Okay, maybe it’s not so “dirty” as the last secret I told, but it’s not something I tell everyone. But I figure, I might as well share it. Especially if there’s anyone out there going through a similar thing.
I have headaches. More specifically, I suffer from headaches. I’ve had them since I can remember – I was a pretty small girl. I could never wear a ponytail or a headband too long, or I’d be miserable. Once I got older, they got worse, but were a daily occurrence. To say that I smiled through the pain is an understatement. Mostly, I performed through the pain. I figured if I behaved “as if” I didn’t have any pain that maybe I would start to feel better. But I didn’t. So I started living on daily doses of Extra Strength Excedrin to make it through my days as a teacher and a tour guide.
(If you know what to look for, you can see how much my head hurts in this photo.)
After a day of teaching or talking (like on the tram), my head would be pounding, and my jaw would literally be swollen and stiff from talking. My husband would come pick me up for dinner when we were dating, and he could see the pain on my face and told me to just not talk for awhile and rest.
Smiling at social functions hurts my face. If I have a party to go to, or need to talk to a lot of parents, kids, or teachers, I smile through the pain, and the minute I stop, I want to just lay on the floor in the dark.
Once upon a time, I saw a headache specialist. He had me doing biofeedback, traction, relaxation, and wearing a mouthguard at night. He had me on an antidepressant for the pain. I honestly don’t remember if there was a significant change, it was so long ago. I do remember the detox from the Excedrin was enough to make me want to jump out a window.
This past Spring, I’d had it. I was in tears at my doctor’s office, and he put me on an antidepressant to help the pain. Since this was done before, I thought it was worth a shot. I saw no significant improvement.
Two weeks later, I had an appointment with my dermatologist. A friend had suggested to me that Botox might help my headaches. I decided it was worth a shot to bring it up to the doc, and if she laughed, at least I tried.
She didn’t laugh. In fact, she said they had several patients who get regular Botox injections for their headaches. She said the effects would last up to 3 months. My husband and I thought “Why not?” and I went in a week later to get a needle stuck into my forehead.
It took a week or two, but my headaches really diminished. In fact, only recently my headaches have been bad, and that’s 3 months after the procedure. Coincidence? I don’t think so.
So, I’m willing to do it again. Only this time, I’m going to see another headache specialist. One recommended to me by someone my husband knows. This guy’s wife has been seeing this dr. for years and part of her treatment was Botox – not just in the forehead, but the temple, and other places around the head.
I don’t know if this will end up being my treatment, but I’m certainly going to let the dr. know I’ve had it and felt that it worked. Honestly, I’d do just about anything to not feel this pain anymore. I’m almost in tears today because of it.
So I took the first step and called the doc. The bad news is I need a referral. The good news is I made an appointment with my GP for next week and I’m hoping he’ll give me a referral and we can get the ball rolling.
I’m ready to feel better, and if Botox is the answer, I’m not keeping it a secret anymore.