Botox Was The Miracle
In my early 40s I started to get a couple migraines a month. After having 2-5 migraine days a month for a year, I went to my doctor who referred me to a neurologist. Every year after that, the number of migraines increased until I was having 20-25 days of migraines a month. As a teacher of first graders, it became impossible to continue teaching with that many days of pain. I ended up on permanent disability by the time I was 50. That started my 15 year journey of consulting with several headache specialists and trying many medications in an attempt to find something that worked.
During most of my 50s, I was disabled. I tried a variety of medications and medication combinations. Every time I titrated off one medication and titrated onto another medication, I would gain 5-10 pounds, gaining a total of 100 pounds within 5 years. Yet nothing seemed to be making a dent in the number of migraine days I was having. Rescue medications did not do anything except make me feel like I was having an out of body experience. Besides having constant migraine pain, light and noise sensitivity, and nausea, I was having many side effects of the medications I was using in an attempt to lessen the number of migraines.
The first 7 years of permanent disability were a blur. I seldom did anything due to the constant migraine pain. I stopped planning activities with friends and family because I was forced to cancel the majority of the time. My sleep was choppy and interrupted due to pain. To sum it up, I became bedridden in the dark cave of my bedroom.
Then I changed neurologists (for the 4th time) and my new neurologist suggested Botox. She got the authorization approved by insurance and I had my first round of injections. It was a miracle! The number of days of migraine went from 20-25 to 2-3 a month. I was elated! The days I did have a migraine, the intensity was more like a mild headache and it was usually alleviated with 800 mg of ibuprofen. I felt liberated.
I continue to get Botox injections every three months to this day. Since getting my migraines under control, I was able to be a caregiver for my husband and son who both had Huntington’s Disease for the last 3 years of their lives when they needed me the most. They passed away in 2017 but I am grateful I could take care of them. Had I had migraines like I had before Botox, I would not have been able to do that.
I now am officially retired and learning how to live again. I have lost 60 pounds, exercise regularly, and have reunited with many friends. I have another son with Huntington’s Disease who will need me in the future but right now he has not started having any significant symptoms. I’m living the life I lost in my 40s and 50s.
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