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The Magic of BOTOX
By: Michael Cohn, M. Ed
Promote Awareness

Trying new things can be scary when you are unsure of the results. In December of 2002 my ophthalmologist encouraged me to get BOTOX injections to help loosen the muscles around my eyes. One of the symptoms of the disorder I have is that the muscles around my eyes spasm, causing my eyelids to close for extended periods of time. This obviously makes it very difficult to see. It was getting to the point where I was nervous leaving my home because I would suddenly be blind for a couple of minutes.

It is quite unnerving when you can see one minute and not the next.

People often ask me to describe my medical condition. I have PKAN 2. This is a neuromuscular disorder that causes me to sometimes have very painful muscle spasms. Its effects reach throughout every muscle in my body from speech to vision to my walking. I have never let this disease cause me to hide from society so you can imagine what it was to suddenly feel afraid to leave my home.

It took me a couple of weeks to come to terms with the idea of having BOTOX injections near my eyes. Now that I have had the injections, I wish I had not wasted those two weeks. I had always dreaded going to the ophthalmologist because the examinations were very painful due my eyes being so light sensitive. Since the injections, I have had no problems when the doctor shines the light in my eyes. The BOTOX has eliminated the spasms around my eyes, causing them to open wider as well as significantly reducing their sensitivity.

Soon after experiencing the effects of the BOTOX injections, I began to ask my neurologist about the options of having injections elsewhere. The first question I asked was whether or not BOTOX could be used in my cheeks or jaw to help my speech. The doctor’s answer was “maybe”. After having the injections in both areas, the results were definitely YES. Immediately after having the injections, there was a noticeable improvement in the muscles around my eyes and mouth. The tightness in the muscles disappeared. I have not felt this relaxed or had this much control over the muscles in my face in many years!

Because the BOTOX wears off in time, I am on a schedule to see the doctors every 3-4 months for more injections.I am sure not everybody will have the same results that I have had with BOTOX. However, I firmly believe that if you experience problems with muscle spasms or rigidity, you should discuss the possibilities of BOTOX with your doctor.