7/18/2021 – Life Changing Event

It was a Sunday morning and I’m normally the first one up at around 8am and get
that 1st cup of coffee. No matter what day it is my day always starts the same way.
A big cup of water to get the juices flowing and that 1st cup of coffee while going
through the morning’s emails and news events around the world.

I heard Sarah’s toilet flush and I looked up at the clock and it was about 9am and
thought she’s up early but not completely uncommon. It was a couple minutes
later I heard a big thud! Of course, I jumped out of my seat ran as fast as I could to
her room and she was nowhere to be seen. Without losing stride I turned the
corner into her bathroom and there she was.

She was on her back shaking from head to toe uncontrollably, eyes rolled back in
her head and struggling to breath. I paused for a nano-second and yelled SARAH!
No response. I immediately picked her up which was hard because of the intense
shaking and laid her in her bed. I continued screaming at her, “BREATH,
BREATH!”. “Sarah, you have to FIGHT! FIGHT!”.

She was struggling to breath and started foaming at the mouth before she stopped
breathing and her body went limp. I smacked her in the face still screaming at the
top of my lungs as I was watching my daughter die right in front of me. Sarah’s
lips and face started turning blue.

I recall thinking, “ok, I got this! I must start CPR.” I recall looking at her chest for
the right spot to start compressions when I heard her gasp for air. As I type this,
I’m tearing up again.

I ran out of the room really quick to tell my ex-wife, Sheryl, who was in the spare
room and she was running towards me because she heard me screaming through
solid exterior walls and a double pain slider. I simply yelled, “CALL 911, CALL
911”. Sheryl did not ask any questions or hesitate, she simply started dialing.

I ran back to Sarah seconds later and her breathing was getting better and better. It
seemed like an eternity before the emergency service arrived. Her breathing was
becoming stable, and I continued coaching her to focus on breathing.

I’m going to say about 5 minutes of this continued while we were waiting for the
emergency services. When they arrived, I explained what had just happened and
there was about 6 or 7 of them between EMS and firemen. They took over and by
now she was conscious and scared because all these people were in her room and
she had no idea what had just happened.

The EMS person asked her name and she responded, “Sarah”. He asked her last
name and she responded correctly.

That is the first moment I thought to myself she is going to be ok.

Sarah is a 17 year old, healthy athletic girl. She received her black belt when she
was 12 years old as she started at the age of 5. She played two years on the high
school water pole team. She is a very well-like kid in school and has many friends.
A very, cowgirl like, Chevy Duramax, 7 inch lifted truck type girl. It’s her baby
and her proud and joy.

Although this is about Sarah and her seizures (yes, there have been more than one)
and for the purpose of helping other parents that may go through this, I must talk a
little about myself, so you understand how I approach problems and always keep
looking for solutions never giving up until I succeed.

My name is Eric, father of Sarah and Ricky (15 years old). I started martial arts at
the age of 15 because I was tired of getting picked on or beat up. I grew up
watching Bruce Lee and chuck Norris movies and decided I want to be like that;
fearless, confident with the ability to help myself and others, if needed.

I’m now 56 and feel that being a martial artist has trained me to never give up and
give me the confidence I need to solve problems that come up in life.

I’m also a computer guy. We used to call us “computer scientists” but that just
seems weird in today’s world with so many kids very fluent in computers and
mobile devices. So, by default I’ve been trained to be a very logical
thinker/problem solver and focus on data and numbers. At the end of the day,
numbers always tell the truth.

Being in martial arts I also found a hobby of health and wellness. When Sheryl
was pregnant with Sarah, we were at a routine check-up when I asked the nurse to
also check my blood pressure. At this time, I had left the technology world and
become a very successful General Contractor in Lake Tahoe so I could be with my
kids as they grew up. In the tech world I was always on the road, worldwide
hardly ever home.

