Botox: Part 2

So it has been 3 months and 16 days since I had my first Botox injects; and roughly a week since I went for my second treatment (you have to go every 12 weeks for injections).

In those 3 months, get ready for this, I had 5 headaches! I know that may seem like pfft whatever but for me that is ahhh-mazing, if you know me or if you have read my previous posts about my migraine situation you know that 5 is pretty much a miracle. And to make it even better these headaches never got to the point of no return like my other headaches use to do. These past 5 I was able to take an Excedrin or Relpax and bam no more headache.

I honestly wish I had known about Botox sooner, or that it was even made an option available to me years ago; I told my neurologist this too. My neurologist said that Botox is a last resort and the reason that they do not offer it is because it is so expensive. I will have you know I have a warped sense of real world insurance costs because I work for a big healthcare company that graciously offers benefits at a low cost to me. So for my injections I pay five bucks, that’s it, five and done. I was curious to know how much Botox costs in the real world so I did a little bit of research.

Botox prices can range from $10 per unit up to $18 per unit, there seems to be no rhyme or reason for the cost fluctuation some websites I read seem to suggest that it has to do with the physician giving the injections; if he/she is in demand, how much Botox they buy, the areas that it is injected, etc.  So I figure the average price per unit is around $15, which doesn’t seem so bad until you take into account how many units you actually need per treatment. Botox for migraines requires 155 units for the treatment. So 155 units x $15 = $2,325 Yikes. When I sit back and look at that number I think is that amount of money something that I would be willing to pay for? I mean for my migraines I would give anything, but cosmetically is that really worth it? At my age now I would say no, but who knows what I will say 30, 4o years down the road when my skin starts to sag and I get wrinkles and such. I do know that I won’t have a problem with forehead wrinkles thanks to my migraine Botox. (kidding, but only kind of)

I really just wanted to update about my progress with the Botox treatments; scariest, yet best decision I have made to get my head under control. Rumor has it that after about a year’s worth of treatment that the headaches should just dissipate and hopefully they will cease to exist; I can’t complain about that. I cannot even express how nice it is to have my life back, to not miss out on activities because I have a migraine. I can also genuinely say that I am happier, living in constant pain really does put a damper on things and now that I no longer have that pain I feel like a weight has been lifted off of me and it is fabulous.

 

r

5/28/14

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Botox

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So it has been 4 days since I went to my neurologist and had the Botox treatment done… so far so good.

I am not going to lie I was beyond terrified of doing the Botox procedure but as I mentioned before nothing else had worked for me.

And to only make things more terrifying my co-worker and I decided to look up the medication guide and patient information sheet on Botox.. you know if was ONLY 36 pages long; and well I decided that it would be a super awesome idea to read every page of it and freak myself out even more.. honestly not my finest moment.

I felt that I had to educate myself because although I trust doctors for the most part I literally just met my new neurologist a week prior to my appointment and we hadn’t really discussed all of the crazy things that could happen, or how to prep myself for the injections.

I remember when the nurse called to schedule the appointment as soon as I hung up the phone I was already having second thoughts about doing it.. but why? I mean potentially this was the cure that I had been waiting for, why was I so scared? I mean I know WHY, but why really? The unknown is a rather terrifying thing and anyone who says otherwise is probably a big, fat liar pants.

The night before the procedure I was so nervous I decided to engage in some retail therapy and stress eat Panda Express.. good ideas all around, and if you tell me otherwise I am still sticking to my thoughts that these were amazing activities to partake in.

I had a hard time falling asleep the night before I had to go in.. I expected this. The morning I had to go in, I got up and took my time getting ready; as if this would delay what was to come, I half expected to talk myself out of going. I threw my most attractive outfit on; leggings and a sweatshirt, with no makeup and headed downstairs. My granny being the worrywart that she is decided amongst herself that I would be in no condition to drive home after having the injections; the way she was acting you would think I was having a lobotomy done, or something serious for that matter. Granny tends to make me more nervous, butttt I let her drive me.

When we got to the hospital I was still nervous, I got checked in and as soon as I walked into the waiting area the nurse called my name. I remember thinking crap I didn’t even have time to sit down and prepare myself for this. Thankfully she just wanted to take my weight and vitals. I have to say I love the nurse in the neurology department, I wish I knew her name, but really she is awesome. She was telling me she remembered talking to me and thinking it was funny how nervous I was because she said that on certain days of the week they have a Botox clinic; cosmetic purpose, and they always have more people than they can accommodate. She said people are lining up to get the stuff to fix their wrinkles and what not and here I was nervous about getting it when it could be my saving grace. She even told me people fake having headache to the extent that I have them just so they can try and get Botox for a cheaper price (a price their insurance would cover)…. oh some people, if there is a will there is a way.

When the doc came in I started asking him a bunch of questions; you know the usual, how many people have you killed, how many faces have you messed up, how many patients do you do this to, etc. After a little talking he proceeded. Took an alcohol wipe and started wiping my face and neck. He wiped all of the 20 places he was going to inject.

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The Botox website says that for migraine uses they recommend 31 injections; for whatever reason my neurologist does a total of 20. I intend on asking him next visit why he doesn’t do the full 31. I received 6 in my forehead, 4 in each side of my head in the temple area, 4 in the back of my head and 2 in my neck. I must say that it wasn’t as bad as I had imagined at all. The most uncomfortable ones were the ones in the forehead and it wasn’t so much the needle going in as it was the Botox going in.

After the injections were done my forehead looked like it had been attacked by mosquitos but I was assured that the lumps would go down in about 30-45 minutes (they went down quicker). I was advised to not touch, rub, or wash my face for a few hours, that it would be okay to do so in the evening. Rubbing, touching or washing could cause the Botox solution to move in other parts of the face and cause uber sexy droopy eyes or a lopsided forehead. Being the paranoid person I am when it comes to stuff like this I decided I would wait to do anything to my face until the next morning, no washing,no touching, no make up.. nothing the last thing I needed was to look like the Hunchback of Notre Dame.

So far everything is going okay. The day of the injections I had some shooting pains in my neck at the site of injection. Friday and Saturday I had some shooting pains in my right temple area where I would normally have my migraines but those lasted only a few minutes before they dissipated. My face isn’t lopsided and my eyes aren’t drooping, I do feel tightness in my forehead but that is about it. If Botox works I will receive these 20 injections every 12 weeks; next injection date is May 13.. fingers crossed that this stuff does the trick.

Side-note..  I kind of felt weird walking out of the office looking like I had been attacked by mosquitos and I mentioned something to granny and this little old man sitting a couple chairs away from her told me not to worry that his wife looked that way too when she came out. We got to talking and he said that his wife has been doing Botox for migraines for about 2 years and in those 2 years she has had a total of 1 maybe 2 migraines in that time span. This bit of info made me feel hopeful, and I cared a lot less about my mosquito forehead. Can you imagine what it would be like to be headache free? Well I mean a lot of you surely can, but I can’t, I don’t remember what it’s like to even have a week without some sort of head pains.

But hey that’s all for now, I will keep you updated on how the next 12 weeks go.

Cheers to 4 days headache free

r

2/16/14