you have feet

by thankfeldenkrais

In the same way that I am left in a puddle beaten by cerebral palsy,
Overwhelmed by the sheer mass of expectations,
Of not knowing which area to focus my time,
Of how to fit in everything that is asked of Isaac,
Of myself,
Exacerbated by the newest addition tucked soundly into a possum pouch.
Unable to see how I can possibly fulfill it all to a level of satisfaction,
Blinded by all the things he will never be able to do,
Saddened by all that which his baby sister will.
I get a rush of optimism,
A flooding of clear direction,
Of purpose,
And confident that I can be this person,
To dedicate myself to him,
Seeing the skies the limit,
And truly believing everything will be alright,
For him,
For me,
And for our little family.

And those are the times I am most grateful for.

The lists in my note book are dot point clear,
And our practitioner is equally on the pulse,
Filled with specific games to help unwrap more of himself.
By opening up the weakness from Botox,
There is a looking glass effect into what organisation Isaac is prone to,
And which elements are profoundly absent.
And the theory behind the injections,
Still being that his body will fight against itself less,
With the dampening of contraction,
Allowing a clearer pathway to redirect learning.

The most prominent still,
Is for him to find his lower leg.
And one fun and effective way is discovering his ability to kick.
Which while in standing wouldn’t be advised at this stage,
Due to it invoking too much effort,
Causing undue stiffening through his entire body –
In seated kicking a ball is ideal,
As we can facilitating the kicking action from the knee down,
Help show him what it feels like,
How it is possible,
And he can try without too much strain,
So long as we bring awareness to his habitual act of squeezing,
And make a note that he doesn’t need to in order to perform the task.

Furthermore lying on his tummy,
Bending the legs to bring feet to bottom,
And kicking the lower leg up and down,
In the same vein of throwing a tantrum,
Or splashing in the shallow of a pool.
Powerfully Isaac’s system rejects this action initially,
As something so foreign it shouldn’t be trusted,
Until then there is a point where it suddenly responds,
And he does it well.
And in this case practice makes perfect.

We want him on his legs,
Side walking,
At the ballet bars,
And in the walker with a narrow gait.

And we want him to feel his lower leg,
So we begin experimenting without AFO’s –
Which by design are for rigidity and stability,
Holding the foot in a locked embrace.
But as I continue to learn –

Walking,
Like all function,
Is dynamic.

And that includes all of you,
Being able to make the subtle shifts in weight,
To be able to feel the parts of yourself,
Right down to your smallest ankle bones.

And to our delight,
After our practitioner works on his feet and legs,
Isaac walks beautifully,
Barefoot,
And noticeably there is an improvement even in the shape of his foot,
And shows very little ankle rolling.

barefoot-walking-2014

And once more I feel that surge of adrenaline,
At his potential,
And at unlocking yet another potential key to his progress.
For all the work performed on him,
And games played with him,
We were turning around and placing hard plastic casings,
Back onto his lower limb,
And asking him to make it part of himself,
When very little,
If any,
Sensory feedback can take place.

I want to immediately throw away his AFO’s,
In revelation,
But instead we take a practical approach,
And seek out a podiatrist,
Who can help us find a supportive pair of shoes,
Which do not compromise a dynamic movement within the foot.

piedro boots.jpg

And we find them,
Piedro boots,
With custom inner soles,
Allowing a freedom we’ve not yet seen when walking,
And the added bonus,
Still allow him to crawl comfortably unlike in AFO’s.

Thus letting Isaac feel his feet as part of himself,
And in turn providing the right feedback to his nervous system,
That yes in fact,
You have feet.

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