I am now one year and three months into a chronic, intractable migraine. Basically I haven’t had a pain free day since December 4th 2018 and on a daily basis I either have mid level pain I can push to one side in order to get through the day, or severe pain which takes me completely out of action.
I’ve posted before about everything I have tried so far in order to get rid of it, or at least reduce it to a more manageable level but so far nothing has made a real dent and recently I have absolutely been reaching the end of my patience with the whole thing and started seeing a therapist again to try and make sure I keep myself mentally healthy. It’s useful to have an outlet but ironically I have had to put these sessions on hold as my migraines were preventing me getting to the appointments and I was cancelling more than I was making.
So, the next step in the journey was to get a referral to Northampton hospital (about 40 minutes away) to investigate whether I was a candidate for botox. Not the wrinkle removing kind (a side effect I can cope with though) but a treatment that helps around 60% of people with chronic migraines and involves 30-40 injections in the face, head and neck (ouch). For a bit more information see here.
After several months wait I finally saw a consultant on February 26th and was advised I fit the criteria and should be receiving an appointment letter soon, could be weeks – could be months. Then this morning I got a call to say they’d had a cancellation this afternoon and did I want the appointment. Hell yes I did! Not exactly convenient for work but my amazing colleagues stepped in to cover and now I am trying not to get myself too overexcited that this might actually be the thing that at least reduces the amount of time I have a migraine, if not completely removes them.
Doctors think Botox works for migraine headaches because it blocks chemicals called neurotransmitters that carry pain signals from your brain. Botox is like a roadblock in that pathway. It stops the chemicals before they get to the nerve endings around your head and neck.
The consultant was clear that it would likely take more than one session to know if it would definitely help and sessions are three months apart so might be a while before I know for sure, but it feels good to know at least the treatment is starting and there is a CHANCE it may work.
I’ll post an update after the first session and report back on how it feels to have 30+ needles of toxin injected into your head, am pretty sure it’s going to be utterly amazing…