It’s been a challenging few weeks.
My dietitian and I have been experimenting with slowly ramping up the carbohydrates in my meal plan. It’s all trial and error, really, this trying to find a balance between managing my seizures and working toward my weight-gain goals. The process is rewarding when I make tangible and relatively painless progress, so almost never. Usually, it’s just plain frustrating.
This most recent carb increase eliminated any lingering doubt: a reduced-carbohydrate/modified-ketogenic diet is, indeed, helping to reduce my seizures. Cue cluster of seizures, episode of postictal psychosis a day later, lingering effects of said psychosis, etc.
I’m pretty sure that this was the first reappearance of PIP since I’ve been home from the hospital, which is amazing when one considers how frequently it made itself all comfy-cozy right up in my business last year. Let’s focus on that—the super-long no-PIP reprieve I was granted by the neurological powers that be. Thanks, neurological powers that be! I knew that it wouldn’t be gone forever and have become a pro, if I do say so myself, at managing my expectations, so I was disappointed but not devastated by this turn of events. But it was really nice to have such a long break, and there’s no way around the fact that PIP is distressing for all involved. This hasn’t been a fun time to be the owner of my brain, and I’m sure it hasn’t been a particularly fun time to be my partner.
(As an aside, postictal psychosis during a pandemic also brought with it practical lessons in that it revealed to me and to my husband that some of our usual strategies won’t fly during a COVID-19 stay-at-home order. We’ll be making adjustments to our safety plan.)
As I come out of this, I keep reminding myself that my worst-case-scenario thinking—that things will slide back to how they were at their worst—is just that: worst-case-scenario thinking. I have skills. I have support. I have agency in my care plan. With quick dietary and lifestyle adjustments and by consulting with medical professionals, this doesn’t have to be more than a blip.
I was, however, really hoping for those additional carbs.