Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Botox for Migrains- Update!

FINALLY. Let me just tell you how much insurance red tape there was getting to this day. I think my first appointment with Dr Tom was in October or November. I could look but it doesn't really matter. The point is- it's now almost April. Just over twenty-four hours until April to be exact. That makes it like six months since I started this quest to get Botox for migraines. Like, that was my whole intent on going to see a neurologist. I've been living with migraines, that I didn't know were migraines, since I was around E's age- six or seven years old. I have come up with my own concoctions of remedies to ease the pain, but I realized I don't have to now. There are options. I must hear the Botox for migraines commercial a hundred times a day, in between pharmaceutical commercials for erectile dysfunction, restless leg syndrome and Fibromyalgia.

I had three appointments at Dr Tom, where through no fault of his, I had to go through all these other medications before my insurance, good insurance, would consider paying for Botox. Basically, I had to take all these pills, that I didn't want to take, have them not work, thus living through the pain longer, and THEN Horizon Blue Cross/Blue Shield would consider it. But it's not just MY insurance- it's all insurance. My friend's insurance, is trying to fight her on Zomig pills (or maybe Imitrex?) for migraine. She used to get like twelve for a month and now they only want to give her three. Everything is a fight. No one wants to be taking migraine pills if they're not necessary! They're not Quaaludes or weed! They're not Vicodins! They really only work on MIGRAINES.

All the medications Dr Tom gave me failed. I didn't want to be on something daily anyway. That was the first one he gave me. It didn't do anything. Not good or bad. Then he gave me something else that was just an as needed thing and that didn't work either. He put in for the Botox approval. I made an appointment for seven weeks later because he said that was about how long it took to approve. They had to then cancel that appointment because it wasn't approved yet. I made another appointment. That had to be cancelled. Then another. I thought this day was never coming. His office called me that I have to approve a specialty pharmacy shipping the Botox to the doctor. They had to ask me a million questions. I approved it, called Dr Tom's office, the pharmacy called Dr Tom's office. Then the pharmacy called me with more questions. Then they called one more time to confirm the confirmation of approval. It was exhausting. You'd think this was the Ice Princess sent to freeze the world (General Hospital humor). No, no. Just to freeze my face. 

Appointment was for 1:20p today. I prepared for this appointment by driving to the Glen Pointe where the office is, and then slathering my face and neck with LMX 5% cream in my car in the parking lot. That's numbing cream at the highest percent sold over the counter. It's called an anorectal actually, which I believe means it's to numb your extreme hemorrhoids. Whatever. As long as I don't feel all these needles, I'm good. Of course it got all in my hair and it was a mess, but I was slathered as planned.

After listening to a crazy lady yell like a lunatic at her elderly mother in the waiting room, it was my turn. I was approved for 200 units (with NO CO-PAY!). I watched Dr Tom reconstitute it and fill all the syringes. It looked like a lot. He wanted to go over possible side effects and possible bruising, but I needed to skeddaddle. I was there way too long. It was already 2:06 when I was watching him fill syringes and I had to get E by three-ish.

By the way, I found out that Allergan raised the hell out of their prices for Botox and it will probably only get more expensive. There are reasons too long and boring to go into, but that's why you no longer see Groupons or Living Social deals for ninety dollars for twenty units of Botox. Those days are G-O-N-E, gone.

When I've gotten Botox cosmetically, they always said I wouldn't probably see results for at least a week. It always seemed to work extra fast on me, which is not psychosomatic. I can SEE it. Same with this. Below is a picture of my forehead. I'm bad at selfies for sure, but I wanted to get close up. Believe it or not, I'm actually trying to scrunch my forehead but this is all it goes. So yay- even if it doesn't work for migraines, it sure does work well for wrinkles! I wasn't super wrinkly on my forehead prior, but now I'm extra unwrinkled. You can obviously see some little blood marks where he injected.

He told me the pattern for migraine which makes total sense- especially for where I feel pain. He did it in my forehead, sides of my face, although not my crows feet, which can really use a refresher. He did in my scalp on the sides and where pressure points are, the base of my head where it meets my neck and some of the muscle on top of my shoulders. He used one hundred and fifty-five units. He is super by-the-book so the rest of it gets tossed. Trust me, I asked where it goes.

It felt really weird, getting injected in the head. I was glad I used the numbing cream but it did still hurt. It hurt more in the "angry 11" between my eyes, on my forehead, and I think on the sides of my face. Oddly, the scalp ones weren't bad at all and I had no cream there. I think the whole injection process probably took like ten minutes. It was fine. Quick. I don't think the ones on my neck and shoulders hurt at all.

So that's it. Now we wait and see. To qualify to even try this Botox for migraines, you need to have headaches at least fourteen times a month. I actually get more than that. Let's hope THIS is my cure. Or at least gives me more headache-free days a month. I could totally use that. He gave me a prescription for Relpax too, which is an as-needed prescription. I JUST got the coupon card that lets you get it at a discount, because even with insurance, it's still expensive. It took like four weeks to sign up on the Relpax site to get the card.

I am going to really keep track of my headaches for the next six weeks. In six weeks I go back to Dr Tom just to assess how well the Botox has been working. I'm going to make sure I document so I really know how much or little of a difference in frequency or severity there is in my migraines. FINGERS CROSSED!

My forehead post injection

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