stand the feldenkrais ground
While I’m at Feldenkrais,
It all just makes sense.
I say it again and again.
My heart beats at a steadier pace,
I ask questions,
I challenge theory,
To which free educational conversation ensues.
It’s encouraged of me,
The more I seek,
The more I can find,
The more I find,
The more I can offer Isaac.
But when at other appointments,
I feel the sweat creeping up,
The way my pulse begins to rise,
And I start to feel like I’m not doing everything I can for him.
They have this effect on me,
Don’t like the be challenged,
And have a way of convincing me to follow their path,
And it’s a crossroads I find myself at regularly.
In this instance,
To cast or not the cast?
I’m told of the ill-effects of static stretching,
A non-function fete,
Of which nothing is learned,
Via Feldenkrais Method.
But conventionally the thought of lengthening,
To allow better function,
Still domineering the CP world.
And I’m terrified to not give Isaac every opportunity.
Our practitioner all too aware of the challenges we parents face,
The constant state of battle we are in.
And with perfect reasoning explains why such approach is potentially pointless,
But is the first to say try it if you want to see.
For everything is to a degree trial and error,
As tomorrow isn’t promised to anyone.
So out of fear,
Out of a sense of hope,
Isaac has both legs cast for three days,
Fixed in dorsi-flexion,
To “lengthen” his calf muscles and Achilles Tendon.
Red like Astro Boy,
He shows his strength of character,
Obliges with three days of trying to manipulate his way through space with weights strapped to his slight legs,
Contends with the broken sleep for not being able to roll to find comfort,
Stands in the frame for weight-bearing,
Does all the recommended exercises to maximise outcomes.
Three days pass,
We soak his cast feet in buckets of warm water,
Only to find red raw blisters at the heels,
Feet that look somewhat atrophied and lifeless,
And three days of mobility he can’t ever get back.
We continue with all the post casting activities,
To which we see no apparent gains,
And feet that need to work again to feel a sense of belonging to the rest of him.
Everything our Feldenkrais practitioner predicted,
And yet the Cerebral Palsy affiliates,
Don’t want to hear about it,
Have an excuse specifically for Isaac,
As to why he blistered,
Why he lost function rather than gained,
Why we didn’t do enough to see a result.
But I grow more skeptical as the excuses fall,
More convinced I need to trust my gut,
Trust the evidence in our approach,
And not be bullied,
Or frightened into that which I understand to be futile.
But I am only human,
Can only stand up to so many fights,
And can’t promise that I won’t get pushed over again in the future.
But for Isaac’s sake,
I really hope I find a way,
To stand the Feldenkrais ground.