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JJ the Gardener

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  1. JJ the Gardener

    Cannabis and sodium levels on the body.

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    A PDF from 2010 about cannabis and sodium levels on the body. If you know a person who has sodium level issues with their health, this information is beneficial.
  2. JJ the Gardener

    Swedish student's plane protest stops man's deportation 'to hell'

    Keep in mind we do not know the story of the assault and even so, being sent to a place he is likely to be killed or become part of the problem is not necessarily a wise move either. I still am happy that this lady did this. We do not always know the reasons for the deportations and in the USA they deport pretty much for being an illegal alien and they are looking to take away green cards and potentially revoke citizenship from those given citizenship so I am for passive resistance that helps even for a minute. Turning a blind eye by saying they must deserve it is not necessarily the wise take away from this. I am all for sending criminals back to whence they came but we do not always know nor can trust they are truly criminals that warrant such a sentence. I respect all opinions on this and all are welcome as in that we perhaps can learn more on perspective but for my personal view, I am all about cultural healing and life but I do agree with accountability.
  3. JJ the Gardener

    Swedish student's plane protest stops man's deportation 'to hell'

    Afghan migrant whose deportation was thwarted by 'hero' Swedish student was actually sentenced for assault By Lukas Mikelionis | Fox News http://www.foxnews.com/world/2018/07/31/afghan-migrant-whose-deportation-was-thwarted-by-hero-swedish-student-was-actually-sentenced-for-assault.html The Swedish student who was branded a “hero” and captured worldwide attention after she stopped the deportation of an Afghan migrant by refusing to sit down on a plane instead prevented the extradition of a man sentenced for assault and whose asylum application was rejected. Elin Ersson, a student at Gothenburg University, was subjected to fawning media coverage over her stunt earlier this month when she refused to take her seat on the plane until the 52-year-old Afghan deportee was released. She was successful and authorities weren’t able to deport the man. However, Swedish Police confirmed to Fox News that the man whose deportation Ersson prevented had received a prison sentence in Sweden for assault. The police spokesman declined to go into more details about the crime the migrant has committed. His asylum application was also rejected. A representative for Ersson declined Fox News’ request for a comment. One of the largest newspapers in Finland, Helsingin Sanomat, reported last week as well that the man was sentenced for assault. The man will still eventually be deported, though the date remains unknown, the newspaper reported. Despite lacking information about the man who was being deported, most media organizations jumped on the story, with the Washington Post calling Ersson’s stunt a “dramatic act of civil disobedience” while Newsweek magazine described the student as a “hero”. CNN, meanwhile, spoke with Swedish authorities who confirmed that it was “forced deportation,” yet the outlet didn’t reveal why the man faced deportation. The Swedish student live streamed the whole incident and it was viewed nearly 5 million times on Facebook alone. In the video, she’s heard saying “there is a man who is going to get deported to Afghanistan, where he will most likely get killed” and the she won’t “sit down until this person is off the plane.” “I am doing what I can to save a person’s life,” she continues. “As long as a person is standing up, the pilot cannot take off. All I want to do is stop the deportation, and then I will comply with the rules here. This is all perfectly legal, and I have not committed a crime.” An annoyed passenger tried to grab the phone from Ersson, saying she’s upsetting others. To which the student replied: “It's not my fault that he's getting deported. I'm trying to stop this.” “I'm trying to change my country's rules. I don't like them. It's not right to send people to hell,” she added.
  4. Swedish student's plane protest stops man's deportation 'to hell' David Crouch in Gothenburg https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jul/25/swedish-student-plane-protest-stops-mans-deportation-afghanistan Guardian News A lone student activist on board a plane at Gothenburg airport has prevented the deportation of an Afghan asylum seeker from Sweden by refusing to sit down until the man was removed from the flight. Her successful protest, footage of which spread rapidly across the internet, shines a spotlight on domestic opposition to Sweden’s tough asylum regime, at a time when immigration and asylum are topping the agenda of a general election campaign in which the far right is polling strongly. “I hope that people start questioning how their country treats refugees,” Elin Ersson, 21, told the Guardian in an interview. “We need to start seeing the people whose lives our immigration [policies] are destroying.” The social work student at Gothenburg University bought a ticket for the flight from Gothenburg to Turkey on Monday morning, after she and other asylum activists found out that a young Afghan was due to be deported on it. In fact he was not on the plane but activists discovered another Afghan man in his 50s was onboard for deportation. Swedish plane protester Elin Ersson: ‘I knew I couldn't back down – I had to do what I could' As she entered the plane, Ersson started to livestream her protest in English. The video received more than 4m hits on Tuesday. Facing both sympathy and hostility from passengers, the footage shows Ersson struggling to keep her composure. “I don’t want a man’s life to be taken away just because you don’t want to miss your flight,” she says. “I am not going to sit down until the person is off the plane.” Repeatedly told by a steward to stop filming, Ersson says: “I am doing what I can to save a person’s life. As long as a person is standing up the pilot cannot take off. All I want to do is stop the deportation and then I will comply with the rules here. This is all perfectly legal and I have not committed a crime.” When an angry passenger, who appears to be English, tries to seize her phone, she tells him: “What is more important, a life, or your time? … I want him to get off the plane because he is not safe in Afghanistan. I am trying to change my country’s rules, I don’t like them. It is not right to send people to hell.” After a tense standoff, during which the airport authorities declined to use force to eject Ersson, passengers broke into applause when the asylum seeker was taken off the plane. Ersson told the Guardian she had been volunteering with refugee groups for about a year. “People [in Afghanistan] are not sure of any safety,” she said. “They don’t know if they’re going to live another day. As I’ve been working and meeting people from Afghanistan and heard their stories, I’ve been more and more in the belief that no one should be deported to Afghanistan because it’s not a safe place. The way that we are treating refugees right now, I think that we can do better, especially in a rich country like Sweden.” As the country heads towards a general election in September, Sweden’s centre-left coalition government is keen to keep up expulsions of asylum seekers whose applications have been turned down. “If you get rejected, you have to go home – otherwise we will not have a proper migration system,” the prime minister, Stefan Löfven, said last year after an Uzbek asylum seeker whose claim had been rejected drove a truck into shoppers in Stockholm, killing five people. After Taliban violence increased in January, the country briefly halted deportations to Afghanistan. But the Swedish migration board stands by its assessment that the country is a safe destination for asylum seekers whose claims have been turned down. In its most recent assessment, the migration board said Taliban attacks had been aimed mainly at the military or foreigners, and violence against Afghan civilians was rare. As for a bomb in an ambulance in January that killed at least 95 and injured many more in Kabul, the board said it was “unclear whether the purpose