Failure To Thrive

By Will

This entry is a compilation of a few of my writings. I realized they had all thematic similarities, so I combind them.


My second Kaskikot client was the son of one of Laura’s dental program employees. Not knowing he was to be a client, I had been teasing him before our session. My assessment brought me primarily to his nose area, but there was a funky nervous system tension throughout his cranium and pulling down into his rib cage.
Laura came over and filled me in on his history. She described him as a failure to thrive case. I was a bit surprised when I learned that he was 10 or 11 years old. He seemed small for his age, and his younger sister also hanging around the treatment area was larger than him. I worked on nerves around his face and nose. At one point muscles around his nose twitched and I thought it freaked him a bit.

Kaskikot I realized would be more likely a place to have food supply problems. The road to this area is a rocky driving adventure, it being bulldozed wider as recently as this past fall. The ability of food to be delivered is impaired. I am sure that generations have subsisted on what ever their land could produce, and Laura described how the year she lived there, 2003/2004 was probably the last time that Aamaa lived a subsistence life. Modern pressures had made it more difficult to live this life, and Laura reported that with 4 women, 2 of which were also going to school back then, tending to the fields and the crops was a very difficult life.

If you recall, even when I wrote about the people i saw in the JFK airport, i noticed that i towered over people. There are definite cultural differences between here and the US. So I find myself hesitant to quickly label people with this term, failure to thrive. People are just smaller here, or perhaps i am the one that is bigger. We are all reminding ourselves about our height differences bumping our heads all over Aamaa’s home, whether it be in the bathroom, the “front porch”, or even our bedroom. Even Aamaa is as high as my arm’s biceps.

One of my clients on my 3rd day in Kaskikot gave me further pause. We were working in a field medical office. The doctor working there was able to give me background info about this one client I was about to see. The most important diagnosis was the man had Anorexia. Now this man was a failure to thrive. Below his check bones his skin was sucked in looking a bit like a POW, his legs were sticks. This man was no typical american coed girl chewing gum – only gum – all day. He was in his 40s. As i started working, there was a lot of emotions in his body. Through the doctor, I asked him if he had fears or anxieties about eating. I could here the tension in his response even before the doctor interpreted.

My second day in Panuati (more on Panauti later) I also encountered a similar thin and gaunt person. I was doing a training on our NFP techniques, and an employee of the hospital got down on the mats where we were working. His thinness had a different origin, and he said he was diabetic, insulin dependent. He had started using insulin in his 40s. I felt he looked more like an advanced cancer patient his rib cage even showing through his T-shirt. I was worried about him, and suggested all i could, and that was he needed to do NFP every day for at least 2 or 3 months. Good luck my friend.

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