Three Life Lessons Living with Spasticity Has Taught Me

Three Life Lessons Living with Spasticity Has Taught Me

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“Three Life Lessons Living with Spasticity Has Taught Me” has been sponsored by Merz Pharmaceuticals, LLC. Please note, I do not use XEOMIN® (incobotulinumtoxinA) myself.

Living with spasticity involves learning to navigate different challenges. The learning, however, goes well beyond navigating spasticity-related challenges, as is the case with my own experiences. In fact, spasticity aided in teaching me valuable life lessons. Three such lessons I will happily share today.

Valuable Life Lesson #1: There exists great power in consistency.

Admittedly, spastic muscles could easily prove quite daunting. Perhaps even defeating—any relief obtained swiftly wiped out hours later by your body’s persisting tightness. Here enters our first life lesson: There exists great power in consistency.

Whether managing spasticity or pursuing a goal, a consistent effort takes you far. Take, for example, my current work-in-progress. Getting to the point where I possessed a completed manuscript ready for editing required consistency. Writing 500 to 1,000 words a day. Those days adding up to become weeks. The weeks, becoming months. All until I held a completed draft.

Exactly what consistency looks like regarding managing spastic muscles differs based on treatment options. A topic which connects with our next life lesson.         

Valuable Life Lesson #2: To each their own.  

Treatment for spasticity varies per case because one size does not fit all. Or in other terms, to each their own. I maintain the ability to independently stretch. Meaning consistency for managing my spastic muscles entails stretching regularly.

Meanwhile, others may lack the ability to safely stretch independently. Hence the importance of staying informed on what other treatment options remain available.

XEOMIN® (incobotulinumtoxinA) is one option for adult upper limb spasticity. It is a prescription medication used to help manage symptoms for various movement disorders, including muscle stiffness in the arm due to upper limb spasticity in adults. XEOMIN works to interfere with signals to the muscles that cause spasms, thus helping decrease muscle stiffness. It’s also made using XTRACT Technology, which removes unnecessary bacterial proteins and leaves only the active therapeutic component. Whether this unique purification process affects long-term safety or efficacy has not yet been confirmed in clinical studies, and it’s important to know that this information is not meant to imply XEOMIN is superior to other botulinum toxin products.

With XEOMIN, a doctor administers an injection into the affected muscles. The injection lasts three to four months. Therefore, consistency with XEOMIN would entail follow-up injections. You can learn more here about this treatment option for upper limb spasticity in adults. I encourage you to talk with your doctor or medical professional to decide which treatment option is right for you, and I’ve also included some important safety information at the end of today’s post.

A doctor will help you determine what treatment options are best for your upper limb spasticity.

Consulting with professionals remains vital. Simultaneously, knowing your voice matters too. Again, to each their own and you should know yourself best. A lesson I can demonstrate once again via book writing.

Many in the writing community celebrate November as NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month. Writers who participate set out to write 1,667 words a day, every day in November. Enough words to finish a novel by month’s end. A couple of times I attempted this. Yet I came to realize 1,667 words day after day for a whole month left me overwhelmed. That writing schedule might work for others, but not me. This reality relates to the third life lesson I plan to highlight today.

Valuable Life Lesson #3: You must equip yourself to succeed.

To achieve success, you must first equip yourself to succeed. In relation to the abovementioned writing, equipping myself to succeed meant establishing a manageable writing schedule. However, when placed in context with spasticity, equip carries a literal meaning: Acquiring the right equipment to position yourself to succeed.

For example, due in part to my spasticity, carrying a full coffee mug presents a challenge. A single spasm and the hot liquid jolts out from my mug, spilling everywhere. Equipping myself to prevent such a scenario, I use my favorite travel mug, also humorously known as my “adult sippy cup.”

First, I twist the lid off the travel mug and pour myself some delicious coffee. Next, I fasten the lid back on, turning the mechanism on the lid’s top to cover the opening. This allows me to independently walk with my drink to my preferred spot. No need to worry about a spasm causing me to spill!

Obviously, a travel mug only represents one possible item you could use to neutralize your spasticity. I know somebody who praises a cutting board that enables her to cut vegetables and other foods one-handed. What equipment do you find useful to neutralize spasticity? Please share in the “Comments.” Your recommendation might just become a difference-maker to another reader. Similar to how living with spasticity has proven a difference-maker to me by teaching me valuable life lessons.

Spasticity’s Life Lessons in Summary

Through dealing with the persisting tightness spasticity causes, I came to recognize the great power that exists in consistency. Although, that consistency may look differently per case because treatment for spasticity varies—so, to each their own. That’s why it’s important to stay informed on treatment options, including XEOMIN, a treatment for upper limb spasticity in adults and other movement disorders. Visit the XEOMIN website to learn more and talk to your doctor about what’s right for you. Knowing yourself and what works best for you goes far towards the final life lesson offered today. You must equip yourself to succeed.  

Until next time, remember. Don’t blend in. Blend out!

-Zachary  

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The effects of XEOMIN may spread hours to weeks after injection causing serious symptoms. Alert your doctor right away as difficulty swallowing, speaking, or breathing can be a sign of a life-threatening condition. Do not take XEOMIN if you are allergic to XEOMIN or another botulinum toxin, or have a skin infection at the injection site. Side effects may include allergic reactions or, depending on the FDA-approved indication: dry mouth, diarrhea, high blood pressure, seizure, nasal congestion, sore throat and runny nose, difficulty swallowing, neck pain, muscle weakness, pain at the injection site, muscle and bone pain, drooping of the eyelid, vision problems, or dry eye.

For additional important safety information for XEOMIN’s FDA-approved indications, please visit XEOMIN.com.

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