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.

A Christmas gift for you

22 Dec

I know I promised you an update on Jade. I haven’t forgotten, I swear! A proper post requires some time to sit down and focus, though, and I’m hoping to get some of that over the holidays. But she’s doing great and has had a very exciting month.

I’m just stopping by today to share a song with you. I recorded it last week with my friend Daniel and you can download for free from my music website: fawnfritzen.com/a-christmas-gift-for-you/

It was such fun to record. I hope you enjoy it! Merry merry Christmas to you and all your loved ones from me and mine.

P.S. If you are looking for more Christmas music, there’s always the little tune I wrote in 2009.

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.

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

 

The perils of long-term parking

23 Nov

On Monday, Michael had to fly to Ontario. He had to be at the airport very, very early, so even though we live close to the airport, he took the car down and saved his sleep-deprived self a few minutes and a very cold, very windy walk.

That morning, the winter temps in Whitehorse had dropped down to below -30°C (that’s -22°F for you dark ages, uh, old-fashioned folk!) and I didn’t relish the idea of walking down to the airport and bringing the car back, especially after spending the entire morning running from bank appointment to hardware store to big box store and then back to the bank because the advisor had made an error.

Next day, the temperatures weren’t any better, plus the dog injured his knee, plus it was my birthday, plus the piano tuner came to work on my new piano (SQUEEEE!!!! DID I MENTION I HAVE A NEW PIANO?!?!), plus I had a rehearsal, and anyway, to make a long story short, I didn’t get the car.

Parking rates at the Whitehorse airport are very cheap, as you might deduce from my laissez-faire attitude.

But also, our car generally doesn’t LIKE to start at 30 below. And it’s not really a good idea to try to start a car with such a cold battery. One ought to have it plugged in for a couple of hours. Which you can’t do at the airport.

Michael flew home today. And it warmed up to +1°C. (That’s just above melting.) So I finally walked down to the airport to get the darned car. Actually, I walked down twice because I was almost there the first time when I realized I hadn’t brought along my credit card with which to pay the parking fee.

As I approached the area where Michael had told me he’d parked the car it hit me that not only had we had a week of 30-below weather, we’d also had a huge dump of snow. And yesterday was an incredibly windy day, with snow drifting across the highways and building up on inanimate objects.

Do you see where this is going?

Image

Well, the photo is not that dramatic, I suppose, but there is a snow drift a good 20 inches deep there. (Oh, there I go using Imperial measurements. Canadians are nothing if not inconsistent with measuring conventions.)

Thank goodness we always keep a small shovel in the back of the car. I spent a good 10 minutes tunnelling my way through that drift so I could get the car out. My anticipated 25-minute errand to get the car turned into an hour-long saga.

But at least parking there all week only added up to a whopping $9.00.

Dish logic

7 Oct

While washing dishes this morning, I was thinking about Tim Minchin’s graduation address, in which he compares ideological political debaters to two tennis players trying to win a match by lobbing balls over a net at opposite ends of separate tennis courts.

“How apt,” I thought. “It’s the perfect metaphor for the very thing I’ve often….” My line of thought was suddenly interrupted. “But he said, ‘It’s like two tennis players’, so in fact, he was using a simile.”

A smug, self-satisfied internal smile ensued from some smart-ass part of my brain.

“But that doesn’t make any sense,” I argued with myself. “Because, it’s very clear that comparing tennis players to debaters is actually a metaphor. And in fact, if you think about it, a simile must be just one type of metaphor.”

A quick run over to Google confirms.

The Oxford Companion to the English Language (1992) pp.653–55:

METAPHOR … (1) All figures of speech that achieve their effect through association, comparison, and resemblance. Figures like antithesis, hyperbole, metonymy, simile are all species of metaphor.

I remember very clearly being taught that similes and metaphors were two different things. I wonder if that’s been refined now in our school system, or if there’s some standardized test somewhere that insists one is not the subset of the other.

This is the kind of ridiculous thing I think about while washing dishes. Kinda nice to let your mind wander down shady, overgrown paths on occasion.

Oooooh, a metaphor!

The first time I (almost) married

10 Aug

When I was in Grade 3, I had a giant crush on a boy in my class. Joel liked me, too. He would hang out with me and my best friend, Tanya, at recess. He would tease me in class. He would bring me little gifts: a lipstick, for example, or a bottle of nail polish. (Both of these used and more than likely stolen from his mother’s dresser; it seems that even in childhood, all’s fair in love and war.)

One day Tanya and I were playing house in the schoolyard. There was plenty of snow and we planned out an elaborate house with a living room, kitchen, halls, and bedrooms. We stomped down the snow in our house to make the rooms, and built up the snowy walls to further define them. Joel joined us in our game and by the end of recess the house was complete. As our crowning achievement, Joel and I decided to get married at the next recess, with Tanya acting as the officiant.

I don’t know how it happened, but word spread through the classroom and by afternoon recess, I found that the entire class was in attendance for the wedding.

I was mortified. What had begun as a sweet game with the boy I liked suddenly became a public exhibition. I couldn’t take it. I ran away and hid from my class for the rest of that recess break.

Poor Joel. My desertion had humiliated him and he never really spoke to me again. I always felt rather sorry… but I guess I learned to be careful about who I agreed to marry.

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