was really to attack civilians”. Tens of thousands of deportation cases are expected to be handed over to the police as the country continues to process a backlog of asylum applications, after 163,000 people claimed asylum in Sweden in 2015. Last year, the border police deported 12,500 people, while the rate of expulsions so far this year is slightly higher. Normally deportations go peacefully, according to a spokesperson for the police in Sweden’s west region. But occasionally the process is disrupted by demonstrators such as Ersson or by asylum seekers themselves. “You do it once or twice, and if it doesn’t work we rent a private plane to send them back to Afghanistan, or wherever,” the spokesperson said. Ersson’s protest was a civil and not a criminal case, he said. Should the airline and passengers decide to prosecute, Ersson could face a substantial fine. When the refugee crisis began to escalate 2015, Sweden made it much harder for refugees to get into the country and asylum applications fell sharply. In 2016 almost 29,000 people claimed asylum, followed by just under 26,000 last year. So far this year, asylum applications are running at about 1,500 a month. The fates of the young man due to be deported on Monday, and the man who was on the plane, are unknown. A spokesperson for the Swedish Prison and Probation Service confirmed that the young man would be deported again, once transport was found. The Swedish border police in Kalmar, responsible for the attempted deportation, did not return calls from the Guardian. Ersson believes the young man was taken to Stockholm and put on a flight there already. “This is how deportations in Sweden work. The people involved know nothing and they are not allowed to reach out to their lawyers or family,” she said. “My ultimate goal is to end deportations to Afghanistan.” A Note This is from the guardian site, we are not affiliated nor do we have an arrangement or receive no benefit from any payments but this was part of this article and since we used the Guardian links we list this out of respect. Since you’re here… … we have a small favour to ask. More people are reading the Guardian than ever but advertising revenues across the media are falling fast. And unlike many news organisations, we haven’t put up a paywall – we want to keep our journalism as open as we can. So you can see why we need to ask for your help. The Guardian is editorially independent. This is important because it enables us to challenge the powerful, and hold them to account – free from the influence of billionaire owners, politicians or shareholders. The Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. But we do it because we believe our perspective matters – because it might well be your perspective, too. If everyone who reads our reporting, who likes it, helps to support it, our future would be much more secure. For as little as $1, you can support the Guardian – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Support The Guardian
  5. Oregon’s marijuana glut forces growers to make hard choices By Lily Raff McCaulou, Rolling Stone https://nypost.com/2018/07/20/oregons-marijuana-glut-forces-growers-to-make-hard-choices/ John Plummer, founder and co-owner of Bull Run Craft Cannabis in Boring, Oregon, got his first hint that the state was careening toward a marijuana glut two years ago. In early 2016, his company received one of Oregon’s first few licenses to grow recreational cannabis. In June of that year, Plummer and one of his employees stood third in line to pay at Camps True Value Hardware, in nearby Gresham. They were buying lumber to fence a temporary outdoor operation that would ensure a quick harvest while they set up their more labor-intensive indoor facility. The cashier asked the couple at the front of the line what they were building. “Recreational marijuana is legal now, so we’re going to start farming it,” Plummer overheard the couple say. The next people in line, an older couple, chimed in that they, too, were building a space to grow recreational cannabis. Plummer and his employee glanced at each other, eyebrows raised. Every person in line at the lumber store was farming cannabis. Two years later, Plummer laughs as he recounts the absurdity of the scene. “I mean, what are the chances?” Plummer says. Pretty good, it turns out. Oregon now has 1,012 licensed growers, with another 956 in the process of obtaining licenses. All those growers in a state with just four million residents has resulted in a mountain of marijuana. Nearly one million pounds of usable flower remains unsold — about three times what consumers purchased in all of 2017. Prices of the recreational drug have plummeted, with dispensaries selling pre-rolled joints for $1, less than the price of a cigarette. That leaves growers to face tough decisions. Some are getting out of the business altogether. Others are struggling to stay afloat. If the product can’t be sold before it goes bad, the legal method of disposal is to burn or compost it. For growers with no other options, that means churning all their hard work and money back into the soil or igniting it into an expensive, fragrant bonfire. Officials say desperate growers are increasingly turning to the black market. When Oregon launched its recreational cannabis program in 2016, the first growers’ licenses were issued just six months before retail dispensaries opened shop. Plummer and two of his business partners, growers Steve Bailey and “EZ Mike” Scarbrough, were waiting at a computer the morning that Oregon put its application online. Then it was a mad dash to get their product on shelves in time for shops to open. That fall, Oregon growers harvested about one million pounds of wet-weight cannabis, according to the state tracking system. Processing shrunk that down – drying weed cuts it to about a quarter of its original weight – and consumers snatched it up. Demand was high and prices were astronomical. Robin Cordell, co-founder and owner of Oregon Girl Gardens LLC, was a little slower to set up her farm. Cordell has a degree in horticulture and opened the business with her brother and sister-in-law on a swath of overgrown land behind their parents’ house. She had no trouble selling her first few harvests in early 2017. “One distributor said to me, ‘We’ll take whatever you have and we’ll pay whatever you want for it,’” she says. “You could make a very good living at $2,000 a pound.” But those prices didn’t last long, and expenses kept mounting. Cordell says she had trouble keeping up with regulations, not only from the state but the county. The two standard greenhouse fans she bought, for example, were considered too loud given the building’s proximity to her property line. To stay in compliance, she had to replace the fans with five smaller, indoor-rated fans. She says that switch cost her an extra $2,000. Meanwhile, more growers were coming online and adding to the state’s supply. David Fowler became interested in cannabis in 2014, after it helped him overcome a chronic sleep problem. An empty nester with ample savings, the civil engineer-turned-financial advisor longed to start his own business on the side. Fowler decided to start small. He purchased property that he felt confident he could turn around and sell, regardless of the state of the cannabis industry. The property had an old farmhouse on it, which Fowler converted into an indoor grow facility, doing most of the construction himself. “We started taking our product around, just to get an idea of what dispensaries would think about it,” Fowler says. “This was in July 2016. Everybody back then was in desperate need of indoor (high-quality) flower.” But it was January 2017 by the time Fowler’s operation was licensed. The first harvest was in May 2017, when prices were still high, around $2,300 to $2,500 per pound. That was more than he had counted on. In his business plan, Fowler had penciled in a per-pound price of $1,400, to play it safe. “You can’t get any loans in this business, and I knew that from the time we started, we would have zero cash flow for the first five or six months, so I made operations really cheap,” he says. After a few months, prices slipped to $1,900 per pound. Then, in October 2017, Oregon growers harvested 2.5 million pounds of wet-weight cannabis – more than twice the previous year’s crop. By then, there were hundreds more indoor grow operations, too, which harvest regularly throughout the year. Prices dropped to $1,200 per pound, and Fowler grew frustrated with dispensary managers. “You would start having this relationship where they would say, ‘We’ll take two pounds this week and then in two weeks, bring me another pound.’ Eight times out of ten when you called to say ‘I’ve got your next order ready,’ they’d say, ‘Give me a couple more days.’ And then when you called back, they’d say, ‘Oh, someone came in yesterday and we bought all their product,’” he says. When dispensaries did buy a pound or two, they didn’t pay much. Fowler was getting offers for $800 per pound. He laid off three of his four employees, so only he and the master grower remained. Farming is always hard work, but cannabis involves a particularly labor-intensive routine after harvest, to dry the flower and trim it without compromising quality. Fowler and his grower were working around the clock. And Fowler still had a day job. Even with no employees, the operation was barely breaking even. About a year into the venture, Fowler put his farm on the market. He sold it this month for a little more than he paid for the land. “It was a good time to get out,” he says. Fowler recently dropped his last 40 pounds of cannabis off at a processor who turned it into extract and split the sale price with him. When he looks back on his experience, he mostly feels relief that it’s over. He thinks it will take years for the market to stabilize. “The only way to really enjoy it is to have 10 employees,” he says. “I know what it takes to get to that level – you have to be producing 800 pounds a year and bringing in $1 million. We were at a point where we could do 300 to 350 pounds a year.” Fowler estimates that he lost between $50,000 and $60,000 in his venture, and says he feels lucky about that figure. “People in the business,” he says, “hear what I lost and say, ‘That’s it?’” In January, with prices plummeting due to oversupply, Cordell’s relatives decided to pull out of their company, leaving her to run the operation herself. She says she is not currently speaking with her brother and sister-in-law and compares the fallout to going through a divorce. She plans to grow medicinal cannabis this year and eventually switch to hemp. She also intends to grow food and medicinal herbs and to start teaching classes on gardening and making therapeutic food and body products. “I’m just looking for things that not everyone is doing,” she says. “This is the life a lot of people want to live.” Plummer, on the other hand, is sticking it out. Bull Run Craft Cannabis has marketed its organic farming practices and its carefully curated strains. “We’re kind of the ‘soccer mom’ brand right now,” he says, “and we’re really proud of that.” Plummer has decades of experience building small businesses in Portland that overcome stark odds. He owns a popular bar and music venue, and he owned a shoe store that thrived downtown for more than 20 years despite the rise of big box stores and online behemoths. Besides, Plummer and his partners are not strangers to risk. Back in 1998, “EZ Mike” Scarbrough served 90 days in jail for growing five marijuana plants under a light in his closet. “I was really lucky to be in a tolerant state,” he says of the experience. Scarbrough had moved a couple of years earlier from Utah, where the same activity could have resulted in a seven-year sentence. His record was expunged in 2015, and 10 years after he was released from jail, he applied for and received a license to grow medical marijuana in Oregon. But today, Scarbrough’s “tolerant state” has caused new headaches. Unlike Washington and Colorado, which control the number of cannabis licensees and who can invest in them, Oregon has taken a free-market approach, with no caps on licenses issued or out-of-state investment. “The marketplace is a closed system,” Plummer says. “We’re producing, producing, producing, which would be great if it were like our craft beer industry or our wine industry, which sells all over the world.” Instead, it remains federally illegal to transport cannabis across state lines. Last month, Oregon’s US Attorney, Billy Williams, issued a memo challenging the state to do something about its oversupply issue, and vowing to crack down on the illegal black market. In a press conference, he said large amounts of Oregon-grown marijuana have been seized in 30 states. Earlier this year, Oregon lawmakers earmarked an additional $1.5 million in law enforcement, to crack down on the illegal cannabis market. “Everybody in the industry knows someone who is doing something shady if not outright illegal,” Plummer tells us. “There are only three choices: sell it legally, dispose of it legally or do something illegal.” Cordell says she wishes there were a legal avenue for donating unsold product to low-income patients, for example. “It would take some crappy options off people’s plates,” she says. Plummer says once-friendly relationships between growers have turned sour and suspicious. He says he’s heard of growers reporting violations to the state that they spotted on other growers’ social media feeds. Oregon uses a seed-to-sale tracking system to log recreational cannabis as it’s grown, processed and sold. State code instructs growers to dispose of any cannabis they can’t sell by composting it, burning it or dumping it in a landfill. Any product that can’t be sold has to be marked for disposal in the online tracking system and then stored on the premises for at least three days before it’s discarded, so inspectors can stop by to verify. As cannabis has piled up, disposal of usable marijuana has increased. In March 2017, growers destroyed about 3,367 pounds of usable marijuana, according to the state tracking system. In March of 2018, growers destroyed 13,976 pounds. The agency that handles licensing and compliance recently stopped accepting new applications, from June 15 until at least January 2019, but a spokesman says that decision had nothing to do with concerns about illegal activity. Mark Pettinger, of the Oregon Liquor Control Commission, says it was based on a simple backlog of applications. Despite turmoil in the market, people are still lined up to go into the cannabis business. “We foresee it taking six to nine months for us to get through the work we already have,” Pettinger says of the licensing backlog. He adds that only the state legislature – which next convenes in February 2019 – has the power to cap licenses. “We can’t do it unilaterally,” he says of his agency. Growers say they expect it will take several years for the oversupply to work itself out. Plummer remains optimistic that the federal government will eventually legalize cannabis. If that happens, he thinks whatever Oregon producers remain in business will be poised for success. Oregon growers are engaged in the agricultural equivalent of an arms race to produce cannabis that stands out from the competition. “One positive of all of this is that Oregon is producing the most scrutinized weed that the world has ever seen,” Scarbrough says. “We’ll take the Pepsi Challenge with anyone right now.” Tris Reisfar is co-owner of Blazing Trails, a cannabis tour company in Bend, Oregon. Many of his tours turn into de facto consulting sessions. “Lots of people who come visit are dreaming of getting into the industry,” he says. Reisfar is honest with them. He tells them that prices have plummeted, that growers are desperate. He tells them about growers who lost their life savings, even their homes. None of it dulls the twinkle in peoples’ eyes. “They hear me, but they don’t really hear me,” he says. Plummer compares the current market to the Gold Rush, when people were dying and losing everything they owned, yet hordes more kept flooding into California to pan for gold. “There’s this romantic idea, it doesn’t matter that it’s not reality,” Plummer says. Even Plummer can’t really help himself. He still sees opportunities. “My mom’s a senior citizen and she won’t stop talking to her friends about her pot cream that helps her arthritis so much. I keep expecting to see the farm that sort of brands itself as the senior citizen brand,” he says. “That would be a really smart move.”
  6. Thank you for sharing. I hope to hear about more about the improvements good sleep and breathing has done for you. As well as anything you can add from your experience to helpful hints. It all goes to help others who will follow later.
