Sunday, February 12, 2017

Ketogenic Hospital Stay plan

So much stuff. I can justify it all though.....
We were thankful to be allowed to arrive this evening as check in was officially set for 8am Monday morning. It was much nicer coming this evening with the whole family (I couldn't imagine trying to leave at 6:30am). It helped having all the girls to help carry bags in, and good for them to all see where we will be. Brendon dropped all the females off at the entrance and then went to park with Hezekiah. Hezekiah was so excited about going in the Health Shuttle from the parking. :-)

I will attempt to keep you all posted as the week progresses, so this makes a good place to do that.

A good day for this treat. It will be a long time before
Asher can have fish and chips again.
The first obvious question may be "why are you in hospital for this". And the simple answer is to keep Asher safe. This is not a diet you can just do on your own. It is very carefully monitored by a dietitian and is extremely complex. I will try and give you a basic idea of how it works and what the plan is.

The basics of the Ketogenic diet is that you have high fat intake, but very low protein and carbohydrate. What this does, is it tricks your body into thinking you are starving and so your body uses fat to produce ketones, which becomes your body's fuel (because there is not enough carbohydrates or protein in your diet for that).  These ketones somehow manage to help control seizures. This diet has been used for almost 100 years for people with epilepsy and in recent years has had a lot of research done to help understand it more.

I'm already glad I have that heavy bag with puzzles.
There are different forms of the diet being used, and often a ratio is referred to. When we talk about 4:1 ratio - it means 4 parts of fat to just 1 part of carbohydrates and protein.

During our time in hospital, Asher's Blood Sugar and Ketone levels will be checked 6 hourly. Once we are home we will test these levels every morning and every night.

So this is the plan. Tomorrow morning Asher will start on a 1:1 ratio diet. Her "food" over the next week will be a keto shake, which will be made precisely to the ratio the dietitian determines. To help you understand the detail involved, once we are home and making food, we will be using a scale that measures to .10g (a tenth of a gram) to make sure we get the ration exactly right.

It will all depend on how Asher's body reacts to the ratio as to how quickly and how much the ration needs to be changed. The plan to start with is to move to 2:1 ration on Tuesday and then 3:1 ratio on Wednesday. The ratio may then even have to move to 4:1. We know we will be in hospital for at least 3 days, but it may be up to 5. The dietitian will be constantly watching her blood results and knows what good levels of ketones we are aiming for. At this stage we have no idea of what ratio Asher's body will produce good levels of ketones. So we have to just take it one day at a time.

It's nice and quiet in the ward today, so Asher got to put on two of her DVDs (onto the system so she could watch on the TV - I have the laptop as a backup). That really helped her settle in. I think being camping last weekend also helped her settle for bed quickly tonight (she really struggled the first night at camp). She saw her familiar items (Dora pillow, dog teddy, Barnie blanket) and got to sleep really quickly. I'm really thankful for this.

Thank you to all those who are praying for us through this week. We really appreciate it.

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