(This was sitting, unpublished and forgotten, for months. I wrote it in the summer of 2014. Things are different now, but I think it’s still worth publishing). 

I have had botox in my calf muscle (twice). It did nothing.

“Wait a week or so,” the doctor said.

Nothing.

Another week?

Nothing. Well, maybe it looks like it’s in less of a cramp.

Two weeks after that, and not only was it still in a cramp, but extensor spasticity has kicked in. That’s a new one for me, although I’ve seen it in other people. So with zero control by me, when I’m lying down on my back and extend my leg, it goes crazy straight and my toes point and it’s in a huge spasm. It feels just like a charley horse. You now when your foot goes into a cramp, and your toes flex and sometimes cross over each other, and you have to stand up on it because it’s so excrutiating?  Like that. Basically my leg feels a little bit or a lot like that all the time.

What’s especially bizarre is that I can feel it coming just by thinking about straightening it. It also happens when I stand up first thing in the morning. If I don’t go super-slow, I rise right up to the toes of my left foot.

I have currently failed all first-line treatments. The normal spasticity drugs baclofen and tizanidine don’t work (at least at the doses I’ve taken). Botox apparently doesn’t work (at least the types I’ve tried – two different ones). Physical therapy (multiple types) has not worked. Actually, my end range of motion is better and my strength is better, but the spasticity is, to the doctor’s and physical therapists astonishment, worse. “That shouldn’t happen,” they tell me. (In case you’ve never been one, I have to say that being a medical mystery isn’t as exciting as it my sound).

But enough about my leg and the ongoing saga that is Mariska versus MS spasticity. Let’s talk about the fact that I am 39 years old and I have rage lines on my forehead that I was totally, unapologetically, planning to do botox so that I would at least, if not young, look not angry as I “grow old gracefully.” Shit.

Well, I guess I won’t die from food poisoning.

Always (trying) to look on the bright side,

Mariska

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