So a little over a year ago I made it to Rochester, Minnesota where really smart neurologists live and work. Really smart neurologists are hard to find in the US. Medical students here tend to be scared of the neurosciences which leads the field open for any idiot who decides to go that way. The smart med students go to Dermatology and Radiology. Smart students don’t like patients…but that’s an entirely different story.
I had expected this really smart neurologist to cure me of epilepsy. He didn’t. He told me pretty much there was no hope. He said this in a much nicer way. He reached far for some solutions, but he didn’t seem hopeful about any of them. I’ve had seizures every night pretty much since I was 7. They happen when I sleep. Yes, every time.
Quick math problem: If Asal has had seizures for 22 years, with a conservative average of 3 seizures a night, how many seizures has she had? (Please keep in mind that there was a break of 1.5 years around when puberty hit).
Here are the far fetched solutions: 1) Surgery 2) A pacemaker like device that would send signals into my brain and 3) The Atkins diet.
Every once in awhile someone will ask how a seizure feels. Or maybe every once in awhile someone should ask. I’m not sure but either way the answer is simple. Seizures feel terrifying. They don’t hurt. At least none that I’ve had or heard of do.
A seizure is by definition a loss of control. Complete and total. After a bad seizure, I have trouble talking, trouble thinking, usually I’m drenched in piss, and I’m crying. I don’t know why I’m crying. I just am.
I don’t like seizures. They are my least favorite thing to do.
So let’s go through these options.
1) Surgery: Every time I imagine someone doing surgery on my brain, I imagine them sneezing. I know it’s irrational. I know the surgeons will be wearing face masks, and that there’s equipment in place to make sure nothing goes wrong if someone sneezes. But still. I have some better reasons why surgery is not a good choice for me, but what it comes down to is that I hate giving up control further.
2) A Vagus Nerve Stimulator: This requires decent insurance and a stable few years with a real neurologist to keep track of you. I’ve got none of these things.
3) The Atkins Diet: This diet was designed to exclude everything good in the world. No sugar. No fruit. No chocolate. Almost no vegetables. But it gives you an amazing amount of control.
So there you go. I started Atkins two days ago, and a blog to go with it today. Welcome.