The Daughter Chronicles

Friday, August 04, 2006

Shooting up with the botox

Mia got botox injections yesterday. "What?" you shout. "She's not even four years old! Why are you trying to make her so vain?!?" Of course, she didn't get botox injections in her face to freeze her muscles so she doesn't have wrinkles. She got them in her calves and her left arm to loosen her up. Read more about it here. We have been discussing botox with her neurosurgeon for a while, and he finally decided she was ready for it. So yesterday we were off to Phoenix Children's Hospital for the procedure!

Her surgery was scheduled for 8 o'clock, but I got there at ten to eight and had to fill out all the paperwork, so we didn't go back into the operating area until about 20 after. Her doctor came in and checked her out, making sure of her weight (she had been weighed at her pediatrician's office - a story for another day - the day before and came in at 32 pounds, 14 ounces) and making sure all her vital signs were fine. At about 8.45 they took her into the operating room. The anesthesiologist came in and asked if she had any adverse reaction to anesthesia. I was about to tell him to ask the neurosurgeon, who had put her shunt in three years ago, which was the last time she had been knocked out, when the anesthesiologist looked at her file and said, "I worked on her three years ago, when she had her shunt put in." We told him that he would then be a better judge of how she does under the gas. We left them alone and sat in the waiting room. They had told us that it would be thirty to forty-five minutes for the shots, but after about twenty, they came out and told us she was all done. Her neurosurgeon said she was fine, and a few minutes later, we went back to see her. She was already awake, and after a few minutes of spaciness, she shook off the effects of the gas and was wide awake! They also told us she might need an hour or two to recover, but after fifteen minutes she was ready to go. So we got home a little after ten, even though I thought we wouldn't be home by noon.

The neurosurgeon told us it would take 5-7 days to see any effect, and the looseness would peak after a month. The shots last anywhere from 3 to 6 six months, so we're hoping that in that time she can make a lot of progress, especially in the physical therapy arena (see the previous post for our troubles with that) and by the time the botox wears off she'll know more of how to balance herself and use her left side, so that she doesn't revert to her state now. We could, I suppose, get more shots, but just like medication, we don't really want to go to that well too often. We'll have to talk to the doctors, obviously.

We have seen some immediate improvement, however. Her speech therapist came over yesterday at around 4.45 and gave her food. She sat well in her chair, without tilting over as often, and when she turned her body, she moved her left arm with her, when she usually sticks it out straight, locks it, and keeps it back. Her leg remained relaxed throughout the entire session, which is a change, because she usually kicks it straight out. We're hoping the fact that she's relaxed will help her eat, too, and yesterday was one of the more successful feeding sessions she's had. She ate up ravioli with no problem, and later on during our dinner, she actually picked up a few pieces of steak voluntarily and gnawed on them without us bugging her to do so. For her efforts, she got pudding for the first time in a while (she only gets pudding when she eats well). We know she understands us when we tell her that she's only getting pudding if she eats her dinner, but she usually doesn't care. We hope that she's relaxed enough to try other foods. We'll see.

So the first day with the botox went well. We'll keep an eye on her and try to get her to walk during her PT's two-week vacation, and maybe by the time he comes back she won't be so cranky with him. So far we're happy with our decision. Mia seems happy, too, which is a big plus.


  • I am so glad that there is something that might help loosen Mia up. I find myself rooting for you guys and Mia on the daily struggles and triumphs that you go through. Thank you for sharing and keeping me up to date

    By Blogger Mrs Lefty, at 5/8/06 7:43 AM  

  • Usually a Guinness and a Tulamore Dew loosen me up... (insert rim shot and groans here)

    Glad to hear that this looks promising.

    Uncle Monster

    By Blogger john sweet, at 5/8/06 12:14 PM  

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