A few years ago, Rachel woke up early Monday morning, excited for the first day of school. She was entering the third grade and made many new friends last year.
Rachel lived an idyllic life, attending a quiet school in a rural town in Virginia where everyone knew each other and no one locked their doors at night, the kind of town they make Hallmark movies about.
The night before, the little girl with a big smile and bigger dreams debated about what to wear on her first day. She came downstairs looking like a princess on her way to the ball. Her mom, Susan, was busy making her breakfast and chatting with her dad, Bill, as he readied to leave for work.
All was right in the world, until the unthinkable happened.
Little Rachel, so innocent and happy, was telling her mom about how excited she was about school, until her mom realized she was beginning to slur her words and act strangely.
“Rachel, honey, are you alright?”
Rachel, a seemingly healthy child, suddenly fell to the floor, convulsing and foaming at the mouth, suffering what doctors refer to as a grand mal seizure. Needless to say, it was a terrifying experience for Rachel and her parents, as they watched helplessly as their little girl writhed on the floor in the throes of an epileptic seizure, asking themselves, “Why us?”
At this moment, a harsh reality set in.
Upon their visit to the family doctor, the family was told Rachel was indeed suffering from epilepsy and her road ahead would be paved with hardship and heartache.
Epilepsy is the fourth most common neurological problem, the doctor informed the family. Only migraine, stroke, and Alzheimer’s disease occur more frequently. (http://www.epilepsy.com/learn/epilepsy-statistics)
The family was dumbfounded, confused and scared about what the future would hold. But they were also resolute in their faith that their daughter would get through this, with Bill and Susan vowing to each to do whatever it took to help their little girl.
Despite her ordeal, Rachel tried to comfort her parents, telling them, “Mommy, Daddy, it will be alright. God will make me better, and we will be happy.”
Susan fought back tears, and Bill swelled with pride knowing his little girl was the toughest person in the family.
What medicine should you take for epilepsy?
While Rachel stayed optimistic, the family soon learned that medications typically prescribed to children with epilepsy treat only the symptoms and the side effects can wreak havoc on a body, especially that of a young child. The pills and medications Rachel was taking helped sometimes, but the seizures always returned with vengeance.
As the seizures continued and became more severe, the family’s doctor tried new medications but couldn’t seem to find one that was effective. Now desperate, the family looked for alternative treatments, unsure where to turn to for guidance. The pills were making Rachel fatigued and irritable and were suppressing her appetite, and the seizures had not stopped.
Rachel’s spirit was being sapped, and her parents knew there must be a better way.
Beyond the physical toll the treatments were taking on Rachel, the financial burden on Bill and Susan began to mount. Countless doctor visits and pharmaceutical prescriptions were beginning to drain the their bank account, and Bill and Susan’s relationship was beginning to strain.
They needed help, an alternative to traditional medicine, a miracle.
The Miracle of Hemp
The family’s miracle began when Bill came across an article from the American Epilepsy Society while he was researching alternative treatment options for his daughter. (http://herb.co/2017/02/22/american-epilepsy-society-cbd/)
The study written about in the article found CBD oil to be an effective, non-evasive treatment for childhood epilepsy, Bill told Susan.
At first, Susan was hesitant. “Doesn’t CBD come from the hemp plant? Isn’t it marijuana?”
Bill explained to Susan that yes, CBD does come from the hemp plant, but it’s not the same as THC – the chemical compound in marijuana that has an intoxicating effect. CBD offers amazing health benefits but won’t alter our daughter’s state of mind, he went on.
“This is something that could help our little girl live a normal, healthy life,” Bill told his wife.
The study Bill read about found that CBD oil was not only more effective than traditional medications in reducing both the frequency and severity of seizures, it was also less harmful than those other drugs.
“This may be the miracle we’ve been praying for,” Susan hoped.
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Time to move
The family’s optimism about the possibilities of CBD oil changed to anger as they realized Virginia was not among the states that allow the use of non-smoked cannabis oil with very small amounts of THC.
But Bill continued his research, and he discovered that the state Florida does allow use of CBD oil. Uprooting themselves from Virginia, their family and friends was no small undertaking, but Bill and Susan knew moving Florida was the right thing to do. Finally, Rachel could get the medicine she needed.
The family relocated to the Fort Lauderdale area to start their lives anew, and Rachel began a regimen of CBD oil. Sure enough, her seizures virtually disappeared. She went from having multiple seizures a day to having hardly any at all.
Rachel continues to improve, attending a new school and making new friends as she stays on her CBD medication. Her future is bright and the idea of her living a life with controllable epilepsy is no longer a dream, but a reality under the bright, warm light of the Sunshine State.
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