Calm in the Storm: A Child's Life with Epilepsy (cont.)

Everything had to be fine-tuned to find the perfect balance. It took us approximately a month of working with the doctor, nutritionist and Eliana's food preferences until we got it right.

We had to wean her off Tegretol because it contained sugar. Even toothpaste could be a problem. And we had to learn which high-fat foods she would actually eat.

For babies on the ketogenic diet, heavy cream makes up a large part of the fat intake. Eliana was weaned from the breast and started taking cream in a bottle. We learned not to leave a cream-filled bottle in the car unless we wanted butter. One time I was buying her cream supply for the week and the cashier at the supermarket said to me, "You sure like dessert!"

Weighing and measuring became a daily fact of existence. Eliana was on a 4:1 ratio. She ate four times and much fat as protein and carbohydrate combined. This was long before low carb became a national trend. How much easier the diet must be to administer nowadays. We had to become experts at reading food labels.

My parents were visiting from Europe after Eliana had been on the diet for over a month. We were all sitting in the living room when suddenly my father said, "I haven't seen Eliana have a seizure today."

We looked at each other, startled.

"Jan, have you seen her have one?" "No," I said. "Frank, how about you?" He had not. Mom had not either.

We barely dared to breathe. Could this be the miracle we had been hoping for? Was Eliana really seizure-free?

To be continued...

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