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Botox and Migraines – My Story

I’ve had migraines for as long as I can remember.  It’s absolutely horrible.  There’s no way around it.  The simplest things set me off… smells, lights, stress, tension, exercise, lack of exercise, not enough water, travel, car rides, pretty much every day life causes migraines for me. I’ve tried everything.  I’ve done massage therapy, accupuncture, herbs, drugs (every kind of migraine medication out there), preventative meds, and so on.  Nothing seems to help.  My kids knew that headaches ruled my life.  I often missed out on games, activities, or just spending time with my kids because I couldn’t function.  Having headaches DAILY was not out of the norm.  Finally, I went to a Neurologist who specializes in pain management.  My fear was that she would throw some pain killers my way and call it good.  Most doctors really don’t understand the severity of migraines.  They say they do, but I’m convinced they don’t know how they really alter your entire life.  Several months ago I wrote about how this Neurologist tried Botox to treat my migraines.  I promised to tell you if it was working.

Well, it’s been about 7 months now.  I’ve had Botox injections done 3 times and I’m starting to think this doctor is a miracle worker!  She gives me about 20-30 tiny little shots in the back of my neck and in the top of my head. (I have a very wrinkle-free neck now! At least that’s my joke because the back of my neck doesn’t have fine lines and wrinkles anyway!)  Yes, the shots hurt, but not as much as a typical shot.  So, in the past 3 months or so, I would say that I can count on one hand the number of headaches I’ve had.  It’s truly amazing!  I really don’t understand how it works.  She says it paralyzes the muscles that trigger my headaches, but I don’t understand how that helps with my other triggers like light or smells.  I try to stay away from things that I know bother me, but you can’t hide from everything!

I’ve also made changes that my naturopath has suggested, which probably help a lot too.  I went through food allergy testing and several other tests which could help figure out why I’m sick all of the time. (For those of you who know me well, you know that I’m not only prone to migraines, but I also get everything that walks into the classroom door.  I’ve been diagnosed with more diseases that I can count, all related to my thyroid, sinuses, and airways. It’s not a good problem to have when you teach little kids every day.) When she did these tests, she found out I have some weird gene mutation that makes me react negatively to certain things.  I’ve really tried changing my diet to be more organic, with fewer chemicals, and more back-to-the-basics. I think I’ve noticed a difference with those changes too.  The other day I opened a can of typical soup for lunch and about an hour after lunch I started feeling horrible.  I don’t know if it was the MSG in the soup, all of the other junk that was in there, or just a coincidence, but I know I felt horrible.

So, there you have it.  That’s my migraine/Botox story so far.  We’ll see how I do in the next few months!

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