Botox for Migraines  – Yes, 24 needles 

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Botox for Migraines!

Yes, it’s 24 Needles!

My History

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 fell backward 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.  I 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, 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.

Botox For Migraines

That neurologist all those years ago via the ER was the only one I ever saw.  The migraines started when I was 21 or so.  He told me that there was no way that my migraines were due to that hit on the head.  All my migraines were in the same spot, my occipital nerve in the back of my head, exactly where I still to this day get my migraines

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 organizing my appointments.  I confirmed it and put it on my schedule.

First Impressions

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 a 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.

The Follow Up

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.

Then he tells me about the 24 shots Click To Tweet
My Side Effects

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?

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

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  • I get botox for my migraines! However, I definitely don’t get that number of needles stuck in me (and I thought the handful that i got was a lot!). I do think that they help me, but it takes a good amount of time before the botox kicks in to begin with, and then I still have migraines here and there along with other headache/aura stuff. When I first had it done, my eyebrows went whacko on me–I could hardly move them and they fell into an odd position for a while. I almost wonder if it’s because I went home and laid down right after I got the shots. I haven’t had trouble since, though. It seems like you’ve had some real trouble with medicine and migraines. I understand though, it can be hard to find a right match. I like Imitrex in a way because it does get rid of my migraine, but the side effects are almost as horrible as the migraine itself. Ugh! Anyway, thanks for the read!

  • Thank you for a very well written and very informative blog. Wow… can I ever relate to you in terms of the migraines. Botox for migraines… this is something I’m intrigued by in terms of its mechanism of action. I’m fortunate because I use zomig rapimelt (in a similar drug category as Imitrex). I do feel a bit of tightness in the chest, but it’s not so bad that I can’t use the medication. How frustrating this must have been for you!

    I’m glad that you found an alternative and thank you so much for informing us about this treatment! I can tell you, I’d rather have 24 needles in a New York minute than a migraine that lasts for 72 hours.

  • Each time Botox is different for me. Finding what works for you is important and doctors don’t like to venture off from protocol. I find Botox to help tremendously when it’s done right & crazy frustrating when not!

  • Thank you for visiting me at mini2z ... Journey with me and I hope to see you often xx

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