Monday, August 27, 2012

Getting Botox

The other day when I wrote about my surgery, I forgot to mention that I got Botox! Not in my face (I'm not quite old enough/wrinkly enough for that yet) but in my bladder.

Now that I have a spinal cord injury that means that my body is compromised in lots of different ways. One of those ways is that I have what you call a neurogenic bladder, meaning that my bladder (which is a muscle) frequently spasms. These spasms make it difficult for me to stay dry if I have much urine in my bladder. If my bladder is too full when it spasms, urine will leak out which means that I'm constantly wetting my pants. (Embarrassing, right?! This shouldn't happen to an adult!)

As spinal shock wore off after my injury the muscles in my body started spasming. I started taking medications to help prevent these spasms, and they work relatively well, but if I stopped taking them my muscles would constantly be twitching/jerking (and my bladder would constantly be leaking).

Earlier this year Botox became FDA approved for use in the bladder, so my urologist, Dr. Brandes, mentioned the possibility of me getting shots of Botox in the walls of my bladder to paralyze it so that I would't have to worry about having spasms that cause my pipes to leak. I thought about it, but then opted to just stick with my medication since it controls the spasms relatively well. Plus, I didn't want to have to make a special trip to the office which would mean having to get out of my wheelchair and onto the narrow exam table. (I also didn't look forward to having to get partially undressed so that my doctor could have access to my bladder. I just said, "No thanks" and planned to stick with the medication.
Last Tuesday when Dr. Brandes talked to me in the pre-op area before my surgery he brought up the possibility of getting Botox again since it would be really easy and convenient to do since I'd already be out of my wheelchair for the surgery. I said, "Well, when you put it that way, sure… why not?!!" So I got shots of Botox in my bladder. It will take a couple of weeks to become fully effective, but I'm excited and hopefully I can even stop taking the medication for bladder spasms. I love medical advancements!


Shavonda Duarte said...

So how was it, Heather? I hope that the Botox treatment really worked for you. Well, others may not believe it but aside from cosmetic purposes, Botox is widely being used to cure some illnesses as well. Our family doctor recommended it to cure my mom’s migraine and it was really effective :)

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