How do you know if a new preventative is working or at least helping a little bit? I tried my first round of Botox in June and I think I can answer that question.
I’ve read where it’s hard to judge how well Botox will work based on the first round as it can be so hit or miss and that hopefully subsequent rounds can be more effective; that additional rounds of Botox can build on the Botox you already had which can help it work better for those who Botox will help. I hope so.
The toughest part about my first round was having my neck get adjusted to the Botox as my neck was super sore for about two weeks after as my other neck muscles needed to strengthen up to take over for the muscles that were affected by the Botox. I had anticipated the ‘frozen’ forehead so that didn’t come like the surprise of the sore neck muscles.
I have to say that I have been unintentionally testing Botox since I received it. At first, I felt almost forced to reduce one of my medications since I could no longer deal with its cognitive side effects.
My mind has always been something I could count on, but these side effects grew to the point where it was hard for me to trust my memory, hard to be in a constant fog, to write down everything just to forget where all the little notes were and to basically feel too disheveled. Botox helped enough this first round to allow me to manage this medication change without my Migraines getting worse.
I’ve been met with a few unavoidable triggers that could have made things much worse too. It seems like we’ve had a lot of thunderstorms this summer. I feel like the Migraines managed these storms better than they have in a while and I think better because I had the Botox which is really the only explainable difference for me.
My biggest challenge came about a month after receiving Botox and continues through today; everything started hitting the fan then. My husband has been in the ED and admitted to the hospital three times since then. Of course there is a lot of stress that comes with this, but there are lots of other triggers associated with it too. There are the lights in the ED, the hospital rooms and the different smells to contend with in this closed environment. Although we may be able to control a little corner of this space, we can’t regulate much of it.
I also found that I needed to learn and do many things at home that I didn’t need to worry about before. I had to figure out the on-line addresses where all of the bills were paid. I needed to figure out how to apply for a student loan from soup to nuts. I needed to figure out all of this new healthcare stuff I was about to be inundated with from everywhere. I needed to figure out an old tax return as we were being audited on one of our old returns. I needed to get my younger son back to school early even though he was not cleared to play football this year as he was officially put out for the season due to the concussion he sustained during their spring season.
Not only were there other personal stuff I needed to take care of, but it was a very time intensive solid deadlines period at work too. I know it’s easy to say that home and family have to come first, but there is also that balancing act that always has to be done especially when you feel like you are continuously walking on a thin tightrope at work already. Not only that, but if I didn’t get my work-work completed, it would have adversely affected the people that report to me and how could I let that happen to them?
Can you say too much stress and too little sleep (another huge trigger) while trying to do everything except for really taking care of myself? But what was I supposed to do? What should I have done or not done? I do have to say that my boss made things as easy for me as possible which helped tremendously. I honestly don’t know what I would have done if I had a different boss while trying to work through this time.
Anyway, back to Botox. I don’t know that I could have made it this far if I didn’t try it at the time that I did especially because it allowed me to reduce the medication that was affecting my thinking and mind clarity. Botox decreased the number of Migraines I got slightly, but I think where it made the biggest difference so far with this first round is that it allowed me to keep my productivity up more. Between being able to decrease the one medication, getting rid of the fog and not having an increase in Migraines, I have to conclude that the first round had a positive effect.
I have felt the Botox wearing off over the last few weeks and can’t wait to try the second round as I hope to have even more success. Unfortunately, my doctor needed to delay my next Botox appointment and I will continue to count the number of days until then. Each week gets a little tougher and I fear going back to the state I was in before I tried Botox when I was getting really bad with increased Migraines and was generally having a very difficult time coping with everything.
As silly as this may sound, my advice would be to get to know the things at home that you don’t normally handle or know a lot around. You don’t need to be an expert, but you should have an idea of where things are (websites, passwords, etc.), and how to take care of them – just in case. It would make it much simpler and less stressful for you if that time ever came that you needed to take on the additional responsibilities that someone else handles right now to make things easier on you.
As you can see, Botox has been super challenged this first go around. I am encouraged by the results especially the increased productivity I feel I have gotten so far while on it. I felt more like my old self and am hoping to get even better results from subsequent rounds. I still countdown the days until my next Botox treatment as I feel the Migraines squeezing tighter every day. I can’t wait for them to hopefully loosen up again and go away from the next Botox treatment.
How well did Botox work for you during your first round? Did it get better or worse with additional rounds? Did you have any extra challenges during your Botox trials?