Wednesday, March 19, 2014

I got Botox at 29

Yes, it's true.  I did.  Not for vanity reasons, though.  If you're new around these parts, I have been suffering from tension headaches/migraines for years now.  It used to be just every now and then, but for the past year it has been almost daily.  For the past three months, it has been pretty severe, and even though I try and live my life to the fullest, work is my priority, and then I muster what energy I can to do anything else. 

Usually, Monday - Friday I am at work and then laid up on the couch.  Being under a computer and under florescent lights all day really wreak havoc on my head.  I don't have the energy to work out, nor did I feel like doing so with a pounding headache.  Most, if anything, of what I did was on the weekend, and I was almost always home by 8pm, because I couldn't take being out much past that.

I've tried so many supplements, medications, and therapies, to include chiropractic care and physical therapy.  Some of it worked, and then tapered off, some things didn't work at all, and some worked, but had crazy side effects, such as insomnia, numbness in my body, and night terrors (that was fun).  I was pretty hopeless about everything, to be honest.  Other than work, I could accomplish much throughout the week, and I was tired of it.

My doctor found out that someone at the clinic was certified to give Botox injections for pain management (and we are talking military facilities here, so nothing fancy is usually available), and thought that I would be a perfect candidate for it.  Me, the girl who has the lowest pain threshold ever and a slight phobia of needles?  Me???  But, she said that the trials shows an average decrease in headaches to be about 9 days a month.  An average of a third of the month headache free?  I was willing to try about anything at this point.

So, I scheduled my appointment, and went in.  Apparently, this is only the second clinic in the Air Force to do these, so it was very fortuitous that this doctor was here.  I signed a bunch of waivers, and prepared for the procedure.  It was a total of 31 injections in my face, temples, neck, and shoulders.  They were tiny little needles, but I'm not going to lie...I felt every one of them.  Especially the ones in my face and temples.  Major ouch.  It took about an hour total, but I asked for a few breaks in between the injections.  I was told that I could have little bumpy blotches that could last for up to two hours, and I of course imagined I would look like Taylor from RHOBH.

I did not, thank goodness.  I don't know if it's because I didn't make crazy faces like you would for the cosmetic process, but all I had was a little swelling and little holes of blood from it, which were barely noticeable, and they went away by the morning.

Excuse how pale and terrible my face looks.  It was a crazy process.

After the procedure, I went home to lay down.  Thank goodness I took the afternoon off from work!  I was sore, big time.  I was nauseous from the stress of it all, and my muscles were sore for days afterwards.  I had a really hard time sleeping that night, but the next two nights it continued to hurt a little less, and Monday night I had no issues.  It is supposed to last about 10-12 weeks, and then I would have to go back and do the whole crazy thing all over again.

Would I?  If I were to give a final answer today, it would be absolutely.  I have not had a headache at all in two days.  TWO DAYS!  I feel like this was a miracle, and the relief I feel is slowly making my body recover from the years of craziness.  I know it's not guaranteed to never cause me a headache, but honestly, even if it is just the nine less days a month, that's nine days of my life I'll get back.  Nine days where I'm not popping Excedrin like candy.  It's amazing.  Sure, my shoulder muscles are still a little sore, and I have "awareness" of my forehead (although it didn't get rid of my massive forehead wrinkle), but I do not have a headache today.  And that is a miracle in and of itself.


Jen said...

Wow that is awesome and I am so glad that you have not had a headache!!

Anonymous said...

Yay! Glad it was worth it! You're right, you can barely notice the injection points.

Angie said...

I am glad it is working! My husband has been struggling with headaches as well, and doctors can't find the source.

Willie Strickland said...

I'm glad getting botox helped relieve your headaches, Kristen. Glad the procedure was successful, and that your hesitation from the needles didn't phase you from getting it done. Hahaha! Keep us updated of your progress. All the best! :)

Willie Strickland @ Alexander Surgery