a spillover effect

by thankfeldenkrais

It’s eleven days post botox injections,
When we see our practitioner again,
And the immediate reaction is positive,
As we help Isaac walk up the path towards the red door of the session room.

He has a soft fluid action in walking,
Almost floppy,
But that was to be expected,
As he negotiates with this new sense of self.

He manages to do great dynamic standing,
Seeing a very different behaviour from the feet,
With limited roll in,
Knees are straightening well,
And over a bolster he is getting great pelvic tilt.

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The excitement at this new found pliability is tarnished however,
Once off his feet,
As it becomes apparent how by virtually eliminating his adductor muscles,
His ability to crawl has been severely compromised,
As he struggles to bring his knees in from a wide sprawl,
Unable to get the height off the ground,
Or a reciprocal action of bringing the knees forward under his hips,
Due to the excessive weakness.

And while his right arm is suddenly completely compliant,
Turning and twisting this way and that,
Supination now easy to create for him,
But seemingly at the cost of the arm pulling back behind him drastically,
Unable to reach forward,
And gone is the ability to bend the arm at the elbow completely,
Instead he has to almost throw his arm forward by induced effort at the chest and shoulder.
He is terribly confused at this inability to control it,
An extremely foreign appendage to him now.

And I start to really panic when we notice,
How he can no longer open his eyes properly,
As the lids droop into his vision,
A fixed sleepy expression written on his face.

His system over run,
Fatigue now dominating like never before,
The demand on his brain seemingly too much.

In my fit of fear I’m on the phone to the paediatrician,
Begging for answers,
Imagining the worst,
Unable to breath at the possibilities of it.

But I’m greeted with reassurance,
That while it sounds like Isaac is experiencing a spillover effect,
Where his muscle bulk wasn’t big enough to hold the dosage injected,
And so it seeps out into the rest of his system,
It will wear off in time,
And he shouldn’t experience any other negative side effects.

But my stomach churns regardless of those words,
Unable to see past my own guilt of allowing,
Such a powerful,
Foreign substance to flood his precious,
Already fragile nervous system.

I want to scream,
At the fear of getting nothing right,
At witnessing losing function rather than gaining it.

And yet our practitioner with a comforting confidence,
Highlights more of the beneficial elements we have seen,
At how once the botox has time to wear-off slightly,
We will be in a good position to retrain all the opposing muscle groups,
That haven’t played a role in Isaac’s repertoire thus far.
And next time he can receive a much lower dose.

I feel my heart rate slow,
As I step back from my anxiety,
I haven’t broken my baby,
I haven’t ruined all that we’ve worked so hard to achieve,
And within a few weeks,
I might even forgive myself for this ordeal.

And Isaac may even find muscles,
He didn’t even know he had.

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And in the mean time I’ll cross my fingers and toes,
And take him out for cake.

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