Every few months we take the little man to see his neurologist and get Botox shots. These appointments are absolutely horrible and this mom almost can’t handle them.
So first, I’m sure you have all heard of using Botox for fighting wrinkles (and make you look like a frozen-face if done by someone not-so-good), but you may not know about its uses for chronic illnesses. In the little man’s case, it is used to help muscle spasticity/tightness.
Here is how it goes down as explained by our Neurologist (in terms much more graphic than the people putting it into your face use, I’m sure). Botox is botulinum toxin A, the toxin that causes botulism. Botulism is a rare, but awful and sometime fatal, foodborne illness that causes muscle weakness and paralysis. When Botox is injected into a particular muscle, the botulism-style muscle weakness is targeted. Basically, when the little man’s brain sends weird confused signals to his muscles while trying to move a particular body part, that particular muscle is unable to respond. It is really crazy and I don’t like to skirt around the issue – it is a toxin and it weakens his muscles to the point they are unable to naturally respond to commands.
The injection appointment starts with a run-down of the possible side effects – mainly allergic reaction and other typical shot side effects, plus the rare possibility that the toxin attacks the entire body leaving him unable to breathe (always possible regardless of how many times you are injected). Then we sign the waiver and prepare for the horribleness.
The little man’s injections usually target his legs (although this can and will change depending on where he needs it most and where his therapists are concentrating). This means we have to hold him face-down on the table with one parent at his head and one parent at his legs. He is fighting and screaming at the top of his lungs by this point. Then the doctor and someone else nearby take their places on either side and give the injections (4 total for the little man in groups of 2).
It is awful for him and it is awful for me. All I want to do for the rest of the day is cuddle with him – not possible because I usually have to go back to work and he has to go back to school. I try to do everything I can to help the little man with his disability, but I really just hate to put him through some of this. It is hard to be strong when he cries.