The Daughter Chronicles

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

The clench

I doubt if I will ever get used to all the things Mia does or does not do because of her brain injury. I have kind of made my peace with some of the things, but occasionally she does things that freak us out. Other things just bother us, but there's nothing we can do. One of the most annoying things she does is "the clench."

Mia sleeps really well, surprisingly enough for a three-year-old. It's partially, I think, because she's not terribly active, and we also give her anti-seizure medication, which makes her drowsy. However, whenever we put her in her bed, she does something weird. We put her on her left side, and give her a pacifier and put a teddy bear next to her. She immediately bends her head over her chest, pulls her legs up, and makes a weird noise. It's hard to describe - it's not quite a grunt, it's not a whine - Krys and I are sitting here trying to think of terms to use, and I said it's the sound someone would make when they're trying really hard to, you know, use the toilet, and Krys (who's not as vulgar as I am) described it as the sound you would make if you're clenching every muscle in your body. She bites down hard on her pacifier and clenches everything. She does this a few times, and if all is well, it passes and she goes to sleep. Sometimes this keeps her awake longer than normal, but usually she overcomes it. When Krys goes in to check on her at night, her head is often well off the pillow and she's almost in an "L" shape. It's very bizarre.

Her muscles are very tight with a lot of tone, a circumstance of her accident. Whenever she clenches at nap time, I try to straighten her out, but it's very difficult. We have a card of an osteopath that Mia's speech therapist gave to us, and that's our next move. We have thought about a chiropractor, and that may be in the future.

It's a very weird and troubling thing. We have no idea if it's connected to her brain injury or not. I can't imagine that it's not, but we can't figure it out. The only good thing is that it's not affecting her sleep and it doesn't seem to bother her. Still, it's freaky.