I Received Botox at the Age of 27
I often feel like I have been through all the medicines known to man-kind when it comes to managing my migraines. I have tried preventatives (before the migraine starts), abortives (after the migraine starts) and medicines that aren't even initially promoted as migraine drug originally!
Many of the medicines I have take make me tired, sleepy, foggy and affect my system as a whole. I don't like the way that I feel, but I keep trying the medicines that my neurologist suggests. So my neurologist suggested that I try Botox.
So how does the Botox work? I found this small snippet from this website that explains it better than I ever could! "BOTOX® blocks chemical changes on nerve endings. To treat chronic migraine, BOTOX® is injected into muscles of the forehead, the side and back of the head, and the neck and shoulders to produce a partial and temporary chemical “denervation” of the muscle. This causes the muscles to be too weak to contract. The dosage used to treat chronic migraine is very low since the muscles injected are small."
The side effects are minimal, the treatment has little effect on my body (other than an inability to raise my eyebrows quite the same) and it literally took 5 minutes for them to inject my head. So what is the catch? The road to get there, through the insurance company had to have a whole lot of information in order to approve converage (it is approved for chronic migraines through the FDA).
1. I needed to have chronic migraines. Meaning that I have to have 15 or more migraines a month.
2. I needed to fail 3 or more preventative medicines from at least 2 classes (the three being antidepressent, seizure medicine, or blood pressure medicine).
1. I definitely have chronic migraines. I suffer from 18 or more a month.
2. I have failed a number of preventative medicines. Just to name a few, (topimax, inderol, verapamil, cymbalta...). In fact, I often tease that I can give lots of information about any of those drug because I am very much so one that needs to know about what is going into my body.
On Friday, I sat in my neurologists office and for the first time I left feeling happy (a little stingy-feeling also) that maybe for the first time since I was 12 years of age I may have the start of a handle on this whole migraine thing. I say it in the office with my hands clasped rightly, concerned about the amount of pain I was about to endure. I had read conflicting reports, and in turn decided to stop reading and just go for it. It was fairly painless, although I will admit the most pain came from the temple of the forehead. Afterwards - it seems to be that my biggest change has been an complete inability to furrow my brow. Slightly amusing, I just hope I don't need to be mad at anyone in the future.
I came home from the procedure, slept for about 7 hours and then a full night following afterwards. I did have some minor flu-like symptoms (normal for the first 24-36 hours) - and one really crappy migraine the following morning - but today has been wonderful, with little pain, and an ability to enjoy the sunshine on my drive instead of hiding from it!
I will try to update more as I go through this process. They say 1 week I will notice positive changes, and 4-6 weeks until it is steady and working well. The best news is, I only need the procedure 4 times a year! and within a year I could have a 90% reduction of migraines! -- here's the being healthy, working hard, and maintaining a lifestyle that is most positive for my migraines.
When it comes to planning vacations or other events where travel is required, how much does migraine factor into your decision-making?