October 20, 2009

Moving Forward: Ketogenic Diet

Eliza Hamilton, the ketogenic dietitian, got back to me today! (She'd been sick all last week.) We'll be moving forward with the ketogenic diet as soon as we can do a Monday admission to the hospital. It could be as early as next Monday! (She is checking.) All ketogenic diet admissions are required to be done on a Monday in case it takes the full 5 days to transition to the diet.

The chief determinant on if Bertrand can be admitted next week is if there is a "free bed". Unfortunately, all hospitals are facing flu season right now and it is shaping up to be a particularly bad one. Almost all the beds are full already. Since going on the ketogenic diet is considered "elective" basically everything else takes priority over Bertrand's admission.

Ideally, they would like for Bertrand to have both flu shots by the time he is admitted--since flu is easily caught at the hospital. However, everywhere I've called today for the flu vaccine is booked by a month or more, or they are completely out. I've left a message with Eliza about this.

At least, with a 3-5 day stay, there won't be any fasting involved. They'll just slowly ramp up his ratio of fats to carbs, giving his body time to adjust. Also, the one "required" purchase to start the diet is The Ketogenic Diet: A Treatment for Children and Others with Epilepsy: a book I have already bought! Except for the shots and waiting for the KetoCal prescription, we're ready to go!

* price includes shipping

total oz/case300192

KetoCal costs roughly twice as much as PediaSure, what Bertrand drinks now. Insurance tends not to cover KetoCal unless it is being administered via feeding tube. In our case, there is a possibility that insurance would cover it since Bertrand's liver issues so drastically reduced our seizure medication options, but I am not sure it is worth the hassle to get it covered. If KetoCal helps reduce or STOP his seizures, it is worth way more than twice what PediaSure costs!

UPDATE: Unfortunately, next week the hospital will be full. Bertrand is now scheduled to start the ketogenic diet on Monday, November 16th.


  1. Wow, it seems so complicated!! Thank goodness you are much more organized than me LOL :)

    I can't wait to see how this works out for B.

    BTW, I LOVE the new blog look!!

  2. How many ounces per day does Bertrand drink?

  3. Bertrand drinks about 28-35 ounces per day. That would translate into $15.40-$19.25 of KetoCal per day or $462-$578 per month, which is more than it costs to feed both Matthew AND me for a month (including eating out). Crazy, huh?

  4. Yes it is crazy! You're doing such a great job with Bertrand. :)