1) No meat or fish
2) No alcohol
3) No Coca-Cola or similar fizzy drinks
4) No store bought juice or smoothie
I was planning on writing more yesterday, but was interrupted by a call from Bob asking if I could come to the hospital; Jamie needed to go to A&E because he was having frequent absence seizures - not quite the full-blown falling over and shaking a lot fits, but a lot worse than the 20-30 second absences which are a pretty routine part of his life.
At this point, we're pretty good at getting him through Triage and admitted into A&E. Within about 10 minutes of entering he is on a gurney and about 30 minutes later he gets the first of two injections of Lorazepam, along with oxygen and a hydration drip. He also gets blood & urine taken, and a chest x-ray. In the past Lorazepam has generally meant being admitted to the ward for at least a day of observation, but the Doc today doesn't seem too keen to keep him around (probably rightly) and not much more than 2 1/2 hours after admission he's discharged.
Jamie is due to visit the GP tomorrow morning anyway, and Bob asks if I'll come along. I agree, though my value-add to proceedings is pretty limited. Overall, it's about 6 hours total of standing around; you don't mind, but it is basically dead time and there is a certain frustration there. We're pushing to have an emergency sedative prescribed so that we can avoid future trips to A&E, which are ultimately quite expensive - not for us specifically, since we are lucky to live in a country with free healthcare, but nonetheless.
Jamie was a very fussy eater as a child. Family often point out that he's much better now because, for example, he'll eat pizza whereas he didn't like it as a child, but truthfully he's not really much better - just a little less arbitrary. He's a known disdainer of vegetables, and not that into fruit either. In his flat this morning, I saw one bell pepper (from a bag of 3 admittedly), three pears (from a bag of 6), some tins of sweetcorn and a tin of baked beans. There may have been more in the freezer, but I doubt it. There are worse households than this. This is him trying.
Now in truth, scientific evidence that you can treat epilepsy through nutrition is patchy - not the same as nonexistent, there was a study on fish oil very recently which showed some promising results - http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/282192.php and there have been studies regarding other vitamins/minerals indicating positive outcomes. What needs to be borne in mind is that there are no silver bullets regarding epilepsy even in terms of medicines, and besides - someone on as many medications does surely need to get his quota of nutrients if nothing more. Given that I am not convinced Jamie is likely to get the nutrition he needs. I have been pushing for Jamie to take supplements for a while, only to be told that he needs to discuss them with the neurologist. That's very sensible, only that conversation never takes place either. We have such a complex relationship with the food we buy, prepare and eat and the relationships between those aspects is also complicated.
I think possibly the only piece of clothing I ever paid full-price for in the last few years, and is thus in my wardrobe is the Uniqlo Ultra-Light Down Vest in brown - http://www.uniqlo.com/uk/store/goods/131364.
It's been pretty invaluable, enabling me to survive February in Northern Denmark without an overcoat and more generally to go out with a tailored jacket rather than a coat almost the whole year. They appear to be oversized, a lot of people
I have toyed with the idea of buying one of their full jackets - the fact that they pouch up is a big plus, because 6-10 months of the year it will remain in that pouch. Overcoats come with overhead. I think the reason I have not is that Uniqlo's range has a fill power of around 640; more technical brands can go past 800 up to a 1000. That said, few technical jackets will cover a blazer so I think the full-length option is a good option for those who want to rest their wintercoat from time to time, or as an insurance policy for those who want to brave the weather without an overcoat but have one in the pocket.
The vest is now additionally available in a 'quilted' format - http://www.uniqlo.com/uk/store/goods/136933. No brown, navy or even dark green strangely, but the Dark Purple is pretty nice looking and some might want to brave some of the other colours. I might yet buy another one.
It feels to me that Uniqlo have not been that exciting for men for a year or so - a lot of their diffusion lines have been female-focussed, and whilst the Michael Bastian polos are nice (or some of them) - it just feels like they missed a step. The reissue of some of their Jil Sander collaboration pieces and the their Urban Sweats range designed by Alexandre Plokhov / Helmut Lang does seem to be a recognition that H&M has done a good job of muscling in on some of their hard won territory, and they are ready to fight again.
It was either the Hollies or Neneh Cherry who said that all you need is the air that you breathe. Now not to offend any lightarians who might be reading, but that isn't completely true. But it is useful to think about what we actually need, and I think we often forget to do that.
Now there's lots of different types of need, here I'm thinking bout the more basic types of needs - survival and safety, as defined by the psychologist Abraham Maslow. Now his hierarchy is hardly the last word on the matter: my understanding that his work has largely been supplanted by attachment theory in modern academia. But nonetheless I think it is useful to lay notions of self-actualisation to one side for a moment and think about what we need.
Now we can survive a day without food and water, infact we can survive about 4-7 days without water in reasonably hospitable conditions. I have encountered people who have dry-fasted for around 2 days without significant discomfort . But we need water - we can probably survive off the water in certain fruits and vegetables without having to actually drink the stuff, but let's not split hairs!
Fortunately for me, and probably for you, drinking water is pretty cheap - even if tap water isn't that great in your area, you can generally buy 2L of purified water for around half a US dollar - enough for a day by most counts. UK tap water is generally high quality, though a water filter doesn't do any harm.
You could go your whole life drinking nothing but pure water and you'd be fine. Probably more than fine. Now you might think you need caffeine in it, or sugar, or alcohol - and maybe you kinda do: a hardened alcoholic may well have a physical dependency that means going cold turkey would lead to death without medical intervention of otherwise tapering off. Caffeine and sugar withdrawal may well have side-effects too, though for a few days at most. The key difference is, of course, that we acquired those needs - we don't, pardon the expression, need to need these things.