For Vicki Lynn, having fun with a rock live performance together with her grownup daughter Aubrie is a valuable expertise — as a result of it’s one thing she by no means thought they might have the ability to do collectively.
Lower than three years in the past, Vicki’s daughter was experiencing seizures so extreme that not even typical drugs might management them. “Aubrie danced with death once a month, and many times I thought I would lose her,” Vicki recollects.
So, in a last-chance bid to cease these debilitating matches, docs made the controversial determination to take away a part of Aubrie’s mind. Nevertheless, it wasn’t till Aubrie started experimenting with hashish that she lastly exhibited indicators of enchancment.
“I always hoped she would have a better quality of life, and now, thanks to cannabis, my dreams for her are a reality. I never did lose hope.”
Vicki, who works as a recruitment marketing consultant for Greenhealth Recruiting, recollects the time earlier than her daughter’s first seizure, once they lived in Alabama: “Aubrie was on track to have a normal life. She was in ballet, in kindergarten showing quiet intelligence.”
Now aged 54, Vicki, can nonetheless clearly keep in mind staring helplessly at her then-five-year-old daughter’s little physique, feeling full despair as she suffered her first tonic-clonic seizure, also called grand mal seizure.
Three weeks earlier, Vicki had taken Aubrie to the physician to get a routine MMR vaccination towards measles, mumps and rubella.
“Within 10 days of having the shot, she went into a kind of a trance-like, low-grade fever,” Vicki remembers.
Having tried and did not unearth the reason for the illness and subsequent seizures that got here with it, docs absolutely medicated Aubrie, placing her by means of rounds of intense remedy with anti-epileptic medicine that had horrendous unwanted effects.
“We were in and out of hospital trying to figure out what was wrong. I found out later it was acute disseminated encephalomyelitis [or ADEM, a brief but intense swelling in the brain and spinal cord]. At the time, I just knew that she was slipping away and couldn’t understand why. She was absolutely listless, not eating, only sleeping, and her personality was slipping away.”
A collection of checks led to the invention that Aubrie’s mind fluid had leaked into her spinal fluid. Admitted to Youngsters’s of Alabama hospital in Birmingham, docs determined she should have meningitis.
“They pumped her body full of some of the most aggressive antibiotics on the planet, presuming it was meningitis,” Vicki says.
As her little woman’s physique was poked and prodded, Vicki had no concept they have been each firstly of what was to be an extended battle — a battle that might final greater than a decade, till they lastly found how hashish might assist Aubrie.
“In the hospital, my husband Paul just googled. We thought her reaction could have been a result of the MMR shot,” Vicki continues. “We told the doctors, ‘We believe if you give this child steroids, it could cure her.’ They ignored us and they let Aubrie suffer for 21 days.”
As a consequence, the medical group’s hunt for a meningitis analysis triggered irreversible injury for Aubrie. “Twenty-one days of a leaky brain is really not good,” Vicki says. “After Aubrie failed to respond to treatment, the doctors eventually agreed with us, and gave her the steroids we had suggested would help. And she popped right out of it.
“At that point I was relieved,” Vicki provides. “I was grateful we had discovered the issue. Paul and I went on with our lives.”
Nevertheless, what they didn’t understand on the time was simply how extreme the injury was, and that Aubrie’s ongoing signs and matches would ultimately result in an epilepsy analysis.
Vicki notes that Aubrie’s seizures have been typically undetectable within the sense that they didn’t essentially exhibit as conventional seizures: “She would go off into these la la lands and have interactions with cartoon characters and we didn’t know it.”
Two years later, by which era Aubrie was seven years previous, her seizures turned so extreme that they could possibly be acknowledged as such — and by then, she was experiencing as much as three extreme matches every week.
Docs began Aubrie on spherical after spherical of anti-epileptic medicine. Vicki might do nothing however stand by helplessly as her daughter suffered the horrible uncomfortable side effects of every of those drugs.
Over a span of 13 years, Aubrie was positioned on 17 totally different mixtures of pharmaceutical medicine, every which horrendous penalties not only for her psychological well being, but in addition her bodily well being.
Vicki recollects what the medicine did to her daughter: hair loss, involuntary eye motion, incapability to sweat usually, vertigo, nausea and throwing up, ideas of suicide and aggression.
Then, in 2008, the medical workforce determined a particularly invasive surgical intervention was crucial.
Aubrie underwent a partial lobectomy, a process whereby a part of the temporal lobe of the mind is eliminated.
“It was so barbaric,” Vicki says. “It’s really hard to even talk about. [Aubrie] became a big science project for [the doctors]. It was presented as cutting-edge [surgery], and of course, we believed them, that it would help her. She was having her own seizures, and then they would bring her into the hospital and withhold meds from her, and just let her seize and try to figure out where these seizures were coming from.
“In hindsight, that was absolute stupidity. It was horrific to go through these days where they would starve her brain of the anti-epileptic drugs that were working to a degree, then make her have seizures to figure out where they were coming from.”
However this paled compared to what was to return subsequent, which, for Vicki, was the worst a part of all the disagreeable expertise. “They opened her scalp up and they floated LEDs with saline solution in her brain,” she explains of the surgical procedure, all of the whereas choking again tears. “They put her scalp back on and she had over 40-something wires coming out. Then they hooked her up to a machine and turned off parts of her brain and would ask her to raise her arm and talk and read.”
Vicki and the docs had hoped the experimental operation would put an finish to Aubrie’s seizures as soon as and for all. However inside hours of getting the process, the younger woman seized once more as she lay recovering within the intensive care unit.
