Carley Eissman: A Story of Success Eliminating Seizures with the MAD DIET! What do you have to lose in trying the MAD DIET? SEIZURES!

carley eismann I had no idea what the people Bobby and I met at the Disneyland Epilepsy Expo we attended in November would be like. Every vendor, including myself, had a different story. Many consisted of epilepsy foundations from different states. I enjoyed reading about their services as we traveled to the expo and realized most Epilepsy Foundations have a long way to go in truly providing the help and support that people who have epilepsy need. Not because the groups at the expo did not sufficiently provide help for epilepsy sufferers, rather because the services these groups provided were more sufficient than I imagined they would be. During the three days my wonderful husband, Bobby, drove us to California in I researched every vendor who was to attend the expo.  I looked forward to speaking with the people who represented different epilepsy foundations. However; my heart especially anticipated meeting people whose life’s had been directly affected by epilepsy. Whether they suffered with seizures or were a care-taker to someone who had seizures I wanted to speak with them.

One of the most moving stories I read was that of Carley Eissman.  At the age of 12 Carley fell off a fence and began to have seizures. In spite of continual medication changes Carley sometimes suffered one hundred seizures a day.  Carley’s spirit was one that every person who has epilepsy should try to pattern themselves after.  She was a happy epilepsy warrior and chose to look at her seizures as a gift given to her by God to help her become a stronger person.  Carley hated having seizures but seldom felt sorry for herself.  This amazing young woman’s warrior spirit was developed and nurtured by her extraordinary parents, Carl and Lori Eissman.  In an effort to help the word “extraordinary” define this couple, as human beings and parents, I want to share the dictionary definition of extraordinary:  remarkable, exceptional, amazing, astonishing, astounding, sensational, stunning, incredible, unbelievable, phenomenal; striking, outstanding, momentous, impressive, singular, memorable, unforgettable, unique, noteworthy, unusual, uncommon, surprising and OUT OF THE ORDINARY!  When I speak of Lori and Carl Eissman I truly feel, within my heart, every one of the words was created to describe them as parents, human beings and epilepsy advocates.

After the Eissman’s unsuccessfully battled Carley’s seizures for several years with every medical approach available they passionately searched for an alternative that might stop their daughter’s seizures.  Eventually, they discovered information about the MAD Diet (Modified Atkins Diet).  After much research and prayer they decided to give the MAD Diet a try as an alternative to seizure medications for Carley. The only thing they had to lose were Carley’s seizures IF the MAD diet worked.

Simply put, the MAD Diets premise is eliminating carbohydrates.  When people consume less carbohydrates their bodies turn fat into energy.  This process is called ketosis. When your body goes into ketosis the ketones act as your body’s own anticonvulsant.  After beginning the MAD diet Carley’s seizures were totally eliminated for several years, until her tragic death.  Sticking with the MAD diet did not change the fact the Carley loved chocolate.  Shortly after the Easter Holiday, on April 28th, 2011 Carley ate a piece of chocolate and had a seizure in her bedroom. Unfortunately, she fell and landed in in such a way that she could not open her mouth and take a breath after the seizure and she died.  Carley died because of ONE SEIZURE.  Wonderful people dying because of one seizure happens much more often than most people realize.

After Carley’s untimely death Lori and Carl Eissman picked up the pieces of their life and carried on being extraordinary people. They created The Carley Eissman Foundation with the goal of helping you:  “The Carley Eissman Foundation is here to educate on epilepsy therapy through food. Our desire, beyond written words, is that you will find what you need to educate yourself on eating a certain way to help you, or someone close to you, stop having seizures.”  “STOP HAVING SEIZURES” should be some pretty significant words to anyone suffering with epilepsy.

Our society has a really bad habit of thinking taking medications will “fix” their medical conditions. So far, there are no medications developed that guarantee stopping seizures. Many medications do not even slow down seizures and some medications cause seizures to be worse.  The side-effects of seizure medications can, at times, create more misery than the seizures. Personally, I grieve the loss of my husband (Charley) due to his liver failing because of seizure medications.  I wonder, how many more people will needlessly die before we, as a community of people who have suffered because of seizures, become ready to change our lifestyles and at least TRY an alternative method to eliminate those seizures?  The Eismann’s will be the first to state that eliminating carbohydrates in your diet does not come easy.  You have to be committed and keep your eyes on the goal of eliminating your seizures and reclaiming your life.

The Eissman’s, nor I, will ever state that the MAD Diet is going to change the world and eliminate the seizures of every person who tries it.  I know many people who had seizures and through brain surgery had scar tissue removed and never had another seizure, including Charley.  My conclusion, in Charley’s case, is that this diet would probably not have eliminated his seizures though I am sure he would have been healthier through reducing his carbohydrate intake and I truly believe the MAD Diet would have significantly decreased the number of seizures he suffered.

I learned to be a very stubborn person in order to endure the hell that epilepsy put Charley and I through.  Eventually I developed a “prove me wrong” attitude.  I would love to see some of you try the MAD Diet with the goal of reducing or eliminating yours or your loved one’s seizures.  I don’t mind if you “prove me wrong” but at least consider making the dietary sacrifices necessary to give the MAD Diet a chance.  Medications do help, and stop, seizures in some cases but they can also cause much misery through horrid side effects and even cause death.  Eliminating carbohydrates can positively help a person lose weight and possibly eliminate seizures. Why not give it a try? What do YOU have to lose? SEIZURES if the diet works!!! If you are strong enough to endure seizures you are certainly strong enough to change your diet.

One of my readers’ favorite quotes from the pages of  Epilepsy Unveiled is, “Seizures sometimes will steal your body. Never allow seizures to steal your soul.”  Why not attempt to take your body back through diet so your soul can be at peace while it visits this world?

Why not?

If you are interested in the MAD diet or any of the work the Carley Eissman Foundation does to help those who are eliminating their carbohydrates (and seizures) please visit their website at the carleyeissmanfoundation.org.

 

About Lola Jines-Burritt