Botox Day: 6 Tips That Help Me Prepare
Botox day is generally not the most looked forward to or pleasant day in the life of a chronic migraine patient. Not only do those injections, 31 to be exact, hurt like the dickens, they also can cause some pretty uncomfortable and painful symptoms immediately afterward. I have been going for Botox injections every three months for two years now. It's taken me some time to build up a working routine that would help eliminate the discomfort during the procedure and the aftermath once it is over.
All of these suggestions are based on home remedies I have tried out over time that have served me well. The key is to making it a less painful is in the preparation. Using some of the tools in our migraine toolkits can make the difference in how good or bad we feel after that appointment. Here are the tools I use to help make those days a lot more manageable.
Staying well hydrated is going to help avoid dehydration headaches. It isn't less important the day before and day of getting Botox injections. Drinking water regularly will help make the symptoms and side effects of the injections more bearable. The suggested amount of water intake is to drink half of your body weight in ounces. For example, a 150 pound person would have to drink at least 75 ounces of water per day.
Lavender essential oil
Before each appointment, I like to apply lavender essential oil to all of the injection sites 10-15 minutes prior to my visit. Since lavender is a calming oil, it actually helps to alleviate some of the inflammation, swelling and redness that occurs after receiving the injections. I have had really good results from doing this and it continues to help make getting the injections a lot easier to handle.
Migraine essential oil blend & diffuser
Every three months, I have to drive over an hour from Virginia to Maryland to my Botox appointment. Round trip that's about two and a half hours of driving. Being behind the wheel that long is a huge migraine trigger. I need to make that trip as comfortable as I can for myself. I have a pumice stone heart necklace that is also an oil diffuser, which I hang in my car on my rearview mirror. On it I use a migraine blend essential oil that helps relax and calm my head. I also put some on my temples, neck and occipital region. It really gets me in a good head space before arriving at the doctor's office. You can also look for car oil diffusers to use with your favorite essential oils during your trips to the doctor.
Ice, ice baby
I never leave the house on Botox day without ice packs. I use the Migraine Hat which is a beanie type hat that you can insert ice packs into. It comes with a convenient cooler that I keep in the freezer with three ice packs inside. I just grab it out of the freezer before I walk out of the door. I wear it on my drive there to help numb up my head and neck, which makes the injections a little less painful. It works wonders when I'm all done because I can apply a fresh ice pack to the hat and wear it on my drive home. The coolness really helps decrease the swelling and inflammation and incoming migraine from getting too intense.
I've finally made it home! The next step is to add heat therapy to my neck and shoulders. I have what's called a Bed Buddy, which is a neck and hand wrap with removable bags of barley. I take out the barley bags and add a few drops of lavender essential oil to them before heating them up in the microwave. I add them back to the scarf and hang it around my neck and drape it on my shoulders. I am also still wearing the Migraine Hat to keep my head area cold. The use of moist heat helps to diminish the stiffness I tend to get in the neck and shoulder area after receiving injections at those sites. No more excruciating stiff neck for me!
Epsom salt baths
If I'm not in too bad shape after everything, I like to really wind down by taking an epsom salt bath. My body can tend to stiffen up, especially around my shoulders, neck and mid to lower back. Using epsom salts helps to draw out a lot of muscle tension and stiffness thanks to the magnesium in epsom salt. As an added bonus, I add a few drops of lavender oil to the bath and use a lavender bath bomb. You can buy epsom salts with lavender already in them to save you time. The combination of the salt and lavender really helps to loosen up my body and get it to relax and not be as tense.
Preparing for the day you go in for another round of Botox can seem like a lot, but most of them only take a few minutes to do. The end result is that you are in a much better mood after getting the injections because you have the tools to help make it a less painful and stressful experience. I swear by these six things and it has made a world of difference in how much quicker and easier I bounce back from it.
Take a look in your migraine toolkit and see which tools you have that can benefit you during these types of appointments. They may help with trigger-point injections and occipital nerve blocks as well. Having chronic migraine is painful enough on its own. If there are ways to help alleviate the pain and discomfort caused by treatments, we owe it to ourselves to find ways to make it a better experience.
Can you tell when a migraine attack is coming?