Friday, April 15, 2016

Charlotte's Web

     It was almost too easy to figure out, once I gave myself enough time to calm down and think straight. That's what special educators call "processing time." You allow the student to have a little bit more time to figure things out and catch up with her peers.
     Like I said before, the trip to D.C. was mostly for fun and to gather information. I knew before the guy handed me his card that there were legal ways to smoke marijuana there, but I hadn't realized there are actual dispensaries, like in Colorado.
     I made a trip to Denver for a meeting of other rebel educators in 2014, soon after it became legal. The medical dispensaries were located directly across from the recreational ones, neither in the best part of town.
     It's the only place I've traveled where I became aware of someone on the street, scoping out whether or not my purse contained something they wanted. My oldest son pointed it out to me, so we took precautions to make sure the two guys circling us like buzzards knew we were not something they wanted to taste.
     They quickly got the message and left us alone to figure our own way out of the mile-high city.
     There is a lot of confusion about medical marijuana for epilepsy. It has CBD oil and not the ingredients that get you high, so there really is no reason for people to freak out so much about it.
     Neither is there any reason to work hard to get it because the regular type of weed is much easier to purchase, anywhere in the United States. It's been like that since I was a teenager in the 1980s.
     So, anyone who figures out how to get CBD oil the way I did will be disappointed if getting high is the objective. It won't do the trick, and you will pay more money for it than for recreational weed, as you would for real medicine, with a prescription but no insurance.
     I've been following the recommended dosage on the bottle, three times a day, to see if it helps with my persistent insomnia or anything else that my Depakote might be missing. There are no immediate results when the drops are in me and have had time to digest.
     It isn't like taking a benzodiazepine, where the relaxing effect washes over fairly quickly, nor does it make me sleepy, like Trazodone or Benadryl. Because it comes in the form of oily drops, I can taste the mint chocolate on my lips later, a little reminder that something else may be helping out in a more natural way than the chemicals already circulating in my system.
     I looked at an Instagram follower for help on my quest for which type to try. She's one one of my new friends, a person I will probably never meet in person, who  manages her seizures by taking CBD oil and following a strict ketogenic diet.
     Although we have corresponded via Instagram, I didn't even need to do that. She has a post that shows which brand she uses. The rest was so easy, it was hard for me to believe I would actually be able to do it until I held the bottle in my hand.
     I started following her after my favorite neurologist, Dr. S, recommended I go on the ketogenic diet last summer. "Stop that late-night snacking on Goldfish crackers!" he said, in an accent I had not heard before but will never forget.
     Doctors usually have very little time for giving extra directions, but I have a note in one of my diaries from last summer in which he wrote how I was to take my new medicine, Lamictal. At the bottom, it says to eat four tablespoons of coconut oil every day.
     Because I had so much faith in the new medicine he was prescribing last July, I never thought to ask about CBD oil. The possibility of having to do something like that was for desperate people, not people like me with mild seizures that responded to aniconvulsants.
     As you know, I became one of those desperate people when I realized in December that Lamictal was doing nothing to slow down my brain. Ironically, it was that moment when I became epileptic enough to have CBD oil in Virginia and not get prosecuted.
     Now that it's in my kitchen, I don't expect to hear a knock at my door from someone in uniform, demanding answers. It would be kinda silly at this point anyway, don't you think?