If you missed me last week, I had an in-office procedure and received Botox injections. I was, and still am, feeling pretty worn out since, something that hasn’t usually happened to me. But, alas, here we are. A week later, I’m tired and sore, but I’m doing well and seeing great results. But I’ve been all but taken out by the Botox, so during the last week I’ve had to adapt to some unexpected experiences.
Botox (onabotulinumtoxinA) is typically thought of as a cosmetic drug, though it has other uses and medical benefits. It can help with migraines, tight or stiff muscles, bladder control, and other issues. The way it works is a small needle filled with Botox is injected into the muscles that need it. Botox can be given every 12 weeks, and the procedure takes between 15 and 30 minutes, depending on where you get the Botox.
Side effects usually involve pain, swelling, and bruising at the injection site. But there can be others, such as dizziness and flu-like symptoms or weakness. Pain levels from the procedure and side effects vary, depending on the person and use.
After my treatment, I discovered 10 things that you can do on your “low spoon” days. (If you know nothing about the spoon theory, just know spoons = energy to people who are living with a chronic illness.)
- Explore the app store. I had a hard time sitting for long periods, so I enjoyed spending time on my iPhone apps over the last week. I used apps like Lake Coloring and Simple Habit to keep my mind busy, calm, and clear.
- Watch your favorite shows and find some new ones. I finished Season 5 of “Orange is the New Black” about four days in and I’m currently on Season 2 of “American Crime.”
- Reconnect to your childhood experiences. By luck, I got to spend a lot of time with my family after my procedure, and even though I’m in pain and uncomfortable, it has been a blast. My nephews and I have been playing Xbox and gossiping with my sister.
- Unplug. An alternative to No. 1. I don’t know if it’s just because I’ve been super tired after my Botox or what, but I really stepped away from social media and often let my phone and laptop completely die. I think it has been crucial to helping me recharge.
- Find your hobbies. Do you like crafts? Planning? Painting? Your downtime is a good time to pick something up you love. If you don’t have a hobby, now might be a good time to explore a few.
- Journal. Sometimes the road to recovery is rough and you need to let it out. Sometimes you want to document the whole process from start to finish, and that’s great! It can be so healing to put all of your thoughts and emotions in one space just for you, without judgment and without feeling like a burden.
- Read or listen. Because I was unplugged from social media for a significant amount of time, I spent a lot of time just listening to the conversations happening on the internet about the world, disabilities, and people’s thoughts.
- Find that “feel good” music. I started making playlists at the beginning of the year, and as I find music that really clicks with me, new or old, I add it to the playlist.
- Plug in where it matters. I love the #spooniechat hosted on Twitter every Wednesday by Dawn Gibson, so I made sure to tune in for that and make some new friends.
- Take care of you. Self-care is still important, no matter what you’re going through or how much self-care you feel guilty about doing. Pay attention to your needs and remember self-care is not selfish.
This article is meant to be lighthearted and remind you to take care of yourself and take the time to recharge, no matter what. Life does not wait, but it can still continue — in even the smallest ways — when you must stop, and I think one of the most important things to find in that moment is joy.
Note: Cerebral Palsy News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Cerebral Palsy News Today or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to cerebral palsy.