Written By: Peggy Artman, for Chronic Migraine Awareness, Inc.
I have been getting Botox injections to help with my chronic migraine attacks every quarter for more than five years. My migraine disease is stubborn and has not responded to very many medications. I wondered in the past if it was still worth the effort to continue getting Botox injections, but I realized that after going without them, my pain increased. So each quarter of every year, I look forward to going to my neurology appointments for the injections.
I have had times when I have felt so desperate for pain relief that I would do anything to get into my neurologist’s office for a migraine attack that won’t break. They don’t offer rescue type treatments such as injections and infusion services at this clinic. I only see my doctor once every three months. This time, my appointment was scheduled for late March, during the time of social distancing, to minimize the risk of spreading COVID-19. The clinic offered me a Telemedicine appointment, and it was tempting to take it, but I was so concerned about my migraine disease that I was willing to do anything to get there.
It was an easy drive to the hospital; people were out, but heavy traffic was not a problem like it usually is. When I arrived at an entrance to the third floor from the parking garage, I was immediately ordered to go to the first floor to get screened for COVID-19. I was already prepared for this, so it wasn’t surprising. A group of medical professionals wearing masks and protective clothing were there to take my temperature. Then there was someone at the neurology clinic at the door to make sure I had been screened. I went to the waiting room to check in at my neurologist’s office. It was kind of eerie because I was the only one in the waiting room. The waiting room usually is full. Individual chairs had tape over them with a note saying not to sit in that chair so that people won’t sit too close to each other.
Being the only one there, the doctor was ready to see me right away. I had a good appointment and got the Botox injections. When I got home, I was surprised at some uneasy feelings that I didn’t expect. I felt that the hospital clinic took appropriate precautions by taking my temperature since they couldn’t test people any other way. Now that even more time has passed since the appointment in March, I understood my feelings better. I was more afraid of painful, debilitating migraine attacks than I was of COVID-19. I know it sounds crazy. I live in constant fear of when the next attack will come and mess up my life for days and months. The type of migraine attacks I have has caused anxiety, fear, and anger that I didn’t realize I had on such a deep level. I was trying to cope by not acknowledging these feelings. I have a lot of emotions left to process.
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