Chianna had Botox injections done last week to treat her Cerebral Palsy. I am going to do my best to keep updating the blog on her continual progress with the treatment. One of the issues we have is that after the Botox injections are done, they only last about 3 - 4 months, so we need to capitalize on the time frame and get her 3 sessions of both physical and occupational therapy per week.
Saying that is going to be challenging is an understatement!
The procedure for the Botox went very well. It is done under IV sedation with an ultrasound guidance to make sure the right muscles are targeted. The purpose of the Botox is to resolve the issue of tightened muscle tone that affects Chianna's right arm and right leg. She cannot flex her right foot, she cannot bend her right wrist, or turn her palm to face up; plus, her right arm is usually bent and her fist held up. The Botox targets the muscles that are tight and stronger because of these movements and the Botox in a way "paralyzes" the stronger muscles so that the weaker muscles can be worked out to get stronger so that they have a fighting chance to balance everything out once the effect of the Botox wear off. I hope I did a good job explaining that!
We arrived at Joe DiMaggio's Children's hospital in Hollywood last Thursday morning and I cannot say enough nice things about the facility and the staff there. They really catered to Chianna and made her feel welcome, special, and cared for. Even the person that called in advance to tell us what time to be there made sure to tell us that she could bring a toy, stuffed animal, or something from home to keep her company. She opted to bring her special Fox named Happy. I am sure she will not have any scary hospital memories or thoughts based on this place. We arrived to waiting room with a large screen tv playing cartoons. Everyone there from the check in to the nurses and doctors were so nice. When we went into the outpatient area to her bed, she was given the remote to her own tv and each nurse in the area came over and introduced themselves. Shortly after that a patient liaison came over and sat with her for quite a while. Soon Nutmeg, the resident dog arrived and came over too for some petting and loving. The nurses put a numbing cream on the spots where they might need to put the IV so that it wouldn't hurt and while they were putting the IV in, the liaison blocked Chianna's view of the IV set up with her IPad, and they played some games. Chianna didn't even know the IV went in. After that, while we waited for the procedure time, they gave Chianna sun catchers to paint and take home with her. We were able to go into the procedure room with Chianna and stay with her until she fell asleep. That was the only hard part, the IV meds sting when they go in for about 10 - 15 seconds until she is put under and she cried, she has such a high tolerance for pain, that she very rarely has ever cried when hurt, so it must have really hurt. The 10 - 15 seconds was horribly long for Myke and I and I am quite sure it hurt us more than it hurt her. The whole procedure was only 15 - 20 minutes. The doctor sent Myke and I to get coffee, and by the time we did that and came back they were all finished and we were able to sit with Chianna until she woke up, which was only about 15 or 20 minutes later.
The doctor spoke with us and said that everything went fine and that the effects will take about 24 - 48 hours and the optimum effects are in about 3 - 4 weeks. She went over stretching exercises for us to do with her daily and after an hour in recovery, we were on our way home!
I will do my best to keep posting about the results that we see with Chianna's progress!
We hold you in our heart and touch you in our dreams. You are here each day with us, at least that's how it seems. We know you wonder where we are... what's taking us so long. But remember child, we love you so and that will keep you strong. Now go outside and feel the breeze and let it touch your skin... Because tonight, just as always, we blow you kisses in the wind. We promise you, darling, we're doing all that we can do. Very soon, you'll have a family for real, not just pretend. But for tonight, just as always, we blow you kisses in the wind. May our love wrap you up and hold you very tight. And let the angels bring the kisses that we send to you each night.