Botox for Migraines! Yes, 24 Needles!
Let’s go back in time a bit and I will give you a bit of history on my Migraines.
When I was 24 or so, my then fiancée and I were horsing around and we slipped on the hardwood floor. I went backwards and hit my head on the dining room table. OUCH! It hurt and I had an immediate headache, swelling and bruising. Almost a month later I got my first migraine and it started where I hit my head. I was in bed for almost three days and it was brutal because I had no clue what was going on. I suffered through the next which was only a couple of weeks after that. The next one landed me in the ER because the pain, nausea, vomiting, dizziness and desperate need to be in the dark was too much. The ride to the hospital and waiting in the ER was torture but that’s when I was told it was a migraine. They gave me a shot for pain and nausea along with two IV bags of fluids as I’d gotten dehydrated. I was referred to a neurosurgeon who I saw in the hospital about three weeks later. He confirmed that I had migraines but no it could not have happened to me by hitting my head. I disagree with that but okay. I had a diagnosis. I found out that this is what my poppa had suffered from all his life. I just always knew to be quiet if he was in his room with the blinds and doors closed.
The diagnosis and journey with medication and trying to get the migraines under control before they start was long. I didn’t get migraines while pregnant with either of my kidlets which was a godsend. Migraines would come on without much warning that I could tell at the time. Now, I get an aura (didn’t understand it back then) that I’ve always had prior to migraines. We had tried Imitrex but it landed me in the ER with chest pains. Fiorinal C1/4 would become the migraine medication that worked for me along with Gravol, which is an antiemetic. Migraines have me in my room with room blackout blinds closed tight. ear plugs in with an ice pack on the back of my neck, antinausea medication, a flat ginger ale and pain medication. Sleep and time are really the only things that work for me. Over the years, I’ve done all the eliminations to try to find the triggers and the only one that I can find is chocolate. I can have a couple of pieces, a chocolate bar or a piece of cake but if I have more I’ll pay for it later. My other trigger is the weather. It’s any change in the barometric pressure; rain – yes, snow – yes you name it, I get a migraine.
That neurologist all those years ago was the only one I ever saw. Fast forward to 2014 when my health took an even further nosedive when I started collecting specialists. I was referred to a pain specialist and neurologist in 2015. On December 19th I received a phone call reminding me of my Thursday appointment in just a couple of days. I was pretty shocked because I’ve been meticulous about organising my appointments. I confirmed it and put it on my schedule. I was really impressed with the doctor from the get go. Nice low lighting so as to not trigger migraines, comfy chairs (really important to a person with chronic pain) and short wait. I was in the appointment for almost an hour and left with a prescription I had to try before my insurance would cover the Botox, a referral for an MRI and prescription for the Botox and a plan to work on getting my migraines under control.
My follow-up appointment went well. Just a few days later, I received a letter from my prescription insurer that they would cover the Botox and the guidelines. I called the doctor’s office and yes for a cancellation got an appointment early the next week. I had to bring $150 cash as OHIP doesn’t pay for the administering of the serum but it’s better than $1000.
The big day came, my mom drove me. I went to the pharmacy in the medical plaza because the doctor likes the serum to have just thawed. I guess that’s the best way to use it and the doctor’s preference. Again, waiting is only minutes. Then he tells me about the 24 shots and the initial map that he uses on all patients the first time. The second and subsequent visits would allow for the customization of the injection points.
Side effects were very minimal for me. I had some pain in my left ear area and will inform the doctor on my next visit. As for the not being able to move my eyebrows properly, I haven’t seen this issue or for me, it’s a non-issue.
My next appointment is in June and so far my migraines are still present and have not reduced in numbers. Spring with the weather changes is always a horrible time for my migraines.
Do you get migraines? Are they affected by weather? Have you tried Botox? I hope you enjoyed reading my migraine journey and will share your migraine journey with me!
Journey with me … mini2z