10 Jan

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.

10 Responses to “Ritual”

  1. David January 10, 2011 at 10:04 am #

    cool! This is such an excellent, innovative approach Fawn! Honesty – and a touch of positive reinforcement.
    I can only imagine the stress on both of you having to do this with the threat method. 😦
    Happy you’ve found a fun way to get the necessary done!

  2. Nemmy January 10, 2011 at 3:31 pm #

    Nice one!! 😀

  3. MommyTime January 10, 2011 at 5:32 pm #

    An excellent ritual. Also, so much better to follow the “ick” with stories than with the lack of them. 🙂 Good job, mama.

  4. Karyn January 10, 2011 at 7:54 pm #

    No more anti-siezure medications?! What wonderful progress! I remember when we left Whitehorse, Jade had gone about two weeks straight with no seizures while still on her medications-the longest she had ever gone. I remember how elated you and Michael were, and each additional day that passed with no seizures was another blessing.
    Fast forward a year and a half and it is great to hear that Jade is doing so well. What a fabulous little girl-we’re so happy that we got a chance to meet her (and the rest of you of course!)

  5. Sarah January 11, 2011 at 7:51 am #

    It’s in these little moments that you are a most phenomenal mother, Fawn. Big picture you are, too, but it’s the sum of all these types of moments.

  6. Captain Momma January 11, 2011 at 6:52 pm #

    Brilliant! I will be trying this with Levi to get down the vitamins!

  7. fawnahareo January 11, 2011 at 8:58 pm #

    Thanks, everyone! I don’t expect it will work forever, but for now, I’ll take it!

    Karyn, I’ve lost track now, but I think Jade’s been med-free for a little over a year. Every time we dropped a drug, she did better! We’ve had to adjust the diet a few times to deal with other issues, but it seems to be just right for now. 🙂

  8. Barbara January 12, 2011 at 5:34 am #


    Would you look at my response to your comment on my blog? (Made a little request.)

  9. shannon mac January 16, 2011 at 10:48 pm #

    this is such a smart idea. i know this is one of the strategies in ‘happiest toddler on the block’, sort of… i don’t use it often, but i do love the idea of when i see my daughter upset, rather than just trying to shut her up (cause there’s no possible negotiation), i try to feel her pain, and let her see that i get it, and repeat her feelings that she expresses… it doesn’t always work, BUT i do ALWAYS feel better about taking the time to acknowledge her side… it might not fix the situation, but i feel i am doing much more for her in the big picture…

  10. thejustlyenrichedlife October 27, 2012 at 8:32 pm #

    Hi Fawn. My mother-in-law just found a link to your blog and sent it my way. We are one month into the keto diet for our two year old son. I truly believe only someone who has actually had a child on the diet, and a toddler especially, can really understand what we are going through. Thank you for sharing your story and lessening the feeling of treading water in a lonely, choppy sea. With our little guy being only (actually, almost) two, we have really struggled with all the supplements. In many ways it is the trickiest part of the diet. He hates even the bugs bunny chewables. It is easier to get his clobazam into him! Our dietician has us sprinkling in some powdered Phlexy-Vits from Nutricia but again it is a challenge and I just noticed there doesn’t seem to be any potassium citrate! hmmm He does consume 30 g of Keto-Cal (4:1) a day, so there is as least that. Although the amount of aspartame bothers me. This diet is so counter-intuitive as to what I feel I should be feeding my child. Bye Bye organic fruit — Hello bacon, kool-aid and aspartame. At least the coconut oil and 36% cream are organic… I am also wondering, he has only been on it a month and we are seeing some decrease in frequency, could it still get better or is this as good as it will get? (I know you are not a doctor, but in your experience)

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