Jade may no longer be taking anti-seizure medications (hurray!) but she still has a lot of pills to swallow every day. There’s her daily multivitamin, two different kinds of calcium, a carnitine supplement (that smells awful, but which she likes), a bubbling phosphate supplement, a laxative (because she has almost no fiber in her diet) and worst of all, three potassium-citrate pills, one that comes after breakfast, and the other two before bed.
Jade hates the K-Citra, and I don’t blame her. I tried one myself when she first got put on them and they are truly and spectacularly awful. They alter the acidity of her blood and reduce her chance of developing kidney stones to less than one percent. Since kidney stones are a pretty awful potential side effect of the ketogenic diet, we live with the daily struggle of getting those pills down.
We crush the pills, which makes them go down faster, but doesn’t make them any more pleasant. It got to the point where Jade would cry and cover her mouth whenever we approached her with them. We would threaten her with losing her bedtime story to get them down. Not very fun.
Then one day I told her, “Say: YUCK!”
And she said (heartily), “YUCK!”
And I said, “Say: ICK!”
And she said, “ICK!”
Me: “I don’t like that!”
Jade: “I don’t like that!”
Me: “Don’t put that in my mouth!”
Jade: “Don’t put that in my mouth!”
Me: “Down the hatch!”
Jade: “Down the hatch!”
And down they went. She made a face, but we cheered and chased it down with water, and… it wasn’t so bad.
For some reason, this ritual acknowledgement of how horrible the pills are make the whole process easier. Now we do it twice a day and we no longer have to threaten her with losing her bedtime story.
There is a lot of power in a little honesty.