*All of the pictures below are from last fall--Wade's second round of Botox.
|I'm really not holding his head down very hard. I'm singing "Wheels On the Bus" too. Not sure which he thinks is worse--the needle or my singing!|
The purpose of Botox is to help relax some of Wade's muscles; to reduce his tone, or tightness. The very first time, we saw pretty instant results. In the bathtub that very night, Wade's hands were fully open. He typically kept them fisted. I thought at first he was just still really relaxed from the loopy medicine he was given before the Botox. (Wade does not receive any anesthesia. They just give him some medicine to make him feel good--kind of like he's drunk. He still feels everything, but hopefully he won't remember the pain so he won't resist the shots in the future.) But the next morning, his hands were still really relaxed. I was impressed! Doc still doesn't believe we had results that quickly, even though we're not the only ones to report such quick and awesome results. I had to take pictures in to prove it to him:-) He seems to think it might be some kind of effect similar to acupuncture. I really don't care what it is. I'm just thrilled it works so quickly!
|The loopy meds taking effect!|
|Thumb tucked in the office before Botox.|
|Results--the very next day. I can easily move his finger. Before, I would have to pry his hand open.|
|Hand open on its own in a relaxed position.|
As time passes, everyone--therapists, doctors, teachers, etc.--assesses and talks about how we think the Botox is working and how it is affecting Wade's movement. One time--I think it was the second round--we injected a muscle in his shoulder area. We were attempting to encourage the muscles in his shoulder to help Wade reach forward--out in front of him--instead of out to the side, then around to the front. Well, the outcome was something similar to the little boy in the red snow suit in the movie "A Christmas Story"; where he is so bundled up he can't keep his arms down by his side. Wade's arms kinda stayed out to his side and they would kinda fly up when we tried to put them down. It made walking down the shoe aisle at Kohl's a little difficult:-) Wade was knocking all the boxes around on the shelves on each side of him. So needless to say, that is an area that we chose not to Botox the next go round. Apparently, Wade uses his tone in a positive way to keep his arms down. We've also come to the conclusion that Wade uses his tone to help him grip things with his hands as well. So sometimes the decisions on what to treat aren't that cut and dry. For instance, Wade tucks both of his thumbs pretty badly. The left one is always tucked because we didn't treat it last spring. The right one tucks on occasion. On Thursday, we weren't really sure what to do about the right thumb. Curtis and I were both afraid that if we didn't do anything, we'd be in the same position we were with the left thumb previously. But then we were afraid if we did treat it, he would loose the function for some of his fine motor skills because it would make his muscles too loose. We discussed with the doctor and compromised by going with a lower dosage. His grip is a little weaker, but I'm thinking it will be okay. We'll see what his OT says on Thursday.
Results from the Botox typically last about 2-4 months. We make appointments to get the injections every 6 months. Reason being is that the schedule for Botox is VERY full. We LOVE our neurologist, but apparently, so does everyone else:-) He is awesome at what he does, and he makes us feel so at ease. He actually really includes us in the decision making process. He is so intelligent but doesn't have that "God complex" that some doctors get. I have a feeling his wonderful nurse would knock him down a notch if he did! We know who really runs the show:-)
So right now, things are looking good! All the therapy, equipment, orthotic devices, and medication (Artane), in conjunction with the Botox, are yielding very good results. Wade's future is looking bright!