…yup, you read that right.
I actually had botulism injected into my head.
Hang with me for a few moments, though, I promise it wasn’t because I’m ashamed of my wrinkles.
Why I decided to get Botox
I’ve always been headache-prone. Most of my adult life, I would get headaches off and on. Usually nothing too unbearable, just headaches that seemed to stem from tension in my neck.
Then, about three years ago, I had major jaw surgery (a mandibular osteotomy) due to years of progressively-worsening TMD symptoms. I had gotten to the point where I had difficulty chewing even the slightest foods without pain, and my jaw dislocated three times, requiring me to go to the E.R. and be fully sedated in order to get it back into place. The surgery required the surgeon to cut my jaw bone vertically, allow it to sag a few millimeters, and then heal in its new position to allow room for a protruding disc.
The surgery was successful, and my jaw pain pretty much disappeared (after a few months of healing)! I still get periodic pain, but nothing like before, and functionally it works great.
Unfortunately, after my surgery, I noticed an uptick in the number of headaches I was getting. They started increasing in number, and then intensity. Over the last year, I had a headache pretty much every day. Some days the pain was so bad I felt like my head was going to split in half. They were beginning to hinder my everyday activities, and I avoided going out in the evenings, because that is when they were the worst. It was so hard some days when I just felt so awful and wanted to crawl into bed, but knew I needed to parent my kids and didn’t have the option of retreating into a dark corner. Superman was always incredibly helpful and supportive, though, and never complained about helping me out when I needed it.
I tried everything
Well, pretty much everything: essential oils (which did provide some relief, but it didn’t last longterm), acupuncture, deep tissue massage (this helped a ton with the tension in my neck, and definitely reduced the number of migraines I had, so I still go as a preventative measure), Bowen therapy, craniosacral massage, dietary changes, supplements, vitamins…I even had people pray over me for healing. But the headaches continued.
For almost a year, I got lidocaine injections every two weeks to help relieve the pain. The doctor I saw said I would be a good candidate for Botox for headaches.
I finally tried the route of meds, and did finally find one for my migraines that was helpful, but I was still getting daily tension headaches. After researching for nearly six months about Botox for headaches, I finally decided to request it from my neurologist. It was approved through my insurance, and I went for my first injections a little over two weeks ago.
I expected to just get a few injections on the sides of my head and the base of my neck, where the lidocaine injections had been placed. Instead, I received more than 20 injections, all over the sides and front of my head, as well as my neck and shoulders.
My life has changed.
Over the last two weeks, I’ve only had 2 headaches: one after I was rear-ended, and the other after I had been sitting in a meeting for three hours without any breaks (which would probably give anyone a headache).
I can’t even begin to say what an incredible difference Botox has made for me. It has seriously changed my life! Words can’t explain how amazing it is to wake up and not feel like I have a vice squeezing my head.
The results should last 3-4 months, and then I will receive my next round of injections. Praying that I continue to experience relief! I’ll update you all in a few months to let you know how things are going.
If you suffer from migraines or tension headaches, and have exhausted all other avenues and are willing to try this, I would highly suggest talking to your doctor about botox for headaches. It has been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made!
Questions? Feel free to ask me in the comments, and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible!
Shanti, I didn’t see chiropractic care on your list of things you tried. I can relate to jaw issues, though not as severe as yours, and the type of daily headaches you described. I’m glad you have finally found some relief. Are you under care for whiplash from the recent rear-end?
Shanti Landon says
Hi, Michelle! Yes, chiropractic care should be on there, too, I forgot! I still go every month for adjustments. I’m seeing them more regularly right now after my accident. =)