  7. Its the little things in life that make the biggest impacts. Kaizen!
  8. It is an honor and privilege! More to come within a few days
  9. Medical Disclaimer 01 - Personal Energy - Understanding Stress and Our Energies 02 - Personal Energy - Energy and Stress Management - Breathing Part 1 - Understanding Breathing and Breathing Test 03 - Personal Energy - Energy and Stress Management - Breathing Part 2 04 - Sleep and its meaning to energy and life Sleep Sleep like breathing is often something we typically take for granted. However, as in breathing, we often do it wrong and form habits that are detrimental to our daily energies and to our health in ways that we seldom appreciate. Typically this process happens when we are kids. For example, look at young children today and see how wide awake and full of energy they have when they awake, this is in part due to healthy sleep. As children they tend to have bed times on a regular schedule and thus they do not suffer from sleep deprivation or a short sleep. At the same time it is often the desire of the child to stay up late and they will tend to find ways to be able to stay up late at every opportunity. It is in this that we typically begin the process that later will develop into sleep deprivation as we learn to get by with less sleep. Almost as a right of age is that we can stay up as late as we want and for most, the effect of this is dramatic on our energy and our health. The centers for disease control has listed insufficient sleep as a public health epidemic. TEDx Talks The following are just an example of the lures that can keep people from sleeping correctly. Watching late movies, Going out or to parties into early morning hours, Playing video games into late to early morning hours, Working late hours, Economic stresses, Parental aspects, baby and small child, Social aspects, Emotional or physical distress. Finding solutions to address these issues will help eliminate those sleep deprivation aspects and in a short period of time you can begin to enjoy the life you want to enjoy with energy and give yourself the capability to be healthy. We will talk more on that in a bit but first lets discuss the process of sleep. The Sleep Process Understanding our sleep cycle is not just to educate on the issue but to understand what is happening when we sleep. This is important when it comes to addressing negative sleep issues and potentially in our sleep management. The stages of sleep: Stage 1 is light sleep where you drift in and out of sleep and can be awakened easily. In this stage, the eyes move slowly and muscle activity slows. During this stage, many people experience sudden muscle contractions preceded by a sensation of falling. Stage 2, eye movement stops and brain waves become slower with only an occasional burst of rapid brain waves. The body begins to prepare for deep sleep, as the body temperature begins to drop and the heart rates slows. Adults spend nearly half of sleep time in stage 2, Stage 3, (Deep Sleep) extremely slow brain waves called delta waves are interspersed with smaller, faster waves. This is deep sleep. It is during this stage that a person may experience sleepwalking, night terrors, talking during one’s sleep, and bedwetting. These behaviors are known as parasomnias, and tend to occur during the transitions between non-REM and REM sleep. Stage 4, (Deep sleep continues) as the brain produces delta waves almost exclusively. People roused from this state feel disoriented for a few minutes. In both deep sleep stages of 3 and 4 A reduction in sleep drive, and provides the most restorative sleep of all the sleep stages. This is why if you take a short nap (power nap) during the day, you’re still able to fall asleep at night. However if you take a nap long enough to fall into deep sleep, you have more difficulty falling asleep at night because you reduced your need for sleep. Human growth hormone is released and restores your body and muscles from the stresses of the day. Your immune system restores itself. It may be during this stage that the brain also refreshes itself for new learning the following day. In stage 5, REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, brain waves mimic activity during the waking state. The eyes remain closed but move rapidly from side-to-side, perhaps related to the intense dream and brain activity that occurs during this stage. Dreams occur at this stage of sleep. Infants spend almost 50% of their time in REM sleep. Adults spend about 20% in REM Older adults spend progressively less time in REM sleep. REM occurs during the second half of sleep. REM sleep typically begins about 90 minutes after you first fall asleep, with the first REM cycle lasting about 10 minutes. Each successive REM cycle last longer, with the final REM stage lasting up to 1 hour. Most people experience three to five intervals of REM sleep each night. Waking may occur after REM. If the waking period is long enough, the person may remember it the next morning. Short awakenings may disappear with amnesia. In the REM period, breathing becomes more rapid, irregular and shallow, eyes jerk rapidly and limb muscles are temporarily paralyzed. Brain waves during this stage increase to levels experienced when a person is awake. Heart rate increases, blood pressure rises, males can develop erections and the body loses some of the ability to regulate its temperature. Younger men often wake up with erections or sometimes referred to as morning wood. The Sleep Cycle The sleep cycle is the period of time it takes a person to progress through the sleep stages however a person does not simply progress from stage 1 to stage 5. There is a gearing up and gearing down sort of like a stick shift in a vehicle. The sleep cycle progress through the stages of non-REM sleep from light to deep sleep, then reverse back from deep sleep to light sleep, ending with time in REM sleep before starting over in light sleep again. This cycle typically repeats 4 to 5 times a night. For example, A typical sleep cycle order looks something like this: Stage 1 (light sleep) – Stage 2 (light sleep) – Stage 3 (deep sleep) – Stage 2 (light sleep) – Stage 1 (light sleep) – REM Sleep After REM sleep, the individual returns to stage 1 of light sleep and begins a new cycle. As the night progresses, individuals spend increasingly more time in REM sleep and correspondingly less time in deep sleep. The first sleep cycle takes about 90 minutes. After that, they average between 100 to 120 minutes spending more time in REM sleep as the cycles progress. Effects of lack of sleep TED-Ed We all are familiar with being sleepy and needing some restful sleep as we have all experienced this need for sleep but outside of being sleepy and perhaps a bit cranky to confused do you really understand what is going on when we miss correct sleep? Sleep and Performance In a study published in 2003 in the Journal of Sleep Research, 66 In a study published in 2003 in the Journal of Sleep Research, They were tested regularly on a psychomotor vigilance task. 66 normal volunteers spent either 3, 5, 7 or nine hours daily time in bed for one week. This was followed by three days of recovery with eight hours daily time in bed for recovery. When people were held to sleep deprivation of either 7 or 5 hours per night performance decreased but then stabilized. This stabilization remained even after 3 days or normal/recovery sleep. The people only getting 3 hours of sleep per night declined in performance over the seven days. Even after three days of recovery in regular sleep, they were still under-performing compared to everyone else. The people getting 9 hours of sleep performed better than everyone else across the week of the experiment. They also continued to perform better even after the sleep-deprived participants got more sleep in a recovery phase The authors of the study concluded that the brain does adapt to chronic sleep restriction, but we adapt at a reduced level of performance. This illustrates that our bodies will adjust to our sleep patterns but with a decrease in performance and it is unlikely that in our day to day functions that we realize this decrease in performance with 5 to 7 hours sleep. It also shows that catching up on sleep does not effectively restore our performance levels. How to Reset your sleep schedule. This will help you restore healthy sleep patterns. Adjust sleep in 15 minute small increments, adjusting no more than 15 minutes earlier every two to three days. This will help your body to adjust to the new schedule. It can take 2 to 3 weeks to properly adjust to your new schedule. Sleep Deprivation Effects Sleep deprivation reduces your ability to make good decisions about sleep. People who consistently get six hours of sleep a night report that they have adapted to function on less sleep. However, actual investigations of their mental alertness and mental performance show