shout out

Tomorrow, Michael will make the scenic twenty-five mile drive to our local dispensary to pick up two ounces of fragrant cannabis flower. With it I’ll begin making my ninth batch of THCA oil and my third batch of high CBD oil to treat Calvin’s epilepsy. I'm reminded that I’m overdue in giving a shout out to some of the wonderful people who have helped make my endeavor possible, who have donated their time, money and energy into pioneering a new therapy, which appears responsible for having eliminated—for the past thirteen months and at least for now—Calvin’s daytime tonic-clonic seizures, while easing the gradual and painful withdrawal of a highly addictive benzodiazepine, clobazam, aka Onfi.

First, I’d like to thank all of the parents who blazed the trail before me in the endeavor to treat their children’s seizures with cannabis: Kristi Solmon, Susan Meehan, Jason David, Heather Barnes Jackson, Sarah Mac and Paige Figi, Charlotte’s mom who, as an impassioned advocate for medicinal cannabis, devoted much time from her busy schedule answering many of my questions about her daughter’s regimen, about Charlotte’s Web CBD oil, and about weaning off of Onfi.

I owe a debt of gratitude to good old Dave Mapes, founder of Epsilon Apothecaries, for fielding scores—if not hundreds—of questions during my preliminary research of cannabis therapy, for virtually holding my hand through the initially scary process of making THCA cannabis oil, and for continuing to help me troubleshoot when things seem to go awry.

Great thanks to the anonymous entity who brought high CBD cannabis flower to the state of Maine, for their courage, their enterprise, their optimism, their compassion and their resolve, and to the scores of other parents who have ventured into the promising frontier of THCA and THC when the media is myopically focused on CBD only.

Where would I be if not for Jenna Smale of Remedy Compassion Center in Auburn, Maine. Many hours of tireless conversation and probing lead us both to choosing an appropriate cannabis for making Calvin’s THCA oil and for helping to develop the right CBD oil. I'm forever grateful for her and her team’s dogged efforts to ensure a consistent, high quality, clean, safe, reliable and beautifully fragrant flower, and for their kindness and generosity which, from my perspective, seems boundless.

I'm so grateful for Clay Sulak at Tested Labs and Nick DesLauriers and Chris Hudalla from ProVerde Laboratories for for their professionalism, for frequently going out of their way for Calvin’s benefit, for helping me problem-solve, for testing my products in a timely manner, and for their immeasurable kindness and charity.

Many thanks to Dr. Dustin Sulak, founder of Integr8 Health, for fielding my email queries and for his knowledge and advocacy for this righteous cause.

My deep gratitude goes out to Calvin’s pediatrician, Deb Hagler, whose advocacy and concern has been unmatched, and to neurologist Peter Morrison for getting on the bandwagon early in the game when others wavered, paralyzed with fear and doubt—Calvin being the first patient for whom he recommend medical marijuana for treating epilepsy. Thanks to our esteemed Senator Angus King for backing us up after his initial and self-proclaimed skepticism of cannabis as medicine, and to my dear friend Elizabeth Aquino who writes so beautifully, wisely, irreverently and humorously in her blog, a moon worn as if it were a shell, about raising an adult child with chronic epilepsy, and for her fierce advocacy of medicinal cannabis.

I am immensely appreciative of Calvin's nurse Beth Nilsson, whose last day was a week ago, for her years of service and dedication, love, gentleness and calm and for going above and beyond the call of duty to investigate naturopathic treatments for Calvin's many conditions. We will miss you, Beth.

And while I'm at it, if it were not for our wonderful family and friends who shower us with love and laughter, gifts of food and flowers, bourbon and beer, good times, great conversation and hugs galore—you know who you are—I'd perhaps be withering on the vine or in some nuthouse besides the crazy one in which I live.

Thanks, finally, to my husband Michael for his unwavering love, support and patience, his sense of humor and ability to calm, for his sublime mastery of the lens in capturing scenes into which I can dive and lose myself for a spell, and for being a husband without whom I couldn't accomplish what I do.

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