Jackson, New Jersey, Woman Finds Life-changing Migraine Relief With Botox   

Jackson, New Jersey, Woman Finds Life-changing Migraine Relief With Botox

Jeannette Rotondi

Jeannette Rotondi’s life ground to a halt when she was just 29 years old. She was newly married, had recently completed graduate school and was collecting supervised hours toward her clinical social worker license when chronic migraine struck. More days than not, she experienced an array of symptoms that were so disabling, she was unable to leave her dark, quiet bedroom—missing work so often that she lost her job and, with it, her career path.

“When this started, I was in my prime of life. And life stopped each time. The full-blown attacks could last days,” Jeanette said. “People think a migraine attack is just head pain, but the other symptoms can just be debilitating. The dizziness, slurred speech, facial tingling and drooping, difficulty finding words, abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting are just as bad as the pain.”

The Pathway to Treatment

After more than a year of struggling to get an accurate diagnosis and find an effective treatment, Jeannette found Monte Pellmar, M.D., a neurologist and headache specialist who is now the director of the Headache Center at Jersey Shore University Medical Center.

Dr. Pellmar quickly determined that Jeannette met the criteria for a diagnosis of chronic migraine: Fifteen headache days per month for at least three months lasting 4 hrs untreated. 

After a year of trying other treatments without success, Jeannette was approved for Botox®.

“Every insurance company is different, but normally you have to fail at least two oral preventative medications to be approved for Botox®,” Dr. Pellmar says. “The majority of my patients come back and say it changed their life.”

Botox® for migraine is given every three months, and it can take two or three treatments before patients find relief. The protocol is 31 injections with a small needle each treatment and has little to no side effects. Botox®, alongside a migraine medication and toolkit (which includes cold compresses, ice caps, and items that help with nausea and sensitivity to light and sound), has helped Jeannette get her life back.

“I still get migraine attacks, but they are so much less severe and the abortive medication works well now, knocking them out in about an hour,” Jeannette says. 

Life, Resumed

It’s now been over a decade since Jeannette started seeing Dr. Pellmar, and she has flourished. She now has a 7-year-old son and her clinical social worker license, and she recently opened a private therapy practice with her husband. She advocates and provides support for people with chronic pain through Miles for Migraine, RetreatMigraine, Headache on the Hill and the Arthritis Foundation.

“When Jeannette first came to me, she wasn’t functioning because she was feeling so poorly,” Dr. Pellmar says. “Since we started treating her with Botox®, she has been transformed.”

Adds Jeannette: “Dr. Pellmar doesn’t give up. We’ve had a long journey. I tell him all the time that he saved my life.”

Next Steps & Resources:

The material provided through HealthU is intended to be used as general information only and should not replace the advice of your physician. Always consult your physician for individual care.



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