Just as the aftershocks in Nepal were seizing the region, my son's mind suffered an earthquake of its own. Laying next to him as he slept in the seizure's wake, his mind awash in rescue THC, I wondered if all sixty-five million people with epilepsy had simultaneous seizures might the world's crust crack open and bleed.

We were lucky this time. Calvin only had one seizure, albeit a tonic-clonic (grand mal), rather than the twenty-four hours with scores of brief partial seizures of recent, or February's status epilepticus, which landed us in the emergency room wondering if they’d ever stop. It was day eleven since the partials occurred, and nearly two weeks since his last tonic-clonic, the only daytime one he's had in 235 days thanks to cannabis oil.

On nights like these it's often difficult for me to get back to sleep as I feel my boy's body twitch with aftershocks, which thankfully the cannabis dampens. This time, the images of Nepalese men covered in grayish dust, statues half submerged in the quake's rubble, haunt me. I wonder how the live ones breathe, if they can see or feel the bricks pressing in on them or if they’ve become numb to it all. I wonder the same about my boy when seizures plague his brain stunning him into human stone. I have little doubt he senses them coming, his neurons going berserk then seeming to align in harmony, so much so that he walks straight and strong and long. But all the while the neuronal tension builds and the stress becomes too much until everything snaps, his brain awakening into tremors, which leave him in a shambles.

I imagine Calvin's brain brittle from the whip of antiepileptic drugs, their toxic chemicals leveling his development, smothering his strength, toppling the progress he works so hard to make. Then along comes cannabis infused in oil, its medicine lubing Calvin's neurons, its protective balm bathing the precious cells of his brain helping it to withstand the shock of seizures, to mitigate the quakes, mend the breaks and heal. I wish there were such a salve for the people of Nepal.

Calvin in the grip of a seizure


  1. It's all so wearying at time, Christy -- and then your prose, the photos, our children's indomitable spirits.

  2. The anti-epilepsy drugs suppress neuronal excitability. Misery. My theory is that mmj dissipates, rather than suppress, neuronal excitability.