Thursday, November 18, 2010

Life After Keto

It's been eight days since we said farewell to the keto way of life. I mean that literally too. It wasn't just a diet, but really and truly an entire life change. From calculating the meals to the these meals actually controlling what we could do and when, we had to shift the way we lived for over eight months.

And I'm still adjusting. Austin's doing a much better job at it than I am. The giggles at meal time tell me so. Don't get me wrong, I'm not missing the diet (at all), I'm just still trying reset my mind to regular life again. I still wake up in the morning and immediately look at the clock in fear that we may have overslept for Austin's breakfast, because that one meal sets the tone for our entire day. Meal spacing was very very important. If breakfast was late, lunch was usually late. If lunch was late then his snack was too, etc. As crazy as it may sound, the time he ate his breakfast affected what time he would be going to bed that night. Or, when I could get out and run errands, or whether therapies would be interrupted. The meals ran my life. Now, it's about getting back that spontaneity that I forgot about and not feeling like we're on lockdown anymore.

I'm still very hesitant about sweets and sugars. Honestly, Austin never really got full doses of that kind of stuff anyway. Everything I bought pre-keto was usually already the "no sugar added" or "unsweetened". When we started the weaning process, I imagined a pigfest of cakes and cookies and all the juice he could drink when it was over. So far he's had a few bites of cookie and he's still drinking water. But, hey, water's good. And now he loves the stuff. I see no reason to spoil him to tons of sugar where it will be a battle to get him to drink it willingly again. As far as the sweets go, the dietitian advised me to slowly add those in and to start with complex carbohydrates first. I'm really not in a big hurry to get that going like I thought I would be. The kid is happy just having his toast back!

As for the actual meals. That took me a bit too. I was really not expecting them to give me the green light on that particular day. I knew it was coming soon, but I wasn't sure exactly when. I hadn't been to the grocery store to stock up on Austin's old favorites yet, and I was still very much still stuck in keto-mode! So many people were anxious to know what I gave him for dinner that night. I'm pretty sure my mom cringed when I told her...salmon and broccoli & cheese (similar to a keto meal I would make him minus the oil and butter). I told her, But there's no oil and the butter was flavored with lemon! Oh, well. He enjoyed it.

It wasn't until the next day that the thought finally occurred to me that Austin could actually eat with us again. That I didn't have to make him his own "special dinner". Crazy, I know. But, when you live a certain way for so many months, it becomes normal. I've always been the first to admit that I'm not the biggest fan of cooking. I love the idea of cooking much more than the actual act of it. I dig the Food Network and love trying out new recipes...But, that's where my love of it ends. The day to day cooking...not so much. On the diet though, take out and cereal for dinner is not an option, no matter how tired or desperate for a night off you are. So, I'd be lying if I said my hubby didn't lack a home-cooked meal on a regular basis. The thought of cooking one more dinner would have sent me over the edge some days. Some days I would make up to twenty meals to prepare for the week, so Chad and I sometimes sacrificed because I was too pooped. He was probably just grateful he didn't have to manage the diet and prepare Austin's meals that he never once complained that it was chili dogs, sandwiches, or take out again for dinner. Bless him. lol

I have to say though, I've actually enjoyed cooking a little more over the last few days. Surprising Austin everyday with something new or an old favorite and getting his reactions have been worth it. After I (finally) made it to the grocery store, and cooked our first Austin included family dinner in over eight months, I couldn't have asked for a more delightful reaction. His laughing through the ENTIRE meal made scrubbing all those pots and pans no sweat. Hamburger steak with mushroom gravy, fresh baby spinach sauteed with garlic, onion, and bacon (we're Southern, bacon goes with everything -lol), mashed potatoes, and yeast rolls...The baby cleaned his plate with a smile. :) And let's not forget last night's first. Pot roast, carrots, and garlic & creamy potatoes (hey, I needed to use some of this cream I have left over..and yes, we (Southerners) love mashed potatoes very much -they too can go with just about anything)... Gosh, I sound like a facebook status where people are telling you what they're making for dinner. Any of you notice I've never done that? Because McD's is nothing to rave about! lol

And the seizures post-keto. Not what I would have hoped. Lord knows I didn't expect them to get better, but I was at least hoping they wouldn't get worse. It's been pretty rough. Whether or not it's because of stopping the diet, I can't say with certainty. It could be. Or it could be Austin's typical seizure cycling that he tends to do. Up and down to the point where you don't even know if meds are helping or not. When a change takes place, like a wean or med addition, I tend to "forget" how his seizures can fluctuate when there's been no change in anything for a while. I sometimes focus on the change that occurred and it's to blame (hence the Zonegran wean that took over a year). Truth is, there is a reason we chose to wean in the first place and it wasn't because of achieved seizure control. It was because on days like these, I thought why? Why put him and myself through this insane diet when he still has these days? And maybe stopping the diet is a teeny weeny bit to blame. We definitely saw great improvement at first. And maybe it was still helping to an extent and we didn't realize it. But, the risks of the diet (side effects such a ketoacidosis, elevated lipids, kidney stones, etc) were starting to outweigh the benefits. Not to mention the interference in his feeding skills and the strain it puts on the entire family. We probably saw a 50%+ reduction in seizures with a 100% reduction in drop seizures for the first two months. If you read this post, you know where I stand on that. I'd still be calculating, weighing, and scraping food right now.

We'll just have to wait this out and see....

No comments: