Article by Russell Barth, Now Magazine
My wife and I are in a one-of-a-kind situation.
Lots of people are forced by circumstances to be caregivers for their spouses. Some are also working full-time jobs. Not many have to do it while trying to navigate the government’s insanely convoluted and onerous medical marijuana access program while keeping one eye on someone who could go into full, life-threatening convulsions at any moment.
For me, it all started in the autumn of 2001, after a sensible and responsible dose of three different medications sent my epileptic wife into cardiac arrest.
Christine has a rare form of epilepsy. There is no deformity in her brain to be repaired or removed, no surgery that can be performed, no pharmaceutical that can moderate the seizures.
She has what’s been described to us as “a generalized electrical problem with her central nervous system.” Part of this condition is that her brain is, for lack of a better term, “out of phase,” so every light she sees flickers the way you and I see a flickering fluorescent tube that’s about to burn out. She describes every bus ride, mall visit and doctor’s waiting room as “a rave,” and often wears a blindfold in public.
Feeling sick and bloated from pharmaceuticals and still experiencing seizures several times a week, she began using cannabis in 2002. Her seizure count went down from just over 60 (of various kinds) in the first five months of 2002, to 13 in the remainder of the year. The next year she had only 13 seizures in total, some big, some small. The year after that nine, and just five in 2005.
She’d go 156 days with no seizure at all, then 189 days, then 276 days!
She could go out alone, be left at home alone. Our worries faded. The doctors were astonished as the trend continued right through to the early months of 2008.