The soreness from the shots has faded away, and the monstrous headache it triggered seems to be dying down.
I wouldn’t say I’m quite back to my pre-botox pain level, but I’m getting there.
The toughest part of this treatment is it’s inability to meet the expectations of those around me. I am well aware that it will be weeks before I know if there is any change, and maybe longer before I know if the treatment will help enough. I’ve been dealing with this headache long enough to know there is no quick cure.
My friends on the other hand, seem to long even more than me for that magical pill that will end the headache. Who am I to argue against their reasoning?
I long to be able to tell everyone that I am well,
To join in with the jogging,
To go to a concert,
To schedule things without fear of cancelling last minute.
Today my head hurts worse. I planned lessons, ate lunch, and went back to bed. I got up in time to get ready and go to work, only to come home halfway through a 4 hour shift.
The right side of my head is sore from the shots. The left is fine.
It’s the right side that always hurts.
I’m hoping the soreness and extra pain diminishes soon. Two of my girls are gone to a friend’s house for the next two nights, so the house should be a bit quieter. My plans for tomorrow are cancelled. It will be a day for rest and recovery.
I had my first series of Botox injections and survived. It will be a few weeks before I know how much it helps.
Note the positive tone there. I don’t know what we can do next if it doesn’t help.
I’m no baby when it comes to pain, and I managed fine. Still, I will not be bringing my personal photographer (aka my daughter) to document the experience. According to my husband, my grimace will hurt her as much as the injections hurt me. They are brief, and over quickly. Dr. P. said the forehead is the worst for most people, but I vote right side. Apparently I’m a bit tense and I need to loosen up my neck and shoulders, so those injections hurt a bit more than usual.
I wonder if tension is worsening my headaches? I’ll work on that.
No serious side effects. For the first few hours I had brief stinging sensations in some of the injection sites, but the discomfort was minimal. My pain level has been greater today and I have a few sore spots. Especially on the right temple.
So I think we need an I survived botox bumper sticker (or web banner.) It needs to be mildly cryptic so people will puzzle over what it means, like the marathon sticker. Here’s my go at making one:
I ran out of FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act) leave time, which meant that
I was warned that if I have any more absences I’ll be written up, which caused me to
Go to part time hours to help me not miss any more time, which led to the fact that
I no longer qualify for FMLA because I don’t work enough hours, so now
If I’m absent from a single shift I’ll get in trouble and I don’t have any recourse.
I thought working part time would help me with absences, and it has. I only work four and a half hours, five days per week. I’ve only had to come home mid shift one day since dropping my hours. But there have been days when I’ve really had to push myself to make it through. I’m sure my work has suffered a little, but you can’t go too wrong in retail, so I’m the only one who notices.
I hoped working part time would help me with homeschooling and housework, and it hasn’t. Since I have to force myself to go to work, no matter how I feel, I’m feeling worse at home. It’s like I have a limited energy reserve, and it can only carry me through half-way. Not being able to miss work, home feels the neglect.
One of my coping strategies is to hide how badly I feel and carry on. But it wears me out, and it shows in my dealings with the kids. I get short with them or I just don’t really notice what’s going on. They may have to tell me something 3 or more times to get my attention. I apologize or try to refocus, but the next day it’s back. They would probably say it’s not that bad. But I notice, and I don’t like it.
My goal is to improve.
I’m not sure how, but I’ll be praying, and trying to meditate. That seems like a good start.
Oh, and Botox is scheduled for next week. Hopefully that will bring some relief.
I went to a different neurologist last week. Actually, he’s a professor who taught my neuro. As Dr. P and I were stuck, it seemed like a good idea to get a fresh perspective.
Although he didn’t say it to me personally, he was as much at a loss as Dr. P. He did remind us of a few treatments we haven’t tried, and told me about a headache I’d never heard of.
Botox – If you’ve seen any headache news in the past few years you must have read about the use of Botox in treating migraines. It consists of 31 injections given with very fine needles into the head and neck. It takes up to four weeks to see results and the treatment is repeated every 3 months.
Nerve Block – I had an occipital nerve block done last year, but it didn’t help. It might help to try blocking other nerves on my head.
Or we could consider the headache I’d never heard – Pseudotumor. Pseudotumor is caused by increased pressure in the brain. A spinal tap is performed to measure the pressure of cerebrospinal fluid that surrounds the brain and spinal cord. If there’s too much pressure it could be the cause of my headaches. It’s aptly named pseudotumor because the symptoms mimic that of a brain tumor.
I don’t think it likely I have pseudotumor, as there are symptoms that don’t line up with mine. Though if nothing pans out, it may be worth a check. Nothing else seems to match my symptoms either!
I believe I’ll be trying the Botox soon. I’ll post about it when I do. Maybe I can even take my personal photographer with me and liven things up on this blog with some images.