Boston PainCare

Spotlights

September 2018 Patient Spotlight

Trefina G-I

Trefina

When Trefina was in her 20s, she began experiencing frequent and debilitating headaches. Sometimes she had headaches 6-7 days per week, that were so bad, she’d have to miss 1 or 2 hours of work in the morning. Somehow she would power through the week, but by the weekend Trefina would spend at least half the day in bed not able to spend time with her kids, go shopping, or participate in important events. Trefina had no idea that she suffered from migraines. Back then, there was no “Google” to help self-diagnosis her symptoms. After a year of networking with the medical community, she finally discovered that her headaches were actually migraines. Unfortunately, doctors weren’t as educated on the subject as they are today, and didn’t have as many treatment options for migraine sufferers.

Then, Trefina’s daughter was diagnosed with migraines at a young age. As her daughter grew older, and especially when she became a teenager, her migraines got worse. Unfortunately, Trefina’s own migraine doctor had just closed his practice to do more research, and Children’s Hospital had a 6 month wait list for new patients. Trefina googled “migraine” and found Boston PainCare. Dr. Bajwa was able to see her daughter the very next week. “That’s what I love about BPC,” says Trefina. “They are sensitive to and efficient with your time. I walk in, get treated, and walk out.” When Trefina realized how much Dr. Bajwa helped her daughter, she began seeing him for her own migraines 2 weeks later.

There is no cure for migraines, however migraines can be managed. Trefina tried managing her migraines with oral medication and nerve blocks when she was first diagnosed. Unfortunately, that treatment plan only provided short term relief in response to a migraine attack, and didn’t do anything help minimize future migraines. After working with Trefina for 6 months, Dr. Bajwa suggested Botox. That was the real game changer for her. Now Trefina gets Botox injections every 3 months. The Botox injections don’t keep Trefina from getting migraines, but it lowers her overall pain scale to be something manageable and keeps her functioning. Trefina says she feels her migraine pain present in the background nearly every day. The pain intensity fluctuates like a bell curve with high and low amounts of pain. Botox allowed her to lower the curve so that the high pain points were lower, and the low pain points even less.

Trefina shared: “I have a saying… There’s a range of migraine pain for me: Functional and Dysfunctional. Functional is getting Botox injections and taking oral medications when I feel a migraine coming on. I can manage my migraine. I can still work a full schedule as well as participate in family events on the weekends. Dysfunctional is laying in bed. Botox treatments have helped me manage my migraine so I can be functional.”

Trefina says, “If you haven’t had success managing your migraine, you owe it to yourself to try different treatments because when you find the one that works, it's life changing”.

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