12.31.2018

sweet spots (cbd and others)

For awhile, I've wondered why the all-time most-read post on my blog is one called day five hundred. To my surprise, folks continue to find it amid the 1,843 posts I've published since starting my blog over eight years ago. In pondering the question, I reread the post and came to the conclusion that readers, perhaps mislead by its title, were and are interested in knowing how my son, Calvin, went five-hundred days without a seizure. In actuality, when I wrote the post Calvin had been free only from conscious-onset daytime grand mals. In other words, he was not seizure-free because he was still having them at night.

In revisiting the two-year-old post, I thought it prudent to give readers an update. Calvin continues to be virtually free from daytime grand mal seizures. I say "virtually," because in November, he had some sort of event at school which the ed techs were unsure of. When asked, they described attributes of both grand mal and partial complex seizures, thus confounding me. Suffice to say, nearly all Calvin's grand mal seizures emerge at night, most often in the wee hours of sleep.

Of note now is the fact that Calvin is having the same or fewer seizures as compared with recent years despite, a) being in the thralls of puberty, b) having finally weaned the benzodiazepine (Onfi, aka clobazam) he was on for years, c) taking less Keppra, and d) taking half the amount of my homemade THCA cannabis oil that I began giving him five years ago. What's different is the addition of Palmetto Harmony CBD oil I began giving him last June. At sixty pounds, Calvin's daily intake of the oil is 75 milligrams roughly divided into two doses. At this dose we have not seen any negative side effects attributable to CBD. In fact, he is sleeping a bit better, seems less agitated, is having far fewer partial complex seizures and very slightly fewer grand mals. Of late, his days between seizures have been mostly calm and filled with smiles and moments sitting on our laps sopping up hugs and kisses. When I've given him extra CBD in the wake of partial seizures, he hasn't gone on to have more, so I can be fairly sure the Palmetto Harmony CBD oil is not a seizure trigger for him.

Compared with other children his weight, Calvin may be taking more CBD, but he has a history of requiring high doses of medications to achieve any semblance of efficacy. I keep in my mind—and heart—Charlotte Figi, who is Calvin's size and whose mother Paige told me takes nearly three times the amount of CBD Calvin is currently taking. I also consider the children who are taking way more CBD—as much as 1,300 mgs per day—in the form of the new plant-based pharmaceutical, Epidiolex.

My hope for the new year is that we will find a CBD sweet spot which limits or eliminates Calvin's seizures without any adverse side effects—in essence, I hope we find a silver CBD bullet in this golden potion. If we do, I'd love to try reducing Calvin's THCA and Keppra.

In-between seizure days, I am finding time to get out of the house to enjoy my own sweet spots—rivers, beaches, forests, seas—which keep me healthy and mostly sane. I've been afforded such luxury because, after a three-month hiatus, Calvin's kick-ass nurse, Rita, recently came back to work for us via a better and more ethical agency than the one she left. Rita job-shares her part-time gig with a second nurse, Sue, who is exhibiting similar kick-ass characteristics. In addition, we have Mary, Calvin's former ed tech, who also provides us respite, and who has been kicking major ass for years as Calvin's aide. All three women are a joy to have in the sweet spot we call home.

So, in 2019, I'll continue my search for sweet spots, and I'll let you know if and when I unearth them.

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