many more side roads
While my life seems to be stuck on the repeat button,
I catch myself before I let the melancholy engulf me,
For it’s the only way,
We plug away,
At trying to instill new behaviour,
To rewrite an interrupted nervous system,
Plagued with weakness and high tone,
That insists on making learning particularly hard.
And hope we can make it stick.
As we work opportunistically on sit to stands,
Again and again,
Trying to break the back extension,
Trying to imprint in his movement pattern,
The action of coming forward,
When coming up to stand,
In order to truly give him an understanding of landing on to the feet,
Of dynamically weight bearing through his legs,
Wanting so badly for it to be readily available for him,
But instead leaves you wondering,
Why is it not as clear for him to do today as it was yesterday?
And the flow on effect into all aspects of his development,
Suddenly becoming apparent,
As his head throws powerfully back into extension,
The jaw drops dramatically open,
And the words his lips were beginning to form well,
Are now stuck in his throat,
Unable to break free.
And you can’t help but feel completely devastated,
Because you did the practice with him,
You made sure you did all the right things to make them audible.
But still they remain unspoken.
And the brutal reality of brain injury,
Comes swaggering back,
To remind you that retaining skills is hard,
That the system becomes overloaded very easily,
As one area of acquisition improves,
Another will fall,
And for a plethora of other reasons which we speculate over,
One day his body responds,
And another day it won’t.
And instead of having a tantrum,
And swearing at the world,
We have to simply soldier on,
Bring the therapy disciplines together again,
To see how change to one approach in movement,
May assist him in speech,
And vise versa.
And we still don’t stop practicing,
We simply modify,
Because we still know where we want to go,
Although more obstacles than typical lay blocking our path,
We can journey down many more side roads,
In order to find those skills lost,
And in hope of picking up new ones along the way.
And while the detours seem long,
If I remember to jot down our coordinates,
I can look back and see just how far we’ve come.
And in fact it is not around and around in circles at all.