Treatment change is leap of faithLast Updated:
It can feel like a leap of faith every time we agree to try a new treatment.
Exactly 4 weeks ago I received my first Botox injections. Within the first few days I noticed a difference. I no longer had pain in my right eye, which had been the most frequent place I experience Migraine pain. Until this last week I was on target to have a 50% reduction in both frequency and severity of attacks. The pain I did experience was on the left side and back of my head — very different and more like the attacks I experienced as a teen. It was as if the clock had rewound 25 years.
All of this good news is even greater when you consider the significant trigger exposures — dental pain followed by tooth extraction and infection, constantly changing weather patterns and increased pollen counts, changes in sleep and eating due to travel related to a dear friend’s death. Any other month like this would have put me in bed for most of the month.
Then 2 weeks ago my doctor agreed to switch me from Neurontin (which was causing weight gain) back to Topamax. It was a big mistake. The side effects I experienced the first time around were much worse this time. I’m back on the Neurontin for now until this Botox trial is complete. My doctor wants me off it as soon as possible, but my Botox doctor insists on staying on it until the treatment is complete.
On Friday I started having daily migraine attacks. By Sunday, none of my abortives or rescue meds were working. The pain quality changed from throbbing to stabbing and settled in the back of my head. I had enough and called the doctor to let her know I was on my way to the ER. My local ER is pretty good at treating migraine attacks appropriately and my husband is a great advocate. It took all of Monday to come out of the “fog” created by the IV meds that stopped the migraine. I am just beginning to feel more like myself.
I have called both doctors responsible for my care. Torn between discouragement (first ER visit in 2 years) and encouragement (right eye pain only twice this month), I am tired of fighting this battle and desperately need a break. Unfortunately, migraine attacks do not understand this. They keep coming, so I have no choice but to keep trying.
I want to be the skinny, pain-free version of myself that I see in my head. I really like that girl a lot. I miss her.