The Migraine Mummy: In which I go to work dressed as the undead. For my health.
You’d think getting Botox would be a spa-like experience. Done mostly for beauty, by ladies who like to be pampered, who are used to having their hands massaged as their faces soak in eucalyptus and peppermint during European Facials.
You would be so wrong.
Botox injections — at least, in the quantity I get for migraine relief — feel like going on a fishing trip, only I’m the fish, in an endless sadistic game of catch and release.
The needle goes in, huge and painful, then kind of suctions up the skin as it is pulled out. All I can envision is that my doctor is using a fish hook, circling it around in the skin a bit, then yanking it out. About thirty times in a row. Ironically, the prolonged, painful stimulations usually leave me with a brand new migraine.
I’ve loved both my neurologists, but I also have a conditioned aversion to them. I could never put myself through this for a non-medical reason.
I asked girlfriends HOW they could be sufficiently dedicated to their own beauty to endure the pain. They said, Because we baste ourselves in lidocaine first, silly.
So I begged my neurologist at the time to prescribe me some lidocaine. Okay, he said, but you’ll have to do it several hours ahead of time, and wrap the basted areas in gauze.
This is at the office, mind. I can’t imagine what my colleagues thought. (Fortunately, at the time I worked in one of those post-Oklahoma City federal buildings that are a cross between a rat’s maze and a bunker. I ran into very few people on my way in and out of the maze).
The lidocaine and mummy wrap helped, some. But I quickly developed an allergy to the lidocaine that caused large red welts to swell up. So I had to go back to my old plan for making it through Botox injections: mini-bottles of bourbon in the ladies’ room.