There is an immediate softness to Isaac’s muscles,
Of the right arm brachioradialis and pronator,
Both leg adductors,
From the botulinum toxin injections,
Surprising me by its instantaneous power.
But a mere twenty-four hours is far too soon,
To expose what his function could become.
Although we’re told to continuously stretch Isaac,
For optimal effect,
I’m promptly on the phone to our practitioner,
To discuss our game plan,
For every mention of stretching muscles,
Has my gut churning in the knowledge through Feldenkrais,
That it does not on its own improve function.
And as always I am not disappointed by the wisdom passed to me,
Frantically trying to absorb every ounce,
Scribbling rapidly in my notebook,
So not to miss a thing.
And what I write down in bold and highlight,
Is that it’s all about,
The arriving to the position that is key,
Not just the finished action.
In standing it is about shifting his weight back onto his heels slowly,
Then side to side,
To have a long supportive leg,
Allowing the other leg to become unweighted,
Leading to the ability to step through effectively,
Not about being strapped still in standing.
It’s about the process of the knees going backward,
Bottom raising higher,
As the heels meet the ground,
And in barefoot so the feeling of the heels contact with the ground is prominent,
Sending feedback to the brain to recognise the existence of the hind foot.
The added length of the hamstrings,
Isn’t simply to allow long leg sitting,
Which seems to be a physiotherapists obsession for children with CP,
But about stopping the fight between the hamstring at the sit bone,
Which pulls them too short,
Creating the squatted bent leg.
To optimise this new relationship granted by botox,
It’s the raising of the bottom in standing,
That micro movement,
Which will elevate Isaac into standing,
That will give him long term improvement in function.
And it is always an encouragement.
Nothing is forced.
The act of going through space and back again.
Nothing detained in place.
And it’ll be about giving him time to reorganise his entire system again,
Now that it’s a completely different sensory organistion than before.