Docs then steered she ought to bear surgical procedure quantity two.
Regardless of Vicki’s misgivings, Aubrie was so determined to get nicely that she insisted she needed to undergo with it. Now aged 14, Aubrie had her second surgical procedure. “They had to chisel her skull off of her head this time because all of the fluid had sealed the space up from the last operation,” Vicki says.
Instantly after the operation, Aubrie skilled one other seizure whereas once more on the ICU desk. “She was left blind to her right side,” Vicki says. “I felt betrayed. I was so angry at the medical system at that point.”
Taking Her Well being Into Her Personal Palms With A Cannabis Intervention
Quick ahead to Aubrie aged 17 years previous, and Vicki began to note that though she was nonetheless having the seizures, a few of her signs didn’t appear fairly so extreme.
At some point, Vicki introduced this as much as her teenage daughter. “I said to her, ‘Your symptoms don’t seem as bad, you’re not nearly as suicidal, and you’re eating. What’s going on? You’re happy, you’re smiling!’”
It was then that Aubrie admitted to her mother that she had been smoking hashish in secret. “I knew nothing about marijuana, really, so I had to look it up,” Vicki says.
Nonetheless on the anti-epileptic drug Depakote, Aubrie began to complement her medicine with hashish. And in a determined effort to assist ease her daughter’s ache and proceed her on an upward well being trajectory, Vicki began shopping for black-market weed off the road.
“I was buying an ounce a month, meeting these people down back alleys. We would sprinkle it on [Aubrie’s] pizza and that would help her appetite.”
Seeing the large constructive change in her daughter, in 2015 the household determined to promote up of their house state of Alabama and make the everlasting transfer to Sebastopol in Northern California, the place Vicki knew she would be capable of legally get hold of medical marijuana from a dispensary quite than from a road vendor.
With extra entry to numerous therapeutic merchandise, Aubrie was capable of take her hashish experimentation additional, quickly realizing that hashish oil with some THC element helped her situation enhance much more.
Vicki didn’t know her daughter had by this stage tapered off her Depakote, earlier than stopping it altogether. “She was dosing herself [with cannabis] — dabbing and smoking to help stay stable. Then, we started working with edibles and oil.”
And it was at then that Vicki witnessed firsthand simply how really efficient hashish as a drugs was for Aubrie, when she was capable of pull her out of a grand mal seizure with hashish oil alone.
“I knew it was a deadly one,” says Vicki of that seizure, “so I started dosing her with the oil and we got her stable. I was amazed it had such a massive impact on her. Every time Aubrie had a seizure, I was terrified it might be her last. But now I felt there was actually something which showed promise for a better life for her.”
In 2016, Vicki and Aubrie met with Dr. Bonni Goldstein, founding father of Canna Facilities, which presents medical evaluations to sufferers trying to incorporate hashish of their remedy routine. Goldstein suggested Aubrie to start out consuming greater doses of CBD oil.
Subsequent, they reached out to Emerald Pharms dispensary and useful resource middle in Hopland, Northern California, in addition to CBD producer Care By Design, who have been compassionate sufficient to assist help Aubrie’s wants with donations of product.
“I had spent all my savings and maxed out all my credit cards,” Vicki admits. “They were so amazing how they helped us. This was before the full-on adult legalization had happened. We had cannabis drinks and cannabis chocolate bars that had enough THC in them that it would stabilize Aubrie. We had a 1,000mg chocolate bar that, if she had a bad day, she could just start eating that chocolate. They had probiotic chocolate bars — we tried everything!
“We upped her doses of CBD — we got all the way up to 300 milligrams of an 18:1 through the help of Emerald Pharms and Care by Design, and they were giving her all of it. They were completely amazing. It wasn’t until we found the 4:1 that we saw the greatest improvement.”
By then, Aubrie was pretty secure. Her seizures had backed off significantly they usually have been seeing a marked enchancment in her cognitive responses. “She was getting more aware of herself,” Vickie explains.
As we speak, Aubrie is now aged 23 and continues to maintain herself secure with not solely her hashish routine, but in addition with more healthy consuming habits, satisfactory relaxation, and by exercising warning. Whereas she nonetheless has seizures, on the uncommon event that one does strike, Vicki has 100mg syringes of hashish oil useful that she will make the most of to tug Aubrie out of the match.
Additionally they have a backup protocol that additionally consists of, if wanted, a pharmaceutical intervention.
Now, she makes her personal oils, utilizing nothing however an ultrasonic device cleaner, a garlic press, and her kitchen oven. With Aubrie’s future now wanting brilliant, wholesome and crammed with prospects, Vicki says her daughter needs to do one thing within the hashish business, and the pair are engaged on an initiative they’re calling the Sebastopol Therapeutic Venture, a corporation designed to assist others who’ve been via an analogous expertise.
“Aubrie is possibly the best advocate to other people to understand how cannabis can help,” says Vicki of her daughter, who nonetheless has to take some type of anti-epileptic medicine, as a result of there are “things you just can’t mess with.”
Nevertheless, Vicki hastens so as to add that Aubrie “is finally feeling independent. We are looking at her moving into a home apart from Mom. She’s got friends that look out for her. Of course, when she’s out, I don’t sleep, but she wears an anklet for first responders, should 911 have to be called. When she goes to any social situations, she tells people, ‘I have oil in my purse and I have my anklet with my information. If I have a seizure or go down, if you want to dose me, that would be great. If you call 911, please make sure that I get my oil in me.’”
Vicki provides, “I always believed Aubrie could and would have a better quality of life, and with cannabis it’s possible.”