As I reported in my last migraine post, my Botox treatments have gotten me from 15+ migraines a month down to about 10 a month. For the past year, I’ve been schlepping up to Oakland for my Botox treatments, but it would take me half the day to get there and back. I asked my neurologist for a referral to a closer facility where I could get Botox. Apparently, there was some miscommunication between offices, and I didn’t get the appointment I was expecting. This turned out to be a good thing…
When I arrived at the medical office, expecting to receive my (overdue) Botox treatment, I was surprised that I had been scheduled for a neurological exam with a new neurologist. She gave me a full work up, and we talked about how migraines are affected by sleep hygiene, mood, and stress. These are things I’ve known and talked about a million times, but I realized that I had fallen into some sloppy habits. She recommended a new migraine management plan (in addition to Botox treatments.)
After the appointment, I realized that I had completely lost sight of the fact that I should re-assess my migraine situation periodically to see what’s working, and what needs improvement. Anyone dealing with a chronic medical condition knows this. I was so happy getting my migraines from 15+ down to 10/month that I wasn’t thinking too much about what else I could do to get them down even further.
My new neurologist made some recommendations for anxiety reduction and better sleep hygiene, and she signed me up for a neck pain class. Not all of my migraines are triggered by neck problems, but a few are, so learning some neck exercises will be a good thing. She also started me on gabopentin. To be completely honest, I don’t have high hopes that it will help. I am going to carefully chart my migraines, and give gabopentin a chance. I kind of feel like I’m only doing it so I can rule out one more preventative medication. Yes, that’s pretty pessimistic, but I’ve just been through this so many times before.
I also mentioned to my neurologist how drowsy Imitrex makes me, so she prescribed Maxalt for me to try instead. Maxalt is another member of the triptan family, and it works in a similar way to Imitrex.
Anyway, I do feel optimistic about being able to get my migraines down to fewer than 10 a month, whether it’s through exercise, sleeping better, or even gabopentin. I’ll let you all know how it goes. I hope that any of you who get migraines are also finding things that help.