What do chronic headaches and wrinkles have in common? BOTOX, of course! I find it a very interesting connection. Like a lot of medications these days doctors have discovered an unexpected benefit for a condition completely different than what the medicine is made for. It is, however, reserved for patients who are most difficult to treat. Apparently, 28 years of treatment that doesn’t help was convincing enough for my insurance company to approve me. YAY ME!
The studies done are very intriguing. One study done was the largest to date with 271 patients. Eighty perfect of them reported significant relief from their headache pain. That is very encouraging. To think that something so simple might finally bring me some relief is very exciting! Years of surgical procedures, innumerable narcotics, heating pads, ice packs, acupuncture, massage, chiropractic adjustment and manipulations, steroid injections have all brought me such minimal short-lived relief that it’s been very discouraging. To think of how much money we have spent for me to simply find relief from a headache, the number of family events I have missed out on, the insurmountable amount of guilt I have placed on myself, the bottles full of tears I have shed due to the unrelenting pain and the constant confusion about how to relieve them completely boggles my mind. Even as I write this I wonder how a person maintains their sanity through all of that.
I am thrilled to be a month away from what appears to be a very positive and simple procedure that MIGHT bring me some relief. But I do go into this with apprehension. I remember when my dad was going through all that he was going through he guarded himself from too much hope. High expectations and allowing yourself to get wrapped up in the hope that THIS is gonna work can lead to just more grief if/when it doesn’t help. The studies are positive. They certainly give me reason to hope this will be “it”. But I am trying to keep my expectations at bay. I’ve been on this trip many many times before. Each trip has either led me to a dead end or a very short trip when I was expecting a long road trip.
The article that I read stated this:
Researchers are unsure why Botox relieves head pain. For its other uses — including alleviating wrinkles and treating certain medical conditions — the purified protein relaxes the overactive muscle by blocking nerve impulses that trigger contractions. For Migraines, there is no muscle component. Scientists believe Botox works by blocking the protein that carries the message of pain to the brain.
I’m all about blocking the message of pain. I’d really just like to completely turn off the whole pain signal system of my brain. It has been working overtime for too long. I’m tired of it’s overachieving quality.
At any rate, I will certainly keep you informed. I will write about the procedure, side effects (apparently there are very very few) and the results. That’s what my blog is about anyway – sharing information with you. Please pray that it works for me. I can’t really imagine what it might feel like to not have some degree of a headache every day. To be able to think clearly without having to push thoughts around in my head through the pain. What a concept! Is that really possible? Are there really people out there who DON’T have a headache every day? That’s all I’ve known. That’s been normal for me for 28 years. I wonder what it feels like to live without the pain of a headache every day. I wanna find out – you know, just to say I’ve tried it. I’m an adventurous girl. I like to do things just to say I’ve done them. So I’m gonna go for it!