This was the question Tink asked me as soon as the news sunk in to her EEG coming back normal. (I still smile every time I think about it.)
I know she is tired of reading food labels over and over again. There are times I forget to check when I am at the store so she has to check and double-check at home. Just becasue a product didn’t contain artificial sweetners before doesn’t mean it stays that way. I know when a friend offers her candy, gum, and/or treats she just wants to eat it.
Aspertame is a trigger for her seizures. We found this out the hard way, but at least we found out.
When researching epilepsy, I tried to stick to medical sites and not message boards. Every case is different and everyone has differing opinions. At the time, there were no medical studies on the effects of seizures and aspertame. I had to venture to message boards. I learned Tink is not alone with this connection. Hubby and I decided to cut out aspertame in her diet (I love, love, love Diet Dr. Pepper so it isn’t out of mine even though she gives me a look every time I drink it).
I never realized how many products contain aspertame. I was so overwhelmed at first. Tink was 8 when we started looking at labels. I taught her what word to look for and had her practice in front of me reading labels. I knew she had to take ownership of this so I wouldn’t worry (as much) when she wasn’t with me. She did and continues to take ownership. She has been known to ask her teachers to read the ingredient list if they pass out fruit snacks. She reads the syrup lables when she goes out to breakfast, and if there aren’t any labels present, she asks if there is any way she can see the label. To her no label means no syrup.
Tink was out to breakfst with my sister one morning and ready the syrup label. It had aspertame. She told my sister and the waitress, “I can’t have this syrup. It has this word, and I can’t have it,” as she was pointing to aspertame. They were both amazed, and my sister called me later on to wonder why I didn’t tell her about this. Oops!
How did I answer Tink’s question? Nothing. We can change nothing right now because it is working.