Life in a Northern Town

2018 brings us to Trondheim, Norway! We’re here on a sabbatical for 6 months until July. For me, Christy, and Anders, this is a homecoming of sorts, as we lived here in 2004-2005.

Things are going well for our family. Nora continues to thrive and has integrated nicely into the local school. I’ve had some apprehension about living abroad with Nora: new foods, new routines, and away from our familiar foods and resources. And such a trip would have been unthinkable a few years ago. But we’ve adapted, and, so far, so good.

Disembarking the airplane with Nora in Trondheim, our new home for 6 months.

Trondheim in the evening light. It’s a beautiful city.

Snow! Still a novelty for Anders and Nora, as it rarely snows in Corvallis, and rarely enough for sledding.

First day of school. I was so impressed with Nora in her courage in starting school in a different country, away from her friends and her native language. The school was so kind about accommodating her.

We’ve also found the Norwegians to be very accommodating of Nora’s dietary restrictions. In general, they seem to very aware of gluten and peanut (and other allergy) concerns — we see it frequently on menus — so it’s been easy to extend that to Nora. We generally don’t explain the whole keto diet idea, but simply state that she must have reduced sugar.

At this point we’ve slightly liberalized Nora’s bread allowance, to the point where I feel comfortable with a limited amount of bread-heavy foods like pizza that come with a large dose of cheese or other fat/protein.

Nora prepares some hot chocolate: half cream, half whole milk, about a teaspoon or two of cocoa powder and a little bit of honey to taste.

Taking a break from skiing with a peanut butter and jam sandwich. We’ve found a great whole grain and seed bread at the local grocery storage with high fibre, high protein, and about equal amounts of net carbs and fat. With some peanut butter, butter and brown cheese, or with melted Jarlsberg cheese, it makes a good low-carb friendly snack.

Another day of skiing and a break at the ski cabin, which has a sitting/warming area and a cafe. We are enjoying waffles with jam and brown cheese. I can’t say this is terribly low-carb friendly. Well, let’s be honest, it’s not. But we try to load it up with as much fat and protein as we can. At this point for Nora I try to focus more on a healthy day-to-day routine, and trust that she has some ability to absorb the occasional sweet treat. Note, this is not acceptable when applying the diet strictly for seizure control. In that case, we feel strict consistency is extremely important; no cheating! However, with Nora now having almost 6 years of seizure freedom and several of those years off strict keto, hopefully we can trust she is solid.

Nora re-enacts a Say Yes to the Dress scene with Beanie-Boos.

Nora enjoys some fish soup way up north at the ice hotel in Alta, well north of the Arctic Circle. We took a trip up here to enjoy the arctic environment, visit friends, do some dogsledding, and stay in the Sorrisniva ice hotel.

Family portrait with the Northern Lights outside of the ice hotel in Alta, Norway. This was actually a pretty mild display. When Christy and I lived here in 2004, we were once treated to a phenomenal, otherworldly, indescribable display in Tromsø, Norway.

Some sort of winter Olympics-inspired event involving a duster. Nora has been happy and energetic.

She has adapted well to life here, as have we.  The plan for now is to continue with a processed-sugar-avoidance diet for Nora, and hopefully she will continue to thrive!

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

4 thoughts on “Life in a Northern Town

  1. Thank you for sharing your journey. Our soon-to-be 4 year old recently had a focal grand mal seizure with strong headache, sleepiness, and upset stomach. The EEG was inconclusive. She had another episode this past weekend without a visible seizure, but we were in the hospital for 3 days. We have another EEG on Thursday and I’m researching the Keto diet. I hate not knowing what’s going on. We moved to Hamburg, Germany, 2 years ago from SF; so please let me know if you’d like to visit!

    • Thanks for reaching out! We certainly encourage you to investigate the keto diet, but typically for a newly presented epilepsy the doctors will want to try some of the mainline epilepsy drugs first. These drugs, like Keppra or Depakote, are regarded as safe and well tolerated, so they may definitely be worth a try before jumping in to keto. Keto usually enters the picture after two or more of the main drugs have failed.

      However, when and if you do decide to try keto, please feel free to reach out to us. We’d love to help.

      And please accept my sympathy during this time. I know it is so frustrating and difficult to watch our little ones go through this with so much uncertainty. Hang in there; it will be OK in the end.

  2. I wrote the Corvallis Gazette-Times articles years ago about Nora and the keto diet. Something reminded me of her yesterday, and so I checked today to see if you still had this blog going to see how she has been. I’m so delighted that she has been seizure-free for so long and that she has been able to loosen her diet. You are an amazing family, and I feel honored to have met you.

    • Thank you Canda! We have many times used that article to provide people (teachers, etc…) with background on Nora’s situation. Thank you for being a part of the story!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *