Botoxic

No, not really. Not slipping under, but I do have this strange discreteness in the muscle tension in several muscle groups in my neck and shoulders.

Finally, after all the health insurance bullshit and runaround these past months, the doctor’s office located a pharma-corp (ironically only a few blocks from where I used to live in Pittsburgh) who supplied the Botox™ that’s been medically needed all along. The combination of my pain management doctor’s legwork, along with the industrial-sized pharmacy corporation’s escrow-ish services and also along with the fact that I long ago surpassed my considerable out-of-pocket expense deductibles resulted in 100% coverage for the injections.

Dr. Anderson kept saying “Wow” and “is this normal for you?” as he assessed the muscle tension in my traps and other muscles (whose names escape me at the moment). I think it says something significant if a doctor who sees these kinds of things every day takes exception at anything like this.

Dr. Anderson is the kind of doctor who likes to explain everything, and that’s about the highest compliment I can pay a healthcare professional. I’ll even take it one step further and credit him with tailoring his explanations to the audience—that being me: he knows I know enough biology to be dangerous in healthcare concerns and as he hooked me (and the botox needle) up to an EMG sensor running on a ThinkPad, he let me “listen” to my muscles reacting to the penetration of the needle. All that EMG equipment is there to help properly locate muscle bundles before the injection of the botox actually occurs.

There’s a name for the phenomenon in my neck and shoulders, and I fit the description thereof just perfectly. So why did the !#$!@#$ disability middlemen—along with the fucking quack of a doctor who determined there wasn’t anything really wrong with me—miss it? Fuck if I know, as they say. But hey, pleading ignorance does save money when bureaucratic machinery stands in the way.

So what I have endured for well over a year now is called Cervical Dystonia. A brief description:

  • Cervical dystonia is also known as spasmodic torticollis.
  • Cervical dystonia is a focal dystonia that affects the neck and sometimes the shoulders.
  • Symptoms include involuntary contracting of the neck muscles, causing abnormal movements and awkward posture of the head and neck.
  • The movements may be sustained (“tonic”), jerky (“clonic”), or a combination.
  • Cervical dystonia may result in considerable pain and discomfort.
  • Treatments may include oral medications, botulinum toxin injections, surgery, and complementary therapies.
  • Cervical dystonia may be primary or secondary.

To add insult to real injury, just look at a short summary:

Symptoms<br/> <br/> In cervical dystonia, the neck muscles contract involuntarily. If the contractions are sustained, they may cause abnormal posture of the head and neck. If the spasms are periodic or patterned, they may produce jerky head movements. The severity of cervical dystonia varies from mild to severe. Movements are often partially relieved by a “sensory trick” (also known as geste antagoniste) such as gently touching the chin, other areas of the face, or back of the head.<br/> <br/> Cervical dystonia may begin in the neck and spread into the shoulders, but the symptoms usually plateau and remain stable within five years of onset. This form of focal dystonia is unlikely to spread beyond the neck and shoulders or become generalized dystonia. Occasionally, people with cervical dystonia develop other focal dystonias.

I could go on (and on and on and on), but I’d rather just breathe. And let the treatment continue on its way hopefully helping me feel better.

And before you ask, no, I didn’t ask for the last remaining drops of the botox be injected into my forehead. And no, my cervix isn’t dystonic.

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