A while back my dad forwarded me an email from a friend of his who is a chiropractor and really into homeopathic/naturopathic medicine. Among other things, he mentioned that we should find a "Brimhall" chiropractor. I didn't know what this meant, so I googled it (like any curious person of my generation would do) and found out that Dr. Brimhall is a chiropractor who does all sorts of crazy stuff like aura cleansing and chi rebalancing, as well as your basic chiropractic stuff. He travels around and certifies other chiropractors in his methods around the country. But then I learned that his son, who is following in his footsteps, has a wellness center and practices right here, in Mesa. Well, that's exciting!!
So, last week we scheduled an appointment to go see Dr. Brimhall (Jr.) and found some successes. Before my appointment, I filled out all the paperwork online so he knew what the deal was when we got there. We talked a little more about Sadie's birth and what has happened since. I told him we're seizure free, but that we're now on a muscle relaxer for her tightness. I told him how we're worried about her head growth and that she's WAY behind in her development. I told him how she doesn't sleep and she screams in the car and that I'd really like his help in developing her sensory system so that we can overcome these things. And secondly, I like him to address her tone (muscle tightness) in hopes that we don't have to be on that medicine long term. It was a lot, but he's a professional, he has kids, this isn't his first patient with CP, oh...and he's a SUPER nice guy!
The first thing he did was take this laser and point it on the back of her head (where it's not growing), this is to promote cell and tissue growth way deep in her brain. Then he took this vibrator thing and vibrated all over Sadie's body (I think it's called a percussor), it really loosened her up and relaxed her muscles. It also made her more active. He mentioned that it might make her really tired because it was stimulating her nervous system, I HOPED she'd be tired, because at that point, it'd been a week and a half since she'd taken a nap (without drugs)!! Then he stuck his hand in her mouth, while the other hand was at the base of her neck. When I asked him what he was doing, he said there's a pressure point on the roof of your mouth that opens the bones in your skull and allows the cranium to be receptive to stimulation. Cool huh? When he was done, we talked about making sure I was taking Omega 3 supplements because she really needs that fatty acid to help her brain heal and grow. We scheduled an appointment for a week later and we went on our way.
I'll admit I was initially a little disappointed when Sadie immediately started screaming in the car again. For some reason I had this magical idea that we'd see this guy and he'd make all my dreams come true...which all have to do with eliminating car screaming! But we only went as far as Tanis's house (which was like 3 miles), so it was okay. And when we got there Sadie TOOK A NAP!!! And when we got home, SHE TOOK ANOTHER NAP!!! It was unbelievable.
Dr. Brimhall mentioned that we'd probably see immediate results because she's a baby, but that they'd wear off. So, I figured after a couple days his magic powers had worn off and didn't really think anything of it. We had a good week this week: Sadie slept 6-8 hours at a time, twice in her own bed. Sadie started batting at her toys hanging from the toy bar a lot more. She's been slowly losing that ATNR reflex. And she's been napping. We went to California this weekend and Sadie did really well (LOVED that king size bed, by the way)...but Sunday afternoon it all started going down hill. And Monday she didn't nap and had a hard time going to sleep. But Tuesday (today) we went to see Dr. Brimhall again.
Sadie was a little more disagreeable this time when we saw him, but it's okay, because what he does tends to calm her down some. We talked and I told him about how she's been batting at toys and even grabbed one from Brian once and he got SO EXCITED. He was like, "that's HUGE!" I didn't really think about it being a result of what he had done to her, but he did. And he said he noticed she was tracking him more with her eyes today, that she was turning to the sound of his voice. And he mentioned that when the brain starts healing/developing, eyesight is the first thing you'll see improve. He said that last week he was worried because she didn't seem to have any reaction to him, but that today he could really see improvement and that gave him a lot of hope. He told me that he can't say HOW much she'll improve as a result of treatments, but that he's sure it'll be significant...even if slow.
I also told him how I felt like it all went south about Sunday afternoon. So, we agreed that we have about a 4-5 day window. He said ideally he'd like to re-treat her within that window of opportunity, not giving it time to wear completely off. So, we're going to go see him twice a week for the next 4 weeks. Hopefully by then she can go longer and we can spread it out to an entire week before our next visit. He told me he's going to focus on her sensory processing system first and try to get her sleeping longer and in more normal patterns, and with that the car screaming should mellow out as her system regulates. I told him I want the car screaming to stop more than I've ever wanted ANYTHING in my entire life. He said if we don't see pretty immediate results we'll do some electrical stimulation to try to tone down that sensitivity and help regulate her sleeping patterns so she'll nap and stuff. Then secondly we'll work on tone and try to get her to relax, but one thing I've noticed that helps a lot with her tightness is when she's well rested, she relaxes, and then she's not so tight. He also said to keep an eye on her head size, because as we continue treatments, we will see her brain grow and her head will grow as a result. (I have this wonderful fantasy of going to see Dr. Wendy one time and measuring her head to find that it's in the 25th percentile and us doing the dance of joy together...because she's THAT awesome of a pediatrician)
Sadie is going to see an orthopedist next week because her left hip is somewhat concerning. Because she keeps her legs so tight and close together, her hip socket isn't developing properly and she's losing range of motion. They want to inject the inside of her hip with some medicine that will interrupt the communication of the tendon with the muscle and allow that muscle to relax and keep her from pulling her him in so often. This is something that would last for 4-6 months and would hopefully give her hip some time to develop correctly. The next option is surgery, which is scary and sad and I hope this doesn't effect her ability to walk. So, I asked Dr. Brimhall about this situation and if he could help. He said to go ahead and see the orthopedist and get the process going, because reality is that she MAY need surgery eventually. But he was a little more hesitant about the injection and asked me to wait on that to see if we could loosen her up naturally before we resorted to that. We'll see.
So, today as we were leaving the wellness center, Sadie again screamed in the car (still no magic insta-cure for this), but again, we were only going as far as Tanis's (since she lives so close, and we're already 40 minutes from home, we're going to go visit her everytime we see Dr. Brimhall). Only, this time, she didn't sleep. Not until we got home 3 hours later. Now, mind you, she hasn't taken a nap since Sunday. And when Sadie naps it's nursing and in my arms for 45-90 minutes. I can't set her down. Today she bounced to sleep, then when I picked her up, she fell back asleep in my arms without nursing. Then I was able to lay her in her crib. And overall she slept for 2 hours!! This is somewhat of a miracle. I have ONLY been able to actually lay her in her crib for a nap when she's on drugs that make her sleep.
I'll give Dr. Brimhall another 4 weeks (which isn't cheap since they don't take insurance!) and see what kind of miracles he can work with his magic laser and his "human jackhammer". Who knows, maybe we'll have a completely different baby in 4 weeks, maybe we won't. I'm willing to try anything...especially if it doesn't involve drugs.