Posted 6/23/2014 5:19 PM (GMT -6)
I'll make this quick. I've been getting botox for migraines for about 1 1/2 years or so. Absolute lifesaver. Migraines went from almost daily to only getting 2-3 a month, and those have been less intense and shorter than they used to be. The past 2-3 weeks have been bad for me regarding headaches--due to really high levels of stress and some med changes and being dehydrated. But even with all that going on, there was really only 1 day where I was "out of commission" and had to just rest in a quiet, dark room. I do still take preventative meds, and occasionally need my rescue meds, but things are SO much better since I started the treatments. I do go almost exactly every 3 months for a repeat, and once or twice I noticed that toward the end of the 3 month period, headaches were starting to creep back in.
It's been a miracle for me. Side effects? Zero for me. Well, unless you count not being able to raise my eyebrows as a side effect. I sure don't. Couldn't care less about my eyebrows. I have my life back. Strange coincidence....I also receive botox injections in my bladder (for spasming) and in my right eyelid (spasming also), but those things are completely unrelated. I just think it's funny.
The procedure itself isn't bad. I suppose a little anxiety the first time you get it done, but really, nothing to be scared about. They do 31 tiny injections in the forehead, scalp, and down the back of your neck, down kinda to the shoulder area. I would say they feel like tiny little baby bee stings. The whole thing takes maybe 3 minutes? and the stinging feeling is basically over in several seconds. A few of the spots may bleed for a second, but really don't even leave a mark. I guess if you look really hard you might be able to identify a spot or two immediately after. Then they usually have you sit there for a couple of minutes to make sure you don't have any weird reactions (very very unlikely), then you go home and go about your day. There's no down time. Might take a couple of days to fully kick in, no big deal.
I'd say if your docs say that it's safe, go for it. Of course, I don't even remember what possible side effects are, cuz I never had any, but maybe when you go for injections, talk with the doc first about what to expect, what side effects to be aware of, and let them know your fears and concerns if you have any. If you're anxious, tell them, they can reassure you that it will be alright and help you feel more relaxed about the process. I would recommend checking with the doc or the referring doc to know that the one doing the injecting has been doing it for a while.
One last thing, in order for insurance to approve it, they often require you to keep a migraine/headache diary for a few months beforehand to prove you really need it. So, if you aren't doing that now, start writing down things like when you get the headache every day (time), intensity, other symptoms, what meds you take, any triggers you can think of, and whatever else you notice about them. Not sure if there's a standard form used by insurance companies for it, ask your doc. All I know is the more proof you can show, the easier to get them to pay for it. Or so I've heard. My insurance for some reason didn't make me jump through that hoop.
Obviously, if you haven't figured it out by now, I highly recommend it. Just be sure they know what medical conditions you have and what meds you are on. I'm on around 20 different meds for various medical problems, but not a problem. The only thing you have to lose is migraines!!
This got way longer than I intended. I just like to share my experiences with the botox injections and how they have really helped me, in hopes that it will help someone else. It does sound sorta scary from the outside, but after your first time, you'll realize it's nothing to be afraid of.
Good luck and email me or post here if you have any questions I can help you with. And let me know what you decide.