Mom Needs the Truth About Botox and Dystonia

I am THAT mom. I don’t like or take medicine unless it’s my last resort. And the same goes for giving it to my children. To a fault, I follow the lead of my own mother, who was born and raised in a third-world country. When medicine and health care are a fleeting option, it’s imperative to resort to more natural remedies for health needs. So, it’s more likely for me to chew on a root or drink a self-concocted tea than to swallow a pill, call a nurse hotline, or visit a doctor.

preference tea dystonia
Dystonia…. there’s a tea for that, isn’t there? I mean… there’s a tea for EVERYTHING, right? [Source: giphy.com]
All this remained true and steady in our home until the summer of 2013 – the summer my teenage daughter was diagnosed with cervical dystonia.

For months, I dismissed my daughter’s claims of sore neck muscles as “growing pains.” Being active in cheerleading and chugging out a full course load of advanced classes in school, I thought she was just running herself too thin.

At first, her symptoms were mild, with muscle spasms in her neck and a stiffness that limited her mobility. But then her discomfort escalated to more severe pain; she had an impaired ability to perform daily functions. We knew we had to take action and seek a more definitive diagnosis. After months of seeking answers, and several doctor visits, we had a diagnosis: cervical dystonia, which is considered a focal dystonia since in only effects one region of the body.

I threw my “policies” out the window and began my extensive search for treatments on how to help my little girl. In several studies, Botox was named as an effective treatment. Botox? Really?

Now, the skeptic in me had to keep quiet, for if these treatments worked and improved my daughter’s life, then maybe injecting her with botulinum toxin–the bacteria that can cause botulism!–would all be worth the compromise of my convictions.

The article that moved me to action was published in The Poughkeepsie Journal. It was the story of Melissa Wright of Kingston, NY and how Botox treatments are the only thing that help her manage her day and live her life with cervical dystonia.

The treatment for Melissa spoke to my heart. We’ve had to try a few different doctors and medical centers until we’ve found one that serves my daughter’s needs. It hasn’t been easy, but we stuck to it because my daughter does not deserve to live in pain.

I needed the truth from THAT mom: If you, or a person you love, suffer(s) from cervical dystonia, you do whatever you need to do to find the right solution for your particular case.


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