Sunday, January 6, 2013

Sunday Stroke Survival ~ Botox Revisited

Well the long awaited date is almost here. Monday I have the second series of Botox injections for my spascity. I say long awaited because the last series wore completely off inside of two months instead of three. A month with Charlie Horse pain in my muscles despite muscle relaxers is a long time to wait.

My body will be happier. Maybe the tremors in my left, good hand will stop if I'm able to reduce the amount of meds I'm currently taking. I know my cardiologist will be pleased when I can reduce one of my muscle relaxers that has created my hypotension. Hopefully, everything I've read and talked about with therapists will be true. The second series should produce better and longer alleviation of spasms. That would be a blessing. I will have more effective therapy sessions.

Luckily, it's a new year for my insurance. It means another $7,500 of therapies coverage. No more paying out of pocket for them. Maybe at long last, I'll get some more active movement in my elbow and wrist. Now that the shoulder issue is almost a mute point, OT should be less painful. This will be the main focus of my insurance bucks. A physical therapy office closer to home has a $15 a month plan where I can come in and use their machines twice times a week for PT. I would pay more than that for a gym membership.

I'm still planning on getting the Bioness H200 I told you about last year. Probably now I'm looking at February. Seventy-five miles is still a long drive for me. My oldest daughter, who has been chauffeuring me around, graduated from college with her criminal justice degree and immediately got a full time job with benefits. It's going to depend on her schedule, but I'm happy for her.

The cold weather has finally hit us. So gone are the easy to put on shorts and t-shirts for another two months. Arise a new problem. Donning sweatshirts or sweaters, and long pants. I have found it is easier to to put the long pants on in the bed after I put on my AFO, and before my shoes. Then I'll get up and go to the bathroom in the morning. Yes, it is time consuming but it is easier to do instead of going to the bathroom, taking off my shoes, pulling on my pants, and putting my shoes back on.

We don't run our central heat unit because it runs on gas. They charged us every month even if we didn't use the gas. It was an added expense we didn't need.

We do have a wood burning stove that we burns pucks in and a small electric space heater. Our bathrooms have a in floor heating pad under the tile. Basically, it heats up the rooms we do use to a toasty 75 degrees. When we have guests over, which isn't often, we fire up the wood burning stove. For how we make heating pucks, check out my book on Amazon or Smashwords Are You a Survivalist or a Prepper? They are made from wood chips and leaves from our yard, and old newspapers. Basically free fuel for heat. Can't beat it.

No this is not me!
I don't know whether it's just me getting older, or my Yankee blood thinning, but I start getting chilly at any temperatures under 70 degrees now. I could wear t-shirt up until the temperature dropped below 50 degrees before. Either way it's a nuisance. My DH is the same way, but he has an excuse...he has no bulk on his body at 133 lbs as he did when he was forty pounds heavier. Maybe that's it for me too? I have lost forty pound in seven months, but I still have a sizable amount of fat on me. I used to be six ax handles across the butt and thighs but now I'm only four. LOL A lot of mine is still muscle where he is now losing muscle mass due to his illnesses.

On a much lighter note, I've decided to make Don't Get Your Panties in a Wad into a collection of short humorous essays. I realized it was going to be impossible for me to join it all into a chapter book like I normally do. I'm just too dizzy like all the dumb blonde jokes to do it. Since I have extreme difficulty writing in a linear fashion, why fight it. I figure I can get it all written by the end of the year, and edited and published 2014. At least I'm crossing my fingers to finish the rough draft and two editing passes by the end of the year. I'll be getting a lot of help from my Compuserve and Southeastern Writers Association buddies. I'll need all the help I can get. I'm at 35K words of rough draft as of today. So far it's 35 essays like Chicken Soup for the Soul books although mine are longer at roughly 1,000 words a piece. I figured short reads on points was better than a lot of fillers tying them all together. At least to my damaged brain it makes sense.

Keep writing and loving the Lord.


  1. I have a love/hate relationship with insurance, so good luck. Use those $$$ wisely. But I know you will.

    I have a friend with dytonia who has gotten botox injections for years. Sometimes they wear off quicker than others, but he wouldn't trade them for the world. Good luck!

  2. Zan Marie,
    Yes, it's definitely a love/hate relationship with my insurance company! But I'm glad I have it. So far the out of pocket for my stroke has reached $62,000 for last year. One week and counting on results.

  3. I hope you’re recuperating well, JoAnn! :) And among other things, I’m glad there’s still hope for stroke victims nowadays. It was certainly a breakthrough to use Botox’ paralyzing effect positively. I’m curious about one thing though. Would this be a lifetime treatment for you? If it would provide you comfort in your activities every now and then, I guess there’d be no reason to discontinue apart from the cost.

    1. Shavonda,
      Good question. I guess it could be life long but I'm hoping not. The problem with high tone and spasticity is that the muscles on one side are weaker than the other that wants to pull into a non-normal position. It is hoped that by relaxing the high tone and muscle spasms that the weak muscles have a chance to strengthen thus relieving the problem all together. It's all about reeducating the brain to stop it from happening or at least so I've been told repeatedly.

      This relearning process could take years, but maybe not forever.

  4. I just hope that things are getting better and better for you J.L. :) I know recovering from stroke is such a hard experience. But it’s nice that you’re coping up. I just hope that you update me regarding the total length of time that you’ll be using Botox in your recovery since I was wondering if my mother can use the same process even if it was almost a year ago that she had stroke. Anyway, I think I have to seek professional help for this too.

    Marc Bryan

    1. Marc, In your answer to your question is yes she can still get Botox injections. I know people who have gotten Botox even five years after a stroke.


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