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Botox Round 1: Initial Reactions

Botox.

No no, not the kind that freezes your face and is an expensive cosmetic treatment favored by rich white women everywhere.

Pure Botox that is used for many medical applications.

The idea that has been shoved down my throat as the route I need to take since before my migraines were even chronic…

The product that has a very large payout associated with it for any doctor who successfully uses it to treat their patients.

It took 2 whole years for me to even accept the idea that Botox was for me. It took 2 years for me to push past my fears and brush over the thousands of horror stories associated with this treatment.

This time last year I sat in a brand new doctor’s office and we were going to try Botox. I didn’t argue. I didn’t look for other options, I agreed that it was time to start it.

Before he even had the opportunity to have insurance deny him, I called and told him no and requested to see a different specialist. Why? Because in his other decisions to completely change my medicine regime without even analyzing my entire case, I almost had to drop out of school mid semester.

By summer, my headache specialist was met with the denial from my insurance regarding the Botox treatments.

After failing with the new CGRP medicines, I sought out the referral from yet another top headache specialist and was approved.

That was Thanksgiving. It took over a month to even get the medicine in, and another month to even get into my neurologist to have the procedure done.

30 some small injections.

My forehead. My temples. The base of my skull and my neck.

My doctor assured me multiple times about the huge success rate that exists with Botox.

He fulfilled my request for a muscle relaxer, as I read that often the main side effect was severe neck tension… and already suffering from neck tension, I didn’t want it to get worse.

The forehead injections were extremely painful.

The rest felt more like chunks of my hair were being ripped out.

On the car ride home, I had that lingering feeling that this was in fact triggering a major migraine. I mean duh, you stick a needle into the base of my skull and a migraine is bound to ensue.

And oh man did this Botox put me down for a few days. My regular medicine didn’t even touch the pain. It wasn’t until someone reached out suggesting I try ibuprofen, as that’s what they suggest for cosmetic patients to avoid the “headache” that typically follows.

To say I was angry when an ibuprofen knocked out my pain is honestly an understatement. But it did, so I was thankful.

I had my Botox injections on Wednesday.

I haven’t been able to move my neck since. The muscle relaxers are kind of a joke.

I can barely hold my head up. Ice doesn’t help. Heat doesn’t help. Massaging the stiff areas sends ice picks stabbing through the rest of my head…

Brushing my teeth this morning left me in tears because the pain in my neck is that severe.

It is much to early in the treatment to know if the Botox will have any impact on my migraines. But it certainly isn’t too early for me to express my frustration.

You see, at this point I’ve probably had hundreds of people tell me to get Botox. HUNDREDS.

But, I sit here, completely alone. Because every last one of you who aided in shoving this treatment that I never wanted, down my throat, never actually had this treatment.

There’s no one to answer my questions.

There’s no one to offer support or explain that this neck tension may ease up.

Not a soul.

I haven’t slept since Wednesday. That’s how much pain I’m in.

I did my makeup today just so I wouldn’t have to see the horrifying dark circles that live under my eyes. I’ll be sitting in the dark all day and no one else will see me. But when I glance in the mirror, I won’t have to see it.

I’ve been “up” for three hours now, but I’m ready to curl back up and fall asleep.

But you don’t really get restful sleep when you’re tossing and turning in agony.

So thank you so much for your treatment suggestions. You all know an incredible amount. You’ve heard this or that.

Please, keep that shit to yourself. Because, I truly thought in starting this, I’d have people to go to, but I don’t because y’all continue to pull these suggestions out of your ass.

I was so thrilled to start because it was my last option. Now I have to weigh if being able to use my neck is comparable to my migraines.

I have to completely forfeit my massage therapy – the only treatment I’ve found to aid my condition. Why? Because there’s a serum that now lives in my muscles that cannot be worked out and massaged in a way that will provide relief. I finally have a small amount of income that I could start back up with my regular therapy sessions and now the entire concept is useless.

My doctor got his fancy paycheck.

I got a very large bill and a stiff neck.

And you all get the satisfaction of knowing that I finally did what y’all were shoving down my throat.

A.

*Update 7/9/19:

I fully intended to continue a series documenting my progress with Botox, alas, I did not.

Botox was administered mid-January and the above portion were my initial reactions. I spent the entirety of February in agonizing pain. Because of the injections – either done improperly or an adverse reaction – I lost mobility of my neck. I could not turn it from side to side and had to purchase a brace to provide support to my head. It wasn’t until a bit into March that I regained some ability and was able to safely drive again.

This was an excruciating time period for me and left me feeling hopeless and with little trust for traditional medical solutions. Both my doctor and I agreed to discontinue Botox altogether. Since March, I have been working to restrengthen my neck. I have to focus primarily on stretches and very gentle yoga.

There is permanent damage to my neck and long lasting effects including severe tension and tenderness of the muscles in my neck, lower back of head, and upper shoulder regions.*

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