Friday, April 21, 2023

A recital

This week I was pushed to give a recital. No, it's not what you might guess.  I was at hospital for my regular botox injections when my gifted consultant Jane Anderson (who has cared for me since I returned to Cambridge ) introduced a younger doctor sitting next to her.  She explained he was shadowing her and shortly would be operating his own neurological clinic.

She introduced me as one of those who was included in the very first clinical trials in the UK for this botox treatment, and then asked me to share my history. Going back to 1986 when, at first, no one could diagnose my severe disability, I briefly sketched how it was eventually diagnosed as dystonia with no treatment available.  Twisted in body, wracked in pain, after months of failed trials with different drugs, I was examined in the National Neurological Hospital, Queens Square, London as to whether I could be chosen as a test case for botulinum injections.  I realized to this young doctor this was living history. What he has come to accept, and practice, as the main procedure for dystonia was as yet untested. I was a genuine Guinea pig!

It was strange retelling those first steps with this experimental treatment because it not only seemed to be fresh news to this doctor how the botox story began, but it also forced me to reflect the sheer wonder of going through a process that gave me back my public life.  How grateful I am for the successful outcome. I know I have told the story elsewhere. To do it justice needs a large space in the story for prayer, Carol's advocacy and several God-incidences.  But, having this surprise opportunity this week awakened me again to the gratitude I owe to God, Carol, praying friends and the medical profession. I should never take it for granted. 

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