- try this out. We need to talk.

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  3. That's amazing! I'm so happy for you and Calvin. I have high hopes that someday you really will see him on the basketball court!

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