that they are suffering the effects of sleep deprivation In terms of efficiency getting sufficient sleep is one of the best health-promoting decisions you can make. Consider the common cold. Adults who sleep fewer than seven hours per night are almost three times more likely to get sick when exposed to a cold virus than adults who sleep eight or more hours a night. Prioritizing eight hours of sleep per night can save you days of productivity lost to sickness Sleep is part of the process that regulates our body’s natural DNA repair. When you don’t sleep, you disrupt the body’s natural healing process, which can make you more susceptible to chronic diseases such as cancer. Sleep deprivation can affect postmenopausal women with breast cancer who routinely sleep less than six hours per night. They may be twice as likely to have more aggressive breast cancers as those who sleep more. Lack of sleep can also make you more susceptible to mental health disorders. In fact, after just 24 hours of sleep deprivation, healthy people exhibit symptoms of schizophrenia, including reduced inhibition, attention deficits, a sensitivity to light color and brightness, an altered sense of smell and time. Lack of sleep can literally create psychological and psychiatric dysfunction. Sleep-deprived people have impaired judgment. One Swedish studies asked people to go shopping twice with a fixed amount of money. When the same people went shopping while sleep deprived. They bought more food overall, and more fatty and unhealthy food options in particular Sleep is also involved in how we learn and remember. In one study, preschoolers worked on a memory game, and then either stayed awake or took a nap that was about an hour and 15 minutes long. Then they played the memory game again. When they stayed awake, they forgot 15 percent of what they learned. When they napped, they remembered everything Sleep also matters for preserving long-term memory. Researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health say that interventions to improve sleep quality may help to prevent or slow the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. how Sleep helps. Sleep helps promote health is through growth hormone which is primarily secreted at night, while you are sleeping In kids, growth hormone is a primary factor in growth. In adults, growth hormone is critical to maintaining and repairing tissues and organs. Sleep also keeps you safe. Consider that a blood alcohol level of 0.08 is considered legally drunk. By 18 hours awake, your alertness level is comparable to someone with a 0.05 alcohol level while not necessarily legally drunk, but certainly tipsy. By 24 hours awake, your alertness level and reflexes are comparable to a .01 alcohol level, which is drunk past the legal limit. Signs of aging, research from University Hospitals Case Medical Center in Cleveland shows that people who slept less had more visible signs of aging. Getting enough sleep may make you feel better about what you see in the mirror and that’s going to give you more energy. A moment on sleepy driving, a very deadly and life impacting problem. JoinTheDrive Long term effects We often know in a sense that reduced sleep is not good for us but often when the price is to be paid for this behavior it may be a bit on the side of too little too late in terms of correcting the developed issues, at least in a quick turn. Please appreciate that this damage may stay with us in part for the remainder of our lives depending on the severity. However, it is never too late to return to healthy sleep patterns and begin the process of renewal and healing. From the CDC, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention As chronic diseases have assumed an increasingly common role in premature death and illness, interest in the role of sleep health in the development and management of chronic diseases has grown. Notably, insufficient sleep has been linked to the development and management of a number of chronic diseases and conditions, including diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity, and depression. Diabetes: Research has found that insufficient sleep is linked to an increased risk for the development of Type 2 diabetes. Specifically, sleep duration and quality have emerged as predictors of levels of Hemoglobin A1c, an important marker of blood sugar control. Recent research suggests that optimizing sleep duration and quality may be important means of improving blood sugar control in persons with Type 2 diabetes. Cardiovascular Disease: Persons with sleep apnea have been found to be at increased risk for a number of cardiovascular diseases. Notably, hypertension, stroke, coronary heart disease and irregular heartbeats (cardiac arrhythmias) have been found to be more common among those with disordered sleep than their peers without sleep abnormalities. Likewise, sleep apnea and hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis) appear to share some common physiological characteristics, further suggesting that sleep apnea may be an important predictor of cardiovascular disease. Obesity: Laboratory research has found that short sleep duration results in metabolic changes that may be linked to obesity. Epidemiologic studies conducted in the community have also revealed an association between short sleep duration and excess body weight. This association has been reported in all age groups—but has been particularly pronounced in children. It is believed that sleep in childhood and adolescence is particularly important for brain development and that insufficient sleep in youngsters may adversely affect the function of a region of the brain known as the hypothalamus, which regulates appetite and the expenditure of energy.3 Depression: The relationship between sleep and depression is complex. While sleep disturbance has long been held to be an important symptom of depression, recent research has indicated that depressive symptoms may decrease once sleep apnea has been effectively treated and sufficient sleep restored. The inter-relatedness of sleep and depression suggests it is important that the sleep sufficiency of persons with depression be assessed and that symptoms of depression be monitored among persons with a sleep disorder. Common Sleep Disorders Insomnia: Insomnia is characterized by an inability to initiate or maintain sleep. It may also take the form of early morning awakening in which the individual awakens several hours early and is unable to resume sleeping. Difficulty initiating or maintaining sleep may often manifest itself as excessive daytime sleepiness, which characteristically results in functional impairment throughout the day. Before arriving at a diagnosis of primary insomnia, the healthcare provider will rule out other potential causes, such as other sleep disorders, side effects of medications, substance abuse, depression, or other previously undetected illness. Chronic psycho-physiological insomnia (or “learned” or “conditioned” insomnia) may result from a stressor combined with fear of being unable to sleep. Individuals with this condition may sleep better when not in their own beds. Health care providers may treat chronic insomnia with a combination of use of sedative-hypnotic or sedating antidepressant medications, along with behavioral techniques to promote regular sleep. Narcolepsy: Excessive daytime sleepiness (including episodes of irresistible sleepiness) combined with sudden muscle weakness are the hallmark signs of narcolepsy. The sudden muscle weakness seen in narcolepsy may be elicited by strong emotion or surprise. Episodes of narcolepsy have been described as “sleep attacks” and may occur in unusual circumstances, such as walking and other forms of physical activity. The healthcare provider may treat narcolepsy with stimulant medications combined with behavioral interventions, such as regularly scheduled naps, to minimize the potential disruptiveness of narcolepsy on the individual’s life. Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS): RLS is characterized by an unpleasant “creeping” sensation, often feeling like it is originating in the lower legs, but often associated with aches and pains throughout the legs. This often causes difficulty initiating sleep and is relieved by movement of the leg, such as walking or kicking. Abnormalities in the neurotransmitter dopamine have often been associated with RLS. Healthcare providers often combine a medication to help correct the underlying dopamine abnormality along with a medicine to promote sleep continuity in the treatment of RLS. Sleep Apnea: Snoring may be more than just an annoying habit – it may be a sign of sleep apnea. Persons with sleep apnea characteristically make periodic gasping or “snorting” noises, during which their sleep is momentarily interrupted. Those with sleep apnea may also experience excessive daytime sleepiness, as their sleep is commonly interrupted and may not feel restorative. Treatment of sleep apnea is dependent on its cause. Gentle air pressure administered during sleep (typically in the form of a nasal continuous positive airway pressure device) may also be effective in the treatment of sleep apnea. As interruption of regular breathing or obstruction of the airway during sleep can pose serious health complications, symptoms of sleep apnea should be taken seriously. Treatment should be sought from a health care provider. If other medical problems are present, such as congestive heart failure or nasal obstruction, sleep apnea may resolve with treatment of these conditions. Sleep management Naps can be a good way to boost your energy. Different naps have different purposes, and you should choose a nap based on what you need. A 90-minute nap clears the brain’s short-term memory storage and helps make room for you to learn new information. A 20-minute power nap primarily helps to boost alertness. A German study has found that a micro-nap as short as six minutes may help boost your memory Making up for lost sleep? Some people try to make up for limited sleep during the week by sleeping in on the weekends. That strategy has downsides. One research study found that the greater your average daily variation in wake-up time, the higher your body-fat percentage. People who have less than 30 minutes variation in their wake-up time have, on average, 6 percent less body fat than people who have 2 hours or more difference in their wake-up time. If you just try to clear your schedule and go to bed early one night, that can also backfire. Some sleep researchers state that it is easier to stay up an hour past your bedtime than it is to go to bed 15 minutes before your normal bedtime. If you are trying to get more sleep, you may need to move your bedtime up. Move your bedtime gradually, in 15-minute increments. That gives your body time to adjust and build a habit of rest Banking sleep. While you can’t really catch up on missed sleep, you might be able to bank it occasionally. If you have a work project coming up or a social outing that will require you to skimp on shut-eye, stock your sleep bank in advance by getting more sleep than normal. This will allow you to perform at a higher level even on limited sleep. Use this approach as a sleep emergency fund. It shouldn’t be your regular approach to sleep, but it’s good to know you can save up rest and have enough energy when you need it. Resetting sleep schedules. Adjust sleep in 15 minute small increments, adjusting no more than 15 minutes earlier every two to three days. This will help your body to adjust to the new schedule. It can take 2 to 3 weeks to properly adjust to your new schedule. Overcoming Sleep Barriers Disconnect: Another common sleep barrier is social interests and entertainment. The world is plugged in 24/7, and it’s hard to unplug when there are so many things to see and do and watch. This stimulation can keep you awake. Health and life Stresses: Health and life struggles with emotional or physical challenges that interrupt sleep can be a significant sleep barrier. These are challenges that will affect both your rest and your sleep, and you will have to identify personal adaptations to make rest possible. Professional help may be required. Mattress and Pillow. The physical condition of your sleep space matters: Evaluate how you sleep, where you experience pain, and your preferred sleep position to find the preferred mattress for you. Your pillow matters too. The type of pillow is going to depend on the position you prefer for sleeping. A good chiropractor or physical therapist can likely make recommendations about a pillow. Click for a video, not a mattress endorsement but a good video.(any good mattress that fits your sleep style is great) Routine is key. The lack of a consistent sleep routine can also disrupt sleep: The simplest way to improve your sleep quality is to build a consistent routine, both for life in general and for sleep in particular. It works for kids, and research shows that it works for adults. The light affect. In terms of your schedule, be aware of the effect of light of your sleep: Light in the day is good for your sleep. Light at bedtime and during the night is bad for your sleep. Blue light helps awaken and alert the brain. A study in the journal of Sleep Medicine reported that nighttime light exposure led to shallower sleep and more mini-arousal's. Waking up during sleep. Another common barrier to sleep is stress about sleep itself. For instance, you may have anxiety about waking up during the night: It can help to learn that waking up at night is completely normal. In fact, bimodal and segmented sleep is not unusual. A normal night’s sleep includes many mini-arousals that last only a few seconds; there can be as many as 3 to 15 per hour. Sometimes, especially as we get older and under stress, these mini-arousals may be full-on wake-ups, which can lead to sleep stress. Working on our anxiety about sleep itself can go a long way to helping us sleep better in spite of the mini-arousals. A study from Northwestern University found that when insomniacs practiced yoga for 15 to 20 minutes per day, twice per day for two months, they spent less time awake at night. Avoid large meals: Avoid large meals 2-3 hours before bed. Eating a snack before is ok. Easily digestible foods such as fruit is recommended. It forces your organs such as liver and pancreas to work at a time they should rest. In addition, if the caloric intake of a meal exceeds the amount you need for energy you will store this energy as you are unable to work or exercise this energy off. Eating at bed can also cause heartburn and this can lead to other health issues besides problematic sleeping. Exercising near bedtime can wake you up: Exercise can stimulate us and keep us awake. Exercise 2 hours before bed. Sleep Disorder struggles: If you consistently struggle with sleep quality and insomnia, a sleep-improvement program can be valuable. Your doctor can likely refer you to a sleep specialist. Some mental health providers specialize in behavioral sleep training. There are also online tools that can help. Such as an online sleep training program, which combines cognitive behavioral strategies with practical tools like sleep logs and progress charts. Summary Sleep is as most things one of the aspects of life that we tend to take for granted. We tend to believe we manage sleep with our life schedule but the reality is that sleep manages us and enables us to be at a level that is linked by our hours of restful sleep. We typically diminish our capabilities in this way without even knowing it. This aspect is rarely appreciated. This affect us physically, mentally and emotionally and can be a significant factor in all problematic areas. Without a charged and healthy battery, we do not function well nor efficient. Often we believe sacrificing sleep is a necessary aspect of life when we have responsibilities but we often fail to see the big picture and suffer the long term cost of our health. We may suffer for our families and responsibilities now but by not giving ourselves healthy restful sleep we will deny our families and fail at our responsibilities later in life as the repercussions of long term sleep deprivation affects begin. We owe it to not just ourselves but those we love and care about, to our responsibilities and we need to not just teach these lessons and aspects of life to our children but mold them in a way that they have this understanding and appreciation instilled in them that it becomes a core value and perhaps happier and healthier families will result. Sleep well my friends, sleep well! Credits Professor Kimberlee Bethany Bonura centers for disease control http://www.sleepdisordersflorida.com/pvt1.html https://www.sleepadvisor.org/eat-just-before-bed-risks/ https://www.tuck.com/stages/ https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/healthy-sleep/health-risks/the-effects-of-sleep-deprivation JoinTheDrive https://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/discomfort-15/better-sleep/adjust-sleep-cycle?page=1 http://www.centerforsoundsleep.com/sleep-disorders/stages-of-sleep/ https://www.everydayhealth.com/sleep/insomnia/resetting-your-clock.aspx Medical Disclaimer 01 - Personal Energy - Understanding Stress and Our Energies 02 - Personal Energy - Energy and Stress Management - Breathing Part 1 - Understanding Breathing and Breathing Test 03 - Personal Energy - Energy and Stress Management - Breathing Part 2 04 - Sleep and its meaning to energy and life ~A Cultural Healing and Life Compilation
  10. Billy Caldwell to be granted 'lifetime' medical cannabis licence From Q Radio Local News - Tuesday, July 3rd, 2018 6:04am - By David Hunter http://www.goqradio.com/belfast/news/q-radio-local-news/billy-caldwell-to-be-granted-lifetime-medical-cannabis-licence/ The Home Office has rubber-stamped a special exemption licence meaning severely epileptic Billy Caldwell can go home with his medicinal cannabis, a family spokesman has said. His mother Charlotte, of Castlederg in Co Tyrone, Northern Ireland, had seven bottles confiscated at Heathrow Airport customs on June 11 after she brought them in from Toronto. Last month a 20-day emergency licence was granted for 12-year-old Billy after he was admitted to hospital in a critical condition having suffered multiple seizures. But a family spokesman said the Home Office, and Chelsea and Westminster Hospital have now agreed he can go home to Northern Ireland with his medicinal cannabis. He added: "The Department of Health in Northern Ireland are applying for a licence for Billy's medication to be administered at home in Castlederg. "In anticipation of that application being processed, the Home Office have rubber-stamped it and he will be going home at some point this week." The spokesman said the special exemption licence was agreed on Monday afternoon. Welcoming the development, Ms Caldwell said in a statement that the "Home Office clearly wanted this to happen". "The amazing Chelsea and Westminster Hospital got behind it, and they've helped make it happen," she added. "We all now need to make this also happen for all the other families who need medicinal cannabis. "We are in the very final stages of what has been an amazing four weeks. I can barely believe we'll be home in a few days. "Billy has been amazingly resilient throughout. He's autistic, and everything that has been going on - no regularity, no familiar surroundings - are beginning to take their toll on him. "He needs his toys, his garden, the things he's used to. I need to see him happy and well. I can't believe he'll be back in his own bed in a few days. It's within our grasp." A family spokesperson described it as a 'lifetime' licence, but the Home Office hasn't clarified the limitations. Chelsea and Westminster NHS Foundation Trust and the Home Office both declined to comment. Following the public uproar over the confiscation of the cannabis oil from Ms Caldwell as she attempted to bring it into the UK, a new panel assessing claims for its use was set up. On Wednesday, the temporary expert panel began accepting applications for licences for the drug from senior clinicians. The Home Office announced the panel will make "swift" recommendations to ministers, who will then sign off on applications within two to four weeks. If given approval, doctors can then start writing prescriptions for their patient, while ministers decide whether to remove cannabis's banned status as a medicine. Ms Caldwell said the focus will now turn to a campaign to get "every other family equal opportunity, and equally swift progress through the assessment process". "Clinicians simply don't yet have guidelines, and no clinician will operate outside guidelines, so few are taking what they see as the risk of entering a patient into the assessment process - and even those who have seen the Government's announcement are hesitant," she said. "We want to help them in any and every way we can."
  11. Today is the anniversary of Deborah's passing. Soon I will write part two of this story and tell of the happenings of the last year! I offer these songs by the Avett Brothers. I celebrate Deborah and while I miss her she lives on in that celebration and within my heart and in my soul. We are still, as always one. Deb's loving husband, Jon
  12. Cannabis oil row: Boy has epilepsy medication returned Original article: https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-44507135 A boy with severe epilepsy has been given back medicinal cannabis oil that was confiscated from his mother at customs, the home secretary has said. Billy Caldwell, 12, received the oil after doctors made clear it was a "medical emergency", Sajid Javid said. Billy's mother, Charlotte Caldwell, from County Tyrone, said they had "achieved the impossible" but called for the oil to be freely available. Billy began using cannabis oil in 2016 to control his seizures. The cannabis oil, which contains a substance called Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), is illegal in the UK but available elsewhere. Billy's most recent supply - which Ms Caldwell had tried to bring into the UK from Canada - was confiscated at Heathrow Airport on Monday and he was admitted to hospital before Mr Javid said it would be returned. The oil arrived at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, where Billy is being treated, on Saturday afternoon. It was administered under a special 20-day licence and is not allowed to be taken home. A spokeswoman for the Home Office said it was an "exceptional licence" for a "short term emergency" and it would need to be reviewed. 'Completely broken' Ms Caldwell said: "I truly believe that somewhere in the Home Office there's someone with a heart, and I truly believe that Billy was pulling on their heart strings." But she said Billy's "little body has been completely broken and his little mind". "No other family should have to go through this sort of ordeal, travelling half way round the world to get medication which should be freely available," she said. "My experience leaves me in no doubt that the Home Office can no longer play a role in the administration of medication for sick children in our country. "Children are dying in our country and it needs to stop now." Billy was admitted to hospital in London on Friday Mr Javid said he had issued a licence to allow Billy to be treated with the cannabis oil after discussions with Billy's medical team. "This is a very complex situation, but our immediate priority is making sure Billy receives the most effective treatment possible in a safe way," he said. "My decision is based on the advice of senior clinicians who have made clear this is a medical emergency. "The policing minister met with the family on Monday and since then has been working to reach an urgent solution." Reality Check: Does UK export the most legal cannabis? Barbara Zieniewicz, co-founder of campaign group Families4Access, and who travelled to Canada with Billy and Ms Caldwell, called Mr Javid's decision "triumphant". "I strongly believe that this is the first push - from here, it's a ripple effect. This means, to me, there is hope, not just for Billy, but for all the families that need it." Billy, from Castlederg, started the treatment in 2016 in the US, where medical marijuana is legal. Ms Caldwell says Billy's seizures dramatically reduce when he takes the oil. In 2017, he was prescribed the medication on the NHS. But in May this year, his GP was told he could no longer prescribe it. At the time the Department of Health in Northern Ireland said cannabis had not yet been licensed in the UK as a medicine. Last Monday, Ms Caldwell tried to bring a six-month supply of the oil - to treat up to 100 seizures a day - into the UK from Toronto but the substance was confiscated by officials at Heathrow airport. The boy's family said he was taken to hospital when his seizures "intensified" in recent days. The family's MP, Órfhlaith Begley, said the Home Office's decision was "life-saving", adding: "I will continue to engage with the Home Office and the health authorities to ensure he can access his medication in the longer term so there is no repeat of the trauma he has suffered over recent weeks." 'Not straightforward' Dr Amir Englund, who studies cannabis at the Institute of Psychiatry at King's College London, said: "Clearly, there is evidence that Billy's medication works for him where others have failed. "The duty of government is to protect its citizens from harm with regulations on medicines, so that the ones doctors prescribe are safe and effective. "However, there are instances which these measures become counterproductive and harmful. This is such an instance, and the Home Office should allow an exemption so that he does not come to further harm." Meanwhile, clinical lecturer in psychiatry at University College London, Dr Michael Bloomfield, said on the one hand "current laws are too strict", but added that the issue of medical marijuana is "far from straightforward". "Any 'medical marijuana' needs a scientific evidence base, in the form of medical trials et cetera, which is currently lacking for many disorders and has become, for many jurisdictions, a potential way of decriminalising cannabis through the back door," he said. Does cannabis have medicinal benefits? CBD and Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are two types of cannabinoids found naturally in the resin of the marijuana plant. A cannabis-based drug called Sativex has been licensed in the UK to treat MS. It contains THC and CBD. Doctors could, in theory, prescribe it for other things outside of this licence, but at their own risk. MS patients prescribed Sativex, who resupply it to other people, also face prosecution. Another licensed treatment is Nabilone. It contains an artificial version of THC and can be given to cancer patients to help relieve nausea during chemotherapy. Source: NHS Choices
