Finally, some good news for a change

successMigraine can be so unpredictable.
Good news is hard to find.

After reading Living Well With Migraine Disease and Headaches by Teri Robert in late 2007, I began a journey to seriously improve migraine management. It was the first time in over 30 years that I finally agreed to try a preventive medication.

I tried and failed SIX preventives.

I was also treated for Sleep Apnea
and Cervicogenic headaches.

I still had 15+ attacks each month.

After each failure, I would ask about Botox.  Each self-proclaimed “expert” would give me some lame excuse as to why they didn’t think I was a good candidate. Their reasoning revealed their incompetence so I quietly fired each one and moved on.

I was told…

  • “You’re responding to medication too well to be considered chronic.”
  • “If the trial used for Trigger Site Release didn’t help, then the full protocol won’t help either.”
  • “Botox won’t help with Cluster Headaches.”
  • “Your insurance probably won’t pay for it anyway.”

These are LIES. Here is the truth.

  • Even with two preventives, I still experienced enough attacks to meet the criteria for Chronic Migraine. Two headache specialists agreed that I was a perfect candidate.
  • The diagnostic trial for Trigger Site Release surgery consisted of 3 injections, not 31.
  • My previous insurance paid 100% after a large deductible.
  • Allergan covered the balance through their Partnership for Access program. I receive a Visa card pre-loaded with an allotment for each round of injections.
  • My current insurance pays 100% after a $40 co-pay.
  • There have been no problems or delays in getting insurance approval…and I have Medicare.
  • I have paid NOTHING out-of-pocket. I think I get the cheapest Botox in the country.

After only ONE round of injections…

  • 50% reduction in frequency of migraine attacks (dropping from 10 to 5 per month)
  • 100% elimination of ALL Cluster Headache attacks. (dropping from 5 to 0 per month)
    • I’ve been attack-free since Dec. 19th, 2014.
    • It’s the longest remission I’ve had since their onset in Oct. 1999.
  • 45% reduction in intensity of pain during attack (dropping from a 7 to a 5)
  • 50% reduction in duration of attacks (dropping from 7 hrs. to 3 hrs.)

Today was round #2.

My doctor was pleased with the positive response. I shared with him that I had no adverse responses to the treatment. He was surprised to learn that many of my Migraine friends reported that injections often triggered a Migraine attack. He had never received that report from any of his patients. We wondered if patients were prepared to have an attack and didn’t bother to report it. He agreed to start asking about post injection attacks.

We also talked about the benefits of FL-41 tinted glasses to prevent light sensitivity and protect from light-related triggers. He and his nurse were impressed that I could tolerate the bright fluorescent lights and sunlight from the large windows. His nurse remarked that most of the time they had to keep the blinds closed and light off right up until the doctor needed the light to see clearly for the procedure. I left an information card for Theraspecs with him to share with other patients.

I just love that my headache doctors follow this blog, my Twitter feed, and the features on Migraine.com. It shows they really care about me and all their Migraine patients.

After 8 years of trial and error.

Good news is a welcomed change.

I’ve finally found something that really works. I suffered for 32 years trying to cope with attacks all alone. When I finally decided I’d had enough, it took another eight years of seriously hard work and determination to find relief. There were times when I wanted to give up, even to the point of dying. I’m so glad I didn’t. I now have a great team of professionals who are willing to work together to keep me as healthy as possible.  I know that if this treatment ever stops working, my doctors and I can work together to find a new solution.

If the success continues, hopefully I can wean off some of
these medications and eliminate their ugly side effects.

For now, I will enjoy the relief.

p.s. Individual results may vary. Please talk to your headache specialist about using Botox as a treatment option.

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