Anyway, the nurse looked at me funny and said we need to check-it again. She
had this scary look on her face; like she was looking at a dead man walking. My
blood pressure was 155/102. This is not good if you know what those numbers
mean. I went to my primary care doctor and the first thing he wanted to do was put
me on meds to help control my blood pressure.

I said, “no, I will try to work on this problem myself. I have learned that once they
start you on meds, before you know it, you are taking 5 different meds to start
controlling all the side effects. I always like looking for the root cause of
something instead of trying to hide the problem.

For many years I was able to keep my blood pressure in check but still not normal.
More like 140/96. To me those numbers looked good but they are really not. It
wasn’t until many years later I discovered the ketogenic diet and really started
understanding our western diet and so many sugars and carbohydrates.

When people here keto they think I’m eating a pound of bacon, raw meat, and lots
of butter all day long. It’s not really like that. There is a “healthy keto” I follow
and it’s a very healthy diet with many vegetables and quality meats. My blood
pressure is now consistently around 110/78. I’ve been as low as 107/72 and started
thinking may be too low. It is not.

Yes, sometimes this can be hard to maintain but if you are keto adapted and you
have a cheat day you can pop right back into ketosis. I guess I should briefly
describe ketosis as this is relevant to Sarah.

Our body has two choices for fuel. Glucose (sugar) or Ketones from fat. The body
prefers ketones but has no choice to release ample amounts of insulin to combat
the sugar in our bodies which causes inflammation. Why do you think we have a
diabetes epidemic in this country?

Think my daughters HUGE lifted, diesel truck. It is loud, smells from the
Duramax diesel engine; think of that as glucose. Think of ketones as a Tesla
electric car with no noise and no exhaust. Our body prefers the Tesla if given the

I had a skin tag on my inner thigh that had been there for years. Just thought that’s
what happens as you get older because I’ve so many other people with them. One
morning in the shower I noticed it was shriveled a little and a purple like color. I
thought oh great I have skin cancer. A few days later it was gone. It had simply
dried up and fallen off. Yes. Keto.

I could go on for hours with keto as it has made such a difference in my life along
with intermittent fasting. I promise I will be getting back to Sarah as it ties into
what I hope will ultimately be her solution.

The ketogenic diet has so many benefits to healthy living and I we should
screaming this at the top of our lungs so we can help with our health crisis in the
country. Just to rattle off a few things; weight loss, insulin resistance,
inflammation, visceral fat (the bad kind), acne, quality sleep, IBS, leaky gut,
candida overgrowth, wrinkles, mid-day slump, energy etc. I used to have to take a
mid-day nap. Now I just plow through the day like a bull in a china shop.

Sarah was able to walk out of her room to the ambulance. I really didn’t want to
go to the ER but I had no idea what just happened and thought it could happen
again. Sheryl and I followed the ambulance to the hospital and walked right. It
was not busy in there at all on a Sunday morning.

She was put in a room and wired up to the machines. I spoke the ER doctor on
duty and he started talking about seizures and epilepsy and definitions around it. I
had heard of epilepsy but really had no knowledge around it. As of today, she is
not considered epileptic but who knows if that could change. By definition, if you
have more than 1 seizure in a 24-hour period you are considered epileptic. I have
seen other definitions but this one seems to be the most common.

The doctor continued and used the term grand-mal seizure based on my description
of what had happened. That term I had heard of but nowadays it’s called tonicclonic seizure.
As I’m writing this, I realized I started this today because I’m going crazy and I
need to keep my mind focused on something else. Today is Sarah’s second day of
high school, her senior year and I’m a nervous wreck praying that it will not
happen at school. I can’t even imagine how she would feel if an event happens
around all her friends. It’s heart breaking. I do feel a little more at ease as the day
goes on because the events seem to be a morning thing but one just never knows.
The doctor explained what was going to happen while were there and that he
would come back later. He said most likely all the tests will not show anything as
many seizures fall into the category of unknown. This may sound like bad news
but it is better they don’t find a brain tumor or lesions. That would be real bad

He continued and said she will most like be released after the blood and urine tests
along with a CT scan of the brain. And as he said, all tests came back clear and we
were out of the hospital by about 2pm.

