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Post-keto addendum

7 Apr

Well, speaking of EEGs, I got this e-mail from Jade’s neurologist not 10 minutes ago. Really, it couldn’t get any better than this.

Hi Fawn,

I have received the ambulatory EEG results. The EEG looks great!! No epileptiform activity seen. No seizure.

I can arrange for see her in follow-up via telehealth in about 6 months time. This would save you guys the trip from coming back down to Vancouver.

Best Regards,
Sia

After the ketogenic diet

7 Apr

I’ve been meaning to post about Jade for months, but here we are at 3 months post-wean and I’m just getting around to it. But hey, Michael actually did post about what it was like for Jade to come out of ketosis. It was pretty fantastic for her to have her first “normal” Christmas dinner ever. And in January, we went to Disneyland, a trip we just could never face while we were still doing the diet. Both girls were beyond thrilled to meet all their favourite princesses. But I digress…

Jade GrowthJade’s body has changed quite a bit in the months since she got off the diet.

  • In the first three months since the wean, she grew over an inch. She has grown almost a whole inch just in the past month. Compare that to the one inch she grew during the whole of 2013.
  • She has finally just about the reached the 48-lb mark that allows her to legally switch to a booster seat.
  • In the past two months, her lips have returned to normal. For the 5 years on the diet, they were frequently cracked and bleeding, despite soaking them with warm water and sealing with lanolin twice a day.
  • Her energy level, which we thought was quite good on the diet, has gone way up. This means she’s become rather fidgety and has a hard time sitting still (at the dinner table, for example) which was never an issue before.

Jade is very much enjoying eating as much as she wants, and I’m thrilled that she no longer has to go hungry, which was a problem between meals over the past couple of years. Unfortunately, her frequent stomach aches have

In February, I accompanied Jade to the BC Children’s Hospital for her first EEG since getting out of ketosis. It was okay, but they did observe a couple of epileptiform discharges… that is, some abnormalities in Jade’s brain waves that are not seizures in themselves, but suggest she is predisposed to seizures. (Well, of course she’s predisposed to seizures; we know that because she had them.) The neurologist told us she wouldn’t panic about these because many people may have these abnormal brain waves with absolutely no consequence.

What bothers me is that Jade’s previous two EEGs were, as far as I know, amazingly normal. Last week, Michael and Jade returned to the hospital and did a 24-hour EEG. We haven’t heard about the results from that yet and am hoping for a call from the neurologist soon.

In the meantime, we are pursuing these chronic stomach pains, testing a theory that they are related either to food intolerances or dysbiosis…

For me, weaning off the ketogenic diet has been both a huge relief (packing school lunch is sooooo easy now!) and frightening. Just as the hardest part about starting the diet was the psychological impact, the hardest part of weaning is the feeling that our safety net is gone. All kinds of seemingly small things get my guard up. Last month, Jade developed a strange habit of yawning or gasping between every few words while talking. I immediately started to wonder if this could be some kind of seizure. It has since disappeared. The neurologist saw a video I took and didn’t think it was seizure activity.

I’m not sure how long it will take me to stop feeling jumpy. But I’m trying not to worry. And mostly succeeding. Overall, we are happy to have this chapter behind us. And Jade is thrilled and thriving. For now, that’s what’s most important.

These girls in a nutshell

3 Mar

I couldn’t have made this better if I’d written the script.

Heintzmann & Co.

24 Nov

Since I mentioned it yesterday, I thought I’d show you that new piano of mine. It doesn’t have fancy carved scrollwork, but it’s in great shape and sounds beautiful.

1390636_10153350913915012_410038589_n (1)

And I’m also due to make a post about Jade and her exciting new world of food possibilites…

 

Retreat

19 Jul

My house just keeps getting worse. Summer is so chaotic . We just want to be OUT, but there’s still dishes and laundry piling up and toys always underfoot and half-finished colouring pages and used sleeping bags and half-empty bottles of sunscreen and that dead fly-covered vole Crook somehow caught despite being leashed in the backyard. Plus the actual work work that needs to be done. I’m running from one urgent must-do to another and never catching up.

I don’t mean to complain, but the truth is that the havoc wears on all of our nerves.

Today I have a rare break from the urgency — no gig coming right up that I need to write charts for, no emergency underwear situations, so I will wash a few dishes, haul out a few camping supplies to the shed… and get ready for my 3-day retreat.

I can’t remember if I’ve ever spent more than a few hours completely alone. Sunday, I’m packing up the car with food, some paper and pens, and a good book or two and I’m heading to a friend’s cabin for two nights all to myself. I’m not sure what it will be like. I can’t possibly imagine getting bored, but will I get lonely? I think I’ll be okay.

I envision some time just sitting in the woods (weather permitting) or by the lake, some serious reading time, maybe time to write down some thoughts, or even new song lyrics. I intend to do some meditation. I might even do some work… some enjoyable work that I can complete from start to finish without outside interruption.

Two nights. The possibilities seem limitless, don’t you think?

Easter

3 Apr

We had a lovely gathering at Lake Laberge, as is our tradition. The girls charmed everyone with their chatterbox ways and their “pretend” games. I marvelled at how much easier this Easter was, with Halia aged four and much more independent of me. Fire-roasted lamb and salmon, ham from the woodstove, and potluck side dishes made quite the feast indeed. I tried shooting a bow and arrow for the first time and have the proof in the form of a bruise on my arm.

It was a good time to recuperate from the marathon leading up to the release of my first album, to enjoy the company of my little family, and the the friends who make up our extended family, to soak up the sunshine.

In a word, delightful.

A landmark day

7 Mar

(Reblogged from http://fawnfritzen.com/a-landmark-day)

I’m exhausted, but I can’t go to bed yet. I’m ensconced in my home-away-from-home, Easter Seal House in Vancouver. In the morning, I’ll be taking my daughter for her regular neurology appointment. She hasn’t had a seizure in almost three years, but the fight against her epilepsy isn’t entirely over yet. In preparation for her EEG, she has to be sleep-deprived… which means Mama has to be sleep-deprived, too.

Ah well, no different from any other night, really.

And it was such a wonderful day. The sun was shining in a blue sky in Whitehorse. Jade was a delightful travel companion on our flight down to Vancouver; she charmed everyone around her with her happy chatter and questions.

And some other exciting things happened, too.

I got a message first thing this morning from a local woman who does a show on the local French CBC radio station; she wanted to play a song from my upcoming album and promote the release concert. I got another e-mail from a producer who broadcasts for CBC North out of Montreal and I will be doing an interview with her early next week.

So that was fun.

Then, while I was downtown running some super-quick errands in preparation for the trip, I decided to pick up a copy of our local entertainment magazine, What’s Up, Yukon. Turns out, this issue contains a review of my album. And I’m thrilled with the review. (I’ll put a link up here once it’s available.)

THEN! When Jade and I boarded our Air North flight, I pulled out the in-flight magazine, Yukon North of Ordinary. I’ve been so busy, I hadn’t had time to see if the Spring issue was out yet. So it was pretty thrilling to open up the magazine to page 79 and find this:

Yukon North of Ordinary

The article was written by local journalist / blogger / amazing mother of three (soon to be four!) Sarah Niman, and I can’t believe how much information she packed into two pages. (I’ll put an electronic copy of that up sometimes soon, too.)

THEN!!

I arrived at Easter Seal House and found that the four boxes I was expecting here had indeed been delivered. Here’s what’s inside those boxes:

Bedroom Voice CDs ready

Hot off the presses!

Just over a week left before the album release, and I have a gigantic to-do list to wrestle into submission. But it will happen. And, you know, that will be an amazing day, too.

First post

23 Feb

Well, I meant to at least write a New Year’s post here in January because 2012 was an amazing year for me. But I didn’t do it.

I also meant to write a blog post about Jade turning 7, because she is a truly amazing kid. But I didn’t do that either.

But since the last post I wrote over here, I’ve written seven posts over on my other blog. (Sorry, guys. Not sure how that happened. Lots of them are just really status updates.)

Bedroom Voice 300

And guess what else? I finished recording my very first album. This project I’ve been breathing and dreaming forever is actually wrapped up, and the actual honest-to-goodness CDs are being manufactured right now. The album is going to be released in less than a month.

Anyone else feel like squealing with me???

Back in real life, the laundry is overflowing (and I just discovered that the cat’s litter box has been tipped over, onto some of that there laundry on the laundry room floor…ugh) and the dirty dishes are propagating at an alarming rate. And my blog reader is into the hundreds of posts I haven’t read, too.

But, dammit, life is good right now.

How are you doing?

‘Tis autumn

4 Oct

I am back amid fiery maples and scarlet sumac. It has been close to a decade since I experienced an Ottawa autumn, and I love it as much as I ever did. Fall was always my favourite season: not too hot, not too cold, and gloriously alive with colour.

