Should I leap for joy or run like mad at my upcoming second trial of Botox injections (for Chronic Migraines)? I haven’t decided yet. But I can tell you I’m not looking forward to it. And here are some legit reasons why, starting with the least conseqential:
Call Me a Cruncher – That’s what Dr. G. called me when he did the Botox injections two years ago. I’m a “cruncher” because when the needle goes into my forehead, temples, jaw, neck and upper shoulder areas, the needles make a disconcerting crunching noise. I think of Simon Lithgoe of the Fox television show “So You Think You Can Dance”. When it’s audition time, Simon declares, “And — cue music!” Same thing as the injections begin. It’s crunch time!
Bee Stings – That’s what the thirty-one injections feel like. I’m not a baby about needles, okay? I’ve had ’em in my heel; the bottom of my feet; in my mouth a hundred times for dental work; in my hips; and uh, here’s the worst, and if you don’t like too much personal info then skip this one please — (a needle right into a clotted hemorrhoid). Lidocaine doesn’t do shit! (and yes, I love puns). I share this only to show that I’ve endured needles of all sorts without a peep. And I’ll take all 31 shots of botulism like a trooper, but they hurt like holy hell and worse then some of those other memorable needle invasions.
Post Botox Pain – My face is fine and doesn’t swell even if it feels like I’ve stuck my head in a beehive. It’s the migraines which follow in the days afterward that hurt the most. My neck feels stiff and the extra painful migraines generate from that. Migraines are bad enough, so why would I want to subject myself to something that’s going to bring them on?
Along with several doctors whom I’ve discussed this with – my sleep disorder Dr. Z.; my dear migraine specialist Dr. L. who just left his old practice; my new Dr. M. and her team at OHSU’s Comprehensive Pain Center – we agree that Botox Round One may not have been administered properly. I’ve never mentioned my experience before, but it did raise some concerns about whether the injections were truly effective.
Dr. G. had been giving Botox for Migraine Injections for at least three years when I sat before him in a regular old chrome and blue fabric patient chair in the cubicle. On the counter, as he withdrew the serum from the box, he laid out the package insert like one would spread out a road map to see where the hell they were going. And he studied it and kept referring to it and his aura was not calm and practiced but instead uncertain and a little nervous. The other doctors found this a bit bizarre. While Dr. G. probably hit the proper targets, maybe he didn’t. So despite all of my fears stated above, it’s worth another try. It will be happening in two days, and I’ll post how that experience compares with Dr. G. and his package inserts. (He’s the same doc who declared he wasn’t a migraine expert when I asked him about magnesium infusions, yet he was injecting Botox in people with chronic migraines!)
I’m always hopeful. Without hope, we have nothing. So onward I go, putting forth a brave face or reasonable facsimile thereof.
Disclaimer: This post and blog represent my opinions only and should not be misconstrued as advice. When seeking treatment for any illness, please consult with a physician.