While we sat there with Sarah, I had asked, “do you recall anything leading up to
the event?” I think I call it an event because I don’t like the word seizure. Doesn’t
make it sound so serious even though it is but I don’t want to scare Sarah any more
than she it.

Sarah started remembering that before she went to the bathroom, her hands were
twitching a little and she kept dropping the phone while she was doing her morning
snapchat, Instagram check or whatever it is they do on the phones all day long.
I asked was this the first time your arms twitched and she responded no. Now we
are going to start getting into the meat of this. Today is August 13th and I have
been researching non-stop since the 1st event.

I’m not going to give you my current theory right out of the gate because I think it
is important to understand the discovery process I went through to get to where I’m
at today. And yes, this is still a theory at this time and only time will tell if it is
proven valid.

I have been keeping a day-to-day log as to what I’ve learned, what Sarah has eaten,
how she is sleeping and Sarah’s favorite question when was the last time you
pooped? She is much better now on that once I explained it is the only way for me
to get some idea of how her gut is working.

Back to the twitch. It was February 2020 when we finally put her on Accutane
after resisting for the last two years. We know it is nasty stuff, but we also know
many of her friends that were on it with great success. Sarah was resisting right
along with us for two years but finally said I want to go on Accutane.

Her cystic acne became so bad her self-esteem was at rock bottom and her desire to
go to school was gone. It was horrible for us parents to see this. This brings up
another great question; what in our society has changed that so many kids are
having severe enough acne that Accutane is the only solution.

I had acne as a kid of course but not bad at all. The occasional zit that I would just
pop. Same with Sheryl. I do believe this is an environmental problem and what is
in our food supply.

As we were driving home, Sarah biggest concern was that the doctor had to report
this incident to the DMV so her license would get suspended. She kept asking
when can I drive again and of course we didn’t have a clear answer nor did the ER
doctor. But once I explained the danger if an event happened while she was
driving, not only to herself, but that she could hurt someone else she understood
but still didn’t like it.

She was exhausted as we all were. We went home to change clothes and went a
great breakfast restaurant. She ate well as did we all. We went home and she
crashed for the afternoon. While she was sleeping Sheryl and I had our first
opportunity to chat alone about what the hell just happened.

I started talking about the morning event and what I saw as Sheryl didn’t see the
worst of it (thank God!) and completely broke down. All that emotion and
adrenaline just released and turned me into a sobbing baby and all I wanted to do
was lay down into a fetal position. I had to walk away from Sheryl to regain my
composure which took a little bit. It didn’t really hit me what just happened until
then; I simply was in “poppa bear mode” saving/protecting my baby.

I still have a hard time going to sleep when those images pop into my head and will
forever be engrained in my brain.

Well, now that that was out of the way it was time to roll up my sleeves and get to
work. What did happen? Why? Why did her brain decide to do this? What’s
with the arm tremors? Could she have potentially had a seizure back when on the
Accutane and we were just lucky then? Is it going to happen again? Is there
anything I can do to help mitigate another event? How to get to a specialist?

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About Me

About Me

I’m a dedicated father of two; a son (Ricky) and a daughter (Sarah). They are both in their final years of high school. As a young man I always knew I wanted to have children; it’s so hard to imagine not having children. Once you have children you then know the meaning of the willingness to die without hesitation for them. I’m a type A personality with a bit of OCD built in making the perfect mind to go down any rabbit hole needed to solve a problem. I’ve always told my kids life is nothing more than solving life’s day-to-day problems. I guess that is why I ended up in the IT world. I work on facts and data and then make the best decision at the time and never look back. I get satisfaction from taking the confusion of chaos and turning it into something understandable and beautiful.

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