Monday, January 28, 2008

We're set to star the Keto Diet!

Well, we have our start date for the Keto Diet: February 12.

Lily will be admitted to Children's for four days. During those four days, she'll start out with a short fast, then will begin eating Keto Meals at 1/3 her calculated calories, then 2/3 her calories, and the last two days will be at "full strength". I expect her to be somewhat crabby as she's a girl who Likes To Eat.

(Originally, we were looking at a start date of 2/5 which is Super Tuesday...selfishly, I'm thrilled to wait a week so I can keep my date w/my good friend Amy to watch Super Tuesday coverage all day & then have dinner w/our husbands while we watch returns. Gotta have SOME adult time, right?)

We've begun preparing for the diet by introducing some keto meals to Lily. We've offered her diluted heavy cream to drink (she likes), made some keto "chocolate milk" (diluted cream w/sugar free chocolate flavoring & a couple drops of Stevia), scrambled eggs slathered in butter (not a huge hit), and Keto Egg Nog (she liked that). I'm also getting used to lookign at EVERY label of food and discerning what has hidden carbs in it (lots of stuff!). I'm putting together my list of items to purchase before starting the diet (I need new measuring spoons and lots of little plastic containers to store stuff). I've finished reading Keto Kid, and am about 1/2 way through The Ketogenic Diet by John Freeman (aka: the keto diet bible!). I'm putting together a whole "keto diet folder" with recipes, information, and lots of other stuff that I can keep in the kitchen and take to appointments with me.

While Lily is in the hospital, I think I'm going to see if there's a social worker or someone who could spend a little time with me & Hank to help explain to him about Lily's diet, and why she needs all this special care & attention. I noticed him mimicking her spasms the other day (doing a head drop & then fake cry). I don't think it was to get attention, I think it really was just trying it on. He didn't seem to really want us to notice that he was doing it. I didn't make a big deal about it, but we did talk a little about it. He's very aware of Lily & her condition, and I think it is important to not let those feelings of his get lost in the shuffle. Fortunatley, during our hospital stay we aren't confined to our room so we can all go play in the playroom or perhaps even take a dip in the therapy pool.

Now that we've decided to move forward with this, I kind of just wish we didn't have to wait these last two weeks. The waiting & anticipation is hard!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Long time no post!

I'm such a bad blogging mama! It's been ages since I've checked in. Rather than recapping the past six months, I'm just going to give a quick summary of where were at, and then start updating from here.

Ganaxolone - Study Med
Lily continues on Ganaxolone. She is currently at the highest dose the drug company will allow, and it is helping reduce the # of seizures, but has not made us seizure free.

Lily had a 24-hour EEG last month which indicated that she was A) still having spasms, and B) still having hypsarrhythmia. Bummer. But we already knew 50% of that, right? She's having a "hypsarrhythmia variant" which essentially means it's a more organized hyps, due to her growing up. Our neurologist said that while it was different than a year ago, it was not improved. Big bummer.

Therapy/Early Intervention/Pre School
In November/December, we made the decision to discontinue Lily's therapies through Wonderland, and instead enroll her in a private therapy center. We were sad to leave our therapists at Wonderland (although we maintain contact with them), but we're SO happy we made the switch. Lily's needs are so great that the model Wonderland had adopted just wasn't enough for her. Now she gets direct, intense physical therapy twice a week, and speech/OT once a week. We're very happy with this.

We are also enrolled in the once a week preschool class at Little Red. Last fall I tried desperately to find a good preschool program for the twins, but there just wasn't anything to accomodate Lily's needs. I finally called the people at Little Red just in tears, and they made arrangements for us in their program. We are ETERNALLY grateful, and are so very happy there. Hank goes to a twice a week class on Monday & Wednesday, and Lily goes on Wednesdays (in a different class).

We're also facing our transition to the school district as the twins' 3rd birthday looms ever closer. The Shoreline School district (where we live) has an adequate special ed program, however they don't enroll typical "peer models" (ie: Hank), so the twins would have to go to different schools. Not my ideal situation, not to mention very inconvenient! Also, Shoreline is experiencing a "budget crisis" and have significantly cut funding for Special Ed. I've talked with some people also, parents & others who have experience with the district, and the reviews are mixed. So we're exploring options on this front as well, including requesting an "intra-district transfer" (meaning she'd go to school in a different district), and/or moving to a different district.

I constantly joke that I need to make myself a t-shirt that says "Yes, I am THAT parent." LOL!

What's going on now
So, where do we go from here? Well, we're most likely starting Lily on the Ketogenic Diet (click link for Wiki about the diet). We met with the dietician yesterday to get a sense of the diet and how the program works at Children's. We enjoyed our discussion with her, and feel hopeful that the diet will be a good move for Lily.

We're weaning her off Prednisone (FINALLY), so she'll soon only be on the Ganaxolone & Topamax. Hopefully if the diet is successful, we can eventually wean off Topamax and/or Ganaxolone (though Topamax would be my 1st choice).

Aside from all the medical, seizure related stuff, Lily is a gem. She walks around (unsteadily; we call her our little Pinball!) and likes to pick stuff up off the floor. She loves toys that shake/rattle, make music and/or light up. She will occasionally sit still to look at a picture book. We're working very hard on trying to get her to put objects into a container. She's good at taking stuff out, but doesn't seem to understand putting them in.

She was great with the Christmas tree! She would try & touch it but responded when we would say "No, no Lily!" in our "warning" voice. Frankly, we had a harder time with Hank & the tree than we ever did with Lily!

She still isn't the best sleeper. She takes a while to fall asleep and then generally wakes up once in the night for an hour or so. She's also the 1st to rise every day, usually an hour or more before her brother.

One of my goals for the year is to be better about blogging about Lily. I know there are people who check here every day (you know who you are!), and who care so much about Lily. I hope to be better about this than I was last year. :)