Placebo First Aid

Every incident requires a bandaid. A wipeout in the road causes a scrape. The fix is a bandaid. An imperceptible maybe jammed finger requires one too. It hurts. Therefore it needs a bandaid.

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In this case, causation doesn’t matter. What matters is how to make it feel better. Early on, I found much success in kisses. They were an accepted method of restoring health for not serious wounds. The more real injuries Fleur obtained, the less acceptable kisses were to hurts.

Placebos are powerful tools for healing. The brain being suggestible can run with them and cause impressive healing. Medicine accounts for them in efficacy studies as any time the patient believes in the cure, they can heal.

Our placebo bandaid are a cheap box of 100 I found. They barely stick. And fall off after a few hours. Just after the toddler has forgotten about the injury. In fact, if the complaint persists past the placebo bandaid, then I misjudged the injury.

Meander

Walking with a toddler is less exercise unless you mean in patience. There is constant stopping along the route.

I only just noticed the pauses are for very specific places. Fleur is really going to the places to:

  1. Get something (a flower, a rock, a stick)
  2. See if something changed (a sign)
  3. Play with a person or animal

Her purpose on the walks is not really to go do one of these. She goes to hit them ALL. So this go quickly to the end of the neighborhood and back is not in her purpose.

We ask if she wants to go see one of them and she probably says yes. But that doesn’t mean avoiding the rest. I need to try enticing her to the next stop.

Inside Perspective

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Fleur asks for walks now. In another part of the neighborhood, there is a puppy who runs along the fence. Fleur runs back and forth along the fence because the puppy chases. This is great for tiring out the toddler right before either lunch/naptime or dinner/bedtime.

The neighbor one day let us inside the fence. He had setup horseshoes which surprisingly works well played with social distancing. While he and I played, Fleur got to get chased by her puppy friend. And found that the inside perspective is very, very different.

The puppy is a biter. And outweighs the toddler. My wife had a handful keeping the puppy from knocking Fleur down & getting scared from the attention. She is generally fearless (danger doesn’t phase her), so she still wants to go see the puppy every day.

Sharing is Caring II

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In the original post, Sharing is Caring, I wrote about how I got Fleur to try new things by imitation of my eating them then how it morphed into her feeding me when she didn’t want it.

Now, my wife is concerned about my loss of weight. It has been about eight pounds in the past two weeks. Since discovering it and given that so much is up in the air, I have become more cognizant about what may have changed.

  • The familial isolation: we are holed up at home and limiting our going out. One would think that would mean being more sedentary, but I found that I burned 1200 to 1600 more calories on days where I stayed home with Fleur than days where I went to work without going to the gym.
  • Fleur play: To help Fleur sleep, we need her to be as active as possible. That means going outside and getting her to run and jump and move.
  • Dietary habits: At work, I typically ate breakfast, a morning snack, lunch, and an afternoon snack. I might miss the morning snack if things got busy but that is because I had a 3 hour window between breakfast and lunch and really I needed more time between the two. I am finding I typically miss the snacks at home because I am juggling work and toddler.

But, then there is also the toddler. She wants my food. We endeavor to give her the same food we eat at dinner. However, the food on my plate is the BEST food. She always wants it over what is in front of her. She especially wants my portions of her favorites. Portion control goes out the window when the toddler is taking some random amount of them.

Pandemic

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When I was not much older than my daughter, I contracted a bacterial infection that gave me meningitis. I was in a coma for a couple weeks. As were several other kids. Contact tracing pointed to the same playground. The story I was told was most of the other kids died, but somehow I survived. The recovery was just as difficult in that I had to relearn walking, talking, etc.

Seeing there is now a vaccine made me extremely happy it is on the schedule. No families should have to go through this nightmare.

In the current pandemic, the tables are turned. I am less worried about her than I am the adults she loves and who care for her. We are doing the social isolation as best we can. Hunkered down. Limiting our trips out of the house.

Compressed sleep

As long as I can remember, going to sleep an hour or two later means waking up earlier than normal so I get 5-6 hours of sleep. I didn’t realize there was a pattern until almost 40. And even since it still boggles that it exists. It seems logical that going to sleep later should result in waking later. Maybe at the same time with aid of an alarm. But, for me, it means waking up before the alarm.

Going to sleep too early also means 5-6 hours of sleep. So, if I go to sleep at say 9pm, then I wake up between 2-3am. I probably am fully awake but tired for a few hours. I will crash hard and need another few hours of sleep to feel rested.

Let’s hope this is not genetic.

Protect your back

man holding kettlebells

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It is a good thing before having the toddler in my life, I spent time in the gym learning to squat. I find that I use the kettle bell squatting form in picking her up. Bend the knees down such my thighs are parallel to the ground, pull her into my chest, and push up with the legs. The goal is to keep the back straight and carry the load of the kid vertically along the spine as it was designed. Pulling the spine horizontally will cause back pain. Kettle bells do not squirm.

Of course, the day after Leg Day, it is silent pain to pick her up.

And, being older, I ought to make sure to protect my back.

Tryptophan, insulin, and melatonin

toddler lying on pink fleece pad

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A few times now, I have gotten Fleur to sleep right after eating lunch. I know the daycare times it this way. It seemed arbitrary until I tried it and found it easy to get her to sleep.

Then I remembered something I read a while ago: Meats contain tryptophan. Fruits and sweets contain carbohydrates. At Thanksgiving and Christmas, we eat feel drowsy because of eating both. The carbohydrates prompts the release of insulin to use the branched-chain amino acids in rebuilding muscle, but the tryptophan is left behind. The tryptophan is metabolized into serotonin which is metabolized into melatonin. The last is what gives us that drowsy feel.

So, I now suspect the trick to getting the little one to take that nap is to get her full and use the excess melatonin as another nudge to “Go the #$@! to sleep!” That may also mean supper needs to be right before the bath when the neurotransmitter is maxed out.

The cookie

cookies on square white ceramic plate

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My father has a favorite story about me. Not sure when it happened, but it probably was around Christmas.

We were at my maternal grandmother’s house with extended family visiting. I ask my mother for a cookie. She says, “No.” So, I go into the kitchen looking upset. My grandmother asks why I look so upset. I tell her about not being able to get a cookie, so she gives me three. I walk back into the living room right in front of my mother to eat these cookies. She naturally reacts as any mother would about my having defied her and asks why. Taking my time by eating and talking at the same time, I tell her: Well, <munch-munch> Nannie gave them to me. <munch-munch> I have to do what you say. <munch-munch> And you have to do what Nannie says.

I totally expect my mother to exact her revenge by having Fleur do this to me.

Viruses might pass through the placenta

brown and white bear plush toy

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Some researchers found the cold virus can infect two different cells that pass through the placenta and leveraging them as a Trojan horse of sorts. It had been though it blocked harmful things from passing through. Their work was done with a cold virus, but they think it applicable to RSV and Zika. In the case of RSV, it might explain some asthma cases if it were to attack the fetus’ lungs.