  13. Home Office looks at allowing cannabis oil for boy with epilepsy Original article at the Guardian by: Mattha Busby @matthabusby Fri 15 Jun 2018 19.01 EDTFirst published on Fri 15 Jun 2018 06.55 EDT https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2018/jun/15/mothers-plea-for-uk-to-legalise-cannabis-oil-charlotte-caldwell-billy Prescriptions consideration comes after Billy Caldwell, 12, has ‘life-threatening’ seizures The Home Office has said it will “carefully consider” allowing a 12-year-old boy to be prescribed cannabis oil after he was admitted to hospital with “life-threatening” seizures following the confiscation of his supply. Billy Caldwell had his anti-epileptic medicine confiscated at Heathrow airport on Monday. If the decision is made to permit him to have the treatment, it would be the first time that cannabis oil containing THC was legally prescribed in the UK since it was made illegal in 1971. Late on Friday night, Billy’s family were trying to find a clinician with knowledge of his condition to recommend the prescription of cannabis medicine. His mother, Charlotte Caldwell, said: “Finally I’m hearing signs that the Home Office appreciate the severity of Billy’s condition, and are showing a willingness to act humanely.” In a statement, a Home Office spokesperson said: “Billy is in the care of medical professionals who are best placed to assess the care and treatment that he requires. “The Home Office is contacting Billy’s medical team. If the team treating Billy advise a particular course of urgent action, the Home Office will carefully consider what options are available to help facilitate that advice.” On Friday afternoon, Billy was taken to Chelsea and Westminster hospital in west London in an ambulance after experiencing uncontrollable seizures. “Billy has had back-to-back seizures today,” his mother said. “On his medication, which included the vital but banned THC component, he was seizure-free for more than 300 days.” Caldwell said doctors in Canada and Northern Ireland familiar with the case had described her son’s situation as life-threatening. She said the Home Office would be held accountable if her son died. Billy had been placed on cannabidiol (CBD) oil, along with opiate-based medication, after he was forced to stop taking cannabis oil, but he failed to respond positively to the treatment and his health deteriorated as his seizures gradually resumed. The family said the 12-year-old can now be treated only with hospital-administered medication. Speaking from hospital, Caldwell told Sky News: “[Billy’s] out of the seizure but I cannot administer any more rescue medicine for him at home. He’s been admitted and they’re keeping him in hospital simply because Billy’s seizures are life-threatening ... one seizure can kill him.” Earlier on Friday, Caldwell criticised the government for effectively forcing them to leave the UK. “No mother should be made to flee the country to keep their child alive,” she said. The pair have spent about four of the past 12 years abroad because cannabis oil is illegal in the UK. On Monday they had six months’ worth of anti-epileptic medicine confiscated by customs agents when they arrived at Heathrow from Toronto. Caldwell was invited to meet the Home Office minister Nick Hurd, who told her that it would not be returned, despite her pleas. “It has to be the most frightening situation that a mother could ever be put in,” Caldwell told the Guardian, describing how she and Billy had been forced to leave their home, friends and family in order to access the potentially life-saving medicine. “He’s undergone countless administrations of anti-epileptic pharmaceutical drugs which have never worked and have upset his entire system,” Caldwell said. “The side-effects left him so depleted that he couldn’t even lift his head or pick up a toy.” The anti-epilepsy drugs prescribed by the NHS often cause uncontrollable tremors, hair loss, swollen gums and rashes, among other adverse effects. Feeling that she had no choice but to seek treatment for her child abroad, Caldwell found a doctor in the US in September 2007 who “saved Billy’s life” by weaning him off anti-epileptic pharmaceutical drugs, which she says were aggravating his seizures. The doctor also placed him on a ketogenic diet – a high-fat, low-carbohydrate food plan – that helped his seizures to rapidly subside. Eight years later, in June 2016, the seizures returned. They travelled to California again in September that year, until their money ran out eight months later and they came back to their home in Northern Ireland. In March 2017 they walked 150 miles in eight days, from their home to the hospital, to demonstrate the incredible improvement in Billy’s condition after the cannabis treatment. A doctor in Northern Ireland prescribed him the oil, since it was clear it was the only effective treatment. This was the first time a child had ever been issued the substance on the NHS. The oil contained CBD and also THC the psychoactive constituent of cannabis that gets users high. In October 2016, the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency issued an opinion that products containing CBD used for medical purposes are medicine. However, medicines containing the raw form of THC remain illegal. The government’s current position is that THC has no recognised medicinal or legitimate uses beyond potential research. Although some children with epilepsy respond positively to CBD, the conditions of others, such as Billy, respond only to THC-derived products. And there is growing evidence of the benefits of prescribing medicinal cannabis. After about 300 days without a seizure, the Home Office recently ordered the doctor to stop prescribing the oil, prompting Caldwell to seek treatment in Canada, which is preparing to legalise cannabis. The case has shone a light on a drug policy that critics see as outdated and has provoked widespread demands for urgent reform, as well as calls for an exception to be made for Billy until legislation can be considered. Caldwell said she doubted whether she or Hurd would be arrested if the minister decided to “do the right thing” and allow Billy to have his anti-epileptic medication. “Surely common sense should prevail,” she said, pointing to the public support for the legalisation of medical cannabis, and the fact that police in some parts of the country had deprioritised cannabis offences. “To me, this is not an illegal or controlled substance, this is my little boy’s medicine. Even if you drank six months’ worth of this medicine, you wouldn’t get high because the THC content is so low.” There are around 63,400 children with epilepsy in the UK and a third of those do not respond to the medication prescribed by the NHS. Some 1,150 people died of epilepsy-related causes in 2009. Billy, who also has severe autism, cannot talk and requires 24/7 care, enjoys riding his pony Paddy, often goes swimming and attends a special needs school. Asked how Billy had handled a week of intense media attention, Caldwell said he had been “a wee bit out of sorts” and that “he knows that something is going on”. On Tuesday morning he had his first seizure in almost a year. On the same day, a group of pro-reform Tory MPs said that medicinal cannabis could be on sale within a year. But this could be too late for Billy. “The fear that Billy will die without his medication has been my overriding emotion this week,” said Caldwell. “I think that fear is keeping me going.” From the Guardian site and this is direct to Guardian, we are just passing on their request since we use their link. Since you’re here… … we have a small favour to ask. More people are reading the Guardian than ever but advertising revenues across the media are falling fast. And unlike many news organisations, we haven’t put up a paywall – we want to keep our journalism as open as we can. Democracy depends on reliable access to information. Your support helps keep The Guardian open to a global audience for generations to come. The Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. But we do it because we believe our perspective matters – because it might well be your perspective, too. I appreciate there not being a paywall: it is more democratic for the media to be available for all and not a commodity to be purchased by a few. I’m happy to make a contribution so others with less means still have access to information.Thomasine, Sweden If everyone who reads our reporting, who likes it, helps to support it, our future would be much more secure. For as little as $1, you can support the Guardian – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Support The Guardian
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