A Life with Music and Botox

This week I decided to start playing piano again, and I had my very first Botox injections within my glands to reduce saliva production since my tongue cannot help move saliva around.

I’ve been using medications for this, but they are variable in efficacy and wear off after about 6 hours. Plus I’ve issues with spit at night.

When most people consider Botox injections, they consider its usage in reducing wrinkles and helping individuals aspire to look younger. It’s also used medically for a variety of purposes.

Music first:

We’ve got a baby grand piano. I played starting in the convent at St. Giles Elementary School with lessons from a nun through the college day. I then continued with my classmate’s mother after school through high school. However, I have not played since.

When the piano was delivered to us, she also sent her piano publications. There’s a book called “Let Us Have Music for Piano” with a lot of songs everyone knows. So I decided to focus on “Home on the Range” first. I will play 20 minutes per day and work on this before memorized then proceed to another song. I would like to play tunes everyone knows.

Our piano was built in 1895 at New York and moved to Nevada from the 1950s. It had been in storage for many years. We had a stuck key (low B) and it had not been tuned for many years, so we called a piano. His tag line on his business card states”Approaching Piano Tuning within an art form, creatively.” It had been interesting to see him work.

It is pretty amazing what they could create in 1895, with no modern technology to help shape the small pieces.

Since Nevada is dry we have many cracks at the soundboard. We’ll have the piano back to put shims to combine the noise across the cracks. We also have a humidifier/dehumidifier system which is going to keep the humidity in 46 percent constantly. I am happy to have my low b back and look ahead to the sound when the cracks have been mended. And I will play so long as this disorder allows me to.

After the Thursday 4 pm driver’s test, we drove to my father and step mom’s house to stay for a few nights, and we drove Davis, California to have a shorter drive for my Friday 9:30 AM appointment at UCSF around Divisadero St.

Because of going to the new UCSF location, a map had us consider the Richmond Bridge to HWY 107, then on the Golden Gate into the city. It was more pleasant than going via the ever-present traffic jam from Berkeley prior to the Bay Bridge.

And the Botox:

We enjoyed both the med student along with the physician. The process (like Ethos Spa Botox services in New Jersey) was explained completely. They intended to begin with a minimal dose near the very top of the parotid salivary glands, close to my jaw hinge before my ear.

Yes, I had been grimacing because it stung, but just for a couple of seconds. It should kick in in the next two weeks. Then it ought to last about 3 months, so I can again coordinate my Botox shots with my practice visit. And I could report back my results to them and they will base the following step on my results.

When the appointment was finished we requested the student for a lunch recommendation and he explained the sandwich shop on the first floor is good. This was a little early for lunch but it was pleasant to be able to sit and have a relaxing. After lunch, we still had time to spare so we drove and parked directly by the bay and then read our books and people watched before it was time to go to my 2:00 PM appointment.

We found a med student before we saw the doctor. We enjoyed her too. We met using a respiratory therapist who found that my diaphragm is just marginally weaker than 4 weeks ago. Then we satisfied with my nutritionist who was satisfied with my stable weight.

The speech pathologist invited me to use my iPad with keypad if it’s convenient since I type faster than I write in my Boogie Board and quicker than I type on my phone. I will try to incorporate that into my life even though it’s not typically suitable, and convenience is high on my priority list. I understand that it is hard for folks to wait around for me to respond to writing in my Boogie Board or scanning on my mobile phone.

We had a wonderful trip with the social worker. We then saw the doctor, who I had seen on my previous visits. We were fortunate to capture her on her final day before maternity leave. Her son is due to be born any day now. I like her because she’s at least one new proposal to help me. This time it was papaya and pineapple extract nutritional supplements out of Trader Joes to help with thick saliva. The physician who supervised my Botox shots had advocated fresh lemon juice diluted with water sprayed from the back of my throat. Grinding a tablet to put through my g tube is a lot easier and much more comfortable.

 

 

The physician ordered blood work to verify my liver because I simply take Rilutek to impede ALS progression and it can damage the liver. We met with a physical therapist since I’ve awakened with neck pain. It seems to be the end consequence of me slipping down the wedge I would like to sleep upright so as to swallow my saliva and ending up with just my head on the wedge in the morning.

My sleeping wedge to help with saliva swallowing when I’m sleeping.

We determined that I should try out an under-knee wedge.

We got my next appointment scheduled and went to the first floor to get my blood flow. I had been impressed with the efficiency of this process. I had been in and out pretty quickly and had my own outcomes from 10 PM the night.

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