That was a sentence I never thought I’d write.
31 injections in total. Across my eyebrows, around the top of my scalp, my hairline, down my neck and down to my shoulders.
It wasn’t to tackle the growing mountain of wrinkles on my face … although that wouldn’t have been such a bad idea. I had no clue until this week that Botox is also a fully registered medical treatment.
The wheels were set in motion on Monday when the 5th consultant I’ve been referred to, uttered the all too familiar words “I’m sorry there’s nothing more I can do for you.” She told me what I needed next was a migraine clinic, not a Menieres’ clinic.
This comment landed during a week in which … I had face-planted a restaurant table (thankfully no food in front of me at the time), I was manhandled by my mum out of said restaurant (luckily I couldn’t open my eyes long enough to see the expressions on our fellow diners’ faces) and I bumbled like an idiot to my husband one evening because my brain was incapable of processing what he was asking me.
Consultant Referral Number 6 was the first step in understanding that the symptoms I’m currently experiencing are migrainous and not, as I’ve always assumed, Menieres’ related.
With that knowledge I can explain that, for me, a migraine feels like one of those bruising hangovers I experienced in my twenties on New Years Day … with a few added extras chucked in for good measure. Some reach-for-the-floor world-spinning vertigo or a vice like head-clamp that builds the sound inside my head to such a deafening volume that I struggle to decipher speech.
In need of support I called the charity the Migraine Trust and a very kind receptionist, sensing the mild hysteria in my voice squeezed me in for an appointment yesterday with a Neurologist. I thought I was going in for a chat and further diagnosis. I had no idea I’d come out having been injected 31 times in my head.
I learnt a few things yesterday:
- New medical treatments don’t come about as logically as you might expect; it wasn’t until migraineurs, who used botox for cosmetic reasons, reported a reduction in symptoms that the medical profession sat up and took an interest.
- Which goes a long way towards explains why there’s a rather alarming sentence in the permission slip I had to sign; “We’re not really sure how botox works for migraine, but … “
- What also surprised me was how quickly I agreed to having a muscle poison injected into my head. Why? Because I’d do anything for some relief. Migraine gets some pretty bad press … but it’s so much more than a headache. I, for one, would love it, if that was more widely understood.
- Thank you to my best mates who reacted to my “just had 31 botox injections” text by taking the piss. “Are you rocking the Barbra Streisand look now?”