Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Botox - Round 2

Well well, would you look at that. It's only been a week since my last post. I was actually scared to open my blog because I couldn't remember how long it had been since I'd updated. A week is pretty good, considering!

Ok so onto the news. Asher had his second round of botox today, and in typical Asher form, he was an absolute rock star!

To back up a little bit...

Last time Asher had botox (in December) he had it in his hamstrings, calves, and adductors. He did it with zero sedation so it was painful - really painful. But the kid was an absolute champ, and while he did cry with some gusto, he was back to his cheerful self within minutes. It was pretty amazing. Although it was painful for him, and for me to watch, we wanted to avoid sedation because of how Asher has reacted in the past. That time, I am sure we made the best choice.

This time, however, it wasn't so simple. The doctor wanted to, in addition to his legs, inject his tricep, bicep and pronator in his right arm to help with the pattern of tone where his right arm becomes "stuck". Not only is that arm useless most of the time, but it's actually often a liability if it takes him off balance, or if it goes flying out of control while going through a doorway. The goal of the botox was, at worst, to help calm that arm down to a regular resting position, and at best, to allow it a little bit of functionality as a helper hand to his left hand that does the bulk of the work.

The difficulty with injecting his pronator (the muscle in the lower half of your arm that causes your arm to pronate, or turn in) is that it is very close to several other muscles. This led to the risk that the wrong muscle could inadvertently be injected. So the doctor proposed he use electrical stimulation to determine he was in the right muscle. And because that would add to the pain, and would require Asher to stay more still, he suggested we sedate him.

Oh dear. Like I said, sedation never goes well with Asher. However, this was a very mild sedative. It wasn't meant to put him to sleep - only to calm him and to act as an amnesiac after the procedure. Of course we had to give it some thought, but at the end of the day the risk seemed to outweigh the benefit, so we decided to go with sedation.

Sedation means no food in the tummy. So the start of Asher's amazing day meant waking at 6:15 a.m. to have a piece of toast jammed in his mouth when he was barely conscious. He then went off to school where he was thankfully shielded from all food and drink until I picked him up at noon for the procedure.

Of course at the hospital he was his regular charming self. Once he got all checked in and sorted, without a peep of complaint about being hungry without food for six hours, we were left to wait for the doctor to arrive. I don't think Asher minded:

Private TV for no louder, bossier siblings to chirp their demands about what show to watch? Yes please!

Thankfully for my nerves, we weren't left waiting long. The doctor arrived and Asher was given his sedative. Up the nose with apparently a bad taste and a bit of a burn. Ewww. But again, he nailed it. Once he got loopy - and I mean loopy - they were set to begin. Before the first poke the doctor reminded me Asher would still feel pain, and still react. In other words "Mama, prepare yourself. This isn't going to be pretty". So I held Asher's hands and whispered to him, not sure who was going to cry first.

Poke. Poke. Poke in the legs. No tears. Barely more than a wince and a couple of "let go of me".

Then came the arm, hooked up to all the leads for the electrical stimulation. For once Asher was hooked up to wires that weren't traumatizing me! Seeing the doctor test the muscle and seeing the muscle respond was really cool. A few more pokes and he was done - again no tears. No sound even came out of him this time. Stoic would aptly describe him.

And like that we were done. Over the course of the next hour we watched Asher slowly stop slurring and bobbing his head, to turning back into regular Asher - constantly questioning when we were going to the gift shop to get his prize!

Now after all of that we're home and he's showered the hospital germs off (because I get a little paranoid about MRSA and c-diff lurking in my home - the pleasure of knowing what those things are from spending so much time there).

I could not be more proud of him. Not that it is about him not crying - I don't care if he kicked and screamed, I'd be equally proud. It's that he does everything with such grace and calm. He is just amazing.

But I've got to tell you, I'm proud of another person today. ME. You know why? For the first time in 5.5 years, I didn't cry going to the hospital. I've got baggage as I'm sure you can imagine. Even if it's for something somewhat routine, like NICU follow up, I have always still managed to cry. Today - NOPE! I did not cry a single tear.  That is a milestone. Maybe the wounds are finally starting to heal.

Now onwards, let's see over the next few days what this botox does. Here's hoping...

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