(It’s no coincidence my wedding anniversary is in October, at the height of Ontario fall. This year — just how did this happen?! I’m not old enough for this! — we will be celebrating 10 years of marriage.)

A week ago today, I was leaving Ottawa. With Michael at my side, and the kids safely ensconced at his parents’ house, we boarded a First Air plane and flew to Iqaluit, Nunavut. Iqaluit is the capital of Canada’s newest territory (formed in 1999), and a vital part of my own history. I spent two years at Inuksuk High School in Iqaluit, graduating with the class of 1995. Those two years went by in a flash, but made a lasting impression on my life.

I haven’t been back since my sister’s graduation in 1996. I’ve always wanted to visit again, but flying to and from Nunavut is prohibitively expensive. For this trip, I was invited to perform at a conference, and I jumped at the opportunity.

It was an amazing trip, revisiting familiar haunts, reconnecting with friends, exploring all the new areas of the much-expanded city, and finding musical opportunities at every turn.

Thursday, it was karaoke at the Legion with some of my high school classmates. Friday, I gave my very first house concert (with Grant Simpson from Whitehorse!) at my former music teacher’s house. Sunday there was a musical coffeehouse at the Francophone Association in the afternoon and then the conference performance we were hired to do, a “mini Frantic Follies”to give conference delegates a taste of the other end of northern Canada.

Now we’re all back in Ottawa. Grant and I will be playing (four sets!) at the Options Jazz Lounge this Saturday evening, and then we’ll celebrate Thanksgiving with Michael’s family. This trip has been warm and wonderful makes me appreciate more than ever how much I have to be thankful for.

‘Tis autumn . . . and it’s still my favourite season.

First glimpse of the Iqaluit airport

Best boat name ever

Best boat name ever

Inuksuk High School

My old stomping grounds

Bilingual stop (Harper) sign.

A coast guard boat in Frobisher Bay, with an inverted qamutik (traditional sled) in the foreground

It's always fresh in Inuktut

It’s always fresh in Inuktitut

St. Jude's Anglican church

St. Jude’s Anglican church in Iqaluit has always had this unique “igloo-with-a-steeple” design, but the original wooden one burned down. This new (bigger) incarnation was completed earlier this year.

Interlude

10 Jun

The rest of our Norway/Finland trip was a whirlwind marathon of long driving days — sometimes 11 hours! — and short nights.  There was amazing scenery, sumptuous food (also roadside gas station sandwiches), and many photos taken, and I do hope to get around to posting stories and pictures from it sometime soon.

Summer in the Yukon is a manic time — everyone wants to be out in the sunshine as much as humanly possible, and homes fall into disarray as household chores are abandoned. Well, maybe that’s just my house.

This week, there’s the added craziness stemming from the Yukon’s road access being cut off from the south. A couple of points of the Alaska Highway have been washed out, which means tourists and supply trucks can’t get in, and some are stranded in small communities between washouts. Check out that CBC newslink and you’ll see how dramatic it is. Fresh produce, milk, and fresh meat are all pretty much gone from the grocery store shelves. Michael decided to take a drive down to a grocery store this morning, just to check out what it looks like.

(Breaking news: apparently some parts of the Alaska Highway have been reopened. Check out the photo on the news story of the bare shelves at Extra Foods, though!)

In the meantime, I jumped into rehearsals for the Frantic Follies the day after I got home from Europe. This vaudeville show is now in its 43rd season, and one of the founders, Lyall Murdoch, is still running the show! The other guy running the Follies is Grant Simpson, who was the creative mind who instigated that Cole Porter show I did a month ago. (Incidentally, I put up a video clip from the show on my music blog. You can check out Miss Otis Regrets there!)

I had less than two weeks to learn my part, which includes five songs, plus the opening and finale group dance numbers, and some backstage techie work for another scene. It’s been quite intense, but lots of fun. I first saw the show in 2006, when Jade was just a baby. When the leading lady came onstage, I thought, “I could do that! I would love to do that!” …And now I get to do it! I feel very lucky to be part of such a fun cast.

The girls came and saw the show on Friday night. It starts at 8:30 p.m., which is an hour past their bedtime, and runs until 10. The show is full of glitter and colour and music and laughs. They were both fascinated the whole time and want to come again.

(And, pssst!  If you’re in Whitehorse, you should come, too!)

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