Monday, March 2, 2015
Migraine treatment update.
In October of 2013 I posted a article on here about my long struggle with migraines. It had gotten so bad that I would get 2-4 migraines a week at times. I had tried so many medications that had awful side effects. Side effects were losing my hair, memory loss, speech issues, dry skin, skin rashes, dry mouth and more. I tried chiropractor, Chinese medicine, acupuncture, cupping, massages, every home remedy that I was told about from others or had read about online. Sadly nothing really helped me.
After six years of battling and being in my worse spell of chronic migraines ever my neurologist finally suggested trying Botox injections for the treatment and prevention of migraines. I had several people tell me about this treatment but was told it was expensive and if you didn't go to a good doctor you could have all kinds of bad side effects. I googled it and was terrified. I hate needles and the idea of getting 34-36 injections in my face, head, neck and shoulders was terrifying. Like anything the horrible stories I read about was enough to make me think it wasn't worth it but then I would read just as many anazing stories that I decided if my insurance was going to cover the treatment I would give it a shot. This treatment can cost $800-2000 depending on the doctor, dosage and amount of injections. It can only be done once every ninety days.
My neurologist sent for approval from my insurance company and after getting denied my doctor personally called my insurance company for me. He explained to them all the treatments I had tried and the list of horrible side effects explaining how I got no relief. After many conversations with the insurance company and answering many questions it finally was approved. I wrote about my first appointment and one update after my second treatment. Everyone wanted to know if it took care of wrinkles since some of the injection areas are on my face, honestly I don't get the shots for cosmetic reasons. I don't feel at my age I need that yet but I have noticed that between my eyebrows doesn't crinkle up like it use to even when I try my hardest to make it and my forehead does appear to be smoother on the top portion just below my hairline. I had some small lines from squinting that are no longer visible unless I squint hard. Keep in mind these injections are not the same dosage or amount that you receive when getting the cosmetic version of Botox done. The dose is weaker and each injection is a small amount.
I still get very nervous every ninety days when my appointment comes. I am terrified of needles and honestly since my skin is still tight on my face and then my neck, and shoulder muscles are super tense it can hurt. Luckily my doctor is amazing and he works quickly. Thirty four shots is a lot and he is done very quick. Some times it hurts worse then others depending on my sensitivity level at that time and if I am sore already or have a migraine when I go. I am usually sore for a few days after. I would say almost every time if I don't go to the appointment with a headache or migraine I usually have one when I leave or within a few hours but it helps to take Advil then ice the areas.
The day of I am sore during the procedure and tender to the touch when I get home. I ice the area throughout the day but the next two days is usually rough. By the third day I am back to myself and usually have some neck sensitivity but then I am migraine free for the next two months sometimes longer. It has never lasted the entire ninety days but I will say that it has been a life changer for me. Being someone who suffered so bad and would get nausea, sensitivity to light, sounds, smells and movement, I now don't spend a couple days a week laying in my bed in darkness just praying for it to end. I feel like I got my life back and it has helped me so much. I get to spend more time with my kids and don't worry every day about getting a headache or migraine.
I have read bad reviews and good like anything but for me it has been the most effective and less side effects compared to all the different medications that I have been prescribed over the years. I highly recommend if your insurance will cover it and you have tried many types of relief that have not worked for you, to give the Botox a try. I bring my husband with me and he usually takes the day off and sometimes the day after off or I have someone here to help me with the kids because my head usually hurts, and feels like it weighs a hundred pounds on my neck. I recommend having frozen ice packs and cold clothes, being ready to take a day or two to just relax, and the support of your family or spouse for that time. I take it easy and don't let anything get me stressed out. I try to take a break from any responsibilities or work I have for the entire week, that way I can focus on relaxing and feeling better.
I will be sure to post a article later this week about my appointment tomorrow and fill you in on more details about the procedure, my pain after and how long it takes me to feel myself again. I have been having migraines for almost three weeks now, my neck is super tight snd sore as I write this. I am praying that the shots won't hurt as badly as they have the passed two times. My first few treatments didn't hurt as badly as the last two. I have a neurologist that specializes in injections that does my procedure. He is the best and knows exactly where to go with each injection. It usually takes about twenty minutes from start to finish and then I am on my way home to ice and relax. Hope this helps anyone who is looking for ways to fight their battle with chronic migraines. The pain of the shots is nothing compared to the symptoms and pain of an actual migraine. Especially those that last for days and have you laid up in bed unable to do your daily activities or tend to your responsibilities. Please if you have any questions please feel free to leave me a comment. I get notification on my phone for every comment to be approved and usually respond within 12 hours at the longest. I try my best to respond right away.
If you struggle with migraines be strong and I promise you there is light at the end of the tunnel. You can get your life back and live migraine free, even if it is for two months. To me it's the best choice I have made and thanks to my amazing team of doctors, along with my insurance company, I have been able to try this amazing treatment. I have had zero side effects other then pain and stiffness for two to three days following the shots. No droopy eye, lock jaw, ringing in my ears or muscle weakness.
Check back later this week for my in depth post on my appointment and step by step what happens at the appointment. I will do my best to get some photos also.
Have a great week and I will be missing for a couple days but should have some fun stuff to post this weekend. Don't forget to head over to Instagram and enter my contest to win a $25 Target giftcard, my way of showing how thankful I am to everyone for your support with my blog. Good night and hopefully I will sleep even though the thought of the needles make me anxious. Bless you all. Xoxo