Exactly a week ago I had Botox injections in my arms and they’ve given me back the use of my hands after they’d suddenly locked up on Boxing Day. Botox works by paralysing muscles that’ve gone into spasm.
The effect during the daytime has been amazing and I’ve regained full use of my wrists, index fingers and thumbs. The three other fingers on each hand still want to curl into my palm but I can straighten them with a bit of effort and I’m doing some exercises that should help too.
My daytime hands are so much better I could almost forget anything unusual had ever happened to them. But something strange is happening at night that reminds me things aren’t quite right yet. When I wake up my body feels rested – except for my hands, which feel like they’ve been partying all night.
While I’m asleep they’ve been going back into their twisted dystonic pre-Botox positions and when I wake up I’m not able to move them again for several minutes. This has happened every night since the injections. Before then my hands tended to relax and loosen at night (although not always) so it seems particularly odd that they’re doing the opposite now.
It’s disrupting my sleep and although it’s not painful, I’m waking up a few times aware that my hands are misbehaving. If I wake up fully they loosen within five minutes but then stiffen again when I go back to sleep. Even though I know it’s likely to happen it’s still quite confusing – especially when I’m half asleep.
Of course in many ways this isn’t a big problem – who needs dextrous hands while they’re asleep anyway? But I’m finding it unsettling because I don’t understand why it’s happening.
I’ve talked to my doctors about it and hopefully over the next few weeks things will become clearer. For now, it’s another reminder of how bizarre my brain is.