Mother of epileptic son praises medicinal marijuana
MONA Hecke is well known as the 'Aussie Health Girl'. As well as sharing her popular insights on healthy living, Mona is forging a path forward for the healing powers of medicinal marijuana.
Mona's son has a form of epilepsy and he was adamant he did not want the conventional treatments as they were doing more harm to his body than good.
This led Mona to research the controversial medicinal qualities of cannabis and she said they were very happy with the results.
Listen to the full interview here:
Matt Collins: Your oldest boy is 27 and he has had epilepsy most of his life.
Mona Hecke: Yes, he has a form of epilepsy called petit mal which is daydream seizures. Sometimes when you are speaking to him he will just stare blankly into space. You will think he is ignoring you but he is not. It was the same form of epilepsy former football player, Wally Lewis had.
MC: He had that growing up?
MH: We first noticed his epilepsy when he was seven. The first time we noticed anything was wrong I was making dinner and he was carrying a salad bowl and dropped the bowl, and he had just blanked out. He couldn't remember what happened.
MC: But initially the doctors didn't diagnose him as an epileptic.
MH: No, it's funny because I was studying my naturopathy course at the time and this one class we were learning about neurological disorders and one of the things we were talking about was epilepsy and specifically petit mal.
MC: So you had diagnosed him from your uni class.
MH: Yes, and didn't the doctors hate me for that one.
MC: So when did the idea of medicinal marijuana become an option for your son?
MH: Well, the first option offered to you is pharmaceutical drugs and there is a barrage of them. The drug pathway is the only thing offered to you. Epilepsy drugs are some of the most unsafe drugs and one of the drugs with the most detrimental side effects.
MC: Such as?
MH: Weight gain, gum disease, cognitive function, cognitive impairment, sleepiness. Basically you don't function like a normal person, you don't have any clarity of thought. It's not pretty.
MC: So as your son was growing up he was taking these drugs and having these side effects?
MH: Yes and he noticed the changes before I did. He didn't like the way they felt and because of that we started to look for alternatives, including a ketogenic diet but it is very difficult to stick to.
MC: At what point did you start to look at alternative therapies?
MH: My son eventually got to a point where he said to me, 'Mum, I would rather have epilepsy and have seizures than have the side effects from the drugs.' He was very aware of how detrimental it was to his system and how sick it made him feel.
MC: That's when you stated on this journey to look at others ways of treatment?
MH: Yes and it has taken us to some very interesting places, Nimbin being one of them.
MC: So we are talking medicinal marijuana?
MH: Yeah and this is going back 20 years so it wasn't something we were taught about. It was brought to my attention by a colleague.
MC: Tell me about some of the results your son experienced.
MH: It was interesting because remember he was only seven at the time, so I didn't know what to expect. I didn't know the quality of it. I didn't know who I was buying it from. The first time he had it, me and the kids all sat around the table saying, 'are you feeling anything, can you feel it'.
MH: But it did subdue the seizures. He was having up to 20 seizures a day.
MC: It sounds like it is doing lots of good, why aren't we embracing medicinal marijuana?
MH: Well if we did that then we wouldn't have to be on pharmaceutical products and then there would be a lot of very unhappy people if the pharmaceuticals lost money.
Listen to the full interview with Mona Hecke here: