Life is Grace

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do/ with your one wild and precious life?” (Mary Oliver)

I am in pain. Serious, awful pain. I got Botox shots in my neck and upper back a week ago last Thursday for something my neurologist calls “cervical dystonia” (sp?) which means, bascially, that the muscles in that area are permanently contracted and nothing will relax them. Which is true; I mean, I’ve seen I don’t know how many physical therapists, gotten “trigger point injections” with lidocaine and cortisone, tried massage–nothing has helped. The muscles are excruciatingly tight and ropy, full of knots that make crunching sounds and feel like big pieces ofmoving gravel under my skin when you try to rub them. They are not only painful in themselves but cause lovely chronic migraines, too. This has been going on for several years, and is probably due to a combination of scoliosis and kyphosis and back surgeries; of course, fibromyalgia doesn’t help either. Hence the Botox.
I am starting to wonder, though, if the cure isn’t worse than the disease. I haven’t been in this much pain since my back surgery, and I’ve dealt with A LOT of pain over the years. I have this strange feeling, as though I can’t hold my head up, and I have to either wear a cervical collar (so I look like I have whiplash) or literally hold my head up with my hands whenever I get out of bed, which isn’t very often. Moving around HURTS. It REALLY HURTS. My whole upper and middle back is one big mass of PAIN. I have been crying a lot from the pain, which I haven’t done for years.

According to my doctor’s partner, who I spoke to on Friday, this is not uncommon and will go away in the next week or so. The pain is because the super-tight muscles have been doing all the work of holding up my head and neck, so now the surrounding muscles are being overworked as they try to adjust to doing the work previously done by the now-Botoxed muscles. You wouldn’t think something as simple as that could be so bloody painful. We’ll see. I’m going back to bed with a couple of (medicinal) Hostess chocolate cupcakes and Anne Lamott’s Traveling Mercies.

2 thoughts on “oh, the agony of it all…

  1. Emilie says:

    Oh, Barb, I’m sorry you’re in so much pain right now. I hope your doctor is right and that the pain will ease up after a few days. Hang in there. Anne Lamott and chocolate sound like good things to keep you preoccupied (at least as much as you can be).

    Like

  2. barbara says:

    Thanks for the support; it helps so much! I finished Anne Lamott and am now working my way through a biography of Eleanor of Aquitaine. George bought me a box of Twinkies yesterday. So I’m keeping busy.:)

    Like

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