When I first started seeing my current neurologist in 2015, they recommended that I try Botox to help with my chronic migraines. Their hope was that the injections would lessen the severity of my migraines, or at least give me less headache days a month. I was extremely hesitant at first, but decided to try it out anyway- my neurologist was going to be the one administering the treatment, so at least it was someone sort of familiar.
While I am able to do acupuncture, I freaked out over the Botox needles at first, because they were going in my head. Thankfully, my neurologist was very understanding, even though I started crying, and helped me get through the injections. Later on, they said my reaction to the needles made total sense, since I had just met them and then they were stabbing me with medication. But overall, the needles didn’t hurt much.
I had a huge migraine that night, and at first I wondered if the treatment had worked at all. But then I noticed my migraine attacks were a little shorter, maybe by 30 minutes. This was huge for me, as I was able to get on with my life that much sooner. I became less anxious about the injections over time, and have since had them done three times for migraines.
Recently, my neurologist suspected cervical dystonia, which would explain my severe neck and shoulder spasms and increased muscle tension. Since Botox is approved for use with cervical dystonia, we decided to try it again, this time hitting points in my neck and shoulder. I had anxiety again about the needles, so my neurologist played music while they did the injections, and that helped a lot.
After those injections, I had another severe migraine, to the point where I yelled at my brother for turning on a light in my room and made him bring me an ice pack for my head (still sorry about that…). After that, I noticed I had much better movement in my shoulder and fewer spasms, and the same went for my neck. I didn’t notice any change in my pain levels.
Overall, Botox has helped me a lot as someone with chronic migraines and Chiari Malformation. It’s definitely not for everyone, but it’s important to explore all different types of treatments for managing chronic illness.