The iPad distracted Max before the procedure just fine. He woke up woozy and ticked off. But then we took an afternoon nap together, and afterward he was his usual cheerful, spaghetti-and-chocolate-ice-cream-eating self.
The Botox has evidently been a life-changing event for Max, because he informed me that from now on he wants to be known as Spaghetti Sauce Max, so buh-bye, Purple Spaghetti Max. (Note, he is as obsessed as ever with purple.)
All this talk of Botox and tendons and casting has my brain swirling. That's the thing about raising kids with special needs: You become a medical expert, like it or not. I spent a lot of last night Googling
"casting for cerebral palsy" and reading up on spasticity and stuff that made me wince like "tendon lengthening surgery." It also helped to read other people's experiences; Dawn's adorable little girl, Emily, just got Botox and serial casting. And she got purple casts.
If you would have told me before I had a child that I would be immersed in all this—me, the person who almost failed fifth grade science—I wouldn't have believed you. But now, doing the digging, talking with experts, and asking the hard questions are all second nature. Ditto for making sure that Team Max is strong, and that we carry out their advice as best we can. Right now, Team Max consists of:
1 school physical therapist (Max sees her twice a week)
1 school occupational therapist (twice a week)
1 home occupational therapist (twice a week)
1 school speech therapist (three times a week)
1 home speech therapist (once a week)
Another home speech therapist (once a week)
1 music therapist (once a week)
Pediatric neurologist (once a year)
Physiatrist (as needed)
1 wardrobe consultant (OK, not that)
The responsibility of running Team Max—and understanding the intricacies of cerebral palsy—weighs on me at times, especially when Max is having difficulties. I realize we are lucky he is generally healthy and not medically fragile. But then I compare myself to my friends, whose brains are not filled with medical-ese and for whom planning consists of orchestrating after-school activities and playdates (not setting up hospital appointments for Botox and serial casting). And I think, damn, I should start wearing a stethoscope or something.
Do you ever feel like a medical expert, too? Who's on your child's team?
Now, go take two chill pills and call me in the morning. Doctor's orders.