Let’s talk about Botox! I’ve been getting Botox injections in my forehead, neck and shoulders for about a year. It’s a medical treatment, not cosmetic. It’s part of the treatment regimen for my migraines.
I’ve had migraines since I was a kid, like 7 or 8. So basically for 20 years. Every treatment they’ve ever tried doesn’t really work or works really great for about a month and then stops working. Every prophylactic they’ve tried me on hasn’t worked. Oh, and not to mention, I’m allergic to triptans, the major migraine medication class. So Imitrex, Zomig, Maxalt, all those, I can’t take them. I go into anaphylaxis. Which may sound fun, but having your throat swell shut is a real bummer. I’ve done stress journaling, food tracking, sleep studies, everything imaginable to try to figure out my triggers. And we can’t. I’ve had MRIs and CT scans and there’s nothing physically wrong with my brain to cause them. Best as we (my neurologist and I) can figure is that they’re post traumatic migraines stemming from the 15 or so concussions I’ve had in my life (4 of which were before the age of 10). Most likely, I’ll have them for the rest of my life. At their worst, I would get 3 or 4 migraines a week. It was rendering my life unlivable. They were affecting my ability to work, my ability to function. And then I started working in TBI (traumatic brain injury). When I started working with a bunch of neurologists, they started taking care of me. I finally got the often asked for, never before received, all important referral to neurology. In case you didn’t know, the Military Healthcare System is … Special. Basically, you have to go to primary care for everything and be referred out to specialty clinics as needed. And primary care hates to give out referrals, because if you start being seen by a different clinic, you’re not creating RVU (relative value units) for primary care anymore and they need those RVUs to justify their continued employment.
Once I got the referral to neurology, things finally started getting better. They started with an occipital nerve block on each side and immediately started Botox every 90 days. I’ve been getting Botox for a little over a year now. And holy shit, has it made a difference in my life. I still get migraines but the intensity and frequency of them has decreased significantly. I might get a bad migraine once or twice a month now. And after years of getting them 3 or 4 times a week, I can handle that.
The reason I brought this all up is because I’ve had some haters lately. And in general, I love me some haters. If I have people hating on me, that means I’m doing something right. Because it’s all sprung from jealousy. But I tend to mention my Botox appointments whenever I have them and everyone freaks the fuck out. “You’re so young! Why would you do that! How vain are you?!?” And I calmly explain that my Botox is medical and not cosmetic. I don’t give a fuck about wrinkles. And they again launch into a diatribe, this time about my medical care. “You shouldn’t be getting Botox for migraines, you should be taking x drug instead or change your diet or blah blah blah blah.” You know, just in case this was an impulsive decision on my neurologist’s behalf. I had one person in particular tell me that I should “Just smoke weed, it’ll take care of your migraines.” Well, there’s two fundamental flaws with that plan: I hate weed and I get drug tested at work.
But what really irritates me is the implication that I don’t know the best treatment for myself. The implication that despite the fact that I have been in the medical field for 10 years, worked in/with neurology for 2 and dealt with these migraines and all the associated treatments for 20 years, somehow they know better than I do. Like a fucking barista can give me medical advice. Or a software engineer suddenly knows more about TBI symptomatology that I do.
Look, I appreciate that you care and you honestly think that you’re helping me, but back the fuck up off me, I got this.