I was 9 years old when my mother started noticing my epileptic episodes. In the middle of conversations I would abruptly stop speaking as if somebody pushed pause on the DVD player. Ten seconds later my seizure would be over. The metaphorical resume button was pushed. That would bring me out of my daze as I tried to regain my thought to no avail.
I was blessed with a mother that was a Registered Dietitian and firm believer in importance of diet and alternative medicine. In 1995, I remember her saying she found research about a diet that had been known to reduce seizures in children. Since my seizures were much less severe than most, I knew this could be helpful. That was the first time I heard of the Ketogenic Diet.
I won’t lie, for a 9 year old the diet was tough! I remember having to drink whipping cream, consume minimal carbohydrates and eat every 4 hours. My mom instilled in me that if I was unable to keep the strength through this diet it could have possibly future side effects such as no sports, no driver’s license and unquantifiable trouble through school. Even at that age, I knew the severity of the situation and knew I had no choice but to persevere through the diet. Today, I hear there is much more research on the diet and better recipes that will make others’ journeys through this diet a little more effective and enjoyable.
I was on the diet only 1 year and my seizures had reduced dramatically. It started with me being able to still dribble a basketball while having a seizure to resuming conversations after I would have an episode to having no seizures at all. Since then, I haven’t had to resume the diet at all. However, I have noticed minimal seizures to reoccur under times of stress, lack of sleep or eating mainly starches. That serves as a thankful reminder of the importance of diet the rest of my life.
Today, I am a healthy 24-old that graduated from The Ohio State University with a degree in Computer Science Engineering and Entrepreneurship. I’ve had jobs doing iPhone development for Apple in Cupertino, backpacked through Europe, completed multiple triathlons, ran a marathon and went to State twice in high school for golf. I’m not saying this to brag, but to let others struggling through the diet know that your life can change because of this diet and the sky is the limit to what you can accomplish.