Hello everyone! I hope all is well. I am a senior this year and things are a little hectic as college application due dates are right around the corner. Additionally, I recently had my Botox injections so I have been playing a little game of catch up as a result. Unfortunately, my blog is the first item that gets pushed down the to-do list when things pick up.
Speaking of Botox, I wanted to discuss the injections I receive. I believe I briefly mentioned that I receive Botox in previous posts, but I never really explained why I get it. It seems to be a topic I get some questions about so hopefully this clears the air. I find it humorous at times when I explain to people that I receive Botox. I am sure the first thoughts that come to mind when thinking of Botox are of celebrities such as the late Joan Rivers. However, in my case, I don’t receive my injections for the preservation of youthful looks, I get them to relieve my spasms. Basically, Botox is a chemical that “relaxes” or in other words, paralyzes, muscle. This is why Joan Rivers’ face looked as if it was frozen in place. Now, for me, it also has the same effect., except my frozenness is experienced in muscles that spasm the most frequently; like muscles in my neck, finger flexors, legs, etc. as these are where I get my injections. To me, it feels like I have lost the neuromuscular connections with that muscle. It’s really weird, I feel like my brain still sends the signal to the muscle, but the muscle does not respond. At times it can be frustrating, but it is in this paralysis where I gain the benefit of relief. It is truly fantastic. My movements become smooth. I am able to preserve more energy due not spasming as much. Even, my speech drastically improves! I have been receiving these injections for 10 years now and I cannot imagine where I would be without them.
As I write this, I am starting to realize how many instances of “Catch 22” there seem to be associated with Cerebral Palsy. Unfortunately, paralyzation is still paralyzation. Every muscle that receives the injections nearly immediately begins to shut down. This can be tough as I never realize how useful a muscle is until it no longer works. Everyday tasks get pretty difficult. My hand does not want to squeeze the objects that I tell it to. Putting on socks becomes a painstakingly slow process. The act of tying shoes is like a sick torture tactic. I won’t lie – it is extremely maddening, especially when it comes to physical activity. My progress at the gym is greatly inhibited after Botox. I lose, I would say, 80 to 90 percent of my strength due to those paralyzing attributes.
Fortunately, this total paralysis only lasts about two months. After that, my strength magically reappears out of the blue within a period of only a couple weeks. Those couple weeks are the height of the Botox benefits. Don’t get me wrong, Botox lasts about four and half months during the school year and the overall relief is good, but, in those two weeks, my strength begins to return and the neuromuscular connections awaken once again. My spasms are still minimized and my speech is great. I feel like a new man! Those two weeks are the height of the Botox cycle. When those two weeks are up, I get to enjoy pushing forward with my weight lifting. The downside being that my spasms then begin to increase as my muscles are revived and return to normal function and tensions.
I find the use of Botox to be a pretty tough trade off but an interesting aspect of my life. The Botox cycle definitely has a positive impact on my ability to be humble. It is almost like I am a stock, in the sense that, in order to make gains, I have to go through a period of pullback. After giving it some thought, I have come to realize everybody experiences or lives in their own cycle and in that way I am no different from anyone else.
On an ending note, I wanted to add in a quick fact that one of my anesthesiologists told me the last time I received my injections. He said there was some very tiny amount of undiluted Botox that could wipe out every person on the planet. I came home that night and had to conduct my own research and, sure enough, the amount of Botox needed is approximately 1 kilogram. Of course, my botox is diluted with other chemicals so, no huge worries there. Still, pretty crazy though, right?
As always, I will be more than happy to answer any questions, so feel free to contact me. Thank you very much for reading!
Have a Happy Halloween!
All the best,